14 THE POWER OF POSSIBILITY NISC | 50 YEARS OF INNOVATION AND MEMBER SERVICE from EDP to take the helm at CADP. Larry Estal, who retired in 2014 after 45 years with CADP and NISC, recalls Lockley as “a gentleman who could motivate people even when you felt ‘there is no way in the world we can do this.’” February 14, 1964, on “The Twilight Zone,” a popular futuristic television show: A programmer arrives to fix a computer that is spewing paper tape. After making it run again, he begins to converse with “Agnes,” asking for advice about his love life — until he discovers that the computer has fallen in love with him. June 1, 1968, in a new building on a hill outside Mandan, North Dakota: A computer operator places a deck of punch cards into the Burroughs mainframe, loads reels of paper tape and waits hours for it to run. If it becomes hung up or the paper tape tears, the operator tries to fix it without a late-night call to the programmer, who’s on call 24/7. Real life is not nearly as romantic as the cinematic version. Early mainframes took up an entire room, with a processor, console operations and tape drives. They held about 20,000 bytes of memory — compared to 32 billion bytes in the base version of an iPhone 7. They generated enough heat to warm a small building, needed continual cooling and required operators to monitor the input and output around the clock. Throughout the workday, clerks at Member offices typed billing information into a teletypewriter machine, which created punched paper tape used to transmit meter readings, payments and other billing information through a phone line. At a predetermined time, the clerk dialed into the data processing center and transmitted data at about 100 words a minute. A teleprinter received the information and produced punched paper tape as well as a printed readout. An operator then fed the tape through the computer. The mainframe clicked and lights blinked as it calculated bills, checked for delinquencies and updated customer accounts. The billing information was stored on magnetic tape, and postcard bills were shipped back to the Members, often by bus, for mailing. With each new Member, a programmer wrote new computer code on paper. A keypunch operator keyed it onto Pete Stephans, a CADP programmer, codes on a Sycor machine used for batch processing.