306 Luckily, my consultant notices and corrects several logical programming errors. I express my confidence that the program is now ready to run. On the basis of his experience with other programmers, my consultant feels that my confidence is unfounded.
... 315 It is just about time to run my program.
316 My tape is inserted in the photoelectric reader,
317 and read into Whirlwind's storage element.
318 Computations are proceeding at the rate of about thirty thousand arithmetic operations per second ...
319 Apparently there is a mistake in my program. I suppose this is not unusual for new programmers....
320 [voice of tape librarian]...Invariably, programmers attribute the initial unsuccessful performances of their programs to tape errors or to computer malfunctions. Sometimes they are right, but usually I can assure them that the tape contains no typographical errors....
321 ...[tape librarian] Now back he goes to more studying and complete analysis of his difficulties.
323 I'm beginning to feel like an old hand at this thing. But why must they run computers at four o'clock in the morning?
First the operator reads the main tape into the computer, and then he reads in the short tape which contains the modifications. 324 Say! What's going on here? Something must be wrong with the oscilloscope! The operator advises me to face facts and check my program again.
325 Perhaps the error can be found quickly with the help of the staff member who is waiting his turn on Whirlwind.
326 If he can find it, I'll have a hand modification made and run my tapes again in a few minutes....
327 So that's where the trouble is! Wait for me, fellows--I'll be back in a minute!
328 The night typist is making a hand modification to rectify my mistake. I sure hope this is it! Let's see if I corrected the error. [Music louder, faster, rising to a climax; the music here seems reminiscent of Dukas' "The Sorceror's Apprentice"--DPBS]
329 I'm as nervous as an actor on opening night!
330a, b The results look right! When will the pictures be ready? Good. Then I can check them this afternoon.
335 We have told you the story of one problem recently solved on one digital computer. Multiply this by hundreds of problems being handled routinely by a hundred such computers and you have an idea of the current importance of the digital computer as a new tool to help scale some of the HITHERTO INSURMOUNTABLE PEAKS WHICH SPAN THE DOMAIN OF MAN'S ACTIVITIES!
[The music rises to a Mahler-like climax--DPBS]