School Bus Safety


I have a vague idea on how to do this, but my real experience only dates back to programming via paper tape and teletype machines.


@BillRussell. You and I both go back a long ways with the paper tapes. My strange experience with the teletype business is that my university had two teletype machines in an open student work area that went over the phone lines to a remote computer. An administrator, who had nothing better to do, came through our building, saw the teletypes in an open area, and demanded that they be moved. The teletypes were moved into a room where we had big Monroe mechanical calculators. This was before the days of electronic pocket calculators. The phone company was called and we were told that it would be two weeks before their technician could move the lines and reconnect the teletypes. In the meantime, my students were complaining that they couldn’t use the teletypes for their projects. Fortunately, there was a mechanical shaft that went between the open student work area and the calculator room. I came in the next day with my masonry drill and a screwdriver. I drilled through the concrete block wall, rerouted the phone lines and reconnected the teletypes. Our office secretary called the phone company to cancel the order. She was told it was too late–the technician was already enroute. The tech showed up, dialed in on each teletype to made sure it worked which took him 5 minutes, and then gave the department a bill for $160 for rerouting phone lines.


That’s not the way in real life. You can be taught how to program very efficiently without a deep understanding of the assembly. I’ve seen it.


Thanks to those who attempted to bring the discussion back to cars, but looks like it’s still drifting off. Can you please come back on topic? Thanks.


I’ll bring this back on track and relate it to automobiles and the discussion @MikeInNH were having about assembly language. We had an opening at my institution for a computer science professor about 40 years ago. An applicant that we interviewed turned out to be a very arrogant woman. After a session with her in the morning, I was elected to drive her around and show her the campus and some of the city. Our department secretary said she had reserved a car from the university fleet for me to chauffeur the candidate. I said that I would use my own car. “No way”, the secretary replied. “We’re not going to have her riding in your battered old Ford Maverick with its interior that makes a school bus seem luxurious”. Hence, I drove the candidate around in a new full size Chevrolet. In the course of our travels around town, she asked to look at neighborhoods where faculty lived, and in particular, she wanted to see where I lived. We drove down my street and I pointed out my house to her. “My, that’s a chintzy little place”, she exclaimed. When the computer science faculty assembled with her that afternoon, she had a list of courses she would not teach, including assembly language. She said a person had to be insane to teach assembly language.
I really felt insulted that day. First, the secretary insulted my car. Then the candidate had disparaging things to say about my house, and finally the candidate called me nuts for teaching a class that I enjoyed teaching. Fortunately, we didn’t hire that person. As I said, this was over 40 years ago, but Mike, if I run into her again, I’ll send her your way.


I’m not an academic…I have real world experience as a program/architect. And I spent years in my earlier career writing in Assembler (DEC PDP-11 and VAX-11) systems - writing device drivers.

Now back to cars. For over a decade the PDP-11 was the de facto-standard in factory control systems. Out of college I was offered a job writing device drivers on the PDP-11 for GM Fisher Body plant in Syracuse…but took another job instead. Device drivers is specialized software that enables the computer to talk to/control other devices.


@MikeInNH. Giad you were a DEC man. My university had a DEC - 10 which was replaced by a VAX cluster. These were great computers for the time period. There was a statistical package on the DEC -10 which I think was called STP. I was teaching upper division statistics courses at that time and I made assignments to the students to run various statistical routines and bring their printouts to class.
To make this car related, the DEC equipment was quite reliable for the time. Maybe we could say that DEC equipment was the Toyota of computers.


DEC is what brought me to New England. I worked for DEC for 10 years.

The PDP-11’s and VAX systems were legionary for it’s reliability. There was a PDP-11 that was finally shut down after over 20 years of service. This was the one and only time it was ever shut down. It was 20+ years of continuous service. Yes you’ll find cars 20 years old, but not running continuously for 20 years.


I can beat that, my first job was programming a PDP-8, with all of 4k of 12 bit memory.


I programmed on the PDP-8. The PDP-8/M and then the PDP-8/L. Their claim to fame was they ran switching systems. For years they were the backbone of Western Union.

That was true core memory.

I actually owned on in the late 70’s. Bought it for $50. New it went for $8000. Mine had 16k ram. I’d leave on all the time during the winter as a heat source.


that beats me. yeah, they had core memory. The one I used had 8k. Really difficult to program with the small pages, and moving outside the 4k bank was difficult. I remember 8i and 8s and 8L. The 8s was a hoot, it did all it’s calculations in serial, so it was really slow.

I think my fingers still know the sequence to reload the boot program, which you had to do by hand every time the computer crashed.


@BillRussell @MikeInNH. I’ve got you both beat! I got a desperate message from Ada Lovelace to come help her boyfriend, Charles Bsbbage, program his analytic engine!
One thing I remember about the earlier days of computers was how clumsy it seemed to implement the Job Control Language (JCL) on the IBM to get on.the machine with logging onto the DEC -10. It was like going from a car that you had to hand crank to start to a car with an electric starter motor.


I knew you were older then me…but damn…that’s old.:grinning:


The local TV news had a report this morning that concerned drivers not stopping for school busses when required. There was a video of a bus stopped. The rear flashing red lights and extended stop sign with flashing red lights were clearly visible. No one stopped or even slowed down!!! The video was only about 20 seconds long and involved more than a dozen vehicles travelling in both directions. This was in the “Big City” which I avoid if possible. I picked up my Grandson at his bus stop for 2 years on a very busy street in the capitol city which is about 200,000 population and saw a total of two drivers violate this law. One of them stopped then proceeded like you would do for a flashing red light at an intersection. A bus driver was interviewed and had no explanation for why the drivers would purposefully put children at risk. I have an explanation. It’s not their kids or family members so why should they care? I have seen this terrible attitude become more common over the years but never to the extent of the video.


That is one law that from my observation is obeyed most of the time. I have seen idiots go by stopped school busses. Once I stopped for a bus (red lights were flashing) and this guy behind me started honking his horn…then sped past me and by the bus. What a jerk.


Fortunately it is also something I have very rarely personally witnessed. I had a female big SUV driver treat me to the blaring horn plus obscene gestures and screaming. No school bus was involved. I had the gall to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk!


maybe it’s illegal now, but when I rode the school bus back in the late 1940s through the mid 1950s , the bus driver would pull to the center of a two lane road when dischargong passengers so that no cars could get around the bus.
However, my brother and I were almost hit by a car that apparently couldn’t stop and cut through our yard and went right in front of the open bus door as we were getting off.


On side streets in my area, it is SOP for the school bus drivers to do that. However, they don’t do it on the “through streets”, most likely at the request of the gendarmes.


I’ve seen some busses in NH that have this large metal gate swing out on the drivers side to stop cars from passing. It only extended when the lights were on.


I had a friend that lived on a major highway, the bus would stop in front of their house, that happened to also have a turn lane. The bus was not allowed to stop in the turn lane, only on the right lane of the 2 lane highway. Idiots would pass the bus on the right with red flashers on going to turn right in the turn lane. Why the bus could not stop in the turn lane state law, why the people thought it was ok to pass a bus on the right with flashers on was ok I do not know.