>> It seems like all the messages on the forum are quite old.
You are right - unfortunately .....
>> Is everybody dying off or what?
No, not all - I'm still alive - Thank God!
I was a Field Engineer for the Century series in Germany.
After 5 years of work I switched to the other side of the desk - from Hard- to Software and from a NCR-employee to a NCR-customer-employee.
There I hat to write a whole lot of software - mostly in NEAT/3 and NEAT/VS.
And you are right - in the pre-Terminal-ages the changes to all the files where made in sequential acces - via the "Father-Son-technique" (I hope, this is the correct english word for that).
Of course I wrote my own indexed-access-routines - I guess, everybody does this. But with the restricted space on a 655-Disk (4,5 MB!) one had not too much of possibilities!
Then came the Terminal-Dialog-Ages. In germany whe had from NCR Augsburg a software package named "TECOS" - you could write dialog programs with "Send/Reveice"-Commands. And a package named "MIDAS" - this was a small clone of the well known Database-Package "TOTAL" from Cincom Systems. With "MIDAS" you had a set of random commands to retrieve/change/insert data - very comfortable for that times.
Later on on the Criterion Mainframe there were indexed acces via the "CAM"-Method of access.
Good memories - yes, times have changed ....
All the best