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A comparison of batch processing and instant turnaround

By Lyle B. Smith

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 10 No. 8, Pages 495-500

A study of the programming efforts of students in an introductory programming course is presented and the effects of having instant turnaround (a few minutes) as opposed to conventional batch processing with turnaround times of a few hours are examined. Among the items compared are the number of computer runs per trip to the computation center, program preparation time, keypunching time, debugging time, number of runs, and elapsed time from the first run to the last run on each problem. Even though the results are influenced by the fact that “bonus points” were given for completion of a programming problem in less than a specified number of runs, there is evidence to support “Instant” over “Batch”.

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