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When dinosaurs roamed...


I initially got into the Information Technology field on Uncle Sam's dime back when it was still called Data Processing. The picture on the left is an IBM System 360 - the first computer that I ever touched. With it me and my fellow airmen defended the southern United States from SLBM attack by the Soviet Union, all on 128k of RAM. That's right, 128 kilobytes -- the computer that you're using to view this page right now has memory measured in megabytes. Of course we didn't run Windows back then. 


All of the programmers there were mathematicians, and delighted in solving number puzzles. "Hey Woods, betcha you'll never solve this one." They were right... Most of them were alright though, even if they were officers and gentlemen. They took the time to help me learn how to program, and it was what I always imagined computing to be. Blinking lights, whirling tapes, noisy card punches and FORTRAN IV code. Alas, today's mainframes look more like upright freezers than computers, and I haven't seen a punched card in decades.


According to the young pups who do all those amazing things with C++ and Java, I'm a dinosaur. I never met Admiral Grace Hopper, the Mother of COBOL, though I'm eternally grateful for her creation. Hey, I'm not that old.  I wasn't present at the birth of the Information Age -- just a good part of it's adolescence...


Bon Ami in Journal

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