Posts Tagged ‘history


Memo from the over-30 crowd

I got this in an email today, and it made me smile.

Of course, it also made me think of the many times that my parents told me how lucky I was… and the times that I heard my grandmother explain to my dad how lucky he was.

It’s amazing to remember that color TV was an optional luxury when I was a kid, that changing channels involved reorienting the antenna, and that “channel hopping” meant seeing what was on the three channels we could usually pick up, plus the fourth that came in if there weren’t any thunderstorms.

Likewise, every time I look at an iPhone, my mind reels with the thought that my first experience on a computer involved typing BASIC code from a book into a teletype that punched paper tape, dialing the local corporation’s mainframe computer with the school’s rotary phone, shoving the handset into an acoustic coupler, and feeding my tape through the reader… all in hopes of seeing the computer print “Hello world!” on a piece of paper.

Wow. Just wow.

Well, at least I can rest in the knowledge that the iPhone will NEVER read paper tape — ever. Ha!!!

(Note — Some of the language is a little rougher than I usually post here. You won’t pass out or anything, but I wanted you to know before you shared it with others.)

Continue reading ‘Memo from the over-30 crowd’


A great day for music, science, and history

Wow — it’s a big day all the way around! Here’s a quick overview of today in history:

  • In higher education, Harvard College in Cambridge, Mass., held its first commencement ceremony today in 1642. No word on what the graduates received as starting salaries.
  • On the music scene, today’s the birthday of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane (born 1926) and musician Ray Charles (born 1930. On a sad note, famed choreographer and director Bob Fosse died in 1987, at age 60.
  • Turning to military history, today’s the reported anniversary of American commander John Paul Jones declaration, “I have not yet begun to fight!” in 1779.
  • In science, the Martians enjoyed an impromptu fireworks show courtesy of NASA when the Mars Climate Observer apparently burned to a crisp as it attempted to go into orbit in 1999.