Friday, May 09, 2008

Memory Lane

I work with a great crew at the office. There are always interesting things happening and fun discussions being had. Yesterday was no exception. It all started when one of the people (a very senior person at the company) came onto the floor with a logic diagram template. He had apparently been unpacking a box that had been sitting in his office a while and came across it.

This started a wave of nostalgia amongst those of us who were old enough to recognise it and we all dredged through our desks for other "archaic" tools of the trade: programming templates, forms rulers, computer cards, and the like.

It led me to remember a moment from my past when I was teaching a class in the computer software I used to support. My class had made some derogatory comments about the software being unable to do drag-and-drop schedule editing or something like that. I explained that the system was a bit old, but at least it wasn't programmed on cards any more.

To the class I related a story of when I had worked at the computer center in college. Part of my job was to make sure that people didn't leave their programs in the input/output trays. To teach the offenders a lesson, I used to carry around a small deck of cards with random go-to commands on them and if I found a program sitting unattended in the input tray I'd insert a few random commands into the program. They'd then have to spend a while debugging their programs and removing the offending cards. On each of the random cards was neatly printed: "PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PROGRAM UNATTENDED IN THE INPUT/OUTPUT TRAY."

When half the class asked what the hell I was talking about... ("What's a computer card?") I knew that I was getting old! Yesterday's conversations brought the memories to the fore.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you are enjoying (or making) pleasant memories!

Don Bergquist - May 09, 2008 - Lakewood, Colorado, USA

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