Stuff to click on

Tuesday, June 27


Thanks to Lucky for stirring up old geeky memories...

Almost everyone's first programming language that they learn is BASIC (in my generation, that is). But does anyone else remember the programming languages Logo, Cobol or Fortran? I learned Logo in 3rd grade... Fun stuff! I remember trying to get the turtle to draw a hopscotch shape. I studied Cobol in college. My mom is a mainframe programmer, and they used Fortran.

I remember when Mom was in college, she learned programming on keypunch cards. You had to be really nice to the operator or she would drop the stack of cards. My sister and I collected the discarded punch cards and made confetti with the “chads”.

Stinky and Boo used to come to work with me once in a while at the newspaper in Salem, when I ran data processing jobs on the weekends. We printed labels and reports on those big tractor feed impact printers - they are so much faster than a laser printer. I still have some leftover greenbar and the kids love it. They love the perforated pages, and making banners out of the long pieces.

But I am glad we don’t still use keypunch cards - whatta mess my sister and I must have made with our confetti!

Update, 6/29 - Jake found a guy who made his window shades out of old keypunch cards.


Jake said...

I was digging through the office storage unit the other day, found a whole box of tractor-feed greenbar. Don't know why the hell we ever had it, but it's still in the shrink wrap.

And my wife would kill me if I brought it home, so it'll stay here :-)

Jen said...

You could always sell it on eBay.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Oh, BASIC... I remember doing fascinating else loops in 6th grade (if we finished out work early we could play on the schools ONE computer), which would print the same word over and over and over. So for example a girl could watch the words "i love joe" run across the screen endlessly...