I too remember typing in my college programming jobs on an 029 Key Punch
and submitting them over the counter at the computer center. That old
IBM 360/67 had less processing power than my laptop. A "high-Level"
language was FORTRAN. C++ didn't exist. In fact, there were no
if-then-else, do-while, and other constructs until they invented
Structured FORTRAN. 

I joined technical writing when they were using Wang Word Processing.
When PCs arrived we tested both MS Word and WordPerfect and even then
rejected Word as unsuitable. (At least THAT hasn't changed.) DOS 1.0 was
an operating system it was possible to know everything about. Now it's
too complicated to know everything about an OpSys unless you do that for
a living. I think the notion that us old timers know more about how
things work underneath has merit.

I took a print shop course in High School and learned stuff about
typefaces and setting type (manually) that helps me even today.

FrameMaker, for all it's odd little quirks, is still pretty damn good.

Jim Light

-----Original Message-----
From: framers-bounces+jlight=pillardata....@lists.frameusers.com
[mailto:framers-bounces+jlight=pillardata.com at lists.frameusers.com] On
Behalf Of Steve Rickaby
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:17 PM
To: framers at FrameUsers.com
Subject: RE: Funny

At 11:51 -0800 30/3/06, Joe Malin wrote:

>Did computer science in grad school. On a mainframe (double ugh). No
>dial-up; had ride downtown to the computer lab to get on a terminal,
>then hang around until 2 AM so turnaround on jobs was less than 20
>minutes. Had to wait until *3 AM* to get access to the computer

Oh boy, it's good to know I'm not the only old codger here. Your job
takes more than 4 minutes of core time? Hey, wait till tomorrow, buddy:
at 5 am we'll run your JCL, which will error on line 5, so that by the
time you get in, *the whole printer room* will be full of your error
listings! And if you're really lucky, you can repeat the whole thing
tomorrow night too!

>I wouldn't wish any of it on a blind dog. I'm not "better" for having
>done it the hard way, just probably more burned out and less educated.

Don't be quite so sure. We had to *understand* how things worked. Today,
who has a hope? How many college undergrads could explain to you the
workings of their iPods? That's their loss and our gain. And working in
and around IT, we have to learn something every day. It keeps you young.

(My first computer? A DEC PDP12, a two-tone lime green beast that looked
as if it had been cobbled together in a film studio's props department -
and was about as much use as if it had.)

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