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March 19, 2012


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Thanks for the comments! It was a different time and not really that long ago.

Jerry Bell

Yeah I went to ISU 1971-1976, Started out in the Comp Sci department. June Smith was a real Dragonlady. She did NOT like under graduates wasting her time and informed us at the start of the first lecture in Fortran that her job was to weed out a third of us. I got As on all the tests but really screwed up the punch card programming. Decided that perhaps English lit was the way forward. Roommate did programming for the Physics students so we had access to the key punch. The mainframe was an IBM 360. Got exposed through another roommate to the PLATO network, an early precursor to the internet. Fun times. I remember seeing a grad student drop his advisor's deck of punchcards in a puddle in the parking lot out side the library. He remarked that perhaps the French Foreign Legion was hiring for he was doomed. I helped him pick up the deck, damp and randomized.
JD Bell


Very interesting, Marian, I took a computer class at Iowa State in the late 70's. We did not use a computer, rather we learned how computers were going to change the future. I was hoping we would use them. No one that I knew owned or used a computer at that time. I was quite popular in my dorm as a freshman because I had one of the few electric typewriters.

Linda Curry

This sure brings back some great memories! When I lived in Tehran, I had a part-time job doing tests on water samples for a company drilling wells up by the Caspian Sea. In 1973 or 74, the company bought me a programmable calculator. Instead of calculating the test results on a simple calculator, I could program in the formulas, enter the data, and let the calculator do all the work including printing out a report. It was one of those "and then a miracle happened" events!

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