Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

When I was in college back in the 70's, computer science was a new subject that had been recently introduced. My roommate was a computer science major. I never saw the guy without a big stack of computer cards bound tightly with rubber bands. There were no PC's, Apple, or Microsoft at that time; computers were programmed by punching a card for each instruction you wanted the computer to perform. To run even the simplest program you needed to punch 500- 1000 cards with no mistakes, and you had to keep all of the cards in the correct order. Just one typo, or misplaced card would ruin all of the hard work you put into the program.


Needless to say I wanted nothing to do with Computer Science, or all of those punch cards. When I graduated in the late 70's I took pride in the fact that I was probably the last student to graduate college without ever taking a Computer Science course.


Five years after I graduated the first personal computers were introduced to the public. These computers did not run on punch cards, but instead you simply typed your instructions into the computer by writing them on a monitor screen. This, of course was much easier than punching a thousand cards; but the user still needed to understand computer language, and programming. Since I never learned either one, I shied away from these new PC's.


By the mid 90's computers had got so powerful and so simplified that your average twelve year old could work them with no problem. It was about this time that I decided that I too should become computer literate.


I bought a computer and started fiddling around with it. It normally did not take too long before I encountered a problem, or the computer would freeze up on me. My solution to these problems was to call my thirteen year old son to come and fix them. I was a complete and total pain in the butt for my young son; but what was I to do? In the last ten years I have become a little better on the computer, but compared to a normal nine year old I am still a computer moron.
Computers have taught me a lot about humility. My wife just bought me a new lap top computer that I am trying to figure out.


Thank God I have grand kids!
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This site is more a column than a blog. I write humorous, spiritual, and political articles. Everything I write is designed to make you think; what you think is up to you.