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by guha (Priest)
on Sep 10, 2001 at 12:29 UTC ( [id://111406]=user: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

This is me and my dog "Ville" onboard our sailingboat, guessing who is who is left as an exercise to the reader.

Milestones in my history of computing

The slide rule
It was probably in the beginning of the seventies, I had calculations with the slide rule as homework from school. My grandfather who was about 75 years old at the time was rather upset about the slide rule and told me in a harsh voice that it was a bad thing and that I should be doing the calculation in the head instead.
Well I'm still using my head and not using the slide rule, so I guess he was correct.

HP-21 pocketcalculator
I bought it in 1974, for around $100 which was approximately 1-2 weeks pay for a normal worker at the time, most of the others bought the cheaper Texas Instruments. The HP used RPN and had a "slightly" steeper learning curve but the reward was great. Us HP people won all contests that were later to evolve into what the Perl community knows as GOLF, if the expressions were complex RPN would save you a lot of keystrokes. The HP-21 also layed down the foundation for my trust in the quality of HP products, I just hope that the imminent Compaq merger won't put an end to that.
In 1977 was my first meeting with a real computer, it was a Norsk Data Nord-10, I don't remember much about it apart from that it was huge and had a "real" core memory(ie a large panel with crossing wires and small ferritic thoroids in the intersections), that would keep it's information even without power. I guess the information density would have been in the order of a few bits per
It was in the last week before the summer holidays began and the teacher said that I could either join the group that was rehearsing derivatives or go try to make a computer program. Do I need to say that the choice was easy.
The assignment was to make a program that would solve a quadratic equation given the coefficients. The programming language was some proprietary dialect of BASIC.
I learnt two things from this experience:
  1. Computers are stupid, they do not even know that there are two solutions to a square root.
  2. Computers do not think for themselves, they only do exactly what you tell them to.
In the mid-eighties I was involved in the development of a geophysical interpretation system, consisting of a Pr1me 750 mini computer for intensive numeric calculations and a FCG graphics workstation (CP/M & Z80) for the MMI.
The communication between the client and the server was done through a 9600 baud serial line and we had to develop a special asciidecimal protocol. to overcome that bottleneck{sigh}.
I also remember that the compile/link cycles on the workstation took 15-20 minutes, lots of time to dream away.
In 1992 I went to work for a telecom company as a software tester. I was assigned the task to automate the evaluation of verification logs. While looking for a tool to use a colleague pointed me in the right direction and I met with Perl 4.036. Love at first sight.... on my part anyway.
The Monastary
In 2001 I found this place which IMHO has more merits than just being fantastic knowledge base for Perl related issues. Moreover I think of it is a self adjusting site for personal improvement, Perl and otherwise. vroom++

Other Interests

in no particular order ...

  • Sailing
  • Mountaineering
  • Downhill skiing
  • Cooking
  • Frank Zappa

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