Home > Geekalicious > When I Was Young, We Had To Compute Uphill, In The Snow….

When I Was Young, We Had To Compute Uphill, In The Snow….

Didn’t you get something like this from your parents when you were younger?
“You kids don’t know how easy you have it. When I was young, I had to walk to school! In the snow! Uphill! Both ways!”
Well, a bunch of us Sciencebloggers recently got to reminiscing about the good ol’ days, when we were young, and computers were in their infancy, and we had to walk to school uphill both ways just to get our punch cards. And if you don’t know what a punch card is, three whacks with a slide rule for you! And if you don’t know what a slide rule is…ahhh…just go read all our little stories here. It’s a fun trip down memory lane. I can’t believe Ginny got so many of us to reveal how old we are. As the New Yorker cartoon once had it: “Back in the olden days, we weren’t so old.”

Categories: Geekalicious
  1. October 24, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    You forgot the “five miles to school and ten miles back” part of that saying, one often used in our household these days 😉

  2. Pat
    October 24, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    ah Zuska you are such a youngster–
    To analyze my dissertation data I really did have to walk uphill in the snow. They only did batch processing, the computer center was uphill from my office and it was Syracuse where it is always snowing.
    Husband Tom and I went to the Boston Computer Museum back when it still existed and with the exception of one machine, we had worked on ALL of the machines on display. I can’t decide if that means we are old or total geeks or both

  3. CRM-114
    October 25, 2007 at 7:19 am

    I’m so old that when I was in college there was the Computer Building — the actual name on the plaque (and it’s still there). Yes, there was one building to house all the precious IBM mainframes, card readers, card punches, chain printers, shelves full of boxes of cards, and cases of wide pinfeed green-and-white-barred paper — serving 25,000 undergrads, the faculty, grad students, and every other kind of student.
    I learned to touch type at 16 on an Underwood manual.
    First computer? TRS-80 Model 1, and I was 30 years old.
    (born before Truman’s second term)

  4. sea Creature
    October 25, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    My first introduction to the world of computers were the rectangular punch cards my father brought home from work in the 70’s (he was a machinist) by boxful that my mother used for shopping lists and phone messages. He just said they were from the computerized machines. As children we wondered what all the little rectangular holes were for. In 2000 my mother moved and in the attic were boxes of the cards that had not been used.

  5. josie
    October 27, 2007 at 10:53 am

    I worked part time at a data entry firm while in college. When a colleague got married, instead of throwing rice on the couple when they leave the church (as was the custom), we threw those chads from the rectangular punch cards.

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