Nostalgia: Thank you Computerphile

There’s a channel that I enjoy watching called “Computerphile“.   Its a guy, Brady, interviewing all these computer-science related people at the University of Nottingham.  For the most part, its all stuff that I know, but I enjoy listening to it explained carefully.  If I ever have the need to explain something to a lay person, I would certainly send them to this channel.  Occasionally I learn something new, for example, Pick’N’Place machines.

I saw this video last night: 

Nostalgia Caption!

I remember learning Unix on the Iowa State University graduate student unix box.. my older brother was a grad student in 1983 .. and it *was* running on a PDP-1175 or something like that. (I think).   I have direct experience with what this dude is talking about.  And he has no hair.  (Give me 10 and I’ll catch him)

Took a while for the emotion to work its way through my system.   Then I remembered:  I was borrowing access.  I wasn’t actually a grad student.  So, perhaps I was 5-10 years ahead.  Comparatively, “my” generation (if i had become a grad student) would have been Windows 3.1 heading on to Windows NT 3.5.1, and the birth of Linux and perhaps Java.

Still old.  damn.

Compare/contrast with

They are probably feeling:

  • the excitement that I used to feel when I was learning Turbo Pascal and figuring out the math to do 3D rendering of a spaceship.  
  • Or the fun that I had writing in an autopilot into a lunar lander game which landed the ship safely every time, with obstacle avoidance.
  • Or the macros I wrote into my TTY program to keep regenerating a character till I got one with at least 3 18’s .. for the game that was like NetHack but was on the VAX/VMS cluster.

I think, if i can get my courage up, I might go to that open hack thing.  It would be an opportunity to work on my car logging scripts and visualizations. 

Also, come to think of it, my memory of the CS program at Iowa State University is stale.   I wonder what they do now?   (Goes off to find somebody to ask)