Friday, May 13, 2011

While Blogger Is Down

Since we haven't had a photo article in a while, I thought I'd put up something that I don't mind losing while Blogger gets over its little owwy. Here's a picture of what's going on at the mighty Cujo Labs (tm). This will also give all the other Blogspot survivors who are checking in a sign that yes, I'm really OK. The rising floodwaters of bad computer karma didn't inundate me.

Image credit: All photos by Cujo359

Why the weird camera angle? Let's just say it's rather difficult to find an angle that doesn't reveal something embarrassing about my domestic hygiene.

Yes, I really do own that coffee cup. For those who are under thirty and might have wandered by here anyway, let me explain what it means. It's a representation of a sheet of old-style tractor feed computer paper. That was what I learned to do programming with, back when I was going to school. Here's a close up of the cup:

This paper was fed into a machine that was roughly the size of a modern computer desk, which would use the little holes in the sides of the paper to pull it through the printing mechanism. If there was enough ink in the mechanism, it would print out your computer program. That's what most first-year computer students used printers for back then. We'd take our printouts, go find a table in the computer center somewhere, and try to figure out which FORTRAN statement we'd misspelled when we created that stack of Hollerith cards.

If you happened to have not misspelled anything, your program would print out something ingenious like this at the bottom of the last page:

2 + 2 = 4.000000000167

Those numbers along the side represented the lines that would be printed out, so you could tell which line was which on that wide paper.

Anyway, things are so much better now that we can just read the broken software on a computer screen, aren't they?


Karen said...

Ah, I remember those days clearly, though not fondly. At the computer center at my university, you had to submit your stack of Hollerith cards to an attendant who would run them through the computer in the order received. Turnaround time was at least 12 hours. I got REALLY good at proofreading those damned cards.

Cujo359 said...

As did I, Karen. I don't type very fast to begin with, and there was a similar turnaround time at my college's computer center.

It's amazing how fast I got out of that habit once I had a computer, though.