Another tale of university days

As a proud math graduate of the University of Waterloo, I am passing the following story on to you. (“Goodbye freshman bravado,” CWC, XX, page XX.)

It was the fall of 1965 and I was writing my first Fortran program. I finished punching the cards and had either put them in the hopper or was getting ready to. We were limited to the number of compiles but this was exciting stuff.

What makes this even more memorable in my own mind was this was the night the power went out on the Eastern seaboard. If I hadn’t known better I would have been convinced then about the immense power of computers. I remember working on a 1440 system and programming through the console knobs, and this was a major step from wired boards for the accounting machines.

On my first work term I remember our IBM Customer Engineer at the time was telling us about the rooms of computers he had to service at the NORAD site. I also remember using an early version of file transfer in 1981 and it taking two hours to download a program. Now we have Palm Pilots with more power than the NORAD computers.

When I look back over 36 years of experience in the IT field I really remember the power blackout as a starting point, and am amazed by the many changes that are continuing at an ever-rapid rate.

Walter Stevens

London, Ont.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Featured Articles

Cybersecurity in 2024: Priorities and challenges for Canadian organizations 

By Derek Manky As predictions for 2024 point to the continued expansion...

Survey shows generative AI is a top priority for Canadian corporate leaders.

Leaders are devoting significant budget to generative AI for 2024 Canadian corporate...

Related Tech News

Tech Jobs

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Tech Companies Hiring Right Now