Sunday, November 29, 2009

Generation Gap

I finally talked my oldest son into reading a "grown-up", honest-to-goodness science fiction book the other day ("House of Suns", pretty good), and he absolutely loved it. With that, we finally convinced him that grown-up books, even if they're "old", can still be good. So last night I finally got him to read "Caves of Steel" by Isaac Asimov. This is the interchange we just had:

"Hey, kiddo."

"Hey."

"How's the book?"

"Good."

"Did you know that book pre-dates computers?"

"Huhn?"

"That book was written before there were computers."

"How did they type it?"

"With a typewriter."

"Oh."

Well, it wasn't a completely honest discussion. ENIAC was built in 1946, and the book was published in 1953, so there was a gap, but certainly it was written before what we'd consider to be the first personal computer came into being. And it was probably written by hand ... and then given to a secretary to type into text ... and then given to the printer to put into print-type, but you get the drift. There's a generation gap here ...

1 comment:

Pilot Pirx said...

I have put together a small "museum of computing": an 80-column Fortran statement punch card, 1600-bpi and 6750 bpi 9-track magnetic tapes, and a Timex-Sinclair personal computer (2 KB of memory) running Basic and Z80 assembler.

Click here to see the full blog.


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