Re: I Am Grateful For Having Learned BASIC From Dr. Kemeny
I remember sitting in the Kiewit Computer Center at a massive typewriter like thing. I would type in code onto a screen then run a compiler to see if it worked. Mostly, it didn't. I was an English Lit major, not a computer science geek. As an undergraduate I was allocated 2K of storage. By today's standards that is size of a period in a Word document. LOL. I don't remember any specific projects, but I did learn logical flow, Boolean logic, loops, if-then conditionals, and so forth. We stored our programs on paper tape with punch holes. Some people used Holerwith cards (do not fold, spindle, or mutlilate LOL). The mainframe was set up for distributed processing so many people could work at the same time. I think my wrist watch has more cpu power than that building-sized machine. Every undergradute was required to take one course in programming. Kemeny was prescient about the need to understand and be comfortable with technology. I remember a conference at the College when a bunch of guys showed up with boxes. One guy told me they were computers. I said, "No way!" He said, "Yep. In ten years, these will be as ubiquitous as televisions." "You're nuts," I said. Turns out he was about 20 years off, but still absolutely correct.