I always enjoy reading E.G. Nadhan’s blog posts, and his most recent one, “NASA’s Transformation Journey to a mainframe-free landing” triggered a few sweet memories that I want to share to see if you can relate - although I might be dating myself with all this technological history!
But with age jokes aside, it can be fun going down memory lane. Do you remember punch cards and keypunch machines? How about card sorters or card duplicators? Or an IBM 360? If these words bring a smile to your face, you and I probably have a lot in common. If not, you might be too young to remember these technological marvels of the past. Either way, you can’t deny the historical value of the technology that was. However, it can be pretty depressing though to realize that these computer hardware devices are now only housed in computer museums . Am I really that old – or has technology moved at the speed of light? I often wonder if my Smartphone has the computing power of the IBM 360?
The last line of the article Nadhan referenced in his post states “NASA's first IBM mainframe, a 360/91 Model, shipped to NASA in 1967.”
My first “real” job after college was as a data center operator for a large company in Boise, ID. (Think trees). It was SO impressive and fun! I still remember the ride down the elevator to the basement, going through the locked doors into a maze of equipment that I operated on my own during long, 12 hour weekend shifts. Of course the fun sometimes stopped when a program crashed. However, I still remember the thrill of getting a tape to spin onto a tape drive on the first try. It was like magic!
I feel that I have more of a true appreciation for the newest technology since I know where it began. My father was a meteorologist, and I grew up in the world of telex machines – so the IBM 360 was a wonder to behold.
What memories do you have of technology days gone by? Share your experiences with me by adding a comment about your favorite (or least favorite) memory.