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Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

Updated on October 12, 2013

Mike's Common Sense

When I was in college back in the 70's, computer science was a new subject that had been recently introduced. My roommate was a computer science major. I never saw the guy without a big stack of computer cards bound tightly with rubber bands. There were no PC's, Apple, or Microsoft at that time; computers were programmed by punching a card for each instruction you wanted the computer to perform. To run even the simplest program you needed to punch 500- 1000 cards with no mistakes, and you had to keep all of the cards in the correct order. Just one typo, or misplaced card would ruin all of the hard work you put into the program.

Needless to say I wanted nothing to do with Computer Science, or all of those punch cards. When I graduated in the late 70's I took pride in the fact that I was probably the last student to graduate college without ever taking a Computer Science course.

Five years after I graduated the first personal computers were introduced to the public. These computers did not run on punch cards, but instead you simply typed your instructions into the computer by writing them on a monitor screen. This, of course was much easier than punching a thousand cards; but the user still needed to understand computer language, and programming. Since I never learned either one, I shied away from these new PC's.

By the mid 90's computers had got so powerful and so simplified that your average twelve year old could work them with no problem. It was about this time that I decided that I too should become computer literate.

I bought a computer and started fiddling around with it. It normally did not take too long before I encountered a problem, or the computer would freeze up on me. My solution to these problems was to call my thirteen year old son to come and fix them. I was a complete and total pain in the butt for my young son; but what was I to do? In the last ten years I have become a little better on the computer, but compared to a normal nine year old I am still a computer moron.

Computers have taught me a lot about humility. My wife just bought me a new lap top computer that I am trying to figure out.

Thank God I have grand kids!


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    • muley84 profile image

      Michael A Muehleisen 7 years ago from Miami,FL

      Hi Jaspal! Believe it or not cell phones I can usually figure out, now the TV remote is another story. lol

    • Jaspal profile image

      Jaspal 7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      lolol ... the Corps of Signals has its advantages, Muley! I remember those days of punch cards and huge tape memories ... and a massive computer which, with all its associated paraphernalia, occupied a whole hall! Later, in the early 80s, I encountered the first pc, with an 8 bit cpu and a hard drive all of 2 MB!! That was when one was comparatively younger and could adapt and adjust.

      Now a days I have to call my youngest son to even figure out how to operate a new cell phone.

    • muley84 profile image

      Michael A Muehleisen 7 years ago from Miami,FL

      Hi Prophet! All I can say is thank God for teenagers!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 7 years ago can be life savers, right? It's great to watch them with all the new fangled gizmos that give most of us the shivers...they seem to have no fear!