Friday, June 09, 2006

I'm getting old

Last night, on my weekly visit to my sister's to tell stories to my neices, i was sitting at the dinner table and chatting with my sister when i mentioned that i had started writing on my blog once again. My nine-old neice came up to the table at that point and said with a surprised tone, "You have a blog?" - clearly implying that she had one, that it was the newest thing, that she had discovered them and that it was very amusing to find that her aging uncle also knew about blogs. My-oh-my... what world is this nine-year-old girl is growing into? I am, of course, as with all of us, getting older all the time - though i still do what i can to let my inner child run things whenever possible. I remember 30 years ago in 1976 i had just entered CEGEP in Quebec (kinda like college, except it's public schooling) and there was a computer programming course. Science fiction fan that i was i couldn't resist. I enrolled in FORTRAN, an early programming language. I learned about flow charts and codes and loops and god-knows-what-else. We had to write code by hand and then type it onto punch cards - one line of code per punch card - can you imagine? Once your coding was done, you collected all your punch cards together in a big stack and you then fed them into the card reader. The person who designed that early computer lab must have had a wicked sense of humour because the punch card machine and the card reader were on opposite sides of the room. Carrying a stack of a hundred or more punch cards can be a precarious thing. Splayed cards raining across the room was a few-times-hourly occurence. An analog version of what, ten years later, we meant when we yelled "the computer nuked my file." How times change, eh? And now my neice looks at me with the amused wry eye that only a nine-year-old who thinks that she owns the world can perform and says, "You have a blog?" And, you know what? I do hope that she 'owns' the world - much better than we have.

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