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Comments on Puzzle #32036: How Old Are You
By Joe (infrapinklizzard)

peek at solution       solve puzzle
  quality:   difficulty:   solvability: line logic only  

Puzzle Description Suppressed:Click below to view spoilers

#1: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Feb 3, 2019 [SPOILER]

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#2: Boaty (mcboatface) on Feb 3, 2019
I'm old enough that computers didn't exist in residential homes when I was a kid. My first computer didn't have a hard drive, it had a 5" floppy drive. When I doubled the RAM from 256 KB to 512 Kb I thought I was some kind of computer wizard.
#3: Aurelian Ginkgo (AurelianGinkgo) on Feb 3, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#4: Juli Rockwell (Pspaughtamus) on Feb 3, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#5: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Feb 4, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#6: Glenn Crider (playamonkey) on Feb 4, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#7: Claudia (clau_bolson) on Feb 4, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#8: Gary Webster (glwebste) on Feb 4, 2019
I'll be 68 in March. The first hand-held CALCULATORS came into use when I was in college; before that, it was slide rules and good old paper and pencil. I took a BASIC computer language class in college, and learned FORTRAN in grad school. My theoretical Physics project was mostly pen and paper ('70s now), but the numbers were run on cards using an IBM 360 mainframe in the (fairly new) college computer center. We used the first Macintoshes at work for documentation and a little computation, but the hard work was done on a dedicated (I think IBM) mainframe in the secure computer center. I didn't have a home computer until around 1997 or so; we've always had MACS. My wife ran children's learning software on it for her tutoring business.
#9: Susan Eberhardt (susaneber) on Feb 4, 2019
My first job after college was at an insurance company that had a few large computers in their own room. They used punch cards. I had to send instructions with numerical codes. Then my reports came monthly in the form of huge books. It was a nighmare because they only updated my files once a month and the information I needed was always too old. I think I would have liked that job a lot more if there had been desktop computers that updated instantly. Oh well, the people were nice.
Can you guess my age?
#10: Bill Eisenmann (Bullet) on Feb 4, 2019
Bill Gates once famously stated that there was no conceivable need for more than 64k RAM.
#11: Joanne Firla (JoFirla) on Feb 4, 2019
I'll have to be honest. At first glance, I thought this was a hand held camera.

By the time I bought my first computer, I was way late getting into the game. I decided to take some basic lessons at my local library. I figured they had some senior citizen's class that I could join. When I went to inquire, I was told that there were no classes because the senior citizens already knew how to use computers.

You know you are behind the times when the wrong generation passes you by in technology. Lol.
#12: Billie Patterson (bpat) on Feb 4, 2019
I'm 76. I remember when slide rules were the bees' knees for calculating, and the way-less-than-one-MB of memory for a mainframe computer cost more than the house I lived in and was delivered on a big truck and carried in on a dolly.
#13: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Feb 4, 2019
My son bought the first TRS-80 sold by Radio Shack in Tempe. No storage, of course. It came with some unnamed programs you could type in, so he enlisted the aid of a friend who did data entry at a hospital and was a whiz on the keyboard. One program was quite long and they took turns typing it in. When they finished they sat back to reap their rewards only to end up rolling on the floor laughing. They were listening to a high, squeaky version of "The Flight of the Bumblebee."

My first computer was a Color Coco from Radio Shack. It, too, had no storage but you could buy cassettes with games, etc. My daughter was not always too happy because to use it you had to plug it in to the TV.

I remember we were overjoyed when you could download to a tape recorder, then wonder of wonders floppies came in to existence and we thought things could never get better when they came out with double sided floppies.

I'll never forget the frustration though of playing those games that were strictly based on typing in the correct response. Go the wrong way and you would end up in no mans land and have to start all over.
#14: John Macdonald (perlwolf) on Feb 4, 2019
I still have a couple of slide rules, but I threw out my last box of punch cards during the last move - they are bulky and heavy. Transferring a memory stick onto cards would fill a dump truck.

Susan, I feel your former pain - when I was in high school, we only had card punches in our school. If you wanted to run a program, you punched up your card deck and dropped it into a tray. Every Friday a courier came by and picked up the tray, while returning the tray of cards and output listings from the previous week. You learn to check your code very carefully when you only get to run it every two weeks (the courier didn't come during school hours and didn't stay long enough for you to fix a mistake and resubmit your job on the same visit.
#15: Philip (Philip) on Feb 4, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#16: Jota (jota) on Feb 4, 2019
I also took basic programing in College, my first computer was given to me at work in 1980. APPLE ONE. I worked with Lotus 123 (predecessor to Excel). I'm still a Mac girl!
#17: Belita (belita) on Feb 4, 2019
I got my first slide rule in high school and my first calculator in college. I saw my first computer in college when I took FORTRAN and typed up IBM cards to hand to the computer operator. This floppy disc may look like ancient history to you, but not to me. I'm 62.
#18: CB Paul (cbpaul) on Feb 4, 2019
It's so interesting to read everyone's comments.

My first work-study job in college was in the Math Dept, entering data on punch cards. So that's how old I am. The first computer I owned was a Winbook laptop; wonderful thing! It was the size of a briefcase. (Remember those?) I don't remember exactly when I bought it, likely early 1990s. Think X-Files. But before that, I did my work on computers at the office, on a department-wide network.

As for this image, I don't really recognize it.
#19: JoDeen Mozena (ozymoe) on Feb 4, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#20: Kristen Coolman (kristen) on Feb 5, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#21: Valerie Mates (valerie) on Feb 5, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#22: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Feb 5, 2019
I read "1984" a few years after it was published which was 1949. 1984 seemed like the distant future. During that period I read a lot of science fiction, but the best authors began to drift away and many of the books thinly disguised as science fiction were borderline porn. Now 1984 is the distant past. Strange.
#23: JoDeen Mozena (ozymoe) on Feb 5, 2019
Does anyone here remember an early internet trivia site called "Pyroto Mountain?" I'd be thrilled to know if any of you had been a part of that! I found it sometime around 2001 or 2002 or so, I think. I even went to a gathering of some of the members a long time ago.
#24: David Bouldin (dbouldin) on Feb 7, 2019
42...first computer was a Coleco Adam!

Kid looking at an old floppy disk, "Hey look, somebody 3D printed a save button!"
#25: David R. Felton (drfelton) on Feb 8, 2019
The first computer on which I wrote a program was an IBM 360 at the University of Missouri during the summer of '69. It took punch cards we typed up ourselves on monster keypunch machines, then handed them in to be run, so we could get our output the following day.

I watched the moon landing that summer from a lounge in the Engineering dorm.

The following fall, I spent my time writing programs on a PDP-4. I don't know where it was located, but we connected to it on a teletype machine that was linked remotely to the computer by an acoustic coupler into which we plugged our phone headset.

We typed up our programs on paper tape to feed into the teletype for immediate processing, a vast improvement over waiting 24 hours for our output. Debugging was a bit of a chore, though

Correcting a program efficiently meant finding the series of punched holes that represented the instruction to be changed, and tearing the paper tape into pieces -- one piece from the beginning of the program up to the instruction to be corrected; and one piece from just after the correction to the end of the tape. Then we'd type up the correction on a third piece of tape and feed them separately into the teletype to run the updated program.

More corrections meant more pieces of tape to organize, or retyping the entire program. It paid to get the program running correctly with as few updates as possible; the first time, if possible.

I'm old. I could be older.
#26: Mat (keiimaster) on Feb 9, 2019
I am 46 next weekend, and this sums it up I think perfectly. The other day my kids saw an old 3.5 floppy disk I had, and they asked my why I 3-D printed a save button.
#27: Alisa G (sleepsong) on Feb 10, 2019
There's a photo of me as a toddler playing with my parents' acoustic coupler.
#28: besmirched tea (Besmirched Tea) on Feb 10, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#29: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Feb 10, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#30: Aurelian Ginkgo (AurelianGinkgo) on Feb 11, 2019
That doesn't make any sense. It was hard-"wear".
#31: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Feb 11, 2019 [SPOILER]
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#32: Aurelian Ginkgo (AurelianGinkgo) on Feb 12, 2019
#33: Holly Lynn McDaniel Evans (hollybob7) on Aug 22, 2019
37. Grew up with Games magazine in our house, and fell in love with their Paint by Numbers at an early age.
#34: Brian Bellis (mootpoint) on Aug 22, 2019
I had a computer class in high school in 1976. We relied on the kids learning to keypunch for a deck of cards. Then Mrs. Smith would take the cards over to the district office to run them through the mainframe. With errors and revisions, it would take about a month to get a simple Fortran program to run. My first "calculator" was a slide rule. The $300 handheld four function calculators came into vogue around that time.
#35: Valerie Mates (valerie) on Jan 4, 2020
Holly -- I love Games magazine. I first ran across it in 1979, when a classmate brought it to a class called "Freshman Chorus" in high school. I liked to sing, but Games magazine was much more interesting. It didn't even have Paint-By-Numbers puzzles yet, back then. I've subscribed to it continuously since the early 1980s.

My first two kids were homebirths, but for baby #3 I got stuck in the hospital with complications. While I was in labor I spent most of the time distracting myself by solving puzzles in a copy of Games magazine, using pens with wildly bright colors of ink. I guess it worked -- kid #3 (Corbin) is eleven now.
#36: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Jan 4, 2020
My love of these puzzles also came from my addiction to both Games magazines. Speaking of hospitals, I had fallen and broke my arm. They put me in a nursing home for recovery with my arm in one of those big removable casts made with metal, a canvas like material and lots of Velcro. One of the social workers brought me an issue of World of Games thinking it might help pass the time. Unfortunately it was my right arm that was in the cast and all I could do was look at the magazine. Frustrating to say the least.
#37: Valerie Mates (valerie) on Jan 4, 2020
Norma, that sounds wildly frustrating!!!
#38: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Jan 4, 2020
It was, Valerie. When I was released I learned to operate a computer with my left hand in record time. All except for Webpbn. It took a while to get the colors in the right squares. But at least I could keep up with the comments.

#39: Susan Nagy (susannagy54) on Sep 20, 2020
I am 66. (Hard to admit, but am collecting Social Security.) Reading through the comments I see that I am not alone. I did learn some programming in college. First learned BASIC on a Sigma7 -- it looked like a giant electric typewriter. Also learned a machine language on a PDP10, and Fortran on an IBM360. At the time, the 360 was "state of the art" -- it used punch cards.
#40: Judy Baumann (JudyBee) on May 16, 2021
Old enough to think this is a doughnut and a cup of coffee!

But seriously, I operated and programmed a CDC 1604 in the early 60s at the University of Texas.
#41: Alan Lafond (Cural) on May 16, 2021 [SPOILER]
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#42: David Bouldin (dbouldin) on May 16, 2021
Somehow, Alan, your age didn't actually register when I went to read the comment, but as I read your description I thought "I bet we're the same age!" I turn 45 in a couple of weeks :)
#43: JoDeen Mozena (ozymoe) on May 17, 2021
I love Games also and subscribed when Playboy first started publishing it. Norma, That would have been pure torture to have been only able to look and not touch!
#44: Valerie Mates (valerie) on May 17, 2021
Alan -- I am not a hardware person, but I've been able to take a hard drive out of a dead computer and install it as a second hard drive in a working computer and get the data out that way. Maybe you could do that to get access to the data on your old hard drive?

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