Current Issue

June6, 2012

Vol. 112, No. 14

The idea of the computer

In response to: Daybreak of the Digital Age

Published on June6, 2012

I was one of half-dozen or so juniors and seniors who actually wrote and ran little programs for this machine. There was, of course, no such thing as programming or computer science classes back then, nor high-level languages or even assembler language — the programs were in machine language coded in binary, on IBM punched cards! I can’t remember who was in that group or who the poor grad student was who was our instructor. The experience taught me enough about programming to avoid it for the rest of a very gratifying career in engineering. Does anybody else remember that class 56 years ago?

HOWARD ROBBINS ’57
Rockland, Maine

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