March 19th, 2007

computer, luckie12


John Backus, the developer of Fortran, has died at age 82. It sounds odd, but I grew up with words like Fortran and Cobol and stuff spoken around the house. I frequently hung out in college computer labs with my sisters Carolyn and Betty, who both studied CS, as did my mom. I rarely had any regular drawing pads, since there were always reams and reams of used green-and-white dot-matrix print outs of programming lying around the house. I remember my mom sitting around with these programming books for hours. Of course I was doing it too since I learned BASIC at 7 and would tap away for hours entering programs and writing my own. And saving them on cassette tapes (which I'd sometimes listen to on the stereo, for fun, a pre-cursor to my love of Kraftwerk). Yes, my family *was* the Geek Squad, although notably both my brother and my dad are quite inept with computers, while the women are aces, in our own ways.