It’s been quite a busy day. First, it was down to the Council offices to claim housing benefit, I hate being out of work. Whenever i’ve been looking for work before (usually after returning from an extended holiday abroad), I never bothered signing on, knowing i’d find a job fairly quickly. Now it’s next to impossible. I got another rejection letter this morning.

Next, to Tesco, ‘cos if I don’t eat i’ll be too weak to work! Returning from the supermarket, I detoured to Chichester College. They have a night school course starting soon called HTML/CSS.

I’d like to learn to write code.

Back in the dark ages, 33 years ago, I did a computer programming course at the Control Data institute.

Control Data Corporation (CDC) was one of the pioneering supercomputer firms. For most of the 1960s, it built the fastest computers in the world by far, only losing that crown in the 1970s to what was effectively a spinoff, after Seymour Cray left the company to found Cray Research, Inc. (CRI). CDC was one of the eight major computer companies through most of the 1960s; the others were IBM, Burroughs Corporation, NCR, General Electric, Honeywell, RCA, and UNIVAC. CDC was well known and highly regarded throughout the industry at one time, but today is largely forgotten. (thanks to Wikipedia)

When I was studying at CDI, their boast was that the CDC7000 was the most powerful Computer in the World. There were only 3 of them, all our programs were sent down the phone lines overnight to Germany (the other 2 machines were in the USA), next day the printout we were greeted with meant another few miles of road could be built into the rain-forest!

I really enjoyed the work, programming in COBOL was quite easy, although it was sometimes very frustrating when we had to de-bug a crashed program, only to eventually discover it had failed ‘cos a full stop had been left out!

When we finished the course, CDI sent our results out to all the companies that needed programmers.

Unfortunately, back in 1976 there were more qualified computer staff than there were computers. So out of a class of 30 people (I came equal 3rd with two others), only 3 got job offers. One guy had 5 A-levels (he was the best programmer in the class), another had been a sergeant in the Army and was also very good, and the third guy had a degree in English Literature, he was so hopeless that 3 of us had to help him de-bug his final try at his COBOL Project, which was a massive programme.

So that is why i’ve just e-mailed a job application to work in a warehouse.


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