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.


7 thoughts on “

  1. Something will turn up ……. the TG and I have done loads of weird and wonderful jobs over the years ….. I did have the foresight to do a post grad teaching course after art college which has stood me in good stead when short of dosh …… I like the non-career option in life by the way, makes for a more interesting person …….

  2. Ta for the optimism DP. I’ve always been too restless and impulsive to stay in one place long enough to do any serious studying, but that’s why I like the idea of the Open University, have laptop/broadband connection, travel AND study.

    My next post (might have to be a series, it’s a long story) will give you some idea……..

  3. good luck GW ,,, I managed to find work in the public sector where unless I do some mass murder somewhere I have job for life …. the private sector served me well for may years but after the crash in 1990 I decided to go where my bread would be buttered.. up until 2 years ago it was fairly exciting .. now it is challenging but dull.. but hey it pays my way
    I did an OU course a couple of years ago and it was great fun

  4. 70s: Thankyou also, I will bear that in mind if I ever qualify!

    What did you do your course in ?

    Hope you and teen OK BTW.

  5. My OU course was in Professional Management .. met some lovely people and loved the course
    I have just started today a Management course with the Chartered Institute of Management .. it is a level 4 but not nowhere near as intensive as the OU one

    Teen and I are very sad but equally very sure we made the right decision .. thank you so much for asking x

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