Saturday, October 22, 2005

On Golden Pond

I suppose my generation of American youth was the last to be told that masturbation could make us blind. Now, having reached our golden years with more or less normal vision, we are told that Viagra can make us blind. They get you coming and going.

And speaking of golden years, I find myself increasingly helpless in the face of cybertechology. This website wouldn't exist without Tom's computer savvy. At the college, I avail myself of the IT staff for problems that ten years ago I could have figured out in a snap. These guys are smart, helpful, and unfailingly courteous, but their slightly raised eyebrows suggest impatience.

Ah, fellows, there was a time before you were born when I introduced the first academic computer programing to the college campus. We used punch cards and ran our programs on an off-campus IBM 1620. I toggled in programs on DEC PDP-8s. Then came teletype tape and borrowed time with a Boston bank. I taught the first computer course on campus, called "How Computers Work," later "Computer Logic and Design."

But, alas, my brain is no longer as nimble as all that. So what is that Help Desk number again? Be patient, lads -- and remember, too much time playing computer games can make you blind.