||email Dr. SETI ®||
Click on the speaker icon to hear Dr. SETI sing this song in concert at Philcon 2005
And it was If/Then, Do Loop, Subroutine, Go To,
Let 'em code in Fortran like the science hackers do.
They finally put a terminal in each laborat'ry,
A clunky, clanky KSR, a Model 33.
We timeshared over data lines, so who could ask for more?
We stored our code on paper tape and kept it in a drawer.
The dedicated mini was a most amazing sight,
The boot routine was so obscene it kept you up all night
Initializing toggle switches; pain in all our necks
But at least it made us learn to count in octal and in hex.
Soon I built my own machine. You should have heard me cuss
When I tried to catch a ride on the S-100 Bus.
I was grateful for the storage, but one thing I'll never get
Is attempting random access on an audio cassette.
I remember feeling like the luckiest man alive
When my supervisor brought me my first eight inch floppy drive.
We learned to work in CP/M. It wasn't such a loss
With 2k for the system. And then along came DOS.
The Micropolis Metafloppy really took my breath away,
Single sided, single density, a hundred sixty k.
The old dog microprocessor began to learn new tricks,
PC, XT, AT, RT, RISC, and something eighty-six.
Now floating point arithmetic is something of a scam.,
Thanks to Windows Vista Pro I see how fortunate I am
That memory is cheap and I no longer have to beg:
What used to take 640k now eats a thousand meg.
My latest network server has a Terabyte hard drive.
Along it clips a thousand MIPS, it's practically alive.
It's WiMax to the Internet, but life is not all smiles
For a user I have never met has just erased my files.
And now that there's a PC for every desk and home
I marvel at how rapidly and far it all has grown.
As I think back to systems past, you know it really hurts
That my students pack more power in the pockets of their shirts.
A week ago last Saturday I got a pleasant call,
They just installed the Super Cray in Engineering Hall.
They ran my simulation, and I really had a laugh
'Cause the error statement printout took an hour and a half.
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this page last updated 14 June 2007