This does not compute

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Where did all the slide rules go — and where do all the books fit with all these computers on the desks?

These were the questions in the air last week at Brooklyn Technical HS as the techies of times bygone descended upon their Fort Greene alma mater for a reunion.

“I remember one computer in the whole school,” said class of 1967 grad Philip Morris. “It was the size of two refrigerators and had its own language.”

“We started it with a punch card,” chimed in his one-time classmate, Jonathan Goldman.

“Every time I got mad at the teacher, I used to bend the card so the program wouldn’t start,” the gray-haired former geek said.

Morris and Goldman sat in a computer lab — it was a metal shop when they went to the school — marveling at the transformation Tech had undergone since their salad days.

But they were certainly not the most wowed over by the digital-age makeover of the 85-year-old engineering, math and science school.

John Lyons, a member of the class of ’67 who showed up in his letter sweater and a few valedictorian pins, explained the difference in three words: the personal computer.

“Students went from drawing with pen and ink to using a mouse,” Lyons said.

Everyone seemed to understand how much the meaning of the word “tech” had changed over the decades.

“We had blacksmithing and a foundry,” said 1947 grad, Mark Drummond. The retired telephone engineer recalled building sections of naval ships in shop class.

“I graduated before the transistor was invented,” he said, patting a desk that he said once would have had a tool vise attached to it.

“But we had a computer, too,” he said. “It was called an abacus.”

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!