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My First Computer

Mk1A - My 1st Computer

Not much here in Ramblin’ Dan for awhile. It’s Easter at last so I will take a bit of a pause and look at what has been happening around me. I am still a working stiff and admittedly I have been working a bit stiffer every year. The PN keeps whittling away at my flexibility and mobility but I keep on “Keeping On”.

I think the physical slowdown just makes me more aware of finding the best use for what skills I do have. Technology is my existence.  I love machine shop work so I am concentrating on automation with computer control of the machines. I can produce products, functional or artistic that could never have been made 10 years ago the way they are today. Thanks to the digital computer.

The professional job I have today with Schneider Electric puts me at the cutting edge of environmental control and energy management. That takes me right to the building automation, almost the same concept of automated machine tools. As a kid this kind of professional computer automation never existed.

My first exposure to computers was age 21 in the Navy with the Ford Mark 1A Fire Control Computer, 62 inches long, 38 inches wide, and 45 inches high which was an analog machine full of gears and cams and screw shafts developed for tracking and shooting at propeller planes in WWII. My job was to run tests and keep it accurate. My battle station was the trainer (turn left-right) in the Mk37 gun director on the top of the bridge.

I look at my adult kids with more computer power in a cell PDA than took us to the moon.

I have a granddaughter. I just like to think of what roads she will explore. What technology will she will see and experience in her lifetime?  She is only 3 and it seems the little kids jump out of the gate running at full speed in today’s human race. It is good to feel that the road of life goes on with a new driver.

I should be in cruise control just looking for the smoothest road but I still ride on the edge of what’s new. I can’t help it. I am a techno-nerd, even at nearly age 64 and ½.

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