Last week someone on the SIGCSE mailing list mentioned that they learned to program in FORTRAN, using punch cards on an IBM 1130. Well so did I and I said so. This seemed to have opened the floodgates of nostalgia (lots of us on the list seem to be old where old is defined as my age or older). I told someone that one of my friends wrote a program to have the 1403 line printer play music. It turns out that others did similar things and I read the story of one group breaking the chain while playing the Indian national anthem. Good times. Yes, we reminisce about line printers, card readers, old programming languages and much more about the “good old days” of computing. And then the interesting question came up.
Mark Hoffman of Sciences Quinnipiac University asked “What will current students or recent graduates be sharing as nostalgic 40 years from now on the SIGCSE mailing list? ”
Well what do you think? Something like “remember when you had to use a keyboard and mouse to use a computer?” Or “remember when computers sat on your lap rather than being embedded into your skin?” Or “what was that computer company named after a fruit?”
Have any ideas? What do young people, your students perhaps, think will be long gone in 40 years?