Top Ten Indications You Are A Computer Industry Newbie

Just for fun and because I am old[ish]. But more seriously, because people should know the history of computer science and the computer industry so as not to repeat mistakes.

  1. You think garbage collection came in with Java. Garbage collection has been around a long long time. BASIC  PLUS in the RSTS/E operating system had it over 40 years ago.
  2. You think cloud computing is new. It’s different more in implementation than in concept than the old mainframe computing.
  3. You think internet chat started with either ICQ or AOL Instant Messenger. There was Internet Relay Chat and VAX Phone long before that.
  4. You think the Internet and the World Wide Web are the same thing.
  5. You never heard of Digital Equipment Corporation. Once the second largest computer company in the world and a driving force behind the paradigm switch from mainframe computers to mini computers they are now gone. Lots of lessons you’ve missed if you don’t know that story.
  6. You don’t remember PostScript files. The standard for great printing before PDFs.
  7. The only mark up languages you know are HTML and XML. Few seem to remember that markup languages were used for document creation before web page creation.
  8. You don’t know what FORTRAN and COBOL stand for – FORmula TRANslation and COmon Business Oriented Language.
  9. You either don’t remember the term “Winchester drive” or you don’t know how it got that name. Hint: Sealed hard drive with a model number of 3030.
  10. You say “n00b” and not “newbie.”
Comments (5)

  1. Garth says:

    How about:

    11.  You did not know Gandalf was not only a wizard in Lord of the Rings.

    12. The facts that floppies used to flop and hard drive disks used to be removable are surprises.

    13.  That it was possible to plug the phone handset in to the acoustic coupler up side down makes absolutely no sense.

    14. You do not know why you should not just throw your punch cards in your back pack.

  2. Leonel says:

    It's funny to think of more. What about these:

    15. If asked what was the first operating system for PCs only Windows comes to your mind, DOS is a vaguely remembered word and CP/M sounds to you like a planning method.

    16. For you computers have always had graphical displays and mice.

    17. Dumb terminal is a phrase you could use to insult a non-functional ATM.

  3. Arun Mahendrakar says:

    On the contrary, if you know all these things that most others don't know, doesn't it mean that you're quite OLD? No offense guys, but I've been in the industry for around 8yrs and I din't know some of these. Doesn't make me a newbie / n00b now does it?


  4. AlfredTh says:

    8 years? Yeah, makes you a newbie. Not that there is anything wrong with being a newbie unless you don't try to learn the history.

  5. Garth says:

    I am not old, I have just been doing this for a long time.

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