Ramblings for the week – 01/27/2014

My colleague Susan Haynes states this blog will succeed only if there are frequent postings to it. As such, I will attempt to put something here weekly. My missives will include any breaking news from the Department, goings on from the Computer Science Club (affectionately known as java++) , interesting articles I’ve seen recently or anything else that strikes my fancy as I write.

– First, an announcement: Cory Skowronek will be speaking this week at the Computer Science Club on mySQL. I’ve heard Cory speak before: he does a good job and MySQL is certainly something anyone reading this should know about. The club meets on Wednesdays at 3:30 in 520 PH .

– An Interesting Read in today’s newspaper
Ever hear a 50+ year old complain about a “senior moment” ? Can’t quite remember your name , the capital of Montana, or where the car is parked ? Researchers have documented the (supposed) decline of mental facilities as a function of age; it begins at age 25 and becomes apparent to the individual at age 50. But hold the phone, Edna, researchers (data mining experts!!) from Germany dispel this vicious lie. Instead, they suggest, the mature mind just has more information to process: the database is larger and hence seek time is longer. I knew this all along. See


Some interesting historical tidbits
-On January 27, 1870 Thomas Edison filed his patent for the incandescent lamp.
-On January 26, 1998 Compaq Computer purchase Digital Electronic Corporation (DEC)

For those of you that are too young to remember, Compaq designed one of the early “portable” computers. It weighed over 20 ponds and was hugely successful. Only a few short years after this merger, Compaq was purchased by HP. DEC was the darling computer company of the 70’s and 80’s. They were considered the agile, forward thinking engineers as compared to the stodgy folks at IBM. The PDP-8 , DEC-10 , VAX were all machines that were closely studied in Computer Organization courses, noted for their advanced architecture, and versatile addressing modes. The early development of the c programming language as well as the unix operating system can be tied to these machines. RIP DEC!

That’s it for this week. Comments are always welcome.

5 thoughts on “Ramblings for the week – 01/27/2014

    • Susan,
      We’re just getting things going with the blog. The computer science club has their own blog completely under their control. We would like this blog for dissemanating dept info, but I will discuss your suggestion with others in the dept.

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