I remember: Computers and other technology

Roger Skibowski
6 min readApr 9, 2019

Mainframe Computing to Cloud Computing

“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” — Mark Twain

This is my walk down memory lane for the technologies I’ve touched over last 30-plus years.

Your walk may be different, from the same time, before, or after mine.

Computer Operators

In 1973 I attended a 18 month evening computer programming class in COBAL, PL 1, Basic, RPG, and Fortran with the intent entering to Information Technology field.

Upon graduating with a certificate in Computer Programming, it seemed like the next step was to transfer to the accounting department to further my career.

I transfer into the position of Computer Operator. My job was to change tapes on Vacuum Column Tape Drive, replace boxes of paper for the hungry printers, load punch cards, and change wired program board for the IBM 1401 and IBM 350 computers.

At the time it was difficult to enter the technology field without a full college degree, so I transferred to a business office position.

By the 1980 I was in an operations position and personal computers were all the rage especially in the business world.

Day job with Information Technology Opportunities

I was in a position that allowed me the opportunity to experiment. My first experiment was to replace the manual process of creating a monthly listing of a 600 person organization. They accomplished the original process of updating the original organization chart listing on a typewriter throughout the month. At the beginning of the month they copied the organizational charts and sent them to about 100 people. The current method was to whiteout and retype, or create new pages or sections, labor intensive.

I suggested using a database that could update daily or weekly. Printing and organizational chart was then available upon request. The…

Roger Skibowski