[Baypiggies] M.I.T. to drop Scheme in favor of Python

Alex Martelli aleax at google.com
Sun May 31 01:29:29 CEST 2009

On Fri, May 29, 2009 at 5:32 PM, Keith Dart <keith at dartworks.biz> wrote:
> On May 29, 2009, at 5:05 PM, Aahz wrote:
>> When I took AP Computer Science in high school, it was Pascal.  Now it's
>> Java, and I fear for the future of our profession.
> For me it was opcodes of an HP programmable "calculator" (big as a PC) in

Same here (except that just-introduced HP-97 was my
high-school-graduation present...) -- that's how I wrote my first-ever
programs "that were some use" in the mid-70's, in HP RPN. A dusty old
LISP 1.5 manual found at a garage sale had been my intro (quite a bit
earlier) but with that one I was limited to "playing the LISP runtime"
with pencil and paper; I haunted the few Italian Apple-II resellers
that would let me get my hands on a keyboard to try out their Basic;
also taught myself Fortran (from old reference manuals, like
everything else) and as a freshman in college got a TA to take pity on
me and (against regulations) give me some of the magical job-control
punched cards that would let me run a real Fortran program on the
mainframe (as long as it had no syntax errors... I didn't get enough
mainframe time to run it twice... it ran the first time and I still
have the printout of conditional probabilities of suit distributions
in bridge that I made it compute...!-).

The practical inaccessibility of computers for programming when I was
in my teens may have been why I turned to hacking on electronic
circuitry instead (and went for EE, not CS, in college) -- even though
I've always been pretty useless with my hands, and burned more
transistors with my soldering iron than I've ever manager to place
into a working circuit, at least THAT was something I could _DO_,
rather than mostly fantasize about;-).


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