Feeling Old?

The Geezer Geek – You might be a has-been if…

Have you ever had those days when you feel old – I mean really old? I remember when I was first introduced to computers in the late ‘80’s (which may be before some of you were born) and had to be shown how to turn it on. Then I saw the following article written by Glyn Meek aka “The Geezer Geek” and realized how many of his “You might be a has-been if…” topics that I was familiar with. I would have really felt old if I hadn’t been chuckling so much. So whether you’re young or old, take a few minutes out of your busy day to read this completely unedited and non-plagiarized (I attributed it – right?) article. See if it doesn’t bring a smile to your face.


“I have always been a fan of Jeff Foxworthy and love his "You might be a redneck if …" type of humor. It came to my attention some years ago, during my inevitable aging process, that there is that sad moment when we geezers realize we no longer are the hot technologist on the block. Each new wave of technology, and in my time in the industry there have been a whole number of them, creates a whole new flock of technical has-beens. It takes increasing amounts of effort to keep up with these changes, and at some point in our lives we inevitably become Geezer Geeks and don’t bother to keep up at all. The other day, I was chatting about this with my business partner, showing him an old desktop PC I had, and he came up with "you know, you might be a has-been if you still have a PC with a 5 1/4" drive in it". (I actually had one in my closet with an 8" floppy drive as a separate device!")


With that in mind, for the rest of you to consider, "You might be a has-been if:"


·        you rave "I could have done this in Simula 67 in 8 lines of code …" and no one else has even heard of Simula 67 … and it only takes 3 lines of code in BabyJabber, which YOU have never heard of.

·        you don’t have ANY of the skills for job postings on Monster.com

·        you dread the next new thing in hardware, development environments, and/or operating systems.

·        you don’t know how to ‘poke’ anyone on Facebook … and you almost filed for divorce when your wife told you she got ‘poked’ – twice – yesterday.

·        you haven’t iWorked on the next new iThing for iDays (a 64 bit unsigned integer) – and whatever DID happen to octal?

·        you know what Algol and Fortran actually stood for.

·        you don’t get the sardonic, technical, insider jokes on the new guy’s tee-shirts … "I widgie unchecked in BabyJabber" … everyone else LOLs, and you don’t know what that means either.

·        no one is impressed when you boast about once having shared lunch with Richard Hamming.

·        you know what DOS stands for and you still mourn the passing of CP/M.

·        you still keep a few blank punched-cards around in case of an emergency.

·        the first video game you ever played was ‘pong‘.

·        the first video game you ever programmed was on a CDC mainframe – a what?

·        you know that the new kids’ design/architecture isn’t going to work, but you don’t care enough to even enter the fight.

·        you remember "IBM and the seven dwarfs" and can name at least three of the dwarfs.

·        you used to work for one of the dwarfs!

·        you don’t know anyone who has even seen a tape-deck, mainframe, paper-tape reader or core-memory board.

·        the first computer you ever owned was a Commodore Pet or a Tandy TRS80.

·        you know what a Dodongo was.

·        you think a dial-up modem was too fast.

·        the Compaq ‘luggable’ actually counted as a portable computer to you, even though it was almost too large to even fit into an airplane overhead bin. Before take-off, flight attendants had to ensure that there were an equal number of ‘luggables’ on either side of the plane.

·        you think a cell phone is really for making phone calls.

·        strange pieces of paper that are 14"x11", have a row of holes down each side, and have alternating light-green and white stripes, can bring a tear to your eye.

·        you think tweet is the sound a small bird makes, and twitter is what idiot-teenagers do instead of talking coherently.

·        you remember C:\>

·        you know that Grace Hopper had nothing to do with Jefferson Airplane or with Easy Rider.

·        you have an 8-track player in your car and a cassette player in your office.

·        you think that ‘CD’ is a DOS command that means ‘Change Directory’.


P.S. Where DO you young programmers buy those baseball caps with the bill at the BACK of the cap?”

Glyn Meek, with 40 years of experience in the technology industry, has earned his curmudgeonly outlook.


Talk to you soon. ~Norma

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