Andrew Pollack's Blog

Technology, Family, Entertainment, Politics, and Random Noise

My Mother-In-Law the Computer

By Andrew Pollack on 10/16/2007 at 11:39 AM EDT

People have histories that you never really consider deeply enough. I had a really interesting conversation with my wife's mother over the weekend. She had asked about the route I'd planned to take, as I needed to go from her place on the coast up to Bangor where Coryn had a soccer game. I answered that I didn't know; I'd just plugged in the field's address on the GPS, and it told me I'd need about two hours to get there. I would do what it said and get there within a few minutes of that estimate.

Instead of the expected discussion, what I got in response was instead a story of some of the work she'd done back in the day -- I think just following WWII. She'd worked at MIT. The story details filled in over the course of a few minutes, but the gist of is that she'd worked directly for Dr. Charles Draper while he was working on his gyroscopic guidance systems. She remembered him as both brilliant and charming. "A man who could solve an equation on the blackboard, or tell a dirty joke." She recalled specifically listening with him and a few others in a room to the radio from a flight in which for the first time the pilot took off and landed blindfolded - I assume meaning instruments only - then all in the room popping the cork on a bottle of Champagne. Her job at the time was entering start chart data -- I didn't ask at the time what she entered it into, but I'm planning to ask more later. They used to call these pools of human number crunchers by the job title "Computer". That's what they did. The Computed.

So it turns out my Mother-In-Law, not the most tech-savvy person I've met to be sure, was actually a Computer.

There are  - loading -  comments....

re: My Mother-In-Law the ComputerBy Mary Beth Raven on 10/16/2007 at 10:21 PM EDT
Wow, there must be something in the autumn air... you discdovering this about
your mother-in-law, me finding "v-mail"...

Other Recent Stories...

  1. 01/28/2020Copyright Troll WarningThere's a copyright troll firm that has automated reverse-image searches and goes around looking for any posted images that they can make a quick copyright claim on. This is not quite a scam because it's technically legal, but it's run very much like a scam. This company works with a few "clients" that have vast repositories of copyrighted images. The trolls do a reverse web search on those images looking for hits. When they find one on a site that looks like someone they can scare, they work it like ...... 
  2. 03/26/2019Undestanding how OAUTH scopes will bring the concept of APPS to your Domino serverWhile a full description of OATH is way beyond what I can do in this quick blog entry, I wanted to talk a bit about how "SCOPES" interact with the already rich authorization model used by Domino. Thanks to the fantastic work by John Curtis and his team, the node.js integration with Domino is going to be getting a rich security model. What we know is that a user's authorizations will be respected through the node.js application to the Domino server -- including reader names, ACLs, Roles, and so on. The way ...... 
  3. 02/05/2019Toro Yard Equipment - Not really a premium brand as far as I am concernedDear Toro Customer Service, I arm writing about the following machine: Toro Power Max 1120 OXEModel:38654S/N:31000#### Specifically, bearing part #:63-3450 This is the part ($15 online / $25 at the local dealer) that caused me to raise my objections on-line. This piece of garbage is supposed to be a bearing. It carries the shaft which drives both stages of the auger. The shaft passes through the bearing (which is what bearings do) after the auger drive pulley as the shaft goes through the back (engine ...... 
  4. 10/08/2018Will you be at the NYC Launch Event for HCL Domino v10 -- Find me! 
  5. 09/04/2018With two big projects on hold, I suddenly find myself very available for new short and long term projects.  
  6. 07/13/2018Who is HCL and why is it a good thing that they are now the ones behind Notes and Domino? 
  7. 03/21/2018Domino Apps on IOS is a Game Changer. Quit holding back. 
  8. 02/15/2018Andrew’s Proposed Gun Laws 
  9. 05/05/2016Is the growing social-sourced economy the modern back door into socialism? 
  10. 04/20/2016Want to be whitelisted? Here are some sensible rules for web site advertising 
Click here for more articles.....

pen icon Comment Entry
Your Name
*Your Email
* Your email address is required, but not displayed.
Your thoughts....
Remember Me  

Please wait while your document is saved.