Saturday, February 19, 2005

Legacy hardware

A few months ago we bought a new printer, a Samsung 1740 laser. Very reasonable price. All was well except the printouts had random sections where something was corrupted. A flash of brilliance moved me to get a usb printer cord, replacing the parallel cable. Now it works perfectly. So where is the problem? In the printer parallel interface, the hardware, the linux parallel code? It doesnt' matter. The problem is fixed.

Started reading Uncle Tungsten which is Oliver Sacks autobiography. What did geeks do before computers? He had a fascination with chemistry, encouraged by his uncle. I grew up pre-PC, and had a number of hobbies; rock collection, stamps, cactus garden, woodworking, etc. I read voraciously. If computers had been available (we used slide rules in high school physics and chemistry, my father bought his first calculator when I was in my teens; it added, subtracted multiplied and divided.) I have no doubt that I would have learned programming. As it was, there were many things to fascinate a young inquiring mind. I wonder sometimes if I wasn't the privileged one.


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