Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Welcome to newcomers! Don't hesitate to introduce yourself.
Please don't post tech support questions here
Post Reply
daches
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:27 pm

Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by daches »

Hello, Linux world!
I am a retired octogenarian scientist/engineer (PhD 1963 physical chemistry, BS ChE 1959, both from Rice). My experience with computers started in 1957 when I wrote a program for least-squares fit to linear data for an IBM 650, using the Bell programming language, which was essentially a calculator with trig functions, logarithms, exponential, et cetera. In era the state of the art for calculation in science and engineering was an electro-mechanical calculator with a single-cell memory. I was immediately convinced that computers offered a way to eliminate much of the tedium for calculation.

Rice sort of stumbled into an interesting position in the development and use of computers for technical research and application. Two professors in Physical
Chemistry, John Kilpatrick and Zev Salsburg, both required computers for their research interests, molecular quantum mechanics (Kilpatrick) and statistical mechanics (Salsburg). The two of them tried to get the university to buy a computer, with no luck. The learned about a program for research in what is now known as computer science sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission (now DOE), applied for a grant to build a replica of the Maniac at Los Alamos, and were awarded a grant. They hired Martin Graham from Brookhaven to manage the project, and he pointed out that they did not have to use the same logical design as the Maniac, but could use the same basic circuitry to design a superior machine. Ultimately I got my PhD thesis completed under Salsburg, after a couple years of being the heaviest user of CPU time (40 hours per week or so. The topic was Monte Carlo calculation of the thermodynamic properties of the 2 dimensional lattice gas. All of my programming was in Assembly language, hand-translated and key punched in octal on paper tape.

I became more interested in the problems that could be tackled using computers than in computers themselves. When GUIs first hit the scene, I was reluctant to give up command line access, but finally succumbed to the convenience and reduced need to remember a vocabulary of commands. As I result I have been stuck in the Windows world for the past 30 years or so. I have W 10 on a couple of machines, but I am still running W 7 on my HP Z1 generation 1 workstation. I have never been much of a fan of W 10 -- too much cute stuff from the smart phone world, and I don't want my computer to look like a smart phone.

Of course, now I need to master a whole new vocabulary, and I am joining this forum in hopes of easing the transition.

I have already discovered pbear's posts and used his posts to learn how to implement Linux Mint on an external HD while leaving Windows on the internal hard drive. Plan to give that a try tomorrow.
User avatar
Pierre
Level 20
Level 20
Posts: 10824
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:33 am
Location: Perth, AU.

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by Pierre »

Hi daches,
welcome to our forum.
:)

there is a few other retired octogenarian scientist/engineers around here - would you believe !.
Image
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.
User avatar
slipstick
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:56 pm
Location: Somewhere on the /LL0 scale

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by slipstick »

Hi daches,

Welcome to the forum and the world of Linux. I'm a Rice grad, too - BA '68, MEE '69. My computer experience started at Rice, programming an IBM1620 in Fortran II and assembly. I also played with the Rice computer a little bit. I have some not so fond memories of paper tape (Rice computer) and punch cards (1620). During my career as an EE, I did a lot of assembly programming for embedded microprocessors and some C language programming, though I was primarily a hardware designer. I used Windows until MS discontinued support for XP, then switched to Linux Mint. I have never been tempted to use another distro, as Mint meets all my needs. I just wish I had switched to Linux a lot earlier. I think you'll like it here.
In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they ain't.
User avatar
farkas
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 452
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 6:10 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by farkas »

Welcome to Linux Mint! :)
I too am ancient (sort of)! :wink:
First experience with computers was in the navy with analog computers. Electro mechanical nightmares. First PC was an Apple][+. Various iterations of windows machines. Graduated to linux after win quit support of XP. Haven't looked back and I don't miss it.
You will find this forum very friendly and helpful. :)
If your query has been resolved, edit your first post and add [SOLVED] to the subject line.
If you found a solution on your own please post it.
A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.
User avatar
Pjotr
Level 22
Level 22
Posts: 15765
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:18 am
Location: The Netherlands (Holland)
Contact:

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by Pjotr »

Welcome! An interesting look into computer history. :)
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 20 Ulyana
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.
User avatar
lsemmens
Level 11
Level 11
Posts: 3535
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:07 pm
Location: Rural South Australia

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by lsemmens »

Hi daches, from a youngster. You started in computers the year I was born. A a retired octogenarian, does that now mean you are in your 90's? :lol:
Welcome to the last OS you'll ever need to learn.
Fully mint Household
Out of my mind - please leave a message
User avatar
kc1di
Level 16
Level 16
Posts: 6317
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2008 8:44 pm
Location: Maine USA

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by kc1di »

Hello daches,
Welcome to Linux Mint Forums, enjoy ;)
Easy tips : https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/ Pjotr's Great Linux projects page.
Linux Mint Installation Guide: http://linuxmint-installation-guide.rea ... en/latest/
Registered Linux User #462608
User avatar
Greencedar
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:29 pm
Location: Missouri & Taiwan
Contact:

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by Greencedar »

Hello! All newbies accepted.

Welcome to the world of Mint!
Greencedar
User avatar
WharfRat
Level 21
Level 21
Posts: 13909
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by WharfRat »

Hello daches Image

Welcome to Linux Mint and the Linux Mint forum :)
ImageImage
User avatar
bob466
Level 6
Level 6
Posts: 1135
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 5:23 am
Location: Australia

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by bob466 »

Welcome to the Forum. Image
Linux For Ever...Windoze Never. Image
The Freedom To Choose Your Own Avatar Without Victimisation.
deepakdeshp
Level 18
Level 18
Posts: 8351
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:00 am

Re: Rank Newbie to Linux, Ancient Computer Geek

Post by deepakdeshp »

Welcome to the forum.
If I have helped you solve a problem, please add [SOLVED] to your first post title, it helps other users looking for help, and keeps the forum clean.
Regards,
Deepak

I am using Mint 20 Cinnamon 64 bit with AMD A8/7410 processor . Memory 8GB
Post Reply

Return to “Introduce yourself”