Computers actually existed before the PC…

This is part of a hilarious conversation I had with my daughter today on Skype. She is a freshman Environmental Studies major in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. She was born in 1991 and grew up with the pc. I got my Computer Science degree in 1984.

During this conversation she learns for (apparently) the first time that we did not always have pc’s…

daughter: the academic building is all the language studies and liberal arts
and its like another world
people dress different
no cowboy boots or camo
but scarves and european man bags
and guys with long hair and a guy with a mohawk and kilt.
this is where I need to meet friends ha

me: yeah
liberal arts
that’s my major

daughter: what?
thats weird. I dont think computer science is liberal arts now.

me: my major is bachelor of science in computer science in the college of liberal arts
me: it’s not
after i left it got moved to engineering

daughter: yeah engineering

me: i’m so glad it wasn’t in engineering when i was in it
i would have hated that
i liked liberal arts

daughter: but wouldnt the curriculum be the same?
just in a new college

me: no not at all
it’s more like engineering

daughter: really?

me: all regimented and hard
it’s a hard degree now

daughter: so the whole degree changed but yours is still called computer science

me: back in the day it was theory
there were no pc’s
not invented yet

daughter: cool then you have a degree that sounds harder than it is

me: same degree. i just got it while the getting was good

daughter: what? the computer wasnt invented?

me: yeah
good for me
lucked out for once
me: only mainframes were invented
you had to reserve time to log into it to do homework

daughter: I dont get what a computer science degree person would do after they graduated. Invent the computer?

me: no
the computer was invented
pc’s were not

daughter: what?

me: they were mainframes as big as a room

daughter: nevermind.
I dont know what mainframe means

me: then we did computer support stuff and programmed
me: search on
computer mainframe
and then click on images
and you’ll see ictures
that’s what i did
just like that










daughter: unix?

me: no, dos
do you see the pictures?

daughter: its looking to me like a science lab
but okay

me: yeah well your little laptop is a zillion times more powerful
those huge machines were like 128K
and ridiculously small
had to be shared
not even into gigabytes at all

daughter: what?

me: what what?

daughter: so not even my music would fit into that large thing?

me: no

daughter: its like a new world for you these days

me: hahahha

daughter: I wonder if that will happen to me
if my computer will be obsolete

me: if you move to germany it might, otherwise you will never know because the US is going backwards

daughter: ha ha ha

me: yes your computer will be obsolete in less than 10 years


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