All I Know³
Information, transmission, modulation, and noise – 3rd Edition

Other Minds 16!

OM 16presented in association with the Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the Eugene and Elinor Friend Center for the Arts at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco

Featuring these composers:
Louis Andriessen (Netherlands)
I Wayan Balawan (Indonesia)
Han Bennink (Netherlands)
Kyle Gann (USA)
Janice Giteck (USA)
David A. Jaffe (USA)
Jason Moran (USA)
Agata Zubel (Poland)

Tickets & Information
Thursday-Friday-Saturday, March 3-4-5, 2011
7pm Panel Discussions / 8pm Concerts
Kanbar Hall, Jewish Community Center of San Francisco (JCCSF),
3200 California Street (at Presidio Ave.), San Francisco

 

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My Life As A Programmer – The Early Years

My Forty Years With Computers

Spring (2005) was the 40th anniversary of my first real job.

(This is republished from some blog entries at blogs.sun.com/rchrd. I wanted to preserve these notes, since that blog is now dormant.)

In June, 1965, I started my first full-time job as a computer programmer. I was 21, with a B.S. in Math from Brooklyn Poly. Oddly enough, when I graduated Poly in ’64, I had no idea what I was going to do. I was not a great student, and knew right off I’d never make a great mathematician. And I didn’t play poker, a sign that my career in math would be limited. But along the way as an undergrad I had part-time jobs in the Brooklyn Poly computer center (IBM 650/7044)and learned Fortran and assembly language programming. I even got a teaching fellowship after graduation, the first the Poly computer center ever issued. I taught a course on programming, while at the same time taking Max Goldstein and Jack Schwartz’s Principles of Computation course across the river at the NYU Courant Institute.

This turned out to be a fortunate thing. Because after finishing Max’s course in the Spring of ’65 (I got an A with a term project simulating a Turing machine using a macro language for the IBM 7044), I informally asked Max for a job at NYU. Max was director of the Courant Institute computer center, then run by the Atomic Energy Commission. And I knew they were about to replace their IBM 7094 systems with a “supercomputer” – the CDC 6600.
To my amazement, Max mentioned that someone had just left the group and there was an opening. A few days later I had a job application in the mail and by June an office on the third floor of the new Warren Weaver hall on Mercer Street.

This was probably the most exciting moment in my life. The Courant Institute was world-famous in mathematics. And Richard Courant (a student of the great David Hilbert) was there, up on the 12th floor. I met Courant many times in the elevator. He wore sneakers but was always nattily dressed in suit and tie. There were many other famous middle-European ex-pats at the Institute, and I joined them every afternoon at 3 for tea in the lounge on the 13th floor.

I was 21 and in the company of some of the greatest minds in applied math.

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About:


Richard Friedman lives in Oakland, CA, is a freelance tech writer/editor, web designer, photographer, is a Director of Other Minds, wrote his first computer program in 1962 for the IBM 650. It played dice. He is also a ham radio (AG6RF) operator, and he also takes a lot of photographs, composes music, and does a weekly radio program on KALW called Music From Other Minds.
He is not Kinky.

View Richard Friedman's profile on LinkedIn

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What Is This?

I started All I Know in June 2004 using Pivot, and
All I Know² Second Edition, in September 2006 using Movable Type.
This is All I Know³ Third Edition, started in March 2008 using WordPress. Read more.


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