Click pictures to ENLARGE.
I have fond memories of Swansea, 1971 – 1974. I had a blast.
It wasn’t, to be fair, “Swansea University” 40-years ago. It was the “University College of Swansea” affiliated with the “University of Wales“. It was actually better than that. It was, as you can below, on my actual graduation certificate, was “Cambria“, the Latin name for Wales from the Welsh original “Cymru“.
The certificate below spells it all out, classically, in Latin. What it does not say is what subject I got my degree in. Cute. It was Computer Technology.
Nice sweatshirt. Nice material.
Alton Central School (ACS), To Their Credit, And Amazingly, Taking Part In ‘Code Day’ To Expose Kids To The JOYS Of Programming.
.by Anura Guruge
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Yes, they had sent flyers home.
But, I only really heard about it last Tuesday at the ACS ‘junior school’ concert when the Principal spoke about it twice (one in each ‘half’). Since I had NOT read the flyer and I could only go by what the Principal was saying I had NO IDEA what this was all about. The Principal spoke MAINLY about all the FREE food that will be available and the local restaurants that are kindly donating that food. I am glad. But, I wished she had STRESSED, did a little jig, and explained that this was an initiative to expose kids to the unmitigated JOYS of programming. Yes, I appreciate, that the Principal, the Superintendent, William (Bill) Lander and the School Board are extremely ‘oral‘ — but a little bit of elucidation about the ‘code‘ aspect of the evening as opposed to the ‘gastronomic‘ would have been cool.
That ACS is taking part in ‘Code Day‘ is cool.
Not sure whether the kids will get a full, uninterrupted HOUR to write some code that evening — but this is a good start. I just hope the kids aren’t distracted by the food. Hopefully, and this is a BIG hope, some of the teachers will try and continue this program sans the free food. But, to be fair, Devanee was taught MIT’s SCRATCH ‘animated programming’ a couple of years ago at ACS. So, that was good.
See below, after the images as to why I am so gung ho about kids getting exposed to the JOYS of programming.
I got a chance, in 1969, yes 1969, to take weekly 90 minute Computer Programming classes in school, viz. Mill Hill School in North London (also attended by Denis Thatcher and where James Murray, the primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary once taught).
It was every Thursday and the classes were sponsored by the British International Computers Limited (ICL). They provided each of us with a BIG light green binder about computers and programming. I had yet to see a computer! But, computer programming and I clicked. Duck to the water. Natural affinity.
In those days there were no PCs. We didn’t have any terminals at the school. We wrote our programs on coding sheets; a practice that I continued to use, off and on, even when I worked for IBM, 8 years later — though by the time I was at IBM, and writing microcode, for the 3270 display system, I was classed as a programmer who wrote his code in ink (which I often did do) as opposed to pencil (because I was sure of what I was coding).
Our coding sheets were sent by mail (which is always overnight in the U.K.) to ICL. They punched it onto paper tape and ran it. The next Thursday we would get back our original coding sheets, the paper tape and the computer output. If you made a mistake you program would not have done what you wanted. But, it took a week to find out.
The rest is history. I went to Swansea College, University of Wales, to ‘study’ a 3-year B. Sc. course in Computer Technology. I, for the first time in my life, had unlimited access to computer resources. I programmed like I was possessed (in between near non-stop fornication). I had a great 3 years at Swansea. By my 2nd year at Swansea Ph. D. students were coming to me for help with their programs! One of my lecturers told IBM about me. IBM hired me during my 2nd year, after getting me to sit three IQ tests (as is permissible in the U.K., one of them at 10 pm at night) and told me that I can start work whenever I wanted — with or without a degree. Since I was having so much fun and really didn’t want to work — I hung around Swansea for another year and did get my 1st degree. Yes, I also do have a M. Sc. in Computer Science from the University of London — paid for by IBM.
Programming has been good for me, though in reality I didn’t write that much code professionally! I was considered ‘too good’ to just write code! A sign of the time. IBM and others wanted me to do more ‘executive’ tasks or do much more technical tasks such as Systems Programming or crafting microcode. I was IBM youngest ‘Planner’ — essentially a Product Manager. But, I wrote code in my ‘spare’ time — a program that I wrote as such in my spare time, which I called ‘NDSIO’, ‘New Display System Input/Output‘, where the ‘NDS’ was the now legendary 3270 display system, became a primary testing tool within IBM in the U.K., U.S. and Germany.
So, I am all in favor of kids being taught to program early.
.by Anura Guruge
Well I was going to cite one example of his distraction from yesterday’s [i.e., Friday, December 6, 2013] ‘Laconia Daily Sun‘ but now I have to cite two.
I went to access the ‘past issues’ so I could get a screenshot of pages 2 and 3 and discovered to my chagrin that they have yet to get around to archiving the December issues.
Mr. Ed, it is December 7. Maybe you should get around to putting the December issues in the archive. I know you must be busy and distracted BUT isn’t that why you have a bevvy of grovelling assistants. Now as Mayor maybe you should also get some young female interns to help you out. With all this added responsibility you might need some help.
Well, go check pages 2 and 3 of the December 6 issue.
Same story, from AP, about the missing Conway teenager, twice — under two different titles.
Yes, that definitely helps fill pages 2 and 3 and Ed, no doubt, is hoping that 96% of his reader’s will not have the mental acuity to realize that they had just read that same story a minute ago. I understand. My concern is whether Ed forgot that he edited that same story 2 minutes earlier.
I will never forget Ed and his ‘University of Whales‘, so I try to stay on my toes when it comes to Mr. Ed.
…by Anura Guruge
In the above cited post I presented my credentials as to my expertise in most things computer related.
I won’t divulge much, but let me just let you ponder on one key thing. These days WHO do you think is always BEHIND any mobile App.?
If you don’t know, let me help you out. With most of today’s apps. there are invariably one or more ‘Indians’ writing the code. Indians now dominate the software development field. Period.
Well we know how the Indians [i.e., Asians] voted.
Compromising an App is a piece of cake. It is so easy it is laughable. Much of it has to do with ‘Web service‘ and I have even written a book about it. All you have to do is to put in a call to a Web service and then manipulate that Web service on election day. Bingo. Cannot be detected.
I laughed so much. Oh, dear. This is not your father’s software.
…by Anura Guruge
I have never been a fan of electronic voting UNLESS there is a foolproof paper trail journaling system incorporated into it — and even then, I am always aware of the truism instilled into me in my early days at IBM: “you can’t make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious“!
Getting ANY electronic voting machine to commit FRAUD, i.e., slew the vote in one direction or another, is a piece of cake. Trivial!
I actually do know what I am talking about. Given that I am actually quite modest (despite all evidence to the contrary) I will keep the stating of my computer credentials to a bare minimum. I started programming, in anger, in October 1969, when I had just turned 16. The programs were inputed via 7-track Paper Tape into a (British) ICL computer. I got my B. Sc. (Hons) in Computer Technology from the University of Wales in June 1974, aged 20. I went to work for IBM, at their Hursley Research Lab, on August 27, 1974 — a week prior to my 21st birthday (and starting my working life on a Bank Holiday Monday, and getting paid for it since I was on salary). I got my M. Sc. (Distinction) in Computer Science from the University of London in 1979. You know that extremely annoying serial number entering scheme you have to perform IF you ever buy any ‘expensive’ PC software legitimately. I developed the very first instance of that while working for IBM in 1978. See below for a U.S. Patent Office transcript that identifies me ‘Guruge’ and IBM as the initial ‘discoverer’. I didn’t make any money from it because I worked for IBM and the ‘ip’ belonged, quite rightly, to them. You can find the rest of my story on ‘Google’. Lets just say that I know my computers and in 1972 got banned for a month from using any of the computers at the University when they found out that I was HACKING into them — not to get any information BUT to ‘steal’ more computing time, those being the days when computing power was at a premium and computer access was thus RATIONED and closely monitored.
Lets just start with this list on Wikipedia of DOCUMENTED instances of electronic voting machine ‘issues’ — my interest being in all of the UNDOCUMENTED, stealth, successful scams.
Here is another story you might want to check out:
IF you have ANY interest as to whether YOUR vote will count on Tuesday, you should watch THESE videos on YouTube.
Testing and certification means NOTHING and the videos (above) will demonstrate that to you.
So, why am I so PARANOID. Because, I can, right now, without hardly giving it much thought, tell you of 4 or 5 ways in which I can design some software that will be UNDETECTABLE!
But, here is what makes it real, real scary, especially for people like me (in the know).
I am at best a decent, above average computer scientist.
There are people out there a BILLION TIMES smarter than me!
If I can work out how to create fraudulent, undetectable software, there are folks, some in Russia, Hungary, India and China, who are way, way, way ahead of me. That is why I worry.
YOU take it from there.
Just one of the U.S. patents that cites ME as the original creator of authentication software (in 1978).
Click to visit the U.S. Patent Office search engine. Type in ‘Guruge’. The rest is history.
“New Hampshire Stories” sets out to chronicle noteworthy, but mostly amusing, events from my 3 decades in New Hampshire.
Check the CATEGORY ‘New Hampshire Stories’ or do a SEARCH using sidebar search box for ‘stories’ for other posts.
How I met the once bestriding Kinney O’Rouke in the parking lot of the Laconia CVS and how me got me involved in ‘Granite State Ambassadors‘ (GSA) and Laconia Rotary were described in this July 14, 2012, post. So I won’t revisit that again. If you want the background, please read that post.
Kinney who was President of Laconia Rotary at the time ‘fast tracked’ my induction. I had to fill in a questionnaire about my life and meet with a 3 person ‘Induction Committee’ who wanted to ensure that I had integrity (and took regular showers). Anyway, since Kinney wanted me (and that was mainly to boost his recruitment score) they agreed to have me, integrity be damned.
I was not the first non-white that had been inducted. Dr. Prabhkar K. Shetty, the renowned Ophthalmologist from Gilford, had been a member for a longtime. But, I was by far, the most exotic person they had inducted and that was what Kinney wanted. As Kinney emphasized from the start, we were going to have fun and that fun started with my induction ceremony.
Birthdays are a BIG deal at Laconia Rotary. Around the time of your birthday you are supposed to bring in an item that is then auctioned, at the weekly lunchtime meeting, to raise money for the Club. The goal is to sell your item for as much as you can. So some get very creative and I remember items selling for $300. So, as part of the induction they announce your birthday. Based on a comment I had made that I knew somebody that was born on that day, Kinney announced that my birthday was ‘April 1’ — thus trying to set the tone that I was a clown, if not a fool.
Right after the induction meeting, Kinney tells me: ‘You are ON for the next 2 weeks. You are doing the presentation. Just tell them about your life‘. Another brilliant Kinney move. Each weekly Rotary meeting is supposed to have a ‘meaningful’ (hopefully educational) 20 – 30 minute presentation. As with the Birthday Auction each member is supposed to find speakers to fill these slots — again some setting out to excel (and keeping their speaker secret until the meeting). Once when it was my turn, I got Philip McLaughlin who had just finished his term as the Attorney General of NH. (Yes, they were impressed. Philip, a Laconia native, wowed them.) So, by getting me to fill in 2 slots, right away, Kinney, as President, didn’t have to worry about whether those two meetings were going to have speakers — that always been a challenge. [If he didn’t have school, e.g., Summer, Matthew, who was 8-9, used to attend the meetings with me, kids being encouraged to attend. At one of the meetings the speaker did not show up. I bribed Matthew, who had just come back from ‘Global Finals’, to talk about Destination Imagination (DI). I can’t remember what the bribe was, but I know it was expensive. He must have been 9 at the time. He got up on the podium. His face just about cleared it. So, he is now facing 100 adults. He, hesitated for a minute, but then launched straight in. He got a standing ovation. For the next 2 weeks I would meet people in Laconia or Gilford who would say: ‘I heard about your son’s speech at Rotary‘.]
So, per Kinney, my brief was that in my 1st slot, I had to talk about my ‘early’ life and that the 2nd slot should be about my experiences in high-tech.
So, as instructed, I did my first presentation talking about my life in Ceylon, growing up in the U.K. and going to school there.
As per rote, the proceedings of all the Rotary meetings are documented and posted on the Web. In those days, given his professional credentials, our official chronicler of all matters Rotary was Ed Engler, the Editor/President of the Laconia Daily Sun. Ed is a great guy. Very nice, very obliging. But, as anybody who is familiar with the Laconia Daily Sun will know, Ed and his lovely crew don’t waste too much time about accuracy.
The meetings are on Thursday. The report of the proceedings get posted by Monday. So given that I was still new and curious, I checked what dear Ed had said about my presentation.
He had done a decent job covering my time in Ceylon, Buffalo, Paris and London, but then said: ‘he got his first degree from the University of WHALES’!
I am not exactly thin, but I am NOT that fat.
I called Ed up and asked him what that was all about. He says: ‘That is what you said, right? University of Whales‘.
Yes, I know I have an accent, ironically part of it Welsh undertones. So, Ed had heard my: ‘I went to Swansea, University of WALES’ and interpreted it, without ever thinking to check, that I had gone to the ‘University of WHALES‘.