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IT Misfits

By  Feb 27, 2011

Topics: Business & Management

The IT generation comes of age, but that's an uncomfortable realization for some.


I am too old or the IT age was too young, but my start with computers happened at a summer program for Disadvantaged urban youths.  We were shipped to live in a small town, live on campus, and take lots of remedial training.  This would keep us off The Streets.

We were rowdy, my friends and I.  During time after classes, we were in the computer center.  You come in as Poindexter Paulie, and we will be hogging The Video Terminal, playing Star Trek while you wanted to scan your Cobol.  We were cocky young oafs, figuring out how to engage the paper punch tape and soon, figuring how to load our games and resume our play.  We even printed out Star Trek sessions onto fanfold, as trophies of our boldness defeating Klingons, and tamed social types needing the computer, alike.

Years later, I witnessed youngsters transferring their brainwaves to computer electrons on those old Trash 80's I rescued from the trash.  I was a Teechur, one with his own computer lab.  If you could have resurrected serially-connected Trashies into a networked lab, they'd have been y-o-u-r-s!  How revolutionary! 

There was something secretive to That Lab, as some would type Metallica lyrics to those staid 5.25" floppy discs, in strong defiance of rules that existed at other computer labs, where SOME lab managers cared to dictate rules.  No me.  You wanna bust a lyric in a BASIC prompt, who was I to charter some future Will I Am Shakespeare into a commercial career?

This was the fun immediacy of computers, folks!  We talked of some cheap mini-computer allowing several remote players to play a game together, in the beauty of a multi-dimensionalized Matrix of simu-reality.  Wow, as if THAT'D ever happen!

Flash forward to 2day.  IT jobs (or the Office jobs with increased IT tasks) are unique.  Increasingly, you can wear the jeans worn in the 70's as a protest.  You can sit, listen to Black Dog or Tom Sawyer cranked, and no adult intrudes to steer you towards safer Muzak alternatives.  It's so very nice.  Nice and comfortable. 

The Brainiacs, the Geeks, the Scientoids, those Awkward and Non-Athletic Invisibles are now the new norm.  Act as if you don't fixate over the new iPad, and you've dropped the ball as surely as we once fumbled the pigskin in a 70's gym class.  It's all so very...

Conventional? 

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jt


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