Be Careful What You Type

When I worked my first post-college job at Ford (later 70s) I worked on a PDP-11 in a remote lab (working on the 1st EEC – computerized carburetor.) To access the “disk” – a huge thing they would insert in the top of a huge device – you had to contact the “operator” at the big computer. Ford had a redundant┬ásystem where everything typed was echoed across all of Ford’s computers, and data was stored in several places. I can only imagine the data loss that brought this about. One Saturday I was working and had to get to my data. I typed in “Sharon, please mount Dave Johnson’s disk.” But I typed a ‘c’ instead of an ‘s’. When I came in to work Monday every single person in the building was laughing.

Another time, when I was at Gobe, up in Portland, I gave a demo to a key client, using an overhead monitor. In front of everyone I was demonstrating how text could be made larger and smaller with a slider. I didn’t look at the keyboard, typed the word ‘TEXT’ and used the slider to make it huge. Well, the ‘W’ key is just to the left of the ‘E’ key, and the ‘A’ key is just to the left of the ‘S’ key and my fingers were just to the left…