« Birthday K | Main | Dang, I'm Glad I Bought That... »

Jun 12, 2006

"A Computer Is Like Your Mommy's Bureau Drawers"

Dresser600_1 At right, a bureau that I helped move last weekend.

And above (in the title, I mean), the opening line from... Anyone?  Anyone?  Brian?  Anyone?

Yes, that's right.  It's the opening line from The Fortran Coloring Book, first introduced to me by the distinguished Brian T. Rice, North Carolina School of Geeks class of '85.  I thought I could do something similar for DCL which we used on the VAX 11/750s that connected us all within our ~25-acre campus. 

I said as much to our CS department chief who said,

"Every year, some student comes along and says he wants to do a VAX manual for his literacy requirement, and every year, the same student never gets it done." 

"But I'll do it, I really will!"

Yeah, right.  I got three or four pages and drawings done before moving on to better things like chasing girls and tennis balls (sometimes all at once).

"At any rate" (to sort-of-again quote Brian from the same period), the book's author, Robert E. Kaufman, has a fun page* about the history of the book, including plagiarized versions in other languages (like German) and other languages (like Pascal). Oh, the memories...



*Did you look at the same link twice?  Sorry.  I just had to make sure it got looked at least once.  Again, sorry.  In amends, I will send you a copy of the Archer Pelican Coloring Book.  Just as soon as it's complete.

10:43 PM in Weblogs | Permalink


I think I know Brian Rice! Or at least *a* Brian Rice. Wonder if it's the same one??

Posted by: lastewie | Jun 12, 2006 11:44:57 PM

Erma Bombeck co-authored - I never knew! I bet if you had Erma Bombeck helping out, the DCL (RIP) coloring book would be a snap.

Posted by: marianne | Jun 13, 2006 7:08:36 AM

Jenny -- I wonder, too, if it's the same one. But there are many Brian Rices, it seems. Is yours ~39, from Shelby NC?

Marianne -- did you speak DCL?! Also, you've made me try to remember the comic movie that has opening credits with the names of many well-regarded actors (Russell Crowe, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, etc. etc.) then continues, "...are not in this movie."

Posted by: Phil | Jun 13, 2006 9:16:33 AM

It would be fitting to have Erma Bombeck help out with the DCL coloring book, since she herself is R'ing in P.

Posted by: Jerry | Jun 13, 2006 1:37:18 PM

What a nice piece of furniture! All that quartersawn oak would cost a fortune these days. I bet it's heavy as sin....

Posted by: Joseph H. Vilas | Jun 14, 2006 7:40:22 AM

Joe -- believe it or not, it wasn't very heavy. I was too busy lifting to pay much attention to whether the oak was veneer or solid. But the more I think of it, it had to be veneer or it would have weighed a lot more. Or, by chance, was it some lighter wood like maple?

Marianne -- R'ing in P? Huhn?!

Posted by: Phil | Jun 14, 2006 11:04:59 PM