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“Do things that have never been done before” - The guy who invented the computer...
Blog Of Impossible Things ^ | Joel Runyon

Posted on 08/19/2012 8:59:05 PM PDT by djone

The old man turned back at his coffee, took a sip, and then looked back at me.... “In fact, I’ve done lots of things ....Oh really? Like what types of things?, ...All the while, half-thinking he was going to make up something fairly non-impressive....I invented the first computer.....Um, Excuse me? ..... I created the world’s first internally programmable computer.... It used to take up a space about as big as this whole room and my wife and I used to walk into it to program it.... What’s your name?”. I asked, thinking that this guy is either another crazy homeless person in Portland or legitimately who he said he was........“Russell Kirsch”

(Excerpt) Read more at joelrunyon.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Computers/Internet
KEYWORDS: computers; computing; god; innovation; programming; russellkirsch; science; technology
At some point in the conversation, I mentioned to him:

“You know Russell, that’s really impressive.”

“I guess, I’ve always believed that nothing is withheld from us what we have conceived to do. Most people think the opposite – that all things are withheld from them which they have conceived to do and they end up doing nothing.”

“Wait”, I said, pausing at his last sentence ”What was that quote again?”

“Nothing is withheld from us what we have conceived to do.”

That’s good, who said that?

God did.

What?

God said it and there were only two people who believed it, you know who?

Nope, who?

God and me, so I went out and did it.

Well then, I thought – as he finished showing me through the archives – I’m not going to argue with the guy who invented the computer. After about 20 minutes of walking me through his contributions to technology, he sat down, finished his coffee, glanced at his half-eaten pastry now-cold, checked his watch and announced: Well, I have to go now......[hat tip : instantpundit.com]

1 posted on 08/19/2012 8:59:10 PM PDT by djone
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To: djone

It's a good story about an interesting guy. There is a follow up.

2 posted on 08/19/2012 9:12:48 PM PDT by TChad
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To: djone

http://www.kera.org/tv/productions/the-chip-that-jack-built-2009/


3 posted on 08/19/2012 9:18:46 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: djone

I believe this happened and I believe Dr Kirsch has had guidance from the Lord in his work; I just don’t understand what God meant by that sentence Kirsch repeated. Is Kirsch trying to communicate that God will help us or let us carry out any idea we get? Because that hasn’t been my experience of Him. At all.

Incredibly cool and fortuitous story, though. The sequel, telling readers of the lessons he has taken from the encounter, is also valuable and full of wisdom. So glad this young man decided to be receptive to the elderly man who walked up to him in a coffee shop.


4 posted on 08/19/2012 9:24:38 PM PDT by ottbmare (The OTTB Mare)
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To: djone

Read the comments at the site... They are so derisive that, some one who is old, could have something interesting to say, and might possibly be relative to them, is so far beyond their conception....I weep for our country.......


5 posted on 08/19/2012 9:25:59 PM PDT by djone ("He's armed without who's innocent within.")
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To: djone

How cool is that?


6 posted on 08/19/2012 9:41:18 PM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: djone

I’m actually shocked that the first digital image was of his newborn son, because the truth is that as feeble as it sounds most of the inventions man has made had some thing to do with getting a better look at Womens bottoms....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKGK2fplV_w


7 posted on 08/19/2012 9:45:55 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: djone

At 58 I’m blessed to be collaborating on projects with an 88-year-old control systems engineer in Switzerland, an 82-year-old former nuclear plant designer in Florida, a 77-year-old ex-GE systems engineer in Phoenix, a 75-year-old developer of one of the original relational database systems, an 80-year-old who developed automated software to repair Y2K-challenged software back in the day, and a 76-year-old former protege of Frank Lloyd Wright. These old farts keep on doing great stuff.


8 posted on 08/19/2012 9:54:02 PM PDT by AZLiberty (No tag today.)
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To: djone
I'm flipping through them right now - and I just came across one that should be etched in gold:
Barbara Saunders says:
August 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm
Extraordinary people came out of the old education system. Extraordinary people come out of the present education system. Ordinary and mediocre people were and are the majority. I think part of the problem today as in the past is that non-conformers pay a price. Even people who claim to value creativity tend to habitually enforce conformity and extract that price. It is rare for people to brave enough to follow their own drummer – and to do so without letting bitterness and rebellion poison the well.
[Underlining added.]

She hit the nail right on the head. All too many times, valuable non-conformity is frittered away in rebelliousness and bitterness. The people who moved the world in tech weren't bitter or rebellious; they were just plain enthusiastic.

I have to confess that I had, and have, trouble on this front. Whoever Barbara Saunders is, she's very wise.

9 posted on 08/19/2012 10:01:17 PM PDT by danielmryan
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To: djone

I find it amazing that men who created these things did it with slide rule and hand drawn schematics.
When we used to cut and paste we literally had to cut a circuit from one schematic that was a failure and paste it into a new Save to save time and not redraw the entire circuit.

You literally got out an exactly blade and cut and pasted.

Then We used white out LOL

Now everybody takes cut and paste for granted

The first computer I worked on was the size of a large kitchen table, it had to be programmed in binary with paper tape and could only add subtract divide and multiply.


10 posted on 08/19/2012 10:18:22 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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http://www.ni.com/labview/

labview make it easy to cut and paste your work


11 posted on 08/19/2012 10:24:22 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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Truly, I think reducing the tyranny of numbers (Man hours) is a huge deal.

http://www.mathworks.com/products/matlab/


12 posted on 08/19/2012 10:26:55 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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Excel is an excellent tool that is very powerful and reduces man hours.
Pivot tables are very powerful


13 posted on 08/19/2012 10:30:11 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: djone

Larry T was a friend of mine. He had a wry sense of humor, a rebellious nature and he smoked way too much - which finaly got him in the end. He was one of the masterminds at the headgates at Klamath Falls - when they turned off the irrigation water to the farmers.

He would call and say he wanted to show me something and I’d climb into his car and off we would go. Ome of those times was the second time the locals physically cranked open the headgates to let the water through.

When Larry died, the local grange held a memorial celebration of his life. There were several folks there none of us knew. When it came time to introduce themselves and say a few words. They told us that the Larry they knew was an inventor and a computer developer. He was right there when Steve Jobs and others were working in their garage. In addition to developing many complex military applications, he had been the principle developer of the ATM.

Never be too quick to judge a man by his looks.


14 posted on 08/19/2012 10:44:25 PM PDT by marsh2
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For some time now, electronic man has known how ‘in principle’ to extend greatly his visual, tactile, and mental abilities through the digital transmission and processing of all kinds of information. However, all these functions suffer from what has been called ‘the tyranny of numbers.’ Such systems, because of their complex digital nature, require hundreds, thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of electron devices.

— Jack Morton, The Tyranny of Numbers


15 posted on 08/19/2012 11:06:43 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: ottbmare

I remember a college math professor telling the class that anything man can conceive he can/will achieve or some very similar words to that effect. At the the time engineering calculations were done with a slide rule and perhaps some other contrived method. Along came computers because someone wanted to get out of linearizing complex relations.today I was watching a TV program telling how a secret German WWII winged bomber was reproduced in the USA using some very intricate machining programs. I thought of the atomic bomb. These along with reflection on so many advanced methods for technology reminded me that humans can indeed produce when the mind and necessity are joined. For me I give tribute to the God of Creation that such things happen in due time.


16 posted on 08/19/2012 11:06:43 PM PDT by noinfringers2
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To: djone

Evidently, only one copy of my first computer to use, still exists.

“Surviving examples
One reason for a lack of surviving examples of early units was the use of radium on the dials. This in essence made them hazardous waste, and therefore these type were disposed of by the United States Department of Energy. Currently there is one surviving example of FADAC at the Fort Sill artillery museum.”


17 posted on 08/19/2012 11:07:30 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP goes for it's "conservative" Presidential candidates.)
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To: noinfringers2

God shows us marvels every day and blesses is when he shows is how it works.


18 posted on 08/19/2012 11:10:08 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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is when he shows is

Dang Chinese Keyboard!

19 posted on 08/19/2012 11:15:33 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: djone
I have found that there is something actually greater and stronger on this particular planet than following up God's inspiration with hard work:

Crab Mentality.

And when all is said and done, if God decides to vaporize this planet because people absolutely, utterly refuse to stop being crabs...

... then I say BRAVO, LORD!

20 posted on 08/19/2012 11:24:20 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: Talisker

Crab mentality or more commonly “King of the Hill Syndrome” is quite real.

Some times called Gunning for the Buddha


21 posted on 08/19/2012 11:32:33 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Talisker

Also, I have noted that most people are “pack animals”


22 posted on 08/19/2012 11:38:26 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: marsh2

My chemistry teacher in college was the guy who invented latex paint. Took $1 a year from the university to teach.


23 posted on 08/19/2012 11:44:46 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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One of the things I find disturbing about our current scientific world is how people get into this pack mentality about science.

Global warming is a great example.

The notion that we control climate is a bit odd to me.
The idea that we can understand and be good stewards is more to my liking.

There is so much empirical and scientific evidence that we are just a grain of sand when it comes to global warming is overwhelming.


24 posted on 08/19/2012 11:48:22 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: AZLiberty

I’m jealous....


25 posted on 08/20/2012 12:12:21 AM PDT by colinhester
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To: HANG THE EXPENSE
How cool is that?

I don't know. How cool is that?

26 posted on 08/20/2012 12:51:48 AM PDT by Isabel C.
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To: djone

I read through the comments (over 350 of them). They are almost all positive. You must be looking in a different place.


27 posted on 08/20/2012 2:31:48 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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To: Isabel C.

Very cool.


28 posted on 08/20/2012 4:39:43 AM PDT by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: mylife

“Gunning for the Buddha”

Hey, I resemble that remark.


29 posted on 08/20/2012 4:41:24 AM PDT by BuddhaBrown (Path to enlightenment: Four right turns, then go straight until you see the Light!)
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To: Slings and Arrows; Revolting cat!; JoeProBono; Lucky9teen

Want to mess with your mind? Without the man in the photo, the photo of this man wouldn’t exist. *mind blown*

30 posted on 08/20/2012 9:39:11 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Only Obama put a dog on the roof of his mouth. Dogs are friends, not food.)
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To: djone
I invented the first computer

"You didn' build that!" - Barry Obama

31 posted on 08/20/2012 9:42:49 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Only Obama put a dog on the roof of his mouth. Dogs are friends, not food.)
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