The story of television – The Final Chapter — 11 Comments

  1. You can't leave out some of the best bits!

    (Are any of the Relays/Cablelink people still left with Eircom/Eir? It would seem a horrible fate, how many owners has that benighted company had?)

    • I don't really know.  No familiar faces appeared on campus and I heard somewhere that some had left altogether and others had stayed under the new regime.  Eircom then sold it again to NTL who were then in turn taken over by Virgin Media.  I was so damned lucky to get away from that mess.

  2. I taught at a tech college in the 1990's and was always surprised we used COBOL – it was always about to be superceded – the kids wanted VB or Java – then came Y2K, and now in 2020 COBOL still doesn't know when to lie down.

    • I had never heard of COBOL before the interview.  As far as I was concerned there was only one language – Sinclair BASIC.  God only knows why COBOL survived.  It's a nightmare to write.  Y2K was a laugh too as most of our programmes had defined Year as a two-digit number which of course had to be changed to four.  Fun times.

  3. It all takes me back years:- I cut my teeth with self-taught Basic on a Commodore PET, then went on a training course for COBOL, RPGII, 360 Assembler (and more) subsequently becoming a fully-fledged programmer at the end of the '70s. Joined a multi-national US computer manufacturer (not IBM) in sales support, working closely with the engineers so became a fairly competent fitter back in the days of wood-burning, steam-powered computers. Happy days of yore!

    • Hah!  A similar course through life.  Basic and Z80 assembler – self taught, then COBOL [for ICL].  Later on delved into HTML, then CSS and of course PHP.

  4. You made Television interesting.

    Look on computers as a challenge.

    I was a hardware engineer and I thought that all the men, they were always men, taking up the top IT jobs were bullshitters. But The Management knew nothing and probably being impressed by the quality of the bullshit gave them the jobs. 

    They only had to last a wee while before moving with enhanced CV  before the bullshit hit the fan.

    I always felt sorry for the poor, real guys, just out of training, college, uni whatever working for these twats.

    On one occasion a young man accepted a job, turned up on Monday morning and disappeared at lunchtime. Said he could not work for a cunt. He was much admired and even envied.

    • You didn't work in RTE?  It sounds like you did.  RTE was like most places: divided in two – Management, and those who actually knew how to do things.  I don't think it's changed much either 

  5. I decided to leave my comment on all 3 chapters here. Seemed logical.

    I had to chuckle that you started out early as "sound engineer" of sorts. I was involved in that starting when I was 16 years old back in the mid to late '70s (I loved it). I was already involved with the local theater, specializing in musicals no less, which required the presence of a sound engineer. This happened to be the director himself who took me under his wing so to speak and gave me a decent education and introduction to the art of running a sound board, which mics to choose, where to place them, etc and so-on. Much much later I had my own side business called Poor Boys Sound. Kind of a mobile sound studio. Of course that all went south when I lost me hearing. Ah well, fortune is.

    The only programming I ever delved into on my own was Apple basic (needed for my aforesaid side business due to the office PC being an Apple II-E) and plain old Basic when I became involved PCs. My full time job involved more than a few main frame type but only on the care and maintenance thereof, not programming. Good thing too. I never really had the head for coding. Troubleshooting code, yes. Not code from scratch.

    I wonder now and then what having a "job-for-life living in the same place for life" would have been like rather than the highly varied life I've had. Probably get bored knowing me.

    Excellent 4 chapters, sir.


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