Pascal Saves!

The pascal in the title refers to the programming language, and not the man himself! David Intersimone is looking for stories regarding people being introduced to Pascal programming language. He has published such a story from a person whose life was literally saved due to Pascal.

My introduction and later love affair with Turbo Pascal v1.0
is slightly different than that of everyone else that has submitted a
story thus far. At the time, I was an 18 year old high school dropout
that had recently been incarcerated in the Lebanon Correctional
Institute outside of Cincinnati, OH. The one saving grace of this
facility was that the Quaker originated Wilmington College had a branch located within the walls of the prison.

Facing the possibility of a long sentence, I made probably the best decision of my life to that point. That decision was to get my GED and quickly get enrolled in college. It only took a few days of incarceration to realize that something in my life needed to change and getting an education seemed to be the best way to do it. In addition to
the Burroughs B1990 system, there was a lab of several Apple II computers that were capable of running Turbo Pascal. After taking the prerequisite courses, my introduction to computer programming was Turbo Pascal.

It didn’t take long for me to figure out that i has some skill in programming and that this was probably the first thing in my life that I "got" and excelled at. It was shortly after this that I was given a staff position within the fledgling computer lab and spent, literally, 15 hours a day either attending class, writing code or reading about writing code. Albeit it a bit behind the rest of the world, we made the migration to an IBM PC and began using the newer versions of Turbo Pascal as they were released.

Its heart warming to see technology helping people succeed in life. Read the article in its entirety here. Must read!

Edit: Pascal was the first language I learned in college. I was not able to get the grips. Finally I made a lot of progress after making a "Love Calculator" which captured names and based on string ASCII calculations gave out a dynamic result. In reality, it was a decoy and it saved all the names into a file. Instant access to people's crushes!


2 comments:

They say computers or rather programming are something you either hate or love, this was a heart warming story :)
It's a nice thought that all of us are good at something, once we find what it is, we can be successful. I hope it is true.

November 18, 2008 at 7:18 PM  

@indian home maker: Absolutely. We have to find that thing we love in life to enjoy our life. Else we just exist, don't live.

November 18, 2008 at 7:28 PM  

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