When time stood still

July 11, 2008

I believe it was Spring of 1978.

We used to submit programs via keypunched cards, and anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours later, you would retrieve your printouts. (Keep in mind we were all sharing the same CDC mainframe computer). I don’t recall who was doing it (maybe Physics), but someone was running some massive research data analysis and the turnaround time for programs escalated in some cases to 24 hours or more. I recall several outcomes from this:

  1. There were a lot of very cranky CPS students trying to get their projects done,
  2. We made a lot of new friends as we all had one very common point of misery to share, and
  3. We all got very good at “desk-checking” our programs before we submitted them!

— Kevin Ohl, 1978 & 1981 MSU alumnus



July 8, 2008

Trivia Question

The Digital Equipment Corporation VAX mainframe debuted in 1986. What was the Vax’s name?


Cyber 750 word length

June 24, 2008

June 24 Trivia Question

Multiple choice: What was the architectural word length on the Cyber 750?
a. 8 bits
b. 16 bits
c. 32 bits
d. 64 bits
e. None of the above


General computer science trivia

June 22, 2008

June 22 Trivia Question

Who is credited with inventing the term “bug”?


June 19, 2008

June 19 Trivia Question

Who are the two people in the photo below?  What are they doing?

Testing MISTIC


Celebration activities

June 19, 2008

How will we celebrate 40 years as a department? A tentative schedule is posted on the 40th anniversary Web site.

We are planning a keynote address, a panel discussion, and a history slide show for starters. You’ll have the chance to tour our labs and learn about our wonderful student groups.

The College of Engineering Homecoming Tailgate will be held on Saturday and it is always a good time. At the tailgate, you can enjoy fellowship, feast on a pre-game banquet, view student project displays, and meet the Dean of the College of Engineering. Please visit the CSE photo gallery to see pictures of previous tailgates.

We are still taking suggestions, though, so if you have any thoughts on the celebration, please let us know. Also, please add your stories to our online history archive. One thing that we feel is unique about our celebration is that everyone has the opportunity to participate. This is your history!

Whether you were here in 1968 or you are reading this down the hall in one of the 3rd floor labs, you are invited to share your own stories, photos, and insights into this place we have all called home.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Graduate program in computer science

June 17, 2008

June 17 Trivia Question

In what year did Michigan State University first offer graduate level courses in computer science?