As a teenager I had a job delivering potatoes to fish and chip shops across the staffordshire plains. The boss had a book called a ready-reckoner to help calculate the bills.
I remember the books of sin/cos/tan tables, normal distribution figures etc. I also remember that they would contain small rounding errors on specific values as a means of checking whether or not a rival publisher had violated the copyright.
My first IT job had me loading 1/4 inch tapes for backup purposes. You had to master a strange TiChi maneuver to get the ultimate efficient loading technique!
Then there was the short straw of having to crawl through the roof space with a crimping tool to wire up a 25 pin plug to connect the mini-computer to dumb terminals. A job made harder by the fact that the boss used to bribe us with whiskey!
Happier times, and as Phil Factor once described, a time when having an interesting personality disorder was a pre-requisite for a career in IT.
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