Stopped working but not thinking!!

  • S Hodkinson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7529

    As I asked for this forum, I thought I'd better start a topic off!

    Having reached the age where I can retire (in England), having completed many years pensionable service, I decided to quite the rat race and spend more time at home. However I have not stopped thinking and am not yet ready for the twilight home.

    I am thinking of going back to university and completing that doctorate that I couldn't do when the children were at home. I thought of doing more research into database reverse engineering and that got me thinking...

    SQL Server Central was a lifeline when I was working. I could ask any question however stupid I was and someone would fish me out of the problem without saying 'You clown!'.

    It got me wondering if there was a pool of knowledge out there in people like me who started back in the 1970s. We have been through all the flavours of SQL Server as well as many other databases which have fallen by the wayside. There is so much knowledge and experience stuck in the back of our heads which could be of use to someone starting out particularly if a newbie runs into a legacy system. You know that there are so many out there!

    So although this forum is for 'retired' members, I thought it might be used to ask the 'old hands' questions on legacy systems as well as a meeting place for those of us not ready for slippers and a nice cup of tea.

    Is there anyone else who thinks like me?

    Madame Artois

    Madame Artois

  • GSquared

    SSC Guru

    Points: 260824

    Still being a bit more than 20 years away from usual retirement age, I can't speak for that aspect of this.

    However, one of the biggest killers of retirees is loss of purpose and drive. So, having a way to help others deal with problems your greater experience gives you insight into, is a great thing, not just for those who benefit from your advice, but also for the retiree directly.

    Thus, great idea.

    Interestingly, I ran into someone with a problem they absolutely couldn't solve, that was easy for me to solve, because they'd never edited a .bat file before, didn't even know what they were. I grew up on DOS, so it was simplicity itself for me to show them what to do and how.

    Experience with legacy systems can also translate directly to "experience with the hidden parts that they don't teach you any more of current systems".

    - Gus "GSquared", RSVP, OODA, MAP, NMVP, FAQ, SAT, SQL, DNA, RNA, UOI, IOU, AM, PM, AD, BC, BCE, USA, UN, CF, ROFL, LOL, ETC
    Property of The Thread

    "Nobody knows the age of the human race, but everyone agrees it's old enough to know better." - Anon

  • S Hodkinson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7529

    When you said about the 'bits of systems that they don't teach you any more', you are definitely on the same wavelength as me.

    When I talked about linked lists, I remember the young programmer looking at me as though I was talking Chinese. When I talked about multi-dimensional arrays, he was convinced I was talking Chinese. When I talked about buckets, he decided I was talking gibberish............but I still had to sort his mess out.

    Sometimes I think colleges teach about the latest xml,asp etc without any reference to the underpining stuff like computer structures. Referential integrity, anyone?

    Madame Artois

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104748

    I'm maybe retired, maybe not. I'm not prepared to work more than 16 weeks per year, which makes me at leat semi-retired, and that firm rule (plus restrictions on time of year) may mean I don't work much at all. I only want to work because it's fun anyway, so it's a real no-brainer to drop possible jobs which would clearly not be fun (so I've dropped the only two possibilities that came my way this year).

    If I stop learning new things I'll die of some recondite mental calamity like cerebral atrophy, so there's no way I'm retiring from learning new tricks with computers and databases.

    SQLServerCentral helps keep my brain ticking. So I join in a lot of it. I guess this is a forum I should be in.

    Tom

  • S Hodkinson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7529

    Welcome Tom.

    That makes three of us. So long as we are not the 3 Stooges we should be fine.

    Madame Artois

  • S Hodkinson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7529

    Sorry GSquared....I didn't mean that you were retired (not interfering that you are as old as me) just part of the community

    Madame Artois

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104748

    It's been very quiet around here for the last 18 months.

    Tom

  • S Hodkinson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7529

    Well it may have been quiet for some but not me! Leaving aside various family stuff, my previous employers have called me back in about 4 times as well as phone calls and emails....so much for 'We don't need the old dinosaur'!!

    And I still read SQL Server Central

    Madame Artois

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104748

    S Hodkinson (5/28/2013)


    Well it may have been quiet for some but not me! Leaving aside various family stuff, my previous employers have called me back in about 4 times as well as phone calls and emails....so much for 'We don't need the old dinosaur'!!

    And I still read SQL Server Central

    Ah, by around here I meant in this topic in this forum. I've been up to my neck in all sorts family stuff and learning Spanish and mentoring and teaching (a little in person, most by internet) and so on. Don't seem to have much free time at all.

    Tom

  • S Hodkinson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7529

    Perhaps we should ask them to change the title? 'Retired' always reminds me of elasticated waists, comfortable shoes and matching anoraks. Not to mention 'going for a good walk in the country', too many details of medical appointments and moaning about the weather (though I might have a point there!).

    What else could we call it? 'T Rex Preservation Society' or 'Diplodocus R Us'?

    Or 'Facts you thought you never needed to know but actually are useful'

    Madame Artois

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104748

    S Hodkinson (5/29/2013)


    Or 'Facts you thought you never needed to know but actually are useful'

    Or maybe "Facts that were never useful but you actually needed to know"? (I've been dealing with too many bureaucrats lately).

    Tom

  • S Hodkinson

    SSCertifiable

    Points: 7529

    Gosh I didn't think this was still going but hey ho... Funnily enough I have just been to a friend's workplace to sort out another dinosaur....

    I think we must be in the wrong location. Should we ask to be moved??

    Madame Artois

  • DeWayne_McCallie

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3435

    I'm not retired (yet); but, I was a master at loading DOS device drivers (I started on DOS v3) in high memory (CD Device drivers etc...) to free up conventional memory for programs (anyone remember the DOS 640k limit?) When Windows 3.1 came out it was way cool as it ran on top of DOS.

    I remember the first IBM PC AT my company bought and it had a mouse (Scotty on the Enterprise - computer computer?) with two 5.25" floppy drives then we swapped one of the floppies for a 30 MB hard drive. One of the accountants had a TRS 80 (called a TRASH 80) with Lotus 123 and he wrote and crunched some financials with it.

    I also could tell what was happening by listening to modems connecting with each other as I had to frequently edit the modem init strings for my company (300, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 14.4, 28.8 or 56K) as all we had back then were BB's. Heck we ran our remote plants on AT&T 4,800 baud comm lines (I was a Mainframe Systems Programmer on an IBM 370/168 then we upgraded to an IBM 4341, then an IBM 4381 Mainframe) and when we switched from modems to CSU/DSU's we thought we were $HI%%ING in high cotton!

    Also, I ran DOS/VS under VM/SP on the mainframe(s) then upgraded to VM/XA, then finally VSE/ESA (Virtual Storage Extended/Enterprise Systems Architecture) under VM/ESA that allowed virtual machines on the mainframe in software (VMware is really nothing new) and finally we had VMs in hardware (LPARS) on an IBM 390/520.

    I almost forgot this is a Database forum: Databases we had IBM's DL/1 (which became todays DB2) but you accessed DL/1 within COBOL programs running under CICS (Customer Information and Control System) and used VTAM (Virtual Terminal Access Method) for the networking to your 3270 green screens and NCP (Network Control Program) for remote terminals/sites.

    I still have an IBM 3340 disk pack somewhere that I wanted to keep for the future. Maybe it's time to dig it out...

    http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/storage/storage_3340.html

  • TomThomson

    SSC Guru

    Points: 104748

    DeWayne_McCallie (1/27/2016)


    I'm not retired (yet); but, I was a master at loading DOS device drivers (I started on DOS v3) in high memory (CD Device drivers etc...) to free up conventional memory for programs ....

    DOS v3? That was mid 80s, wasn't it? And if the CD driver was for data CDs as opposed to audio that must have been later than 1988. I guess you have a decade or two to go before retiring, unless you plan to retire a lot younger than most people do.

    Tom

  • DeWayne_McCallie

    Hall of Fame

    Points: 3435

    Correct early 80's and I have about 9-10 more years to go.

    My first experience with SQL/Server I started out on SQL 4.2 (1993 or 1994) with one Help Desk package (Magic as a consultant was responsible for it and we soon upgraded to v6.0). The company sent me to SQL Admin class and the rest is history. It was a hard decision to move from MF Systems Programmer to DBA; however, I am glad I made the switch as SQL/Server is everywhere now and not as many have Main Frames (this was VSE not MVS). Now instead of one big server running everything you have big servers running multiple virtual machines; so, this has come full circle.

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