When you finally got your hands on a computer in the 1950s, what did you do with it?
That’s Kevin Kelly to Fred Brooks. Brooks responds:
In our first year of graduate school, a friend and I wrote a program to compose tunes. The only large sample of tunes we had access to was hymns, so we started generating common-meter hymns. They were good enough that we could have palmed them off to any choir.
Simple and obvious perhaps, but I like this question. I immediately thought of what I did when I got my hands on a computer for the first time. Probably 1985 or 1986, and it was just about the size of my current bedroom. I liked to do one thing: type, with one finger, my name, and the name of my town, S-C-R-A-N-T-O-N, and the command for print. Then I listened as the printer followed my command in tiny, perfect characters.