Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tech sassy

I've spent most of my life bending computers to my will1, and for the most part, they do as I wish. But every once in a while, the tech gets as sassy as my teens.

When I had the little issue tracking down the *beep* the other night, I posted about it on Facebook, admitedly an open invitation to my brothers to give me grief. My brother The Wookiee responded by posting... <beep>

When I posted about the hunt for the blasted beeping device, I tried to use The Wookiee's style for the <beep>, but the Blogger editor read it as a tag, and since it didn't recognize it, just ignored it. Completely. As if it never existed. I previewed the post to find that all my <beep>s had been beeped out.

Fine, I thought. I can force you to use the angle brackets, I'll just use the codes (lt and gt if you must know) < and >. No go. Really? At which point I gave up and used *beep* instead.3

I went to post, checked the HTML code one more time to find that Blogger, while refusing to do anything with my <beep>, still thought it should be closed up, so for every <beep> in my text, Blogger had added a </beep> at the end of the post:


I think I liked it better when my tech was less sassy.

1. I wrote my first computer program in 1970, for the Sigma 7 computer housed at UC Irvine2, and uploaded it via paper tape.

2. That particular computer is famous for being the computer upon which the first Star Trek game was written.
3. You may be wondering just how I got Blogger to cooperate and do as I said. The key was handcoding the post in HTML and using the ASCII codes, #60 and #62 instead of the mnemonics lt and gt.


  1. if i can't make my computer do what i want it to, i give it to my husband. he talks like your entry just read. in fact, i emailed him this entry b/c 1-maybe he can explain it to me ;) and 2-i have a feeling he's going to be excited by the work you did in 1970. he's a software eng/performance tester - he'll appreciate it much more than i can.

    1. Live in IT help is great. I have to call my brother when I get stuck!!

  2. ps....the scary thing is the other moms at school think i'm the tech savvy one, b/c i can make flyers and stuff on word and files on excel.

    1. Sarah you are the best :)

  3. You can still play the original Star Trek game:

  4. Anonymous5:50 AM

    thanks for sharing.