Posts tagged ‘computer history’

1972 Computer Merit Badge Requirements

The Scout Handbook in use when I joined was the eighth edition from 1972. I think this is the infamous “rat bite” book from the seventies. Not much was good in the seventies. I shared the requirements for the Computer Merit Badge with a excellent software engineer who holds a MS in Computer Science, and who also happens to be my wife. “That’s a lot for 1972!”, she said. She was impressed.

Here what a Scout had to do:

1. Do the following:

(a) Give a short history of computers. Describe the major parts of a computer system. Give four different uses of computers.

(b) Describe the differences between analog and digital computers. Tell the use of each.

(c) Explain some differences between special- and general-purpose machines.

2. Do the following:

(a) Tell what a program is, and how it is developed.

(b) Explain the difference between an assembler and a compiler. Tell where each might be used. Describe a source and an object program.

(c) Use a flowchart diagram to show the steps needed to set up a camp.

3. Do ONE of the following:

(a) Prepare flowcharts to find out the average attendance and dues paid at the last five troop meetings.

(b) Prepare flowcharts to work out a simple arithmetic problem. Explain to your counselor how this program could be stored in a computer. Tell how it could be used again.

4. Do the following:

(a) Name four input/output devices for computers. Explain the use of two of them in a system.

(b) Explain the Hollerith code. Show how your name and address would be punched on a card.

5. Tell the meaning of six of the following:
a. memory
b. bits
c. on-line
d. bytes
e. microsecond
f. address
g. channel
h. interrupt
i. register
j. console
k. central processing unit

6. Tell the meaning and use of 12 of the following:

a. business data processing
b. information retrieval
c. simulation
d. scientific processing
e. floating point
f. truncation
g. fixed point
h. accuracy
i. input
j. record
k. output
l. file
m. software
n. instruction
o. hardware
p. indexing
q. loop
r. subroutine
s. real time
t. time sharing
u. cybernetics

7. Visit a computer installation. Study how it works.

8. Explain what each of the following does:

a. design engineer, customer engineer, programmer, analyst, operator, salesman
b. Read two pieces of information about computers. Describe what you read.
c. Describe jobs in the computer field.

Could you earn this merit badge today?

Other events from 1972 include:

  • Dennis Ritchie at Bell Labs invented the C programming language
  • Intel developed their first processor, the 4004.
  • Atari releases the first commercial video game, Pong 11/29/72
  • The compact disc is invented in the United States.
  • Cray Research Inc. is founded.

The 2006 version of the Computer Merit Badge requirements can be found on the US Scouting Service Project.

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25 August 2010 at 8:22PM Leave a comment

1987 Computer Salary Survey

After graduating from college, I set out on the job hunt. One of the companies interviewing me at the time was Source EDP Personnel Services. Source EDP provided IT consulting services, and billed themselves as “the world’s largest recruiting firm devoted exclusively to the computer profession”. As part of their offering, they shared their 1987 Computer Salary Survey and Career Planning Guide. After I got the another offer, I stuck the salary survey in a file, where it stayed until last week.

The first graphic image in the publication is of a stack of greenbar paper with large dollar signs in ASCII art.  But, even though the data is old, it can still offer a useful comparison to today’s technology salaries. We’ve come  a long way!

Here’s the meat of the survey for non-management positions:

I. Non-Management Annual Compensation ($000)
(salary according to length of time in the
profession)
15th Percentile Median 85th Percentile
Commercial Programmers & Programmer/Analysts
1 year – 2 years 18.5 22.5 26.5
2 years – 5 years 23.5 27.8 32.0
Over 5 years 28.0 33.0 39.0
Engineering/Scientific Programmers &
Programmer/Analysts
1 year – 2 years 19.6 25.0 28.5
2 years – 5 years 25.5 30.0 35.0
Over 5 years 31.0 38.0 46.0
Personal Computer/Microprocessor Programmers &
Analysts
1 year – 2 years 18.0 22.0 27.0
2 years – 5 years 22.0 28.0 33.0
Over 5 years 28.4 35.0 42.0
Systems (Software) Programmers
1 year – 2 years 23.4 27.2 31.0
2 years – 5 years 27.7 33.0 37.5
5 years – 7 years 32.0 38.0 45.0
Over 7 years 36.0 42.0 50.0
Software Engineers
1 year – 2 years 22.0 27.0 30.1
2 years – 5 years 27.5 32. 37.0
5 years – 7 years 31.5 38.0 44.0
Over 7 years 37.2 44.5 53.1
Data Base Analysts/Data Management Specialists
1 year – 2 years 22.0 26.0 31.5
2 years – 5 years 26.0 35.0 42.0
5 years – 7 years 34.0 40.0 48.2
Over 7 years 37.2 44.5 53.1
Communications Analysts/Technical
Specialists
1 year – 2 years 22.0 26.0 30.0
2 years – 5 years 28.9 37.0 47.0
Over 5 years 33.6 43.0 51.2
Information Center/Office Automation/Decision Support
Specialists
1 year – 2 years 18.5 24.1 27.1
2 years – 5 years 23.5 30.0 36.0
Over
5 years
29.5 37.5 45.0
EDP Auditors
1 year – 2 years 22.0 25.0 29.0
2 years – 5 years 26.5 31.0 37.3
5 years – 7 years 30.7 36.0 46.2
Over 7 years 35.0 42.0 51.0
Technical Writers & Editors
1 year – 2 years 17.5 1100 27.5
2 years – 5 years 23.0 28.0 33.0
5 years – 7 years 26.0 31.0 38.0
Over 7 years 27.0 34.0 41.0
Senior Analysts, Project Leaders & Consultants
2 years – 5 years 27.0 33.0 39.6
5 years – 7 years 32.5 37.7 44.5
Over 7 years 36.0 42.0 50.0
Computer Operators
1 year – 2 years 14.0 18.0 20.0
2 years – 5 years 17.0 21.0 25.0
Over 5 years 20.0 25.6 31.5

Source EDP was purchased by Romac International, and later became Kforce Technology Staffing. Kforce still offers a salary survey and career guide. Download the latest version in PDF format from here.
http://www.kforce.com/files/documents/2008_Tech_Job_Seeker_SS.pdf

3 May 2009 at 11:18PM Leave a comment


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