how is it that no matter what I set out to research I always end up reading about punched cards for hours and hours

also I don't OFTEN get nerd-angry about people being incorrect about things on the internet but this person saying that "ASCII... was the first character encoding scheme developed" just really... really. really

@dredmorbius @aparrish

thats what I get here, I had to use to find original, but I am amazed anyone would believe and worse perpetuate such a falsehood in 21st (or even 20th!) century

The author is fairly young, British and has worked with the BBC. Which is a really sad indictment on the UK's current computer science education standards (and tech knowledge transfer within Auntie, which used to be one of the worlds best organisations for this..)

@vfrmedia @dredmorbius not necessarily an indictment of anyone's education, just like... when you make an assertion like that maybe check to see if it's true first?

@aparrish @dredmorbius

maybe its due to me being slightly older and coming from a radio/broadcast engineering and telecoms background but I'm fairly certain even in high school it was mentioned that other schemes such as Morse Code and ITA2/Baudot (still used by Germany today for weather broadcasts on short wave) existed.

also the BBC has a long history in wartime espionage and counter-espionage at Caversham where Morse and Baudot were extensively used..

@aparrish @vfrmedia @dredmorbius
The two attitudes I've found most widespread in online forums for professional programmers are:
1) the history of computing is irrelevant, and
2) this vague third-hand statement I half remember reading in Time Magazine a decade ago is an eternal truth

I can't be surprised by "ASCII is the first encoding" because of how many times I've heard "C is the first programming language", "Tim Berners-Lee invented hypertext", & "Bill Gates wrote all of Windows himself".

@aparrish @vfrmedia @dredmorbius
(I've actually heard apparently-serious people who claim to have CS degrees say that Bill Gates wrote all of Windows himself using front panel switches.)

@enkiv2 @aparrish @dredmorbius

this is a wider problem in tech, maybe started around late 1990s, I remember when I got my first job in broadcast engineering I was told not to concentrate too much on "historical" systems (in spite of many still being in use!) or even learning more about analogue electronics..

Of course this company started losing skills and product quality declined, they were out of business in 3 years.

Today in UK we have a skills gap in a whole generation because of this..

@vfrmedia @aparrish @dredmorbius
It seems like it!

I'm all for reinventing the wheel, but only if you know you're reinventing it & have a display model for reference.

@aparrish !!! I mean, Fieldata, EBCDIC, Baudot... and those were just the big ones...

@aparrish I’m a second generation software developer, so I’m going to inherit tons of punched cards eventually.

@aparrish how much data can you store on a 3 by 5½ punch card anyway?

@a_breakin_glass @aparrish quite a lot, if you write on it in really tiny handwriting

(this isn't even a joke as such, when i was a kid, my father brought home some long forgotten surplus punch cards and we used them for notes, it was nice solid paper)
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