Skip to Main Content
The decade between 1955 and 1965 brought a revolution to academic computing, both technologically and socially. As core memory replaced electrostatic memory while transistors replaced vacuum tubes, computers advanced from flakey and difficult-to-maintain devices to reliable appliances. At the same time (and partially as a consequence), the academic use of computing expanded rapidly, computing centers became increasingly essential facilities on every campus, and computer science began to gain acceptance as a legitimate academic discipline. This Anecdote recounts the author's experience during this dramatic shift in academic computing at Stanford University during the period between 1960 and 1963. It also records a chapter in the early development of compiler design and programming technology.