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The Trickle - updating memory

March 1, 2010 - Brian Ferry

Turns out, the note was good enough

In my last blog, I mentioned a too-cryptic note I left for myself that was supposed to give me some fodder for a blog. (Thanks to over-crypticism, I will now have two blogs from that one notes, so I guessed it worked better than expected.) I figured out that the -Hearing mem assoc- represented a relationship between hearing and memory. I was driving. I put a particular CD in. As one of the songs came on, I was instantly transported (figuratively, of course, I don't want my car continuing on without me) to Sparks Building's computer lab. I spent a goodly number of hours in my late teens and early 20s in that building. Some of the time was spent on coursework. I recall working on FORTRAN-77, despite the publication of FORTRAN-90. Those assignments were probably less wasteful uses of my time than the endeavors on which I spent most of my time in Penn State computer labs. The song gave me a solid memory of sitting in front of a terminal near the back of the L-shaped lab (the L was rotated 90 degrees clockwise as I looked at it). The terminal was a one-piece device, keyboard and monitor stuck together. The screen was black. There were no fun pictures or colors, just green characters (something makes me think the color could be changed to an amber). I spent more time in Sparks Lab than I did in Pattee Library in an era when most research was still done in person at a place with books and periodicals, rather than online. I wasn't an exclusive Sparks user. I'd go to Willard or Waring or wherever I had to if Sparks were full. In my later college years, I haunted Waring more than any other lab. Apparently I either listened to the same music or didn't listen to music at all there, because I've never had a time-warp back to Waring based on the music in my car. Now if only I had listened to Boston when I was thinking about something important. Maybe I'd remember that.


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