When I moved to work in Harrogate there was an Olivetti magnetic card reading computer. There were 3 or 4 design programmes that we used written by Olivetti. I found that they were a bit limited.
Up to that point the only computer that I had seen was one of those big things with valves etc. From I think the 50’s. It was not longer used just left unused in the basement where we played table football at lunch time.
The Olivetti seemed a bit easy to programme so muggings here had a go after working hours.
So I wrote some programmes for myself that speeded up part of my work. Then others were able to use them. Other departments then came to me to write programmes for them.
As most were just adaptions of what I had already written “no problem”. The Olivetti had its limits however so no further improvement in programming skills required by me.
However this and the death of a chap in a car crash had me “ promoted into another department which involved a lot of writing up tender and other documents ALL BY HAND..
Then the secretary was given a word processor to use. For few months we continued to work as before by hand.
I had found all this writing part of my job a bore (lazy). So I talked with my wife Ann who used one where she worked.
End result I managed to shorten the writing process by 75% using “adaptable standard” forms.
Then the. Company bought an up to date Olivetti computer to help us, with me helping their programmers to write the programmes for it.
This computer could run a forerunner of Excel, Lotus 123. It ended up that I was the only one that could write programmes for it ( spreadsheets) in the company.
This is the point of missed opportunity for me. I had the chance of switching to computer programming but I didn’t take it.
Why ? Loved my job which had extended into the cut and thrust of contract claims.
Not wishing to move due to,children at school.
Also I felt that I was a few years too late. Missed the bus.
The crunch thing I think was that I would have had to give up my sport of Scuba Diving which had be come my passion.
Was it a missed opportunity? I think not with hindsight, just wonder “What If”.
On some other things, I wonder “What If” ?
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