Today a professor who was teaching in the same auditorium before me asked me “do you need help to connect your computer?”
I wanted to tell him that I started to program Texas Instrument T-57 calculator in academic year 1980-81. I remember it clearly, I remember the teacher, the room, the feeling of teaching a machine to do something. I do not remember if it was 80 or 81 but in any case it is more than 35 years ago.
I wanted to tell him that I was part of the team who programmed the first Italian X400 standard email system. And that in the early 90’s we were rolling in the corridors of Politecnico a projector that had costed 17 millions Lire, while we were earning 1 million Lire per month. The projector looked like a small coffin when it was closed and like a magic light machine when it was open.
I wanted to tell him that my former students are now IT billionaires, famous computer science professors, and inventors.
Of course I did not say anything, I rather concentrated and connected my PC. He insisted and told that he could wait outside, in case I did not manage to connect the PC. He was a nice, polite man. Some years ago, I would be offended by such an offer. Now, these things just make me think. I hope he asked because I look a bit old, not because I am a female.