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HOME >> Product 0645 >> Who Me?>>

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Who Me?

R. Richard

Poor boy Jed Roll graduates from college at 20 years old. He had to graduate in less time than usual, before his money ran out. Jed has no social life, he has to study nonstop before his money runs out. Jed’s classes are worthless, except math or computer classes. Once he graduates, only math and computer classes can make him a living. Poor but dishonest Jed using his computer skills then begins to prosper.






11530 Words





Cover Art:

T.L. Davison


W. Richard St. James


R. Richard

ISBN Number:


Available Formats:

Palm (PDB); Nook, Iphone, Ipad, Android (EPUB); Older Kindle (MOBI); Newer Kindle (AZW3);




I, Jed Roll, graduated from high school at 17 years old. I graduated from college at 20 years old. I had to graduate in less time than usual, as my money was running out.

What about my social interaction in school? What social interaction is it that you are babbling about? I had to study very hard in each of high school and college. While I was studying very hard, I also had to work some low paid work assignments to earn enough to buy just what I needed to survive. I washed my clothes in a rent a machine place. I cooked my food in big portions, that had to last me a few days. I ate the same meal for breakfast, lunch and supper. A major financial crisis was when I wore out my cheap sneakers and had to buy a new pair. A big night for me was when I got eight hours sleep.

Some day I will look back on my time in the halls of academe and write a story, based on my experiences. The title of my book will be ‘The Morning of The Living Dead’.

It wasn’t bad enough that I had to exist on not enough sleep, I also had to fight to get classes that might just prepare me to earn a living. My math classes taught me to think. My English classes taught me to hate. I could never see how a theme about my summer vacation would ever earn me money. I could never see how memorizing the date of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was going to be of any use to me. I felt that the Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock was written by a mentally ill person.

I did manage to take a couple of computer programming classes. In those classes I found that a language was defined by a grammar. If what was written obeyed the rules of the language grammar, then the text was valid. Otherwise, the text was invalid.

I got good at programming computers and even made some money at temp programming jobs. However, no college degree, no permanent job.

I finally graduated from college.

I interviewed at several places, places that had ads in the Sunday job listings. I took samples of my computer programming work to my interviews. I was able to answer questions about computer programming. No one wanted to know about my school English, German, history, philosophy or other liberal arts classes. My computer programming or math classes were of interest to the recruiters.

I got several interviews. Most of the interviews were interested in me, but wanted a few weeks to think things over. I needed a pay check, now.

I then got an offer from a company that wanted me to work at White Sands Missile Range, for coolie wages, because the local cost of living was so low. I told them that I didn’t want to work in the desert and their pay offer was an insult.

I finally got an offer from The Lozenge Corporation. The Lozenge Corporation offer was for an in-town job, at the low end of computer programmer wages, but I would have a pay check to support me. I accepted The Lozenge Corporation offer and reported for work.

My first day at The Lozenge Corporation was involved with signing in and getting interviewed for a government security clearance. While I waited for my government security clearance, the company wanted me to work at an assignment just above swabbing out the toilets.

I asked the idiot who signed me in, if there was any non-government security clearance computer programming work that I could do.

Idiot boy smirked at me and said, “Not unless you have experience writing device drivers.”

My experience writing device drivers was clearly listed in my resume, but maybe idiot boy couldn’t read. I tell idiot boy, “I have experience writing device drivers, for pay.”

(There are teenagers who have lots of computer experience, but no for pay experience.)

I was escorted to a computer lab. I was furnished a programmer’s manual, for the computer that I’m to write a device driver for. I also got an operating system manual for the operating system that the computer runs under.

(Neither of the manuals has much useful information as to how to write a device driver. The lack of information is not surprising. At least most of the people writing such manuals have no experience actually programming the computers that they are writing about and no experience at all with an operating system program. Why do they hire such people to write computer manuals? Well, the writers shined at school poetry and they work cheap.)

The Teletype® dates from around 1930 and was used in many, many applications. So, when console devices were needed for computers, the new console devices were Teletypes®, as far as a computer programmer was concerned.

The original console devices handled only the first 128 ASCII codes. Nowadays, they handle the full range of 256 ASCII codes and also can output in color, to a console display.

Modern console devices are controlled by a command word. I program my device driver code to input all the printable ASCII codes and to output all 256 ASCII codes. The console device that I use also allows output to the console screen, in a limited palette of colors.

I have done device drivers before and I build in some checking. My device driver will not, for instance, allow black characters to print on a black background.

As I finish up my first device driver, I get visited by the Chief Scientist. At request, I do a demo for the Chief Scientist.

The Chief Scientist is impressed by the driver features that I have built in. He says, “No text and background in identical colors, that’s good.”

I say, “Support for junior programmers only, of course experienced guys, like us would never make that mistake.” The Chief Scientist and I then share a laugh.

The Chief Scientist then says, “You obviously have some experience.”

I say, “Of course, temp work only, prior to college graduation.”

The Chief Scientist then says, “Talk to me, after you get your government security clearance.”

I say, “Will do!”




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