working through the night to get work done
in 1970 and 1971, geology student aubrey paverd used the pdp-10 to do calculations for his phd thesis.
“just what you can do on a simple excel spreadsheet now in half an hour would probably have taken us four or five hours, or maybe even longer,” he says. but this didn’t deter avid students like aubrey. “we used to work between midnight and dawn, because that was when the computer was available to us. and so that was probably the most difficult thing of the entire thesis – trying to get computer time.”
today, computers are everywhere, and they have made our lives so much easier. but the same goes for an apparently tricky to use 1970s mainframe like the pdp-10. these computers helped people to work on their research and finish their theses for a career in science, industry and education, such as for aubrey paverd who started a career in africa and the united states before coming back to australia in the 1990s.