college study

Chris Zach cz at
Tue Oct 13 22:15:42 CDT 2020

> I got my degree four years before my retirement.

Fun stuff and memories. When I was at UMBC in 1986 I was kicked off the 
Vax 8600's for writing funny scripts that would run in the batch queues 
and resubmit between the systems when they completed. Net result was 
seriously elevated rights, baffled sysadmins, and a hilarious crash when 
they were killed improperly. Things happen. Off to Essex Community 
College and their IBM mainframe for me!!!

Left college completely a year or so later because I kind of needed to 
eat, but fortunately I was also worked on the Vax 785 which was 
connected to this ArpaNet thing. The 8600's were on Bitnet. That 
knowledge got me 25 or so years of amazing work, friends, family, kids, 
and community.

Finally I figured I would go back and finish an AS at Essex Community 
College (since I could claim that tuition tax credit too). They still 
had my old credits and 2 years of part time got me a degree in CS.

Then I found you could transfer into U of M. And they had totally 
forgotten about the Vax thing (a funny story that I'll tell in person). 
So I spent 2 years doing that and finished my degree at 48. Not because 
I needed it, but because why not....

I guess you could say I gave up trying for it a long time ago, but I 
never quite gave up hope. It can be done.


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