I called my dad on Father’s Day and was rewarded with a few stories. Apparently he spent a summer working in Toronto in the 1960s (while studying math at University of British Columbia). His job was with Univac, programming the sort of computers that ran on punch-cards, tape drives, solid state memory, and walk-in CPU rooms. His supervisor was one of few women in computer programming.
The company’s computers ran Toronto traffic lights and Ontario drivers’ licenses. And now I get contracts with the City of Toronto and the Ministry of Transportation. I even helped to modernize the drivers’ licence system, which (for all I know) might still be running the Fortran code from the 1960s.
Computer consulting is not the only skill I learned from my family. My mother is a public speaker and municipal board-member. My aunt has spent decades in government information management; she is an archivist at Library and Archives Canada. This may be why I take a long-term perspective on enterprise information technology.
My art has also been influenced by my dad; this collage is made from one of his old electronics magazines.