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Virtual Saddle 2.0

Cowboys and Computers: Life on a Modern Ranch


Submitter: Interesting to note that in this 64-page book called “Cowboys and Computers”, there is a lot of information about cowboys and ranching, but only one paragraph about the computer. And then there’s the book’s last paragraph:

“Real cowboys and cowboys-just-for-a-day ride off into the sunset – in their air conditioned Mustangs and Pintos, with tapedecks and pushbutton windows, going fifty-five miles an hour down the San Diego Freeway.”
Pintos? Tapedecks? Pushbutton windows? Ah… time for this book about a “modern” ranch to be put to pasture.
Holly: Agreed. What the heck is that computer-thing on the cover? Special cowboy software that comes on a reel? Maybe “Lasso ’82” or “Sim Ranch”?


0 Responses to Virtual Saddle 2.0

  • I think they chose pintos and mustangs because they were named after horses…not that that forgives them trying to equate pintos and riding off into the sunset…

  • The blurb on the back is written really badly.

  • That computer-thing is HAL, ready to take over the ranch. Looks like HAL has already started running amok – why else would the cowboy need to lasso it? Perhaps there should be a chapter on dealing with the computer/robot menace, as experienced by modern cowboys.

  • I think the cover computer is a tape-based storage device and computer tape is still being used for digital backup and storage.

    This does remind me of a magazine from 2000 I was reading this morning that was discussing using virtual organ construction for scientific inquiry with the hope that “…doctors will soon be able to carry a chart in one hand and a floppy in the other while consulting with patients.”

  • Now we know what drove Latawnya the Naughty Horse to smoke drugs and drink.

  • I love the writer’s desperate enthusiasm ‘… and it’s still fascinating…’ like he misses the ‘good old days’ when men were men and computers were punch cards… wait… they were punch cards in 1982. My mistake.

  • Does that thing play Oregon Trail?

  • Never mind the tapedecks and pushbutton windows, who can drive 55 on the San Diego Freeway ?? Try either 12 or 75, the two default speeds of any LA area freeway.

  • Pintos were out of production in 1982. That cowboy ain’t so modern after all.

  • My cousin farms in Idaho using sophisticated farming software. A book on this topic could be useful, but only if published in the last year or two.

  • They’re just playing Farmville.

  • On college summer I worked for AT&T. I was a “tape librarian,” and had to locate the reel-to-reel data tapes for the computer operators, then shelve the ones they returned. Yes, a huge cold room full of those “refrig” style computers.
    Oblivious to my future library-media calling, I devised a better shelving code. I also figured out how to remove punch card jams from the shuffler/sorter machine. Little did I know…