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Coding, Drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll

Ask around and you'll find nearly everybody has heard of the Rolling Stones. Do the same asking, outside of our community, and you'll find just the opposite for the HP 3000. You probably already know the cock of the head or the squint of the brow that signals "what's that?"

MickBut the Stones and the 3000 have something in common. They're both performing long beyond their expected retirements. This past weekend in London, the Stones performed in concert. Their average age is hovering around 70, and certainly nobody could see a day when Mick and Keith and Charlie and Ronnie would bring their raisin-like faces onstage. 

Of course, the reviews from the British press have made a lot of the Stones look. But no one is spreading anything but praise for the sound of their music.

Even more remarkably, the years barely seem to have made a dent in Jagger’s voice, nor dimmed his stockpile of restless energy. He leapt and danced across the huge stage, doing that old electric eel impersonation, as if it was still the Sixties.

Alan Yeo of Screenjet, headquartered in England, brought the commonality to my notice.

Which is the most remarkable -- that there are still users of a 40-year-old computer (or at least a computer that will run 40-year-old code), or a band like the Rolling Stones who at nearly 70 were onstage last night for the first of their 50th anniversary concerts.

It's kind of interesting that the development of computing has sort of marched side by side with Rock 'n' Roll, and also the combined interest in that Folk/Rock genre that so many we know in computing have.

Then there's the possibility that the just-released 3000 emulator is the equivalent of a tribute band.

For those who don't know the term, tribute bands specialize in the greatest hits of legendary artists. They study the songs closely to be able to play them and evoke the exact sound of the original recording. Yeo's already installed the emulator and appreciates the accuracy of its design

Is the Stromasys emulator like a Tribute Band? It can get up and stomp out all the old numbers, note-perfect and possibly with even more energy than the original. But it's still never going to be the same experience as the "Old Iron."

Read a few reviews of the Stones concerts from this weekend, and see if the tone seems to match what you hear about your HP 3000. Old can mean "to not fade away," since the 3000 is still rocking out the classic code of the 1970s and '80s. The Beatles took a different route, but Sir Paul just toured Texas and entertained at last year's Connect conference.

Here's a poll: Tell us, "Stones or Beatles? As Yeo says,

Given a black or white choice, which band, when "that track" comes on at a party, makes you immediately want to get up, loosen up those arthritic joints, and show that you can still "head bang" better than today's youth?