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Peopleware Papers: Notes on the Human Side of Software, The by Larry L. Constantine

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Chapter 4. The Lowly and Exalted Scribe

Remember Bob Cratchit toiling away on the books at the august firm of Scrooge and Marley, fingerless gloves on his hands to keep them from freezing between entries? I am a real nut about A Christmas Carol and was recently given a video of the marvelous black-and-white version starring Alistair Sim. Watching it started me to thinking about old Bob and all the other “clarks” who kept the records for so many enterprises over the centuries. These scribes were really the computers of their day. Without them, businesses would have been thrown into bankruptcy and whole industries cast into chaotic disarray. Their real power and importance went far beyond either their meager wages or their lowly status. If anything, ...

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