Dear Commons Community,
I was sadden to see the passing of Daniel McCracken, professor at City College.
The NY Times obituary comments that:
“For years, Mr. McCracken was the Stephen King of how-to programming books. His series on Fortran and Cobol, a computer language designed for use in business, were standards in the field. Mr. McCracken was the author or co-author of 25 books that sold more than 1.6 million copies and were translated into 15 languages.”
For those of us working in computer facilities in the 1960s, McCracken was one of the few authors who provided insight into how to program large mainframe computers. This was quite significant because there were hardly any courses available in colleges and the programmers’ manuals provided by computer manufacturers such as IBM, Sperry-Univac, or Burroughs were tomes that were for all intents and purposes indecipherable. In 1969, I remember using McCracken’s A Guide to Fortran Programming to help me and several colleagues program an IBM 1130, Lehman College’s first computer.
May he rest in peace.