In a world before iPhones, iPads — shoot, the Internet, for that matter — “many a student worked their way through the Digital Computer Laboratory while I was on campus,” recalls Michigan engineering professor Brian Love (BS ’84, chemistry; MS '86, metallurgy and mining engineering).
“There was one of several bulk printing locations in the basement of the DCL, and like the Illini Union vending room, it was also a very busy place with terminals, and the print location, and there were often student groups that met there to execute projects and the like, and to wait for output.
“I remember several students working there to keep the IBM printers going and when they operated; the claim was that they were running paper through at 30 miles per hour. Most of those student jobs were splicing between print jobs and delivering them to one of the 100 boxes bases on the last two digits of our SSID numbers.
"Long before personal printers, you would print and hope you had no errors and then wait 30 minutes for the technician to finally come out with your printout.
“I also visited the Vending Room at the Union and it always looked like it was a bundle of energy that peaked at 11 or 11:30 p.m. What I remember was some very large and not particularly impressive artwork, although I am not the connoisseur.
“My friends tended to congregate near the painting entitled ‘The Swimmer,’ a female swimmer wearing a white swim cap. When they renovated the vending room, some friends asked whether they could buy the swimmer as a memento, but I guess it’s buried somewhere in the archives.
“In and around campus, I attended a remarkable presentation of Kabuki Theater at Krannert Center called ‘Kabuki Faust,’ circa 1985, directed by a visiting professor from Japan. It was an unbelievable show, truly awesome and an event I remember this day, which says something.
“I certainly remember individual classes and faculty I interacted with. I also remember some of the quick food joints, including Garcia’s Pizza by the slice and Taco John’s on Green Street, a franchise run by a very industrious family who worked hard in a family business with patrons who were rude and surly as drunk collegians.
“I also remember Murphy’s Pub a little further down Green Street and the infamous Illini Inn. I still have my Mug Club card.”