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Tony Zale

Tony Zale

Software engineer | Google | Class of 1999

Pulling an all-nighter in future Google software engineer Tony Zale’s day required “a parade across campus” — from one computer lab to the next.

“Completing a computer science MP (machine problem) required access to specialized workstations,” says Zale (BS ’99, computer science). “We’d start in DCL, which had the coveted SGI machines and was the de facto meeting ground for CS students. 

“Garbage cans were stuffed with oversized sheets of green and white striped, fanfold paper printed with broken code, produced by loud dot matrix printers; in the ’90s, we straddled the line between the physical and digital ages. 

“DCL closed at midnight, so from there we’d trek to the engineering lab in Everitt to work until 3 a.m. 

“Still not done? The only remaining option: walk over to a 24-hour lab like the one on Oregon and Lincoln. These weren’t operated by the School of Engineering, so you were stuck with a standard issue Mac or Windows machine and a tiny terminal window to complete your work.”

And on those rare days when work was finished early? The old Co-Ed Theatre brings back happy memories — and not just for the flicks Zale saw there.

“Today’s Green Street would be unrecognizable to me during my senior year in 1998-99. The high-rise apartments and richer retail options are huge improvements, but I still miss the old Co-Ed Theatre and its classic neon marquee.

"The venue was a weekend Campustown alternative to the bars, a site where I watched material for a film studies class, and most importantly it was the location of my first date with my wife, where we saw ‘Halloween: H20’ before walking down the block to Murphy’s Pub.”