Katherine leaving the “Computer Bureau”

Katherine McLaughlin

Katherine McLaughlin

  • 17 Dec 2013

Katherine McLaughlin, the departmental secretary in IT Services, retires from UCC today. 

Katherine McLaughlin, who has been the department's administrative angel for longer than most of us have been in IT, retires from UCC today.

When Katherine joined UCC to work in the Careers Office, the Computer Bureau had only been a separate unit for X years (it was previously an operation within Computer Science). When she transferred to the Computer Bureau, the computing power was an IBM 370 mainframe, you entered your data and programs via punched cards, and you collected your results on fan-folded green-lined printout.

Successive heads of the Computer Bureau — which became the Computer Centre in 1990 and IT Services in 2012 — relied on Katherine's unflappble expertise to keep the administrative details in order. Jim Fallon, Trevor Linger, Peter Flynn, Martin Hayes, and Ger Culley, as well as all the staff in the department and elsewhere. can attest to her skill in handling the myriad queries, letters, visitors, reports, files, and forms which pass through the office or across her desktop (physical or virtual) in any one day.

Katherine was UCC's first wordprocessor user, although the office had an IBM Selectric ("golfball") typewriter and a manual typewriter as backup in case of power failures. She also had one of the new "laser-beam" printers, and she has adapted to change and remained flexible through all the shifts in software and hardware.

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