In my book, an AncientProgrammer
is one who can remember working in a commercial environment, where they had to manually type in the boot loader to start up the system.
You were able to use a keyboard? Luxury! In the old days, we had to enter the boot sequence using switches on the front panel.
You misunderstand - when I said "type" I meant from the front panel.
You had switches? Decadence! We had to rewire the main board.
Eee, tha were lucky. We used to dream
of rewiring t'main board. (Still do in fact) Actually this reminds me of a client I had years ago who wanted their PLP 11/70 entirely menu-driven. This included all system administration tasks, and system boot :(
Back in my day, you debugged with oil and a screwdriver.
Oil and screwdriver?? You lucky b*st*rds! All we had was goose grease and an axe!
Wow! You're lucky to have such nice programming tools! All we had was a piece of chalk, and we had to write our programs on cave walls in unary.
Chalk! You had it good, we had to use our own blood. When we had it real good, we found a cave, but most of the time we had to write in the sand.
Cave? Unary?? Blood??? Writing!??? The Neanderthals evicted us from *our* cave; sent us back to the trees! Blood comes from using
unary. Real men don't need no stinking 0's! Why WriteItOutLonghand
when you have WordOfMouth
Numbers!? Hmph. Try coding with bananas hanging upside down by your tail!
In case you missed it, the above is no doubt inspired by a MontyPython
skit in which four old men try to outdo each other's childhood poverty stories. The winner said he had to work 26 hours a day and pay his boss for permission to come to work.
The skit ends, "You try tellin' the young people of today that... and they won't believe you!"
MontyPython?! Tha were lucky. All us 'ad were bleedin' BeyondTheFringe? on the smoke signals from next village
I'm intrigued - just what sort of computers were you guys using - please do tell more? Also, do eXtreme Goose Greasers exist? Sounds messy, but fun (except for the goose, of course).
eXtreme greasey with some gal - now that's fun :-)
Reminds me of SamuelColeridge?
You asked for it.
Sounds like someone about my age - 38. Wow - that's ancient! Of course, there were younger folks in my high school programming class, so someone precocious 35 year olds might be able to make the same claims.
- Not old enough to have worked with punch cards or paper tape.
- Old enough to have seen examples of both.
- Old enough to have studied with punch-card like things except you could fill them in with a sufficiently black texta. Same principle.
- Old enough to have worried about where in memory my program and my data were, and not thought this unusual.
- Old enough to have been delighted to get a 5 1/4 inch single density single-sided disk drive.
- Old enough to have cut another tab and used the other side of each disk.
- Old enough to remember when when space invaders was new. Heck, old enough to remember when pong was new.
- Old enough to have used dumb terminals which really were dumb.
- Old enough to have used a machine without a glass TTY.
Ahhh, well then ...
- Not old enuf for punch cards.
- Old enuf for 5-bit paper tape. (did 8-to-5/5-to-8 bit translator using 10 bits to hold 8.)
- Old enuf to argue over whether Centronics or IEEE-488 was better.
- Old enuf to think seriously about going all the way up to 64k RAM.
- Old enuf for Heathkit and Tarbell with 8-inch floppy.
- Old enuf to worry about memory location of code and data.
- Old enuf to force reset and use ROM monitor to examine in-memory state.
- Old enuf that having graphical characters on VDT was a bonus.
- Old enuf to go "wow" over Sinclair's ZX-80 gadgets.
- Coded with punch cards in college
- first job had one data format on paper tape
- taught my high-school Math teacher how to operate the new TRS-80 for Computer Math class
- stored programs on cassette tape
- wrote game code with PEEK and POKE
- college programming had 'accounts' with 'money' that you consumed during computing. If you ran out, you had to get the prof to put more credit in.