Imiss Green Bar

That feeling you get when you can think of a tool that would be great for something but it has been obsoleted.

[DeleteMe - didn't this page ever have an anecdote about GreenBar at some point? Can anyone supply one?]

I don't really miss GreenBar, as such, but I remember when I was a kid and my dad used to work near a computing center; I did crayon drawings on punch cards and later wrote a kiddie "newspaper" on continuous paper strips. I seem to recall very little GreenBar proper; I went from punch cards to fanfold with punched edge strips, but the latter was mostly white.

I had to write some Fortran 77 once, but I found it extremely difficult to even get the right indentation. So I used Ratfor. (For the unenlightened, Ratfor is a preprocessor for Fortran that allows you to write Fortran in a more C-like syntax.) It cost quite some time to find a Ratfor preprocessor. Apparently Ratfor is "only of historical importance". Well, I agree that in an ideal world, Ratfor would be obsolete, but in an ideal world, Fortran 77 would be obsolete, too. Or not even invented in the first place.

Reply: The right indentation? The 'indentation' rules are trivial. As I recall, Fortran 77 tried to plug a hole in previous versions of Fortran, by providing a new type of variable to hold characters. This was supposed to be a significant improvement. It was, in a sense, but once you start down that road, you soon want much more. Ratfor brought comfort to those wanting improved structure, but it stopped there, and so gradually became obscure. What Fortran needed, but never got, was a complete overhaul.

I miss VT220 terminals. I used to have a choice between working in a roomful of PCs or a roomful of VT220s. Because the PCs had mice and flashy multimedia, they were all taken. The noise and heat of the PC room (combined with fuzzy screens) gave me a headache from working in there. After about five minutes in the terminal room, my head was clear, and I found myself in the MentalStateCalledFlow.

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