## Programming nostalgia

The war between wetware and hardware.
Witness
Posts: 33096
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

### Programming nostalgia

Usborne books out of the 80ies:

ceptimus
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 11:04 pm
Location: UK

### Re: Programming nostalgia

I got an old PC down from the loft yesterday and powered it up. CMOS/clock battery dead, of course so it booted into the BIOS, It had the number of cylinders/sectors etc. for each of the two hard drives written inside the case so I was able to configure those in the BIOS (remember when we had to do that?) and default everything else. One of the hard drives was not spinning up, but a bit of shaking/twisting freed it up and then the PC booted into Windows 95. It's a 486DX with a whopping 8MB of RAM plus a 2MB graphics card. The two hard disks are 244 MB and 540 MB, and that's actually plenty of room with lots of free space - even though nowadays a Raspberry Pi has more RAM, than the total storage fitted in this PC! I think the processor is running at 66MHz, but I've forgotten how you check the processor speed on Windows 95 - maybe it's only a 33MHz chip.

So I checked the CMOS battery and, as expected, it was leaking and eating away the PCB - but not too bad. I stripped the thing down, removed the battery and cleaned up the PCB, then fitted an external battery (right now it has a 2200 mAh single LiPo cell, though I'll fit something more appropriate eventually).

It boots up surprisingly quickly and doesn't seem slow at all. It beat me handily at a couple of games of Scrabble, and I also played Doom 2 - both games were installed on one of the HDs. Then I found it has Borland Turbo C++ installed and spent a happy couple of hours writing some simple programs. Compile and link time is plenty fast - it makes you wonder how much we've really gained from multiple gigabytes of RAM, multi-core processors, solid state disk drives and such: modern PCs have hundreds of times the computing power and thousands of times the storage - but you wouldn't think that based on a simple comparison of what they can do compared to this 25+ year old tech.

It also has some Forth language thing installed - but I never got on all that well with Forth so I'm not going to look at that.

It doesn't have a network card, but I have a few of those somewhere. Problem with getting it on the internet would be finding a browser that can run under Windows 95 but still access modern web pages that will work with so little RAM. Maybe some tiny Linux distro would work okay, but I don't really want to sink much more time into it.
Doctor X
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Title: Collective Messiah

### Re: Programming nostalgia

I have this Timex Sinclair but I cannot find my cassette deck.

What I get for upgrading my stereo.

--J.D.
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Witness
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

### Re: Programming nostalgia

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:06 am FORTRAN in technical school. No nostalgia there for me.

A bit of self taught BASIC. Fun at the time but now meh.

But when I finally went to a real college ... Pascal
All these languages have now largely converged, apart from idiosyncrasies. Even Fortran (or, as you write to prove you're an old hand: FORTRAN) is now quite slick.
Rob Lister
Posts: 23331
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 7:15 pm
Title: Incipient toppler
Location: Swimming in Lake Ed

### Re: Programming nostalgia

In fortran, god is real unless otherwise declared as integer.
Witness
Posts: 33096
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:50 pm

### Re: Programming nostalgia

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:06 am But when I finally went to a real college ... Pascal
From 2013:
Photoshop 1.0 source code released

The Computer History Museum is offering the source code to the original version of Adobe Photoshop for download

Version 1.0.1 dates from 1990, and is written in a combination of Pascal and 68000 assembler language, the museum said in a blog post. It's identical to what originally went on sale at the time, with the exception of the MacApp applications library, which was licensed from Apple for the retail version.

The ubiquitous image editing software began life as "Display" in 1987. It was the brainchild of University of Michigan grad student Thomas Knoll, whose brother, John, worked at well-known special effects company Industrial Light and Magic. John and Thomas eventually developed "Display" into its eventual commercial "Photoshop" form. Adobe bought a distribution license in April 1989, though the first company to distribute the software was actually Barneyscan, a maker of slide scanners, the museum says.
https://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/new ... -released/

ed
Posts: 40113
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:52 pm
Title: G_D

### Re: Programming nostalgia

God.

Self taught
Basic then Algol then the next basic thing that I used to program the crap in my company.

Many many hours.....
This space for let
xouper
Posts: 9745
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:52 am
Title: mere ghost of his former self

### Re: Programming nostalgia

Another free kindle book I picked up today, from a reputable publisher:

The Apollo Guidance Computer: Architecture and Operation
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1441908765/