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Old 03-31-2008, 12:02 AM
Da Rock
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

On Mon, 2008-03-31 at 08:25 +1030, Tim wrote:
> On Sun, 2008-03-30 at 20:54 +1000, Da Rock wrote:
> > In some ways both views have pros and cons. But consider the
> > possibilities that have opened up for humankind in general from this
> > one technology.
>
> Yeah, technical support lines, anti-virus companies, spam...
>
> I view being asked to fix someone's PC like they'd just asked me to
> unblock their loo with my bare hands.
>

I agree (to a point), and that was hardly the point I was making. If
computers weren't as widespread, then I can bet your user base would
probably not even exist. We'd still be on mainframes with dumb
terminals, and few services actually requiring to be run- ergo, less
employment for sysadmins.

And that is only the tip of the iceberg. Take time to consider where
life might have gone if your scenario had taken place, and be thankful
that it has turned out this way- your analogy just may have been a
literal possibility.

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Old 03-31-2008, 03:42 PM
Les
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

On Mon, 2008-03-31 at 10:02 +1000, Da Rock wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-03-31 at 08:25 +1030, Tim wrote:
> > On Sun, 2008-03-30 at 20:54 +1000, Da Rock wrote:
> > > In some ways both views have pros and cons. But consider the
> > > possibilities that have opened up for humankind in general from this
> > > one technology.
> >
> > Yeah, technical support lines, anti-virus companies, spam...
> >
> > I view being asked to fix someone's PC like they'd just asked me to
> > unblock their loo with my bare hands.
> >
>
> I agree (to a point), and that was hardly the point I was making. If
> computers weren't as widespread, then I can bet your user base would
> probably not even exist. We'd still be on mainframes with dumb
> terminals, and few services actually requiring to be run- ergo, less
> employment for sysadmins.
>
> And that is only the tip of the iceberg. Take time to consider where
> life might have gone if your scenario had taken place, and be thankful
> that it has turned out this way- your analogy just may have been a
> literal possibility.
>
Actually, Microsoft was a late comer to personal computers. I own
(still) an Altair 8800B, and owned a
Morrow Microdecision before that, both on CP/M. And prior to that I had
systems that ran various other OS's
that were a bit more limited, and one straight bootstrap system for
which you had to furnish an OS of your favorite
flavor. Microsoft did not create, or really enable personal computers,
they just got the contract to write the OS for IBM, and were able to
bootstrap that into the corporation you see today.

And before the but you couldn't wars start, I played games, did
graphics, edited documents, wrote a compiler, wrote an assembler and
created my own tape operating system on the Altair. Yes, it was slow.
Yes, it did have limitations in storage (128K total, separate data and
instruction memory, tape or 5.25 floppy, and other limitations of the
technology of the time), but Microsoft didn't exist yet. Microsoft
started in 1975. I owned these machines prior to that.

Mainframes known limitations, issues with remote booting, problems with
distributed software and shared
databases pushed people to find better ways, and there were many
software packages developed for CP/M, including compilers, IDE's, and
window type interfaces prior to Windows.

Regards,
Les H

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Old 03-31-2008, 11:03 PM
Tim
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

On Mon, 2008-03-31 at 08:42 -0700, Les wrote:
> Actually, Microsoft was a late comer to personal computers. I own
> (still) an Altair 8800B, and owned a
> Morrow Microdecision before that, both on CP/M. And prior to that I had
> systems that ran various other OS's
> that were a bit more limited, and one straight bootstrap system for
> which you had to furnish an OS of your favorite
> flavor. Microsoft did not create, or really enable personal computers

That was part of my point, too. Those of us who've used personal
computers before Windows ever existed, and systems other than DOS,
recognised it for the annoying crap that it was. And they're not the
groundbreakers that some would believe.

It took years for Microsoft to understand the notion of having, say, a
system way of printing. That the OS talked to the printer, and all
applications talked to the OS to print. Prior to that, you had a
plethora of (really bad) printer drivers for each application that
needed to print.

It took years for Microsoft, and those creating programs for their OS,
to realise the need for data portability between applications. i.e. We
don't need a gazillion picture types, we need to be able to open a
picture in a gazillion different programs, without conversion.

It took years for Microsoft to understand networking (I still think
they're far from it). It took years for Microsoft to start to
understand security.

They're way behind the ball in any number of areas. There's places that
still use very old mainframes for that reason.

If you're talking "personal" computers, I think things like the Amiga
and the Mac did far more for trailblazing personal computing than the
IBM compatible ever did.

--
(This computer runs FC7, my others run FC4, FC5 & FC6, in case that's
important to the thread.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
I read messages from the public lists.

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Old 04-01-2008, 01:16 AM
Les
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

On Mon, 2008-03-31 at 14:00 -0700, George Arseneault wrote:
> Don't mean to be critical... But, out of respect for
> people's privacy (assuming they are in favor of
> privacy) you should have cut and pasted the link
> without all of those private email addresses. This is
> a public list after all.
>
> Don't take it personally, just a reminder to people
> not to be careless with others info. Your post is
> just a perfect example.
>
> Feel free to burn me in effigy
>
> George
>
Several of us have responded to this thread, who did you think did this?

Regards,
Les H

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Old 04-01-2008, 07:01 AM
Tim
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

Tim:
>> have the CPU op-code cheat sheet in the coat pocket... ;-)

Les:
> I memorized it and threw it away. Does that mean I fail the test?

If you code in pen and ink before even going near the computer, that
counts.

Back when I were a lad, we didn't use no debugger. We'd print the code,
and attack the printout with pencils out to mark all the bugs and
corrections, then type the changes back in.

Tim, waiting for one of the old codgers to tell us a tale of how they
had to make the valves and warm them up before starting... ;-)

--
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important to the thread.)

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:11 AM
Manuel Aróstegui
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

On Tue, 2008-04-01 at 17:31 +1030, Tim wrote:
> Back when I were a lad, we didn't use no debugger. We'd print the code,
> and attack the printout with pencils out to mark all the bugs and
> corrections, then type the changes back in.

No kidding?

That's awesome!!!

Manuel.

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Old 04-01-2008, 12:38 PM
Gene Heskett
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

On Tuesday 01 April 2008, Manuel Aróstegui wrote:
>On Tue, 2008-04-01 at 17:31 +1030, Tim wrote:
>> Back when I were a lad, we didn't use no debugger. We'd print the code,
>> and attack the printout with pencils out to mark all the bugs and
>> corrections, then type the changes back in.
>
>No kidding?
>
>That's awesome!!!
>
>Manuel.

You are easily impressed I take it. That's exactly how I wrote code for an
application that involved commercial video tape preparation for on air use
with a very early automatic station break machine. For an RCA 1802 cpu,
where I didn't even have an assembler, I was looking up the hex code in the
programmers manual and entering it with a hex editor. This was in 1978. I
also built the Quest Super Elf 'computer' from a kit that it ran on, and all
the interfacing hardware including the video to control the then state of the
art Sony 28xx u-matic video tape machines. I used less than 2k of the 4k of
static ram it had, and which cost nearly 400 dollars then. That code, and
that machine were still in use at that tv station in Redding CA, in 1994, and
they had no plans to replace it with something newer then! When I went on
down the road, I left a paper copy of the code, with instructions on how to
adjust its timing to match the motion ballistics of any newer machine they
hooked up to it.

The next time I wrote code with an extended lifetime like that, was on a
TRS-80 Color Computer running OS9 level 1, with device drivers in assembly
using an assembler, and the main portion in Basic-09. That function was in
place of a $20,000 Grass Valley Group E-DISK package that our first GVG
300-2A/B production video switcher didn't come with. It outperformed that
$20k unit by 4x in speed, and gave the operators english language names for
their individual 'bags of tricks' files whereas the GVG used 2 digit hex
codes for the filenames. That was in 1989, and was used continuously to 2003
when that switcher was finally replaced with something a little 'greener'.

Because I could each into that switchers data paths so easily with it, there
were many times that to troubleshoot the switcher, I would reach into it with
little 10 line code snippets and tickle a specific function to see if it was
working correctly, and based on its responses, go replace a failed chip to
restore a failed operation.

That's code with long, useful lifetimes. You live intimately with it day
after day, fixing the glitches until there are no more bugs left to fix, it
Just Works(TM). How long does perfectly good code last today? Maybe 3 years
till its thrown out like the baby with the bath water for some reason this
now old fart fails to grok.

I'll give you mplayer as a perfect example. Or xmms, just to name 2 apps that
because they worked so well, now seem to be something bad, and must be
replaced with something that doesn't work, like pulseaudio, whatever the hell
it is, apparently just to give someone a new container of bugs to fix,
whatever. All I know is that since I had to re-install due to a failed drive
over the weekend, the only noise I get is the system beep, and my machine
will be otherwise mute until I rip it out again. We put that on cornfields
in Iowa to grow taller corn.

What is the usual fix for the pulseaudio induced silence?

--
Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)

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Old 04-01-2008, 12:56 PM
Tim
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

Tim:
>> Back when I were a lad, we didn't use no debugger. We'd print the code,
>> and attack the printout with pencils out to mark all the bugs and
>> corrections, then type the changes back in.

Manuel Aróstegui:
> No kidding?
>
> That's awesome!!!

I hate to sound "not awesome," ;-) but it's not as fantastic as you
might think.

When you *invent* a program, you're supposed to work out how it should
work and what it should do, first. If you know what you're doing, you
get it right during this stage. Then you enter your code into the
computer, and it just works. (Then came Windows, with masses of its own
bugs, and *you* couldn't do a damn thing about them.)

Most bugs were down to making mistakes when entering your data, and
printing the code was the easiest way to check it all. I can certainly
scan more across long sheets of paper than the keyhole view of just part
of it you get through a VDU, and some have limited scrolling features,
or far too rapid scrolling, so it's quicker and easier to look for bugs
on paper (if you know what you're looking for). And you'll usually find
several, so that speeds debugging up, too.

What's more of a bastard to resolve is when you've made fundamental
errors in how to code your program (it does what you tell it to do, but
you've told it to do something stupid).

Tim, still waiting for one of the old codgers to say, "You young
whippersnappers have it easy, when we wanted to program we had to oil
the gears and stoke the engine..."

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Old 04-01-2008, 01:14 PM
Tim
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

On Tue, 2008-04-01 at 05:52 -0700, BRUCE STANLEY wrote:
> Type them in? I remember punching them in on Hollerith cards.
>
> Dropped a pile of them once.
>
> That motivated me to have the punch card machine to put sequence
> numbers on the cards so that they could be resorted again.

I've still got a collection of punch cards dotted around the place, we
used them as book marks for many years. Every now and then I'll find
one, when I pull a book out of the shelves.

Though ours weren't really "punch" cards, they're the ones you colour in
bubbles with a lead pencil, rather than punch out a hole.

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Old 04-02-2008, 02:45 PM
Craig White
 
Default Linux is KING - Couldn't be hacked - Mac, Vista went down in flames

On Wed, 2008-04-02 at 09:31 -0500, Mikkel L. Ellertson wrote:
> Les wrote:
> > Actually, Microsoft was a late comer to personal computers. I own
> > (still) an Altair 8800B, and owned a
> > Morrow Microdecision before that, both on CP/M. And prior to that I had
> > systems that ran various other OS's
> > that were a bit more limited, and one straight bootstrap system for
> > which you had to furnish an OS of your favorite
> > flavor. Microsoft did not create, or really enable personal computers,
> > they just got the contract to write the OS for IBM, and were able to
> > bootstrap that into the corporation you see today.
> >
> Microsoft's entry into the personal computer market was by supplying
> a version of BASIC that for several operating systems. I can
> remember loading it from tape, and later burning it to EPROM with a
> small relocation program to move it into RAM at the address it
> expected to run. (It was not relocatable...)
----
I have that tape still...

Microsoft's version for Apple...called 'Floating Point Basic Language'
for Apple ][ because my original Apple ][ had integer basic in ROM and
Floating Point Basic had to be loaded from a cassette. I do sort of
wonder if it has any value.

and as for everyone going on about punch cards...perhaps in 20 more
years, it will be considered ancient history but now, there are way too
many of us still around that remember them to make them an interesting
story.

Craig

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