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Last post Author Topic: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread  (Read 18128 times)

40hz

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How many of us cut our baby teeth on one (or both) of these two classic development tools?

turbo-pascal.jpgIn rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread TurboPascal - long before C or Visual-anything, this was the go-to language for developing "real" PC apps.

Or at least it was if you didn't want to be writing them in Assembly Language. ;D

FoxPro.jpgIn rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
And for serious database applications, FoxPro (pre-Microsoft!) was the only choice if you wanted power and speed.


f0dder

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I started programming using Turbo Pascal 6 - Borland's IDEs were lightyears ahead of the competition back then, and the compiler was pretty fast (faster than Borland C++). Also, a really cool feature was "build-to-memory", which was great during run-debug-modify development cycles, since harddrives were PIO and amazingly slow back then. Integrated help was also very nice. The generated code was, as usual with Pascal/Delphi, relatively sucky, though... so you used "sally's peephole optimizer", customized runtime, and often had to resort to writing assembly snippets when you needed speed.

I also used Borland Pascal 7 (note the turbo->borland rename after v6), which unfortunately dropped the compile-to-memory functionality. Did a bit of 16bit DPMI programming, but found it too limiting - this is why I ended up switching to C++, and frankly I never looked back.
- carpe noctem

40hz

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and often had to resort to writing assembly snippets when you needed speed.

Too true!  :Thmbsup: I should have said "...if you didn't want to be writing them entirely in Assembly Language. 

BTW: Is Sally's peephole optimizer the same thing as something I knew as Sally TPU? That came after I stopped doing anything with Turbo. I think 4 or 5 was the last version I used. (It was whichever was the first one to have the 'blue' background.) But I remember how some friends used to rave about it.

After TurboPascal I went to Topspeed Modula2 and from there to Clarion Professional Developer before I mostly stopped coding and got into network and infrastructure projects.


f0dder

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Yep, it is :)

It was a pretty interesting program, especially for it's time - there wasn't nearly as much stuff (freely) available on compiler optimization, and Borland's TPU library format wasn't officially documented... SPO actually optimized the intermediate code in TPU files (which would then be linked to .exes), it wasn't just a "unit full of optimized functions".
- carpe noctem

cranioscopical

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TurboPascal - long before C or Visual-anything
I'd been looking at Microsoft Pascal that cost around $400 at the time, I believe.
Then Phillipe Kahn came along with Turbo Pascal and I'm pretty sure I paid $69 for it!!

Turbo Pascal and Sidekick  :o

btw, I think this thread is misnamed, it ought to be

In remembrance of....The antiquated hardware/software users' reminiscence thread.

40hz

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SPO actually optimized the intermediate code in TPU files

@f0dder - Amazing. Can you imagine somebody doing something like that today? They'd get their butts sued off before they could hit the save key on their compiler. How times have changed...

@crainioscopical - I think that 'rename' suggestion of yours sounds about right even if none of us have been banned. Yet. ;D

@Edvard - Beagle Brothers! You da man!!! What a freekin' absolutely cool company they were. And thanks for that link to their Online Museum website. I forgot how funny these people were with their documentation. That link to Uncle Louie's Q&A column is priceless!

Quote
Q. Dear Uncle Louie -- There seems to be nothing of substance in your column. My question is, "Where's the BEEF?"

A. $BEEF is located at address 48879.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2010, 03:53:47 PM by 40hz »

mwb1100

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I'd been looking at Microsoft Pascal that cost around $400 at the time, I believe.
Then Phillipe Kahn came along with Turbo Pascal and I'm pretty sure I paid $69 for it!!

In my first real job we had a program written in Microsoft Pascal (on CP/M if I remember right) that crunched some numbers and required running overnight. As you might imagine, it wasn't uncommon for something to go wrong and essentially a day's work had to be put off until the job could be run again.

When Turbo Pascal came out, we bought a copy (for some reason $50 sticks in my mind, but maybe it was a bit more), spent a few hours porting the program and the damn thing ran in under 10 minutes.

It was *un*believable. It has to still be the biggest bang-for-buck spent for software in my experience.

f0dder

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Then Phillipe Kahn came along with Turbo Pascal and I'm pretty sure I paid $69 for it!!
That sounds almost as if Philippe wrote it - whereas Turbo Pascal was actually written by the (Danish :)) [urlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Hejlsberg]Anders Hejlsberg[/url] (yes, the guy who went on to create C#).

SPO actually optimized the intermediate code in TPU files
@f0dder - Amazing. Can you imagine somebody doing something like that today? They'd get their butts sued off before they could hit the save key on their compiler. How times have changed...
Oh, I don't really think so - you're working at the .obj level, not modifying the compiler. A friend of mine has a software protection product that works on the .obj level :)
- carpe noctem

Crush

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I can still remember my first steps into Assembler-coding with SMon: [attach=#1][/attach]
The only help I had was a listing of the floppy-rom with some comments. I had no idea what all these instructions could do and flags are used for. I learned each command by trying and observing the results. After loading some code I found new ones to explore. A very funny and exciting time.

cranioscopical

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That sounds almost as if Philippe wrote it - whereas Turbo Pascal was actually written by the (Danish :)) [urlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Hejlsberg]Anders Hejlsberg[/url] (yes, the guy who went on to create C#).
I certainly meant to unleash no disrespect for great Danes!  :o
Effective marketing is an important factor, however.

f0dder

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That sounds almost as if Philippe wrote it - whereas Turbo Pascal was actually written by the (Danish :)) [urlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Hejlsberg]Anders Hejlsberg[/url] (yes, the guy who went on to create C#).
I certainly meant to unleash no disrespect for great Danes!  :o
You better not - woof woof! ;)

Effective marketing is an important factor, however.
Yup, that's definitely true.
- carpe noctem

40hz

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fidonet.gifIn rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread

Fidonet.

Truly amazing moment in pre-web history. Those of us who were lucky enough to be "node" member sysops still look back with fondness to a piece of homebrew technology that basically brought the whole notion of the need for expensive corporate e-mail solutions (MCI Mail et al) into question.

If you're enjoying free and virtually unrestricted e-mail access (along with unlimited spam and e-mail based malware threats  :mrgreen:) you can thank Fidonet for making many people aware that there were cheap workable alternatives available.

Good article here:

http://wapedia.mobi/en/FidoNet

And a slightly sleepy-paced 45 minute BBC documentary segment on Fidonet here:

http://video.google....3145680396796021272#

« Last Edit: March 09, 2010, 12:58:26 PM by 40hz »

rjbull

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Fidonet

Those of us who were lucky enough to be "node" member sysops still look back with fondness

I was a "point" for years, and had to drag myself reluctantly into the Internet age when my last boss disappeared   :(

woodss

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2012, 11:17:42 AM »
What about the old LaserJet series II even older than the LaserJet 4 - still in regluar use and just been rebuilt.



And also the more recent LaserJet 4300DTN and Color LaserJet 4600DTN



LaserJet P3005DN


woodss

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2012, 11:22:47 AM »
HP Laserjet 4. Paid $1400 for it in 1993(?) [can't remember]. Kept it more than 14 years. It weighed a short ton, but got me through two graduate degrees! Replaced it with a $30 inkjet.
 (see attachment in previous post)



Nothing wrong with the LaserJet 4, all they need is service and they be right for another 20 years :)

40hz

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2012, 11:42:49 AM »
Nothing wrong with the LaserJet 4, all they need is service and they be right for another 20 years :)

ljiii.gif   33439P-PostscriptLJIII-40.jpgIn rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread

+1! I only retired my Laserjet III (with $$$ Postscript cartridge option!) when it finally got to be too much of a hassle to get toner for it locally.


I gave it away - and last I heard (about two years ago) it was still going strong.

Thing was built like a boat anchor for a navy destroyer. If it ever ends up in a landfill, it will probably still be recognizable for at least a thousand years.
 :Thmbsup:
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 11:56:30 AM by 40hz »

mouser

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2012, 01:23:45 PM »
Here's how I paid tribute to one of my favorite technological toys from the 1970s: The 2XL "Robot".
2XL.jpg

wraith808

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2012, 01:34:39 PM »
Later this job was done by a more flexible Zip-Drive

I still have a Zip drive, but the Jaz drive was the one that revolutionized it for me.  I still hate that none of my machines have SCSI now.  In terms of video cards, the Rendition Verite was so cool.

Deozaan

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2012, 01:41:58 PM »
RIP iPhone 4S. :'( Recently made obsolete and antiquated by the announcement of the iPhone 5.

apple-iphone-4-91.jpg

 ;) :P


rgdot

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2012, 02:44:29 PM »
In 1000 years when aliens visit this wasteland the LaserJet will work with their power source yet they will find historical records of some things starting with i for some unknown reason

40hz

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #45 on: September 18, 2012, 03:19:14 PM »
In 1000 years when aliens visit this wasteland the LaserJet will work with their power source yet they will find historical records of some things starting with i for some unknown reason

And even though there are no longer any humans, the replacement toner cartridges will still be ridiculously expensive. ;D

(Shortly after landing, an ALB (autonomous legal bot*) will impound their ship and serve them with papers which claim ALL their advanced technology infringes on one or more of over 100 trillion registered patents belonging to entities with odd sounding names like: Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, Google, and Amazon.)

---------------------------------------

*Note: The automated legal system of the human race was specifically designed to outlast its creators and "function perfectly" without the need for any human interaction.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 03:46:09 PM by 40hz »

MilesAhead

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #46 on: September 18, 2012, 05:42:09 PM »
Turbo! Go from 4.4mhz to 11mhz with the push of a button!

4.4 to 11?? That's not fair! Mine only toggled 4.77<=>7.15 Mhz  :)

The switch was on this beast:



It came with 12" yellow monochrome monitor and Hercules Graphics.  The graphics had 256KB of ram while the system came with 512KB main memory. I changed the monochrome monitor to EGA. I upgraded the ram to 640KB then ran an Expanded Memory TSR (probably from PC Magazine) to "borrow" the graphics card ram unused when the card was in character mode.

If the first system I had was fast to start with I probably would never have bothered with assembler. Funny but since most everyone just had Dos back then, I could actually accomplish quite a bit on such a hobbled system. But forget about writing device drivers without even a break-out switch. :)
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 05:55:54 PM by MilesAhead »

Josh

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #47 on: September 18, 2012, 06:18:47 PM »
pun-printer-ghostbusters-there-is-no-paper-only-zuul.jpg

MilesAhead

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #48 on: September 18, 2012, 07:28:22 PM »
I started programming using Turbo Pascal 6
...

I learned Pascal on Turbo Pascal 3.0. Back then it still spit out .com files, not .exe. By then I was already into QB 3.0 and MASM.  The Turbo stuff was more fun though. The magazines covering Turbo languages didn't take themselves so seriously. I enjoyed the stuff written by Jeff Duntemann quite a bit. He wrote with humor while still imparting the technical knowledge. Not easy to do.

40hz

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Re: In rememberance of....The antiquated hardware/software reminiscence thread
« Reply #49 on: September 18, 2012, 07:35:22 PM »
@Josh -  

;D ;D ;D ROTFLMAO!!! ;D ;D ;D

It's been a bloody crazy day. Thanks for making me laugh. :Thmbsup: