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#1 kochese


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Posted 13 May 2009 - 07:46 AM

I'm a an old fart who has been in computers since 1972, when I went to work for Wang computers. Probably few will remember Wang, but we wouldn't be where we are today without Dr. Wang who invented the core memory that replaced vacuum tubes as the on/off switchs that held binary data. Core memory consisted of thousands of tiny, hand-wired, ferrite doughnuts that could be polarized in either of 2 directions thus creating a switch. The Wang 700 came with 2 memory options, 1K or 2K. It had a nixie tube display that consisted of small vacuum tubes with a different element for each digit, and a tape cassette for loading programs or data. You programmed it with machine codes, which were hexidecimal numbers. While this sounds primitive today, you would be amazed at the sophisticated applications produced for this system. One example is a surveying package that allowed developers to design sub-divisions and plot the plat map on a big flat-bed plotter. Each lot was labeled with bearings and dimensions. Oh, BTW the Wang 700 with 2K of memory went for 7,000 1972 dollars and when I sold one I had to help the customer find a programmer since there was vitually no off-the-shelf software at that time.

Some of you youngsters take a lot of technology for granted, but it hasn't been that long since the computing pioneers started the most profound revolution in human existance.

Anyway, I ended up writing custom software for 35 years. I've worked in machine language, Wang BASIC2, UNIX, Dos, Foxplus, RBase, Progress, Paradox, Advantage, C++, Delphi. etc.

Some of the fun is gone from programming, with the GUI. So much more time is spent on the details now, Colors, fonts, placement, artwork. When I started less time was required to get a reliable app out the door, granted the apps were much simpler, but the creative process was more fun.

Edited by kochese, 13 May 2009 - 07:53 AM.

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#2 garmanma


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Posted 13 May 2009 - 03:19 PM

Welcome to BC
I remember Wang
My father was an elec. engineer with the government and NASA ever since it's inception
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
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#3 jgweed


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Posted 14 May 2009 - 07:53 AM

Some of us are still lucky to get a functioning programme out the door.
Welcome to BC!
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