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'[EE] Programmers have it easy today! was [PIC] C s'
2010\12\29@102717 by PETER ONION

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----- Original Message ----
> From: Oli Glaser <spam_OUToli.glaserTakeThisOuTspamtalktalk.net>
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <.....piclistKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, 29 December, 2010 14:51:56
> Subject: Re: [PIC] C syntax in assembler
>
> >   That's probably why I  never bumped into this in real code.
>
> <yawn...>
>
I spend most Saturdays at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park  http://www.tnmoc.org/

I look after a 1960's British computer called an "Elliott 803B", and
I have to tell you that programmers today have a really easy job
compared to the people that programmed the machines from that era !

PeterO

2010\12\29@112031 by Kerry Wentworth

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Not sure what you mean.  I wrote my first program in 1969 when I was a dumb high school student, so it couldn't have been that hard.  ;)

In the 70s, I did program computers using toggle switches, but that was training, not a practical application.  In 1976, our ship (US Navy) got a computer that was so small. it fit on a desk!  It cost ~20 years of my pay, so I didn't dare pick it up, but I played with it some.

Kerry


PETER ONION wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2010\12\29@113344 by PETER ONION

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----- Original Message ----
> From: Kerry Wentworth <kwentworthspamKILLspamskunkworksnh.com>
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <.....piclistKILLspamspam.....mit.edu>
> Sent: Wednesday, 29 December, 2010 16:20:56
> Subject: Re: [EE] Programmers have it easy today! was [PIC] C syntax in
>assembler
>
> Not sure what you mean.  I wrote my first program in 1969 when I was a
> dumb high school student, so it couldn't have been that hard.   ;)

I doubt you were dumb :-)  However I suspect that your first program wasn't  actually very complex ? (I apologise if I'm wrong).
And the tools available by the end of the 1960s were quite different to those available at the
beginning of the decade. The pace of change in the 1960s and 1970s was really amazing !

PeterO

2010\12\29@114820 by Alexandros Nipirakis

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I don't know that it can be said programmers have it easier or harder
today, I think programming will always be the same.  The same
concepts, the same general idea, the same stuff involved.  Just
because we don't need to worry as much about talking directly to the
hardware doesn't make it easier per se.  Just because the internet
didn't exist back then didn't make it easier either.

Its like art in many ways.  Being an artist in the 21st century is no
more or less challenging than being one in the 16th.  The tools may
have changed, the techniques may be different, but they are similarly
dificult.

With that said, being a late 20th century early 21st century
programmer, I have always thought it would be neat to work on some of
the big iron of yesteryear.  But alas...

Aleksei

On 29 December 2010 11:33, PETER ONION <EraseMEpeter.onionspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTbtinternet.com> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> {Original Message removed}

2010\12\29@122038 by Olin Lathrop

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Alexandros Nipirakis wrote:
> With that said, being a late 20th century early 21st century
> programmer, I have always thought it would be neat to work on some of
> the big iron of yesteryear.  But alas...

No problem.  Just put a PIC in a large rack mount cabinet.


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Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000

2010\12\29@134802 by Alexandros Nipirakis

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LOL ;)



On 29 December 2010 12:21, Olin Lathrop <olin_piclistspamspam_OUTembedinc.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\12\29@143405 by Harold Hallikainen

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>
> I spend most Saturdays at The National Museum of Computing
> at Bletchley Park  http://www.tnmoc.org/
>
> I look after a 1960's British computer called an "Elliott 803B", and
> I have to tell you that programmers today have a really easy job
> compared to the people that programmed the machines from that era !
>
> PeterO

Was that made by Elliott Automation? My father's company (Hallikainen
Instruments) had a British division (Hallikainen Instruments Limited) that
was part of Elliott Automation. I remember seeing an Elliott computer at
my father's company. Elliott is mentioned several times in HI archive at
louise.hallikainen.org/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/webinator/search/?pr=hi&query=elliott&xsubmit=Search%3A
..

Harold

-- FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available

2010\12\29@144510 by Peter Onion

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On Wed, 2010-12-29 at 11:34 -0800, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> >
> > I spend most Saturdays at The National Museum of Computing
> > at Bletchley Park  http://www.tnmoc.org/
> >
> > I look after a 1960's British computer called an "Elliott 803B", and
> > I have to tell you that programmers today have a really easy job
> > compared to the people that programmed the machines from that era !
> >
> > PeterO
>
> Was that made by Elliott Automation?
Yes (ish) :-)
At the time the 803 was made I think it was still Elliott Brothers, but
it is the same company.  Elliott Automation was the group or parent
company I think.

PeterO

2010\12\29@150628 by Harold Hallikainen

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{Quote hidden}

Great! I see lots of references to Elliott Brothers and Elliott Automation
in my archives. As I mentioned, I remember seeing one of the Elliott
computers (3 or 4 foot rack cabinet) in my father's company conference
room. I never did anything with it, though. I think Elliott sold or
manufactured my father's equipment in Europe, but I don't think they sold
the Elliott equipment in the US.

Back on the subject... I did some Fortran punched card stuff in school. A
little while later, I did assembly language programming on the PDP-8. This
was a punched tape system. We used the front panel toggle switches to key
in a loader program. When we ran that, we loaded another loader from
punched tape. Once that was in core, we could load an editor or an
assembler. The editor was a bit like the line editor that shipped with
DOS. The output went to punched tape. When the assembler was loaded, you'd
start it, then run the source tape through twice. This would produce an
object tape. You'd then load the object tape and try running your program.
Debug consisted of single stepping while watching front panel LEDs showing
the program counter and the accumulator. It was a pain, but it worked. You
could really see how stuff was brought up "by its bootstraps." Each new
program added features that could be used to build new programs.

As to the difficulty, I think the difficulty has remained constant. We now
have more powerful tools (and library code), but we are trying to solve
more difficult problems.

Harold

-- FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available

2010\12\29@151519 by Peter Onion

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On Wed, 2010-12-29 at 12:06 -0800, Harold Hallikainen wrote:

> As to the difficulty, I think the difficulty has remained constant. We now
> have more powerful tools (and library code), but we are trying to solve
> more difficult problems.

But if you compare solving the same problem in 1960-style and 2010-style
my original statement is clearly correct !

PeterO

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