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'[OT]following on to ancient programming software'
2009\03\04@200856 by cdb

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A job advertised today in New Zealand requires someone who has
knowledge of Borland C for DOS, (why oh why did use Microsoft C and I
still have the manual, demo programs on DOS palette management).

This isn't that surprising as I've noticed that some petrol stations
(and from working on them) race track terminals still uses either DOS
based programs or OS2.

Just in case anyone here is into RS232 via DOS here is part of the job
ad.

"
Software Engineer

An immediate start for a Software Engineer with an intermediate level
of commercial experience and in depth knowledge of Borland C for DOS
to design and implement software solutions for new and existing
products.

It would also be valuable to have experience with ISO communications
protocols as, working in a small team; the immediate work is to
implement a new communications suite for a set of DOS based platforms
over an asynch RS232 pipe running over radios. The suite will cover
everything from high level user interface, including message logs and
setup areas, down through addressing and retries and finally at the
base layers of forward error correction methodology and port access. "

Colin

--
cdb,  on 5/03/2009



2009\03\04@202645 by Bob Ammerman

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> Just in case anyone here is into RS232 via DOS here is part of the job
> ad.
>
> "
> Software Engineer
>
> An immediate start for a Software Engineer with an intermediate level
> of commercial experience and in depth knowledge of Borland C for DOS
> to design and implement software solutions for new and existing
> products.
>
> It would also be valuable to have experience with ISO communications
> protocols as, working in a small team; the immediate work is to
> implement a new communications suite for a set of DOS based platforms
> over an asynch RS232 pipe running over radios. The suite will cover
> everything from high level user interface, including message logs and
> setup areas, down through addressing and retries and finally at the
> base layers of forward error correction methodology and port access. "

Good grief...

That job description is nearly a clone of a good part of my career.

Too bad I'm not in New Zealand. :(

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2009\03\04@205908 by Tamas Rudnai

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On Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 1:26 AM, Bob Ammerman <spam_OUTrammermanTakeThisOuTspamverizon.net> wrote:

> Good grief...
>
> That job description is nearly a clone of a good part of my career.
>
> Too bad I'm not in New Zealand. :(
>

Hehe, it reminds me to the good old days as well, writing BBS and remote
access tools.

Tamas
--
Rudonix DoubleSaver
http://www.rudonix.com

2009\03\05@003247 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Mar 4, 2009, at 5:08 PM, cdb wrote:

> A job advertised today in New Zealand requires someone who has
> knowledge of Borland C for DOS, (why oh why did use Microsoft C and I
> still have the manual, demo programs on DOS palette management).

They weren't all THAT different from one another.  Like Bob, this  
sounds like a significant (not that long, but very significant) part  
of my career.  The port of cisco IOS from Microsoft C to Borland C  
went pretty smoothly, as I recall.

At this date, I'd assume that the main requirement would be someone  
who understands all those near and far pointers and different memory  
models.

I wonder how small you can make a DOS (freeDos-running) 386-class  
computer these days?  I guess Lantronix pretty much fits that sort of  
thing inside their XPORT "internet in an RJ Jack" devices, although  
they did ethernet instead of display.

> Fabricated using an industry-standard CMOS process, XChip Direct is  
> a highly-integrated x86 class processor that includes a built in  
> Ethernet MAC and 10-100 PHY, 256 KB zero wait-state SRAM, up to 2  
> GPIOs and a high-performance serial UART in a compact 12mm x 12mm  
> 184 BGA RoHS-compliant, industrial temperature package.


I guess a SEPARATE question is "how cheap" can you make such a PC  
core...

BillW

2009\03\05@005150 by Neil Cherry

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William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
> On Mar 4, 2009, at 5:08 PM, cdb wrote:
>
>> A job advertised today in New Zealand requires someone who has
>> knowledge of Borland C for DOS, (why oh why did use Microsoft C and I
>> still have the manual, demo programs on DOS palette management).
>
> They weren't all THAT different from one another.  Like Bob, this  
> sounds like a significant (not that long, but very significant) part  
> of my career.  The port of cisco IOS from Microsoft C to Borland C  
> went pretty smoothly, as I recall.

HeHe, seems a lot of us went down the x86 road. I still maintain
code that was written under Borland C with some odd graphics library
(I compile it under Linux).

ANyway, I've got to ask, IOS & Microsoft? I've been playing with
IOS since 7.0. I don't remember an x86 box, can you share?

--
Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       .....ncherryKILLspamspam@spam@linuxha.com
http://www.linuxha.com/                         Main site
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog
Author of:            Linux Smart Homes For Dummies

2009\03\05@030223 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Mar 4, 2009, at 9:51 PM, Neil Cherry wrote:

> ANyway, I've got to ask, IOS & Microsoft? I've been playing with
> IOS since 7.0. I don't remember an x86 box, can you share?

My initial job at cisco involved porting IOS (then version 4.x, I  
think) to an 80186 based 8-port terminal server box manufactured by a  
potential partner.  While the partnership and the product fell  
through, the code was running on both the raw hardware AND on a 286  
based PC (using DOS as a sort of program loader, and not with a live  
network.)

Cisco went on to port IOS to x86 architectures three additional  
times.  Each was successful, but ended up further behind than it  
started.  I've created a maxim: "no finite sized engineering team can  
fix a problem that a larger and growing engineering team is still  
creating."

The most recent effort, with which I was also involved (full circle -  
must be time to retire?) "cheats" by having the compiler do most of  
the work.  It looks like this will be considerably more successful.  
While it looks like we've long since stopped touting particular CPUs  
in our products, the announced ASR-1000 "Route Processor 2" uses an  
Intel CPU:

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/routers/ps9343/data_sheet_c78-441072.html

BillW

2009\03\05@040900 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I wonder how small you can make a DOS (freeDos-running)
>386-class computer these days?

I was just thinking how much of a DOS equivalent could be put in a large
PIC24 ...

2009\03\05@041105 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I've created a maxim: "no finite sized engineering team can  
>fix a problem that a larger and growing engineering team is
>still creating."

That one I will have to add to my list .... created a laugh here.

2009\03\05@083612 by Dave Tweed

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:
> > I wonder how small you can make a DOS (freeDos-running)
> > 386-class computer these days?
>
> I was just thinking how much of a DOS equivalent could be put in a large
> PIC24 ...

You could take a Propeller chip, run an x86 emulator on one (or more)
cores, do video and keyboard interfaces on other cores. An external
1MB SRAM chip could provide working storage, and an external 256MB
flash chip could represent a hard drive. It would probably be about
as powerful as the original PC/XT, limited primarily by the available
bandwidth to the external SRAM.

It's absolutely astounding how much technology has shrunk. One case in
point: I have an Apollo Computer DN10000 in my office, which was built
around 1990. It is about the size of a dorm refrigerator and was a
very advanced graphics-oriented RISC-based engineering workstation
in its day. I recently (~30 years later) got a "Beagle Board", which
has a TI OMAP3530 processor and its companion memory chip (128MB SDRAM,
256MB flash). The processor has a 600 MHz ARM core, plus a separate DSP
core and a hardware graphics acceleration core. The two chips fit into
a space 12x12x2 mm, yet the combination outperforms the DN10000 in
pretty much any useful dimension -- by orders of magnitude in some
cases.

-- Dave Tweed

2009\03\05@102905 by Martin McCormick

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Dave Tweed writes:
> It's absolutely astounding how much technology has shrunk. One case in
> point: I have an Apollo Computer DN10000 in my office, which was built
> around 1990. It is about the size of a dorm refrigerator and was a
> very advanced graphics-oriented RISC-based engineering workstation
> in its day.

       It is amazing. This year marks the 30TH year that I have
been involved with computing. In 1979, I was learning BASIC and
6502 assembly language on an Apple II and found out how to make
tones on the speaker and or the tape cassette interface (D-type
flipflops running off the strobe,) and thought that was so neat.

       There was also a game port that would take two 100-K
pots, 4 on-off switches or pushbuttons referenced to ground, and
deliver TTL-level signals to annunciator outputs for driving
LED's and whatever else you wanted to stick on there as long as
it was in the TTL range. The pots changed the R in a RC time
constant on a quad timer chip and could give at least the
feeling of having analog-to-digital converters even though they
weren't.

       The thing is that we now think about technology much
differently than we did then. Then, one might have a $1500 Apple
II sitting there with a ribbon cable going from the game port to
a box with a few TTL chips and relays in it to turn a tape
recorder motor on or off at a given time or make a siren noise
in the speaker if some other condition occurred, but the idea of
embedding the whole computer in a $100 device was just beginning
to grow.

       When I first learned about PIC's it occurred to me that
that whole Apple II game port had basically been turned in to a
single chip that just needed 5 volts, a couple of capacitors and
a crystal to do its thing.

       The desktop or laptop computer and a programmer put in
the program for the PIC, but the cord to a big box somewhere was
basically cut. It's still an exciting thought.

Martin McCormick WB5AGZ  Stillwater, OK
Systems Engineer
OSU Information Technology Department Telecommunications Services Group

2009\03\05@112303 by Tamas Rudnai

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On Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 3:29 PM, Martin McCormick
<martinspamKILLspamdc.cis.okstate.edu>wrote:

>  When I first learned about PIC's it occurred to me that
> that whole Apple II game port had basically been turned in to a
> single chip that just needed 5 volts, a couple of capacitors and
> a crystal to do its thing.
>

That sounds interesting to me :-) Did you port a game from 6502 to PIC or
wrote an emulator?

Thanks
Tamas
--
Rudonix DoubleSaver
http://www.rudonix.com

2009\03\05@170739 by Martin McCormick

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Tamas Rudnai writes:
> That sounds interesting to me :-) Did you port a game from 6502 to PIC or
> wrote an emulator?

Nothing that sophisticated. I just meant one could have a single
self-contained IC that could do a lot of the same things we used
to  need a hole table of expensive equipment to accomplish.

       As one who built a tape recorder sequencer to control 5
open-reel tape decks in a primitive bit of broadcast automation
in 1975, I was very impressed with the way technology totally
changed over the last almost 35 years.

       I did not study computer science in college but was
always interested in electronic tinkering so I probably would
have eventually gotten in to computing, but learning the Apple
II and IBM P.C. and then finding out about PIC's has made so
many new things possible that none of us could even dream about
in the seventies.

Martin McCormick

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