Re: [ reactions ] Re: [NYT] Microsoft Is Set to Be Top Foe of Free Code

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From: Andy Armstrong (
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 15:28:03 PDT

"Stephen D. Williams" wrote:
> "Joseph S. Barrera III" wrote:
> >
> > Also sprach
> > > I still wish I'd bought a used CP/M box in 1985 instead of the
> > > idiot Amstrad CPC-464, and learned programming Forth _properly_.
> >
> > Hmm. In 1986 I bought an XT clone with 640KB. Even then, a 64KB
> > address space limit was pretty restrictive. Why would you go for an
> > 8-bit machine in 1985?
> My Atari 400 in, about, 1981 served me better than many machines after
> it. Certainly, banging away on the membrane keyboard with a full-screen
> editor (sort of) and saving to cassette I was still miles ahead of all
> those kids in college wasting time on punch cards. I ended up being
> president, at 15 or so, of the local Atari Users Group. Silly, but it
> got me started.

Like many kids in the UK the various Acorn machines (Atom, BBC Micro,
Archimedes) were my introduction go 'real' programming (6502 assembler).
Actually, my 6502 experience started with Waterloo TLA (The Last
Assembler) under the UCSD P-System (tell me I'm not the only FoRKer with
P-System time under my belt) on Apple ][s then I wrote myself a little
6502 assembler on a 40 column Commodore Pet, but the real learning all
took place on Acorn machines which actually still rule to this day.

> I also programmed a bit on a IBM PC running DOS 1 (no subdirectories,
> 64K memory, just BASIC). The local insurance company, in our little
> town of 11,000, had an IBM 370 and some mini computers and they
> obviously had a very early PC to try it out. I was in a business
> 'explorers' group as a teenager run by a deaf guy who was a programmer
> there. He let me play with it so I could try to write a simple
> accounting program.

Anyone remember the ACT Sirius (which was called something else in the
US) and the DEC Rainbow. These were early IBM PC contemporaries. The
Sirius was a particularly distinguished bit of kit because it

  * had a really neat hi res mono display
  * had an approximately CLV (constant linear velocity) floppy drive
    according to popular legend could be made to play tunes
  * looked a hell of a lot better than those boxy first generation IBM

If I remember correctly the DEC Rainbow was a dual processor (Z80 /
8088) machine.

Andy Armstrong, Tagish

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