More from: faux history

Programmer Humor

I don’t normally post comics, but I grew up with the computer industry and programming. This just spoke to me. Actually “Sacramento” came a lot later – mainframes were only owned by the largest banks, who rented time on them to others, and the programs were loaded from large reels of magnetic tape placed onto tape drives and manually threaded almost like a movie projector.

XKCD.COM comic today, June 25.

This is a bit newer history than when I started. Prompt 80, Southwest Tech 6800, Smoke Signal Broadcasting, mother boards covered with molex pins into which daughter boards were plugged (there were no son boards), eventually the Atari 400 and then the 800, the Apple 2e, the Commodore, Sinclair ZX-80, the Tandy, and the Texas Instruments 99/4.

Skilz was getting a successful load or save with the cassette tape player (whence you stored and loaded your programs) with careful timing between the play / record buttons with one hand and your other hand on the keyboard to start the tape and computer together at exactly the right time. And they ran on CP/M, not DOS, so you had to re-compile your own since the hardware and I/O addresses changed between each production run for every computer made.

Ah! Those were the days! Then came the single sided five inch square 160K “Floppy Disk”! What a revolution!