Author Topic: The Story Of Mel  (Read 197 times)

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Offline arthwollipot

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The Story Of Mel
« on: October 23, 2019, 10:46:55 PM »
I know there are some programmers here who would appreciate this, but it's just as good if you are, like me, not. It's a great read.

The Story of Mel dates from 1983, and it's quite long so there's the link (don't worry it's not that long, just too long to quote in full), but it starts like this:

Quote
A recent article devoted to the macho side of programming
made the bald and unvarnished statement:

    Real Programmers write in FORTRAN.

Maybe they do now,
in this decadent era of
Lite beer, hand calculators, and “user-friendly” software
but back in the Good Old Days,
when the term “software” sounded funny
and Real Computers were made out of drums and vacuum tubes,
Real Programmers wrote in machine code.
Not FORTRAN.  Not RATFOR.  Not, even, assembly language.
Machine Code.
Raw, unadorned, inscrutable hexadecimal numbers.
Directly.

Lest a whole new generation of programmers
grow up in ignorance of this glorious past,
I feel duty-bound to describe,
as best I can through the generation gap,
how a Real Programmer wrote code.
I'll call him Mel,
because that was his name.
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Offline The Latinist

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Re: The Story Of Mel
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2019, 09:38:51 AM »
I even understood some of that.

Yes, we are spoiled.
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Offline arthwollipot

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Re: The Story Of Mel
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2019, 07:40:22 PM »
I even understood some of that.

Yes, we are spoiled.

Yes, I have enough baseline knowledge about the general function of computers that I can follow much of it. It helps that I grew up in the 70s and so all the books about computers talked about drums and cores. I was actually part of a "gifted and talented"  ::) program at my primary school* where we actually got access to some early microcomputers.

* elementary school, for Americans
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Offline superdave

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Re: The Story Of Mel
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2019, 10:30:35 AM »
I wish that the imitation game had more math in it, putting that machine together, that was programming.  Anyone know of any good books about cracking enigma that aren't shy about getting into the technical details?
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