Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
I'd love to take an Osborne I back to the 1964 class, plunk it downin
front of the guy who wanted to teach us numerical methods instead of
Some 15 years later, when I took Computer Science, FORTRAN was a
three day course, after which we wrote a comparison of FORTRAN II and
FORTRAN IV never to use it again, while numerical methods was a full
term of lectures.
I learned BASIC 50 years ago (give or take a month).
I obviously got interested, and looked around for something else. The
local preference was ALGOL, so being me I self taught FORTRAN IV. This
was useful a few times much later, but it was fairly boring. So I learned
assembler on the ICL 4130 - 24 bit machine with 32kW of memory. Probably
about 200 kips.
Interestingly, FORTRAN was an afterthought on that system, and didn't
integrate very well. It obviously only ran in batch (cards to printer).
If the batch system detected a FORTRAN job, it unloaded most of itself
(device interfaces excluded) and loaded a different batch executive. This
was reversed if a non FORTRAN job was encountered.
The switch (using a program called SWAP!) too about 3 seconds, I think (I
was in the machine room a few years later and actually heard the disks
clicking with the changeover). Because of this, we had to put the FORTRAN-
or-not status on the job cards so that the operators could optimise by
grouping FORTRAN jobs together.
That machine didn't have much more in the way of languages until I wrote
a BCPL compiler for it.
Using UNIX since v6 (1975)...
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