Floppy Disks

5.25 inch plastic?

Yes! It was right after the 8 inch size became obsolete. It was part of a HeathKit continuing education course in AI. It contained code samples from popular at the time languages made exclusively for AI, expert systems.

1 Like

I was very happy to get my first 8” drives when they came out. It was most of a weeks wages. I assembled my S100 interface card from a kit, another significant chunk of cash. I was using paper tape and cassette tape up to that point. I stayed with double sided double density 8” right up until I went to my IBM PC clone.
My wife reports that the eventual tally on that machine was $4000 - in 1978 dollars. It would be a whole lot more in today’s dollars. That got me 64K of static memory, 8 MHz of single core 8 bit processor, and 2 MB of rotating removable media, with a nice 80 x 24 Intecolor color terminal. Oh, and a Diablo daisy wheel character printer. Running CP/M. All top of the line hardware I needed to do professional consulting.

Lesson learned: Trying to buy the hottest machine available is a fool’s errand; in a year it will be “meh” and something else will be cooler. Now I buy solid name-brand off lease workstations (one or two years behind being the newest coolest machines) for $300 bucks. An added bonus is that all the “twitchy” things are sorted and the machines “just work.” A much better deal all around. At this very moment, someone is burning in the awesome machine I will buy in a year or 3 - cheap.

BASIC (with line numbers) & assembly language. Many hours using ED to edit text. It’s funny how using a character/line based editing dials you in for knowing string manipulation for the rest of a programming career.

Kids starting out today can fool around and learn 3D kinematics using dual quaternions with a vastly more capable machine and easy to use python library. I have to wonder where they will end up at the later parts of their careers?

1 Like

Bitking, talking about the old days of computing, all the dreams of a robot in every household by the year 2000, has been making me feel too old to go any further than memories of my Tandy Model-1 that I bought from help with my dad that I payed off running the printing press at the family printshop, where I’m still work, often running a press.

After spending time going over the 3D math problem I have to say that the Lennard-Jones membrane part of the code is most efficient without quaternion, and needs to be the simple anchor point for quaternion to articulate a cell body and network connections.

This exercise has already greatly helped me get used to coding in Python, and back into the 3D math groove again too…

1 Like

You were already married in '78?

I was married on Nov 23,1974.

My guess is that most of them will be higher up the stack in a niche area, as the technology field continues to get broader with more specialties. There will always be hardware people, there will always be low level coders, but they will make up a smaller and smaller percentage of the overall field as it grows.

At the same time, universities will continue to give just enough exposure to the fundamentals that they aren’t completely overlooked. I’m old/young enough (mid thirties) that programming assembly code was just something we did at university for a few weeks, same with operating system principles. So I have a basic grasp of these things but I’ve never contributed to the linux kernel or written a device driver.

1 Like