- Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:36 am
rudy wrote:My start with programming was punch cards high school, maybe Fortran? Can't remember. Then Pascal in college, I hated it. The microprocessor course was assembly language with the Z80. I ended up using the Z80 in the earlier microprocessor based products I designed. I used the Intel 8031/8051 along with early Microchip parts. All code was assembly language. I liked the clarity of the instruction set. I liked building my tool chest of routines. Then I got a job as a hardware designer and only did minor programming for test purposes.
Working at that low level certainly give a useful perspective. Its too bad that there isn't time for that anymore when teaching new people.
How cool! I'm not from that time.
I started by learning Pascal and then C.
I never picked up a punched card.
You are very knowledgeable.
I bet rudy started work in the late 1970s or early 1980s when I did !! We used paper tape for loading the site computers (for controlling railway signalling), and when I went to work for air traffic control they had punched cards and multi-platter disk drums (size of washing machines!).
On the railway there was very early prototype bespoke electro-mechanical 'computing' from the 1960s which used rotary magnetic drums to store train info (predating disk drives), and whole walls which contained x/y wiring matrix with fist sized logic gates for setting the signalling logic. Train timetable info was programmed onto a roll of plastic sheet with holes punched in it like a Jacquard loom (automatic piano etc).
I think 1970s & 1980s were the golden age of computing (the emergence of electronics and programming) into a cohesive marriage designed by geniuses and artists. Later was the golden age of software, with the development of strategies and methodologies, higher level languages, it became a real science and was recognised as real engineering (note: the IEE refused to acknowledge software as engineering for a very long time).
Now we have electronics as cheap throwaway items and we all benefit from being able to design/develop microprocessor projects for very small amounts of money. Sadly though, mainstream software (programming) as a career has become like working down a coal mine : however, the niche work (like embedded) is still a great place to work and is real 'engineering'; you'd never find me working as a web programmer which I don't consider to be anywhere close to science, art or engineering; not even sure I have a word for it. I think maybe I would just call it dull, uninspiring and chaotic !
If I was starting out in a career I would do bioengineering that's the 21st century version of computing.