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I've been having some rather interesting conversations with colleagues, coworkers, and friends. We've been discussing how we started in our respective areas of expertise, and what tools we had available and what we used at that time. These discussions have a bit of redundancy to them, being as most of us graduated from the same technical school, and were exposed to the same tools. I'm curious what others out there have experienced.

Me personally, I starting learning HTML using Notepad on an old Windows 98 machine. They weren't the best looking pages, nor the most correct from a standards point of view. I eventually moved up to XP and started working with the .NET Framework, but I remained true to NotePad, and continued using it till I starting taking classes in college specifically for web development and programming, where I was then forced ( for the sake of the class) to use Visual Studio, and regrettably I've left notepad behind. I produce code significantly faster, and I don't think I could write straight up HTML anymore using notepad, but it's always good to reflect on ones starting points.

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Last Post by Kramer49
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  • Our secretary once complained about all the typing she had to do. I suggested she get implants but I don't think she took it like I intended ;P Read More

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OS/360 clone, Fortran IV, punchcards
PDP-11 clone, asm, punch-tapes
CP/M, Forth, 8" floppies
etc

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IBM 370/H148, DOS/VSE, ICCF, CICS, COBOL, 360 assembler
What are these newfangled things called "personal computers"?
;)

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HP 2000 Access, Basic, Paper Tape.
Upgraded to an IMSAI 8080 with front panel switches. You entered code 8 bits at a time. It had 8 LEDs to display output (not LED displays, 8 LEDs. You learned binary).

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Wow... I feel young... A lot of what you all have mentioned was obsolete by the time I exited diapers... But I do at least know that Green Acres is the place to be, and I've used a Commodore 64 with the 128 expansion, and a dot matrix printer. Oregon Trail, or Star Trek on an Apple II was the coolest thing ever when I was 10. Sadly that was only 14 years ago...

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Imsai 8080 and Data General Nova. Mass storage was dual cassette on the DG and 8" floppy on the 8080. Debugging consisted of hand assembling and toggling bits on the front panel.

Next job was programming SPPCs (stored program process controllers) at two northern generating stations in Manitoba. Programs were written in assembler and cross compiled on the IBM mainframe in Winnipeg, then punched to paper tape before loading to audio cassette. Debugging was as above - front panel bit flipping.

We replaced the SPPCs with a dual redundant SEL mainframe. I finally got to program in FORTRAN. In '93 we started developing on PCs.

I ended up my career doing all PC work - software development, SQL DB admin, etc.

I can truthfully say I've just about seen and done it all. And, yes, I feel old.

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Wow... I feel young... A lot of what you all have mentioned was obsolete by the time I exited diapers... But I do at least know that Green Acres is the place to be, and I've used a Commodore 64 with the 128 expansion, and a dot matrix printer. Oregon Trail, or Star Trek on an Apple II was the coolest thing ever when I was 10. Sadly that was only 14 years ago...

Try not to think of it in terms of age, but in terms of where you started and how far you've progressed. I know guys who changed careers rather than get into new technologies. I worked with guys who just KNEW that batch COBOL was the most efficient way to process bulk data. I knew guys who thought that green-screen apps on the big blue mainframe were the be-all/end-all of effective computing. I even knew guys who thought that if you had a 40Gb hard drive and 16Mb of memory on your PC, you'd never be able to max out your machine. Times change, and you have to keep up if you don't want to become a dinosaur (figuratively speaking, that is).

For myself, I come to this site and sites like it to keep in touch with my "inner techie". I was turned into a management-type years ago (no, I don't have pointy hair). I just recently went back to Petzold's Windows API programming book to see if I could translate all the examples from C to FreeBasic (I could, but it wasn't easy). I help where I can, learn where I can, and try to instill in some of the younger guys an appreciation for history of computing, and that some of the old techniques can still be used to improve stuff that's being written even today.
</evangelize>
:)

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One thing I hope never to lose is that sense of wonder. Our first SCADA system had disk drives with removable platters. The drive was the size of a washing machine and the stack of platters ($5000 for each stack) was about a fourteen inches across and ten inches high. Each stack was 300 meg. And now a USB key holds 32 gig and up. What's not to be amazed about.

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Well, Moore's Law is holding true so far. It won't be long before we'll have 1PB hard disks, 1TB thumb drives, and computer's without monitors at all, we'll just have implants.

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Our secretary once complained about all the typing she had to do. I suggested she get implants but I don't think she took it like I intended ;P

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As a Grade 7 kid who went to a summer Computer camp. lol. Now I'm 16 and just started my own Computer Repair business. Everything I've been around is still pretty new... lol

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