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February 09, 2020


My first computer languages were all assemblers, some primitive because the hardware had neither a stack nor was it multi-threading capable. Simple missile control HW.

I'll try to put an article together getting my computer languages in chronological order; if I can remember all of them (40+)?

I started with Basic doing very simple programs on my Commodore Vic 20 in High School. Then in college I took a Pascal class when it was all the rage, but I dropped that class after realizing it wasn’t my cup of tea. Then in engineering school I took a class in FORTRAN and muddled my way through. Now kids look at you funny when you try to explain how you had to find an open terminal and log into the main frame to do your work.

Stu--I'm not surprised by the number of languages with which you've worked. I'll look forward to your posting. My only contact with assembly language was the deck of cards I got back after submitting FORTRAN/WAT4/WAT5 decks.

Ingineer--Younger Brother had a couple of Commodore 64s (?). I had forgotten about Pascal, but never used it. Did you ever have to use a terminal to access the main frame - to use as a 4-function calculator? (You're probably not old enough for that.) I used such a setup in grad school; but, stopped using it upon purchase of the HP-35 .

Nope, never had to use a mainframe calculator. The first computer I owned was a Vic 20 then a year or two later I got a Commodore 64. It was sure fancy compared to its little brother. And the tech just kept improving from there. I remember a guy in one of the physics classes I took in college saying that nobody needed to own a hard drive bigger than 10 megabytes.

Ingineer--Thanks for the chuckle. I'm thinking that 254K was what we dealt with.


My summary is online now.

Liz--Another language that had escaped my recall, and, again it is one that I did not learn.

Stu--I'll be right over.

Liz, a couple of years ago the state of California had a problem with the state controllers office accounting system and they had to bring some folks out of retirement because the source code for the system was written in COBOL. We may have Silicon Valley and be all high tech in the private sector, but the state government is still stuck in the dark ages.

Yes, I was a civil servant working at the then fairly-new DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency). I have no idea what they use now.

Did anyone ever run Debian?

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