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January 02, 2006

Back to the Computing Future

All this working with C really brings back the 80s. I started learning C in 1987 and started programming when I bought Turbo C 1.0 on release day in 1988. Those were the days.

Of course, reviewing C leads naturally to reading Let's Build a Compiler and Compilers and Compiler Generators, and that leads to assembly language and cool articles about preserving/reviving old computers and I ended up spending several hours yesterday working on my VAXstation.

Unfortunately I hadn't fired up the VAXstation in over a year and couldn't guess the system password (it wasn't the usual password I use). Fortunately a former coworker had enlightened me to the fact that you can still break into a VAX and reset the system password, so I managed to accomplish that. However, all my software licenses expired in 2004, so I need to get new ones, and naturally that has to wait until my new Encompass/DECUS membership number gets registered with openvmshobbyist.com.

Yikes. All this just to do some VAX MACRO programming. I could do it on the 3600, but it might seem antisocial to spend the entire weekend in the basement. I really need to get that thing networked.

Operating system fans, be sure to check out The Operating Systems Handbook, now freely available in PDF form. I really wanted this book 6 or 7 years ago and am really looking forward to reading it. It could be a great resume-booster.

Also, be sure to check out The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!). I wish it were about 3 times as long, but it's a great start if you know absolutely nothing about the subject (except the "fact" that "Unicode is simply a 16-bit code where each character takes 16 bits and therefore there are 65,536 possible characters"--completely untrue).

Permalink | Posted by Joe at January 2, 2006 11:52 AM


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