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Author Topic: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.  (Read 962 times)

Dray

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2017, 08:19:49 AM »

Wasn’t there a time in the recent past when code writing was called programming?

You seems to have forgotten voice input
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2017, 08:42:41 AM »

In the environment I worked, low level OS developers, often working in assembler, were known as ‘code writers’.   The term ‘programmers’ tended to refer to higher levels languages, and application writers.   

That was back as long ago as late 1970s.   May just have been a local habit though?

Re voice recognition, I grant it has advanced to the point of being quite useful.   But I think it has a long way to go before we can say it has transformed to world of computing, in the way that GUIs did vs command line input, or in the way that personal workstations suddenly evolved from mainframes office systems.
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Bowdon

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2017, 11:25:11 AM »

wow that is a good video. I'm an Amiga fan boy. A friend catalogues all the Amiga games with emulators on a well known forum.

I think Workbench came out before Windows appeared on the PC.

Edit: I have just done a quick search and Workbench 1.0 came out in October 1985, while Windows 1.0 came out in November 1985.
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renluop

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2017, 04:34:54 PM »

At that period I was working for a branch of Her Majesty's Financial Mafia. Computerization was only nascent there.
The bloke supposed to be the "expert" insisted the plural of mouse was not mice but mouses.
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jelv

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2017, 06:14:42 PM »

There has been one big development over that period: software has now become so bloated that you need ever faster PCs just to do the simple tasks at the same speed as you used to do them!
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Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning. Rick Cook, The Wizardry Compiled

sevenlayermuddle

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #21 on: December 10, 2017, 06:48:54 PM »

There has been one big development over that period: software has now become so bloated that you need ever faster PCs just to do the simple tasks at the same speed as you used to do them!

Strongly agree.

Early in my own career, we’d be tasked with writing (say) a comms stack, to be run in a specific hardware environment, eg CPU and memory.   Hardware was not negotiable.   At the end of the day, if it didn’t run fast enough, or used all memory,  we’d failed.   Though I don’t think we ever failed, because squeezing out the last ounce of performance, or reducing memory, was the real job satisfaction.

By the end of my career, the attitude had become... write a comms stack, test it, then tell us what we should state for hardware requirements.    No real challenge at all.   Could maybe even be written using a mouse. :D
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roseway

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #22 on: December 10, 2017, 10:43:58 PM »

My first computer (a Tangerine Micron) had 1024 bytes of RAM, of which about 450 bytes were available for user programs. The original "operating system" was in a 1024 byte EEPROM. So everything I did on that little machine involved making the best use of every byte, all in machine code of course. Programming was a lot more fun in those days.
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adrianw

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2017, 03:41:21 AM »

I think the first "mouse" I encountered was the "puck" (pointing device on a graphical tablet) on an ICL PERQ 2 (or maybe 3A) in 1985 or 1986.

The PERQ was an amazing graphics orientated machine. 1 or 2 MB RAM, 34 MB fixed disc. 1280 * 1024 monochrome display. The computing oomph of a mainframe in a man portable (just) box.

My big boss sent me to evaluate one for a few days. He hated me when I reported that while it was amazing, I could not cost justify it. He had fallen in love with it when the salesman brought one along for a quick demonstration. I really liked the program which would read an IDMS (hierarchical database) schema, draw a representation of it (Bachman diagram) which you could then pull in to shape with the puck.

My first personal mouse was attached to an Amstrad PPC. I did not use it much as Windows 2.* was too slow to use. A mouse click would generally be followed by minutes of clunking from the very slow and expensive external hard disk before anything happened. Next personal mouse use was with SCO Open Desktop.

In my world people who designed and wrote code, at any level, were called Programmers. Those poor souls who just turned detailed specifications into code were pejoratively called Coders. Cue the Real Programmer jokes? E.g. http://www.smart-jokes.org/real-programmers.html
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sheddyian

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2017, 10:49:40 AM »

There is an interesting (if perhaps rather long - 2 hours) presentation about the Xerox Alto system here, which has been restored and is being demonstrated by some of the original programmers and developers. 


Ian
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burakkucat

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2017, 05:54:49 PM »

Thanks, Ian. I've made a note of the URL to the video but at two hours in length . . . it will be 90 minutes longer than I would prefer!  ::)
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adrianw

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2017, 07:16:35 PM »

Thanks Ian. Looks interesting.
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22over7

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2017, 10:33:28 PM »

I looked at parts of the two hour video. Among lots of interesting things, the most was Butler Lampson's role in the Bravo editor, with his idea of a table of snippets or pieces. It seems to me a brilliant piece of programming. 

Lampson seemed to balance technology  and abstraction.
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phi2008

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Re: 1985 - These weird things called mice and windows.
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2017, 11:40:05 PM »

The Amiga was the most amazing live computer demo I ever saw - in 1985/6. It was like a multi-tasking graphics workstation from 10 years in the future - and the demo I watched included the Sidecar - a PC expansion box that integrated with the Amiga, you could have PC programs running in one screen/window and Amiga programs running on other screens - like a hardware VMware, but in 1985/86. Of course computers are much more powerful today, but I haven't seen anything since that was like looking 10 years into the future.

I'd suggest watching "From Bedrooms to Billions" (can probably locate it on qBitorrent search function if necessary), for the Amiga history - pretty well made documentary.
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