Friday, August 07, 2009


Wow, I stumbled on this - and I so remember it.

I remember my first Pascal (turbo of course), that really got me started programming at home, in my spare time. That was the beginning of the end.

And when I got Turbo C, that was it. I was hooked. I cannot count the number of times I had to reboot my computer learning C - as I was constantly overwriting memory in the beginning - but it was worth it. How many times did I have to flip flop the floppies "Insert Library Disk 1", "Insert Library Disk 2" - because I had no hard drive...

A blast from the past.

This morning, as I was crawling under my desk to get to the USB hub to plug in yet another device, I was thinking "remember back in the day when every device you bought came with an 'expansion card' and you had to crack the case to install hardware - this is too easy".

My first hard disk - partition it into 32mb or less partitions (DOS didn't do more than 32mb on a disk back then...), install hardware, reinstall hardware, load drivers (by hand...), have at a really really slow disk..

My first computer CD device - hardware to install first, then lots of device drivers (by hand, edit that config.sys)...

My first scanner, ditto

Modem... the same.

and so on. It is very much easier these days, but you lose a bit of knowledge with that ease of use. Maybe that is why I had to opportunity to write this...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

It is true...

I get to see a lot of "in house" applications - those applications developed internally for and by a company itself.

The screens on these applications many times have more fields on them than the mind can fathom. Fields and buttons galore.

Just like this cartoon demonstrates...

It is so true - I like simple user interfaces (yes, I'm a metalink classic fan too...)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Every now and then, you read something that makes you go "huh".

I was answering some questions on asktom today and had one about a CSV (comma separated values) file. Thought I would point the person to the 'specification' for that file format and the first searching I did turned this up (from a forum)

Perhaps I misunderstand the question because I'm not sure what
"format" and "escape" characters are.

However, to my knowledge, CSV files are nothing more than ascii text
files, which means the font is courier and 12 pt.
The emphasis is mine - a CSV file is just a file where the text is in 12pt courier! That is so simple.

Sometimes, you read something and it just makes you laugh out loud...