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Real Programmers don't use C++

  1. Dec 10, 2015 #1


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    Copied from Datamation, July 1983
    Real Programmers Don't Use PASCAL

    More: http://www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/hack/realmen.html
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 11, 2015 #2


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    And the former high-school students with TRASH-80s are now middle-aged fogies who are being replaced by app-writing twentysomethings who stare at their smartphones all day. :rolleyes:
  4. Jan 5, 2016 #3
    Ha... I actually used to use TECO and had to key in the bootstrap with the front panel switches a couple of times... we used to write character-cell computer games for the VT52's. Slightly more complicated than Pong, but only slightly.
  5. Jan 21, 2016 #4
    I'm young by comparison, and old by other comparisions..I learned the basics of programming playing "Nibbles" in Qbasic.
    I did learn a lot.. I made a program to find prime numbers, and then plotted the frequency on a graph.. all in QB.. It wasn't efficient code by any stretch of the imagination, but it did it... I wish I still had that program
  6. Jan 21, 2016 #5


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    I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation using TECO!
  7. Jan 21, 2016 #6
    TECO was an interesting editor. I got quite skillful at building useful macros for TECO. I ported a package of graphics software in FORTRAN IV in to it. I also wrote some data acquisition and display software in MACRO-11 assembly language.

    The funny thing is that we aren't really doing things all that much better with this computing power than we did 20 years ago. Yes, we're plowing through more data. Yes, we're communicating much faster, yes we're making prettier documents. But is it truly better? Are we getting better things for the incredible computing power we have today that we couldn't do decades ago? I suspect the return on the investment in computing power is logarithmic.
  8. Jan 21, 2016 #7


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    I'd say yes since back then program run-time could be so long that some ideas wouldn't even be attempted.
  9. Jan 22, 2016 #8
    It's an occupational hazard of the technician for the technology to fall out of fashion. Pop musicians have the same problem.
  10. Jan 22, 2016 #9


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    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
  11. Jan 22, 2016 #10
    I think the amount of goodness we get out of modern technology is a diminishing return... perhaps proportional to the square root of computing power.. When the tubes came to be we got basic radio and telecommunications.. that was a HUGE step up... Then we got transistors, and radios became portable, telephones became popular, then came IC's, we got calculators and computers, another big step up, but since then what have we done.. I agree with Jake that we made UI's a lot prettier, we've found prime numbers with over a million digits, drop a bomb on an ant across the world, but everything we make is so automated no one has any work to do anymore, so they sit and complain for handouts, our public and personal debt is continuing to spiral out of control.. You can't hold a conversation with anyone anymore because facebook and twitter on their phones is far more important, and these are just a couple of the direct negative effects of the technology.
    I'm not saying the technology is directly to blame, our choices of the implementations are questionable though.
  12. Jan 22, 2016 #11

    Uh... Grand Theft Auto?

    After sixty-plus years the artificial intelligence thang is taking off. I'm impressed.

  13. Jan 22, 2016 #12
    I'm certainly not saying we aren't making any technological advances and breakthroughs... I just think there might be some doubt as to how much good it's really doing us... Just take the Arduino and all the other microcomputers.. they're fascinating, we just have to do more than blink lights on cat collars with them
  14. Jan 22, 2016 #13
    There are two pieces to this: Yes, our computing power is vastly better than we ever had before. I'm impressed with it too. We have computing power to waste now, much as we waste energy on all sorts of frivolous things.

    But what are we actually doing with it? We used to order things from the Sears Catalog. Okay, web sites are a bit more timely and yes, we've eliminated a lot of middle-men and warehousing. But we now have web site hosting companies, web masters, and security specialists instead of printing and delivery companies.
    But most of that is not computing but data networking.

    We now have WYSIWYG editors. Now even nonsense can look official and published. Is that really a good thing? We can have grammatically correct, perfectly spelled, typeset stupidity. Personally, I think it was actually a good thing when people obsessed over their words because publishing cost significant money.

    We have more problems with malware of all sorts. Now we have phones with more computing capacity than most early mainframe computers. And they're plagued with malware that can steal your identity and bank account.

    I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't advance here, but we could do it with a bit more circumspection and forethought. Look at Television. Today, we have literally hundreds of channels of with more programs than anyone dreamed --and the vast majority of it is still utter dross. But, gosh it looks good doesn't it?
  15. Jan 24, 2016 #14
    The other day I was just thinking about something. As far as we have come in regards to computational power, I'm not sure we will ever hit a point where we have enough. Sure for personal computing we've had enough for some years, but when it comes to scientific computing, I think we are just scratching the surface of what we'd like to do but haven't been able to do in the past. And I think we are going to see some real benefits from what we are achieving now with the help of large scale scientific simulations.

    Some technological advancements can certainly be a double edged sward.

    I think our economic systems will need to change as things become more and more automated, and unemployment levels get higher and higher. The good thing is that while we will need less and less workers due to technological advancements, we will also be much more productive overall. Really this is a win-win right? The question is how do we work out the problem that, in our current system, we expect people to earn a living, and we hope for an opportunity to earn more through our own effort.

    Eventually, it seams that something is going to have to change or else we will just be piddling away our potential as a species. I would guess that the changes/adaptation will come late, and incrementally, crisis by crisis.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2016
  16. Jan 24, 2016 #15
    Jarvis, I think you're quite right.. The problem is at least equally caused by the rigid economic system as the dynamic technological one. We also have ever increasing demands for our standard of living.. When was the last time you saw someone watch a 13" TV?.. Never see one under 32" now...

    The technological advancements have also created a throw-away culture... from consumer electronics that aren't worth (or impossible) to fix, to cars that suffer of the same problem.. a car that would be worth $5000 is pretty much sent to the crusher for an electrical gremlin.... Meanwhile we're obsessed about being "green". My 25 year old car may have more emissions than a new one, but I can fix it, and as long as I can keep the rust off it and keep it between the white lines, it's good for a long long time yet. These 'advancements' have become a burden on anyone not able to buy a newer vehicle, because they can't afford to pay $150/hr for someone to look at it, and quite possibly still not get it fixed.

    I'm not a socialist, but I believe the capitalist system is flawed, especially the way it's implemented.. Looking at the 2008 financial crisis, the "big guys" got trillions in bailouts after creating the problem with crazy profits, with the hope the money would "trickle down" to the lower classes... How would things have looked if the bailout money had been divided among the people who are going to be paying off this debt? They'd certainly spend it, and it would "trickle up" just fine.
    Yeah, I know I went on a tangent there.. sorry about that.
  17. Jan 24, 2016 #16
    It is a very basic dilemma. It is a strong cultural value in the West to work hard, but there simply is not enough work to do. What a strange problem to have. In the US it is slowly building up to a crisis.
  18. Jan 30, 2016 #17
    More compute power is good. The stuff I can do on my PC today in minutes would have bogged down the time-share minicomputers of yesterday for hours, to the point where the other users would have complained.
    I am, however, somewhat in agreement that we've mainly prettied up the interface. For some tasks, GUI is harder to use than command-line. I liked DCL a lot.
  19. Feb 1, 2016 #18


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    Real programmers probably don't program in Basic on a Commodore 64, either. I even had some programs that made it easier to program in Basic (and still didn't use them to their fullest because, every time I renumbered, I'd have to relearn the line numbers for each of the subroutines).

    I used to love that computer. Very simple and very easy to learn at least the fundamentals of CPUs, disk storage, databases, etc.

    Even did some work in assembly language - and quickly lost interest since that's an awful lot of work to get such small pieces of programming out of it. It felt like building miniature ships inside a bottle. Still good to know, since I eventually had to learn it again in college, but I wouldn't want to do that for a living.

    In fact, I'd say real men program in assembly language. Real men that have grey beards, smoke pipes, and never go outside when the sun is shining; only when there's a strong Nor'easter blowing.
  20. Feb 1, 2016 #19


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    I remember using a teletype device with an acoustic coupler and thermal paper. It's bugging me now,because I can't remember the name of the interface. I think it was called Interact, does that ring any bells?

    We were using them to setup the old McCormack & Dodge accounting systems.
  21. Feb 11, 2016 #20
    I use Delphi and C++ Builder.
  22. Feb 11, 2016 #21
    I think the problem we are headed towards is much deeper than that. I have heard people who aught to know that in one hundred years machines (AI) will be able to do anything a human can do, but better and cheaper. I think that will be a cross cultural "spiritual" problem far harder to deal with than the economic one it entails. Granted, adrenalin junkies and some others may be perfectly content, but I think for most it will be a "spiritually" crushing dystopia.

    Oh, and real men program in Common Lisp
  23. Feb 11, 2016 #22
    ? Why would an adrenaline junky enjoy such a situation?

    I've heard that real men prefer Scheme. But I wouldn't know.
  24. Feb 12, 2016 #23
    From observation of a relative who's raison d'ĂȘtre is the excitement of risky physical enterprise. He would be more than happy in a world where he had nothing to do outside of that. I suppose some entertainers and artists might also be OK in that world.

    And yes. In truth real men prefer Scheme for the simple elegance of its power over the shock and awe of CL; :oops: sniff, I'm not a real man.
  25. Feb 12, 2016 #24


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    You are a very beautiful swine, though :smile:
  26. Feb 12, 2016 #25
    The first step is accepting the truth. Often it is the hardest step.
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