I found some pieces of particle board and a saw and I sketched out what it was going to look like, and started sawing. I sawed, and sawed, and sawed. The particle board was really, really hard, and the saw was really, really dull. I sawed for what must have been at least two minutes, and then I gave up. OK, I'm not going to do that. So I probably went into the house and watched television after that. At that time, even at that tender age, it was already obvious that I was going to be a software guy.
For the better part of two hours, Douglas takes you on a historical journey in which you learn about:
- the origin of the eighty-character limit
- the history of punch-cards and their impact on modern programming
- the origin of the term "spaghetti code"
- why accessibility has gone downhill since the days of the Teletype
- why we're still living with both a carriage return character and a line feed character, and where those concepts originated
- the genealogy of command-line text editors
- why "the guys who could write for the [Atari] VCS were heroes"
- why innovation in software is slower than innovation in hardware
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