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The C64

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Life' started by AB2YC, Apr 8, 2021.

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  1. AB2YC

    AB2YC Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I first started working with computers as a career all the techs could program in at least one language.

    Today many techs cannot program at all, and some once off the GUI are completely lost.
    Fortunately with the Arduino and Raspberry Pi coming out many people are learning to program again.
    KD2ACO likes this.
  2. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Arduino and Pi have just been wonderful to get folks back into programming, haven't they? :)

    I will confess I started in 7th grade hand-punching Fortran-IV cards to be sent downtown to the "Central School" to run on the IBM360 and a week later, returned with a printout to the students. It was cool - I learned flow-charting, logic, and of course Fortran.

    But it wasn't until the C64 and BASIC (and for me, later, the Vic20 where I started doing machine code first, before trying it on the 6510 of the C64) that I found FUN in programming that's stayed with me my whole life

  3. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    My specialty was picking the wrong languages to learn that would go nowhere, like Pascal.
    KX8C and K2CAJ like this.
  4. W0JPR

    W0JPR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Everything was in Pascal when I got going. I learned Pascal in high school (80s). All the classes at the time were in Pascal at many universities. Though they switched to newer languages not long after I graduated.

    I learned 9 different languages in college, which helped me see how to look at problems outside of the language. That's a much more helpful skill than many people know.

    I did a lot of work in Ada83 for flight computers in the 90's. But as soon as the FAA discontinued their mandate for Ada in flight software, I quickly dusted off my C and C+++ skills. I never looked back and at this point probably would have a hard time reading any real Ada these days. There were some interesting features in Ada that I liked over C/C++. But the job market for Ada programmers has steadily declined to just above nothing these days. And many of those projects are legacy system maintenance. Most of the new cool fun stuff is in other languages now.

    Though I will say that my experience in Pascal and Ada were really helpful when I got a job converting an old flight display computer from a JOVIAL on MIL-STD-1750A processor to C on a PowerPC. I even wrote a manual for the company "C for Jovial Programmers" that got me a sizeable personal achievement award. Basically, I went through the JOVIAL manual section by section and wrote up how to do the exact same thing (or as close to it as you could) in C. So if you knew the JOVIAL manual, you could easily find a how-to by finding the same section in my manual.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
    WJ4U and KD2ACO like this.
  5. KF4ZGZ

    KF4ZGZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Anyone remember the VIC-20?
    I had one of those ......
    KA2CZU likes this.
  6. KY4GD

    KY4GD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Omega Race!
  7. KA2CZU

    KA2CZU XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    at least you didn't specialize in FORTH :D
    KX8C and KD2ACO like this.
  8. KY4GD

    KY4GD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I know plenty of DoD contractors who are patiently awaiting the return of Ada...
  9. K3UJ

    K3UJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    How about the SYM-1, assembly only
  10. W5UAA

    W5UAA Ham Member QRZ Page

    @KD2ACO and @W0JPR

    Just an FYI. It wasn't a "wrong" language to pick and it wasn't used in the production world (as far as I know). Pascal was a "teaching" language. It was developed to teach structure and discipline in order to achieve reliable and efficient programs.

    It was my first course in programming for my computer science degree. Made it easier to hit C and C++ hard and heavy in subsequent programming classes.

    The Z80 in the Timex Sinclair and the 6502 in the VIC20 and Commodore 64 are what got me interested in the higher level languages.
    KD2ACO and W0JPR like this.

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