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Wobble some brain follicles

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by KL7AJ, Nov 21, 2021.

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  1. KL7AJ

    KL7AJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got a pretty late start fiddling with computers....I never even touched one until I was in my forties. I always figured I'd just be an RF guy forever, and you can be an RF guy for a lot of years without ever twiddling a bit.
    This all changed overnight when I got a job at Hipas Observatory, where we had a lot of data acquisition stuff happening. I learned C through a back alley, namely MATLAB. We had an ionosonde that was all written in MATLAB, and my first job was to modify the code so we could look at Doppler shift. This was certainly a baptism by fire, but I came up to speed really fast.
    I'm now 67, and I am FAR FAR better at computer a number of languages...than I was at 40...and certainly better than I ever imagined to be at 20.
    Now that folks are living a bit longer, we see a lot of folks whose bodies are outliving their brains. This is sad, and I believe unnecessary.
    I "officially" retired at 65, but that's when I started my new business, and I've been busier than a one legged Flamenco dancer. I am finally at the age where I actually KNOW some stuff, so I can't see myself hitting the rocking chair any time soon.
    In theory....hams should have a lot of wisdom to offer...on the air and elsewhere. Don't settle for camping out on the periodontal and prostate procedure 75 meter net!

    That is all.
    N0NB likes this.
  2. WF7A

    WF7A Subscriber QRZ Page

    I started programming computers back when I was 15 (1975) and am a database coder by profession--I'm capable, but not great. However, at work they want me to learn two new programming languages and it is hard to say the least--stuff I used to pick up easily in my twenties I'm totally flummoxed with in my sixties. However, there is a benefit--it's been proven that if you keep your brain busy in your senior years it'll help stave off the effects of...what is it? Oh yeah, Alzheimer's, so here's hoping.
    KK4NSF likes this.
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I USED to do a lot of homebrew back in the early 1970's, but quit... Now, (about 50 years later) I'm beginning to get back into HB, both for ham projects and general electronic projects, as needed (or wanted!:rolleyes:) Unfortunately, I've got more projects (and repairs) then I can do in TWO lifetimes. :( But it DOES keep me busy!
    (And all I can say to Eric is: "You youngsters ain't s got no respect for your elders!:p" [I got you beat by a few years.:D])
    KK4NSF likes this.
  4. KC3TEC

    KC3TEC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been a computer tech for 45 years and sadly very few young people today will listen to us old farts.
    Yet it's amusing to see the shock on their faces when we fire up old software and do things there never thought of.
    But those that do come away with a combined knowledge of both the old and the new.
    KK4NSF likes this.
  5. KK4NSF

    KK4NSF Ham Member QRZ Page

    yep....several of us have computer skills that predate DOS even.... but that doesn't necessarily make us obsolete dinosaurs. In spite of all the new bells and whistles, the core concepts of program design are the same as they were 45 years ago. I still use tools that I wrote in Fortran IV on an IBM 5120, rewrote in BASIC, then in QBASIC, then in VB, now in Python to run on a Raz-Pi. [​IMG]

    A well designed program is timeless.... just like some of US! :D

    All programs ultimately run in machine language. It really doesn't matter what high level language it was originally written in. Deep down inside, Win11 is just another NT system with a fancy face on it.
  6. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got my first taste of computers in the late 60's with a PDP-8, and have worked with computers ever since. At 72, I still write programs every single day. Over the years I have had to program in a dozen, or more, computer languages. In many cases, the programs I worked on used multiple languages. I never had a problem adapting from one to another. I just look at a computer language as an means to an end. There are more Computer Languages than you can shake a stick at.

    When I retired, 2011, the program I was working on used Fortran, C, C++, Java, Assembly Language, and Ada. All running on a PC under Solaris 10. Each language was used for a specific requirement and they all had to work together. We tried using a Windows OS, but couldn't get a good Ada compiler at the time. We also looked at Linux, but the compilers were poor.

    On a much earlier program, we used Assembly Language for the bulk of the main controlling system. But we used a single Fortran program for the flight equations. That was much easier to implement and support. Code wise, Assembly Language was 99.9% of the project.

    For my personal use, I did a lot of programming with my Commodore 64, in the early 80's. The programs were usually a combination of Basic and Assembly Language. But I never cared much for Basic, in any of it's forms. I still have some early M6800 computers. They are old but still fun to play with. I wrote a assembler in GAWK that runs on a Windows PC under Cygwin64.
  7. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    please tell me more! I had a SWTPC 6800. 16kB? SSB disks, SWTPC (Don Libes?) 16x64 glass TTY, ASR33 for printing.
  8. KC3TEC

    KC3TEC Ham Member QRZ Page

    let see if this memory rattles you a bit
    there was an early virus out there that went by the name chtulhu-byte.
    it was an nasty adaptation of the spin-rite program commodore used written for dos and windows
    if you remember correctly in spin-rite you could adjust the speed parameters of the drive to fine tune the read write process.
    anyhow debugging it revealed the upper-limit parameter was modified and had a few zeros added plus an auto-exec.bat file was created to run it.
    any one who ever ran the program their disk drive would run away at warp speed and meltdown.
    some hdd's that used the glass platters shattered in their shell before the stepper drive burned out.
    antivirus at that time couldn't detect it because it had no recognizable signature
    and the only way you could find it was to watch the file size.
    the system you were using to analyze the disk had to have autorun features disabled in order to read the disks. and you wanted 2 step authentication to save or autosave disabled
    (using linux) could easily read fat 16, and fat32

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