Microsoft open sources GWBASIC

Nigel Johnson nw.johnson at
Fri May 22 07:56:15 CDT 2020

I know where you are coming from. Starting out as an FE I was only 
initially trained in assembler - specifically to trace each instruction 
through the machine for troubleshooting!  My first database was written 
in ART418 (Assembler for Real Time/ Univac 418 :-))Later I learned C and 
used it to do any real programming.

When the 'big iron' computer industry was taken over by the peecee, I 
went into teaching ECE at college.  For 25 years I was always trying to 
teach my students efficiency in coding - especially important until the 
latter years in embedded systems.

Now even embedded systems are running with gigahertz clock speeds!  Over 
my career I have seen the change from three assembler courses in a 
six-semester program to just one 'so they can get their hands wet'!

In the end, when asked 'why do we have to learn this?' I ended up just 
saying "When embedded systems start displaying really weird problems in 
a worldwide installed base, some knowledge of assembler may be the only 
way to fix it.  People who can will be the first to be hired and the 
last to go if a company down-sizes! Even when teaching C I showed them 
how to get down and understand the assembler in the debugger.

I am retired from teaching now now and write in C and SQL :-) One day I 
will do some PDP-11 assembler just for old time's sake on my PiDP-11!



On 22/05/2020 08:06, Bill Gunshannon via cctalk wrote:

> On 5/22/20 2:56 AM, Rod Smallwood via cctalk wrote:
>> Now that is really cool. Good old MS
>> In '83 I was working for DEC and had access to things like BASIC+.
>> I was amazed at what they could do on a micoprocessor.
> In my early days :-)  I was given a project to develop programs
> for an LSI-11/02 with 28KW of memory and RX02 8" floppies.  I
> got the project because the mainframe programmers I worked with
> did not believe anything serious could be done in a machine that
> small.  I developed programs that later e\went production using
> MACRO-11, Pascal, Fortran and COBOL.  I doubt the products of
> modern computer science education could duplicate what I did.
> Efficiency is no longer a consideration.  Just throw more hardware
> at the problem.
> bill

Nigel Johnson

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