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Drives (as in Drive C has crashed, please buy a new computer

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bobofel
47813.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:50 am Reply with quote

yeah good luck. what work will you not be doing for much longer?




One more time!

Thank gawd for Dr.Bob

 
dr.bob
47814.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:51 am Reply with quote

Currently I'm a sysadmin, though my original training was in astrophysics.

So if anyone hears of any IT/astronomy jobs in Edinburgh, be sure and let me know :)

 
bobofel
47819.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:55 am Reply with quote

oo very nice qualification

 
Celebaelin
47836.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:19 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:
When working for Ed Roberts at Atari didn't he and Paul Allen, after quitting Harvard, write the first BIOS for the first (self-assembly) home computer?


I wasn't even aware that he and Paul Allen had ever worked for Atari, much less writing bioses for anything. Exactly what was the first self-assembly home computer, anyway?

Of course I'd be willing to be proved wrong if you were able to produce convincing references.

Read in a book called Hard Drive

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0887306292/002-4812040-3084057?v=glance&n=283155

IIRC the machine was called the Atari 3000 because they expected to sell 3000 of them (and it sounded quite good).

Quote:
Bill Gates on writing and selling Microsoft Basic:

Roberts has this bankrupt company, makes the computer, crazy idea, they project they'll sell 3000, they get the orders for 10,000. So we call them up in January and say -- well, we had a fairly aggressive posture, we said, "We have a Basic, do you want it?" And he said, "Oh sure, sure, a lot of people call me up and tell me they have stuff. Why don't you come down and show it to us?" We say, "OK, sure, fine, in two or three weeks we'll come down and show it to you." We get the instruction manuals, because we never had the specific one. Paul writes a simulator in macroassembler, I write the Basic. Three weeks I call the guys up. It was a subset of our Basic. It was essentially the 4K Basic, but it was quite an effort and a lot of fun to go back into that clear goal, clear way of measuring success mode and just work. I stayed up the whole time, virtually. And enjoyed it a great deal. So we wrote the thing and then we called up Roberts and asked, "Hey, how do you read characters in and out of this thing?" He said, "You'd better talk to Yates." So Yates gets on the phone and he says, "You really want to know that, huh? You're the first to ask. Maybe you guys really have something." Because everybody was promising these guys software. It's so easy to do.

http://www.fireinthevalley.com/fitv_voices.html

More here
Quote:
Bill Gates offers to sell all rights and ownership of his 8080 BASIC to Ed Roberts and MITS for about US$6500. Roberts declines the offer. [1149.102]

http://www.islandnet.com/~kpolsson/comphist/

 
Tas
47847.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 11:19 am Reply with quote

Dr Bob>

If you go contracting, as opposed to full-time, I may be able to help you out.

PM me if this is likely!

:-)

Tas

 
bobofel
47862.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:01 pm Reply with quote

ooo good for u tas

 
tetsabb
47877.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:21 pm Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Currently I'm a sysadmin, though my original training was in astrophysics.

So if anyone hears of any IT/astronomy jobs in Edinburgh, be sure and let me know :)


So if someone remarks that 'It's not rocket science', you are better qualified than most to say yay or nay?

 
bobofel
47883.  Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:09 pm Reply with quote

favourite quote from the simpsons: "For goodness sake Smithers this is brain surgery, not rocket science!"

 
dr.bob
47951.  Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:56 am Reply with quote

Celebaelin wrote:
Read in a book called Hard Drive

Quote:
Bill Gates on writing and selling Microsoft Basic:


More here
Quote:
Bill Gates offers to sell all rights and ownership of his 8080 BASIC to Ed Roberts and MITS for about US$6500. Roberts declines the offer. [1149.102]


OK, that says quite a lot about him writing a Basic compiler, which I already mentioned way back upthread. I don't see any reference to writing a BIOS though.

Am I missing something?

 
dr.bob
47952.  Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:58 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
So if someone remarks that 'It's not rocket science', you are better qualified than most to say yay or nay?


That's actually my favourite remark when debating things with people who are really missing the point:

"Let's face it, it's not rocket science.

And I should know!"

:)

 
Celebaelin
47968.  Fri Jan 27, 2006 6:51 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
Celebaelin wrote:
Read in a book called Hard Drive

Quote:
Bill Gates on writing and selling Microsoft Basic:


More here
Quote:
Bill Gates offers to sell all rights and ownership of his 8080 BASIC to Ed Roberts and MITS for about US$6500. Roberts declines the offer. [1149.102]


OK, that says quite a lot about him writing a Basic compiler, which I already mentioned way back upthread. I don't see any reference to writing a BIOS though.

Am I missing something?

I'm getting just at little narked at this dr. bob. Unless you've read Hard Drive overnight you don't know what is written in it. I'm not a computer professional and I read the book some 11 years ago but what I posted on is my recollection of the early part of its content. If you check it out and find that I'm wrong then that'll be fine but until then I think that as the expert in these matters the onus is on you to be more forthcoming with your explanations rather than simply contradicting me. If I am in error then I would have thought with all the knowledge and experience at your disposal that you could have made the intuitive leap to being constructive in your criticism somewhat earlier.

Perhaps you can put me right in this regard, I believe that BIOS stands for Basic Input/Output System, am I incorrect in this?

 
Tas
47974.  Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:41 am Reply with quote

I might be wrong, but BIOS (Which is Basic Input/Ouput System) and BASIC (a programming language, and referred to in the quote from the book) are two different things.

I am certain I will be corrected if I am wrong!

:-)

Tas

 
Tas
47976.  Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:48 am Reply with quote

BIOS, in computing, stands for Basic Input/Output System. BIOS refers to the software code run by a computer when first powered on. The primary function of BIOS is to prepare the machine so other software programs stored on various media (such as hard drives, floppies, and CDs) can load, execute, and assume control of the computer.

Bios can also be said to be a coded program embedded on a chip that recognises and controls various devices that make up the computer.

While the name BIOS is an acronym, it may also be a play on the Greek word βιος (bios) life. The term first appeared in the CP/M operating system, describing the part of CP/M loaded during boot time that interfaced directly with the hardware (CP/M machines usually had a simple boot loader in ROM, and nothing else). Most versions of DOS have a file called "IBMBIO.COM" or "IO.SYS" that is analogous to the CP/M disk BIOS.

CP/M is an operating system originally created for Intel 8080/85 and Zilog Z80 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc.. Initially confined to single tasking on 8-bit processors and no more than 64,000 bytes of memory, later versions of CP/M added multi-user variations, and were migrated to 16-bit processors.

CP/M stood for either Control Program for Microcomputers or Control Program/Monitor. The name echos the prevailing naming scheme of its time, as in Kildall's/Intel's PL/M, Programming Language for Microcomputers, and in Prime Computer's PL/P, Programming Language for Prime. Gary Kildall himself renamed CP/M in word form as part of the maturation of CP/M from personal project in 1974 to commercial enterprise in 1976.

The combination of CP/M and S-100 bus computers patterned on the MITS Altair was an early "industry standard" for microcomputers, and was widely used through the late 1970s and into the mid-80s. By greatly reducing the amount of programming required to install an application on a new manufacturer's computer, CP/M increased the market size for both hardware and software.

BASIC (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code[1]) is a family of high-level programming languages. Originally invented in 1964 by John George Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz at Dartmouth College, it was designed to allow students not in science fields to use computers. At the time all computer use required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to do. It became widespread on home microcomputers in the 1980s, and remains popular to this day in a handful of heavily evolved dialects.

source: Wikipedia

BIOS is written in machine code, I think, whereas BASIC tranforms instructions in that language in machine code.

:-)

Tas[/quote]

 
Celebaelin
47977.  Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:00 am Reply with quote

I must admit to only reading the first part of your post Tas, you started to turn into burble burble after the second paragraph but I am pleased to report that as far as I can tell I did understand the distinction, largely because I've read that one bio. of Bill Gates.

'He' does talk about the process of writing the BIOS for the Atari 3000 early on*. I'm more convinced that I'm right about this now with your post as confirmation. That doesn't mean I am right of course, it just seems that way to me - there's a whole switch flicking thing going on IIRC.

* Although I don't think it was called a BIOS yet at that stage.

 
Tas
47982.  Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:31 am Reply with quote

LOL....after I posted that lot I thought that is a bit too much gibberish, but then did not have time to edit it, and pair it down somewhat.

Sorry!

:-)

Tas

 

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