Re: Microcode is hard
"Which reminds me that I should probably re-read Tracy Kidder's excellent book on Eclipse MV/8000."
Somewhere in that book is a quote along the lines that at least one person afterwards "went back to the soil" - where things moved more slowly than nanoseconds.
Having taken a break from IT on a farm for similar 1970s reasons - I was then glad to get back into IT "where things move a lot faster than the seasons".
The book's subject of the unofficial "backup" development of something also happened in ICL - IIRC with the comms front-end MCU1. Can't remember why the approved new development failed to meet its deadlines - but a skunkwork based on existing hardware was a success.