Re: Claim to fame..
heh. good one.
In my foggy memory banks, I seem to recall that original early Pascals were pretty much useless for anything but theoretical Comp Sci kind of stuff (and an argument could be made that even THAT use was stretching things). Borland's hackjob in the Turbo series was, in my ever so humble opinion, the best way to program in MS-DOS. Compiler, editor, linker, and extensive context-sensitive help were all there, just a key-stroke away. You could "touch" anything in the hardware you wanted, throw in Assembly language if you really wanted to super-optimize something (or look macho), and all sorts of neat things (array of functions? check...). I never got into the TurboVision libraries too deeply, since I liked re-inventing the wheel at every opportunity, but what I remember of them was they were pretty solid with a bit of a learning curve. (Probably not as much as most of the Java frameworks nowadays, though.) And all for like $79, with an "educational" version often available for $49.
Yeah, I had a lot of fun with TP 6. I was taught "straight" Pascal in college, but TP let me fully explore the inner workings of the PC. Good times, good times...