Re: As a dev system?
Yes, I remember that and also that to write programs for a Mac you needed to read 17 manuals, none of which made any sense until you read the other 16.
23 posts • joined 26 May 2014
I would guess the monitors had DVI or VGA connectors and someone used a cable to connect between the two.
When personal computers were first coming out I was working in the computer centre of a very prestigious college in London - . I'd installed a CP/M machine for someone who's job title was programmer. So she was a programmer in a professional computer centre in one of the top centres of excellence for technology and science in the UK. A couple of weeks later I got a call saying I must come down "at once" to mend the computer. I was finishing off what I was doing and was about to leave for her office when another call came in; "You don't need to come. Someone spotted it wasn't plugged in."
Sad I know this, but it would be one clock cycle faster to use the AND as opposed to SUB to convert to upper case, we preferred to use the SUB as it made it more obvious. Similarly, we tended to use CMP 0 instead of AND A to check for A containing 0 although it was, again, 1 clock cycle faster. It was 34 years ago...
My favourite C bug was one I read about;
int *a, *b;
int c, d;
a = &c;
b = &d;
At first look, this function looks like it should return 2. However, it may not compile - the *a/*b contains /* - so the rest of the code is treated as a comment.
My "favourite" bug was in Z80 assembler; I'd written a subroutine which converted a string to upper case. Our strings had a two byte length followed by the actual characters, so the routine looked something like this (pseudo code).
toupper: ld len,(hl) ' get the length
inc hl ' skip the length
jlt isupper ' if not lower case
jgt isupper ' not lower case
' must be lower case
sub a,('a'-'A') ' convert that character
jne toupper1 ' more to do...
The routine worked fine until someone passed a zero length string to the routine; then because the code decremented the length before comparing it with 0 to see if we'd finished, the routine converted the entire 64k memory - including the code - to upper case. By chance, a lot of stuff carried on working, so it took a couple of hours to to realize what was happening.
Microsoft do have such a system where several (ISTR 4 was shown) screens/keyboard & mice were connected to a single tower - it was designed for educational use where the cost per seat was an issue. Obviously, if the tower breaks down, you lose several seats and you might argue it doesn't save that much money.
It's not just the CP power; I use a lot of keyboard shortcuts when editing images, I have a second screen showing the edited image and a third screen holding the list of images - a big keyboard and extra screens aren't that big a deal on a desktop system but they make a big productivity difference.
Obviously it's *possible* to edit images on a laptop - but I'd only do that when I'm away from my desktop because it's so much slower with only one small screen a worse keyboard. Equally, I have Photoshop on my tablet and it's possible to do basic editing with that and I have done, but only when I didn't have my laptop.
To rephrase; if I was employing someone as a photo editor to sort through 600 images and produce 30 publishable images and he pulled out his tablet, I'd have a suggestion about how they could be more productive.
"The desktop has been dead for some years, resurrected to an afterlife of video editing and CAD."
A few seconds thought of things that are easier on a desktop gave me:
If I was paying for your time to do any of these things, and you pulled out your phone to (say) write a 100,000 word document, I'd suggest a way you might be more productive.
It's struck me as a missing technology in phones; DAB is essentially MP2 - so any MP3 decoder can decode DAB, but I don't know if the radio chip inside phones can tune to the DAB band - but if a phone had DAB, it would certainly make it more likely for me to buy one - at the moment I have to take a separate pocket DAB to the cricket.
DAB isn't going to go away; although people (and I) can listen online at home or use tune-in - on a phone, how do people listen to 4extra or TMS in a car without DAB? Cars are one of the most common places to listen to a radio; does anyone even make a car radio with a 3G card?
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