The Link 14 Electronics

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          welcome, people, to this
exciting installment of GURU'S CHAPTER
or whatever else you want to call it.

   this month i will be printing a
shortened version of an article i saw in
a YOUR COMPUTER YEARBOOK. i think you'll
find it very entertaining.


     ack in the 'golden era' of computer
s it was easy to separate the real men
from the quiche eaters: real men underst
ood computer programming , quiche eaters
didn't. eal programmers said things like
'ABEND' (they actually spoke in capitals
you see). others just said 'i can't rela
te to computers, their too impersonal.
 real men however, don't 'relate' to
anything, and aren't afraid of being

    but times have changed. today we're
faced with a world where little old
ladies have access to microwaves thru
their microwaves, kids can blow real men
out of the water with games, and anyone
can buy their own personal computer, so
the REAL PROGRAMMER is in danger of beco
ming extinct and replaced by students
with TRASH-80S  (trs-80s) .

    there is clearly a need to point out
the differences between a pacman plater
and a real programmer.

    the easiest way to spot an RP (real
programmer) is by the language he uses.
RPs use a language like FORTRAN while
quiche eaters use PASCAL.

the following is a list of dos for RPs:

. do list processing in FORTRAN
. do string manipulations in FORTRAN
. do accounting (if at all) in FORTRAN
. do artificial intelligence in FORTRAN
. if you can't do it in fortran, do it
   in ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE. if you can't do
   it in assembly, it isn't worth doing.

      the academicis in computer science
have fallen in the structured programing
 rut over the last few years, they claim
 programmes are more easily understood
if they are written in a certain way.
   they can't, of course, agree on the
exact way though.

     when i got out of school, i thought
i was the best programmer in the world i
could write a tic-tac-toe program that
was unbeatable, use five different langu
ages, and create 1000 line programs
which really worked.

    then i ventured out into the workpla
ce andmy first task was to read and
understand a 200 000 line fortran progra
mme and then double it's speed!
  all the structured programming in the
worldwon't help you solve a problem like
that, it actually takes skill.

    followin are some quick observations
on RPs and structured programming

. RPs aren't afraid to use GOTO
. RPs can write 5 page DO loops without
    getting confused
. RPs like arithmatic IF staements, they
    make the code more interesting.
. RPs write self-modifying code, especia
lly if it will save 20 nanosecond in a t
ight loop.
. RPs don't need comments, the code is
.since FORTRAN doesn't have structured i
f, repeat .. unitl or case statements,
real programmers don't have to worry
abpout not using them, besides, the can
all be simulated with gotos

      what lkind o operating system does
 a real programmer use? cp/m? god forbid
 cp/m, afetr all is just a toy op sys.

     of course, UNIX is alot more compli
cated, a typical unix hacker cannot  rem
ember what the print commoand is this we
ek! but when you get right down to it, u
nix is a glorified video game. people do
n't do serious work on it, they send jok
es, write adventure games, and do resear
ch papers
        no, the real operating system is
OS370.  a good prohgrammer can find and
understand the description of the
ijk3051 error he just got in his  jcl
manual, while a truely outstanding progr
ammer can find bugs buried in a 6mb core
 dump without using a hex calcualtor.

     os is a truely remarckable op sys.
it's possible to destroy days of work wi
th a single misplaced space, so alertnes
s is encouraged.


    in theory, a real programmer only ne
ed s a keypunch to enter all his program
mes into the front panel of the system.

   legend has it that seymour CRAY, inve
ntor of the cray i supercomputer and mos
t of control data's computers, actuallly
 toggled the first op sys for the cdc760
0 in on the front panel from memory when
 it was first powered on.
      SEYMOUR, needless to say, was a re
al programmer.
            TO BE CONTINUED

      guru again, next month will have
the conclusion to the article.

   don't forget to read my cd review cha
pter and vote for me in a chart of some

   hooroo from the guru!!

                g'day norry
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