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The R5 (Rant, Rave, Rant, Rant, Rave) Blog

Monday, April 04, 2005

Folklore.org: trip down nostalgia lane

Take a trip down nostalgia lane back to a time when programmers had 3 orders of magnitude less memory and cpu power than today. Read about the techniques they developed to handle problems in such an environment. It was a whole different world from today! Rendered using lovely python CGI written by Andy Hertzfeld of Apple and Eazel fame.

"... we'd often push parameters on the stack out of order, sometimes four times in a row, because we had a value in a register that we would need later, and we didn't want to fetch it again..."

"... the errant code in question was in ROM, which was already frozen in immutable silicon... But Larry Kenyon had already figured out a sneaky technique to fix ROM bugs, by patching system traps..."

So it was Apple's fault! If he had gotten chastised more for his monstrosity of a notation back then, I might actually be doing Win32 programming today. :-P

"... Wendell Sander ... did a small custom chip that crammed all the functionality of Woz's disk controller into a single chip. It was called the "IWM" chip, which stood for the "Integrated Woz Machine", since Woz's disk controller is really an elaborate state machine ... ."


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