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I'll have you know that I worked on that CPU long before you accessed it via time-sharing. I worked for GE and brought these 645 CPUs up just after they had been manufactured. The CPUs didn't even run (typically) without swapping out several (discrete component) boards and correcting several wiring errors (no LSI in this era). My first real programming experience was to write a small (4 punch cards) program (manually punched using a keypunch in multi-punch mode) that could be booted and the program could be hardware single stepped through its execution and would check out the memory segmentation LRU logic to determine which segment descriptor to discard in order to load a new descriptor. This program was later used to debug a replacement LSI implementation of the discrete component logic circuts (trust me, the engineers first try was totally hosed).
I'll give you a "not very", and raise you a "really not very".
I was in 5th grade and we used HP Educational Basic punch cards. Had no idea how they worked, some guy would come in with a card reader and a Teletype to remote to a main frame at the nearby college.
I do remember is that to get closer to the front of the line one could surreptitiously remove a card and replace it to a different location in the program stack of the kid in front of you. This way the card reader would reject the program stack prior to executing the program.
I was given a copy of an IBM FORTRAN reference manual in the late 1960s from one of my Boy Scout merit badge mentors and until my first programming class in college, I thought FORTRAN was a IBM computer model...found out quickly in class that it was a computer language
I was playing around with flip-flops (the IC's, not the footwear), timers and logic gates before I ever wrote my first program. I cut my programming teeth using BASIC on a PDP-11 and had a pretty thorough understanding of how the machine worked at the ripe old age of 13. I ditched BASIC in favor of 6502 assembly language on the PET and C-64, and then other processors, so I was working always close to the hardware (it was the nature of the work I was getting.)
First attempts around 7 or 8 years old. Coco basic on a TRS80 color. I had multiple manuals for it, but while I figured out what a for loop could be helpful in drawing figures with ASCII block characters, I was totally baffled by lots of other stuff in it like Boolean Algebra.
Second attempt around 15/16 yo, turbo pascal for dos. I got pointers and boolean logic this time. Mostly to outsmart my teachers ability to grade my work I taught myself OOP (which she admitted to not knowing); but Borlands docs and late 90s internet totally failed to enlighten me about base classes and inheritance leaving me to try rolling my own by using function pointers as a way to effectively overload methods. So close, yet so far.....
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, waging all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
In this day when downloads under 1MBS is slow, I wonder how many people know that a card deck box could only hold about 40K. (500 cards, 80 bytes per card. Oh yeah signed bytes, 9 holes per byte) Many full length programs were less than half a box or reading half a box could take over 10 seconds
Since I started my computer programming by flipping switches on the front of a bare-bones PDP-8 I was probably as computer literate as a 19 year old student could be in 1972.
I quickly moved to assembly language on an Intel 8008 (with a brief spell on the 4004 while waiting for the prototype 8008 to arrive direct from Intel) on a dedicated card that I designed and built myself as a project for my sandwich course with BT (then the GPO).
Very. First off, it wasn't a program written by me but a long listing from a book into building speakers enclosures (Radio Shack) - me and a buddy skipped classes to take turns entering the whole thing into one of the school lab's TRS-80s... got the supervisor to help us out on attaching a recorder to save it to tape... he asked us if we had ran the program - what do you mean RUN the program? <- us.
Rookie lab assistant comes in with the tape recorder, connects it to the computer, one ZAP! on the screen and I guess I was literate enough to understand the power of the static charge: the bloke caused the TRS-80 to reset and we lost 2 hours of typing in a microsecond. I had read about that in Popular Electronics late 70s.
Six months after me and my posse were banned from the computer lab for a month for installing games in all the lab machines. It could have been that or the "fake" report cards we manufactured for those people in need of presenting something more palatable to their parents than the official ones
My first programming experience was a Timex-Sinclair 1000 connected to a TV. Working the graveyard shift, I stayed up one morning to punch in a sample program from book or maybe it was in it's documentation. Hated the membrane keyboard. Hours and a few cups of coffee later I had a battleship game running in console basic. Then I wondered if I could modify it some it could continue to plot the cannon shot up beyond the top of TV screen. I made the change. Try it. It worked. I was hooked.
Of course there was no storage. As soon as I turned it off, everything was gone.
I was 8 in the start of eighteens, with my brother's brand new Commodore 64, when he was out to play football...
I didn't speak any word in english, and all user manual was ONLY in english. I started to learn English because I saw the results of keywords when I wrote programs...
I wrote a sorting program on a Flexowriter and fed the paper tape it into EDSAC 2 at Cambridge University c. 1963. All that I knew about computers was from popular reading about "electronic brains" and the lectures I received from Maurice Wilkes - great researcher but very boring teacher! So I guess I was pretty illiterate!
IP addresses were defined much later, so it's capacity is much greater than 5. When it was defined it was determined it would have all the communication addresses computers would ever need. Shows how good we humans are at capacity planning when it comes to computers.