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I guess the first decent code I ever wrote was an operating system and assembler for the Intel 8080 in an Altair 8800 microcomputer. I wasn't all that surprised that it worked, though, as I'd carefully hand crafted all the bytes myself, entering them with 8 toggle switches, so errors were more "expensive" back then.
I did that on a PDP-11/05 at school. The machine had an 80 word bootstrap that was fairly easy to wipe by accident, so you had to fat-finger it in via the front panel switches. I only had to do it once or twice, and it took me a few minutes. Reportedly there was a guy who could do it in less than 60 seconds. If you think about it, though, that implied if you became practiced at it, your code was pretty bad to create the problem in the first place.
Hehehe... My bootstrap loader, once I got the whole package punched to paper tape, was only 16 bytes, so it wasn't too laborious to enter. The real challenge was the first time. Power wasn't all that reliable, and it seemed that every time I got close to loading the entire system, the power blinked. Then it would fail while I was trying to punch the image to tape. All in all, it took about 6 days to finally get the first version entered into RAM and successfully punched to tape. After that it was smooth sailing, since I could do maintenance and extensions to the system using my assembler. That was a great feeling!
My step-dad had a COSMAC ELF[^] single-board computer with 2K RAM on board. We fat-fingered in a 1.5K Tiny Basic interpreter (which took forever). He rigged up a battery backup using an old car battery, which kept the thing alive for months at a time.
rigged up a battery backup using an old car battery
Great thought! I considered something like that, but the 8080 needed +5, +12, and -12 Vdc, and it just didn't seem practical at the time. In retrospect, it would have been a heck of a lot cheaper than wasting my time for so many days.
hahaahhah, perfect I wish I could vote you up.
That remember me when I was in high school back in my home country, in a very selected high school I pissed a friend of mine because I could write an algorithm finding the pithagoric numbers in less lines than him and he was so frustrated that he began making the hole program in one line, but the line was verrrryyy long,
Back in the 90s, I built a 3d tennis game in Java. I was so proud of myself seeing the tennis ball bounce around the court. For self-gratification, I did new TennisBall() about 20 times and just had all these balls bouncing around the court.
From that point on, I was hooked on writing software. I still enjoy it today.