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Re: Gary's Recollections of Delta
Re: old cars: My uncle has 2 1914 Overlands, and one of my cousins (a
mechanical engineer by day) is learning all about Stanley Steamer
maintainence from a guy with a major collection of them, and another of my
cousins has a Stanley Steamer and several other antique cars. They're fun
to tinker with, and they are works of engineering & design art.
Re: getting to hack with GNU tools: One of the several reasons that I did
book production for NESFA for several years was to learn about using Macs.
The reason I did a lot of grad school projects in C was to brush up on my C
skills. I had been doing BLISS on VAX/VMS for quite a while, so it was
refreshing to use another operating system, other applications, and other
There are some things that appear to have been forgotten, or shunted off to
a niche. When I learned Java, I realized that it was the most productive
and highest level language I'd used since BASIC-Plus or PL/I, excluding
PERL. I bet a lot of people have never used a language with decent string
operations, if they use C, or they don't have a great C++ class library,
and so don't know what they're missing, and would have trouble designing a
String class (which is not to say that it is easy in any case, having
worked on it for X3J16).
All of this "Network Computing" & "Windows Terminal" stuff is just a
rebirth of time-sharing (albeit with much better graphics and faster
connections to support the graphics). I bet there will be things that
people working on this will slip up on because they don't remember
The editor of the alt.sys.pdp8 FAQ (Doug Jones, U-Iowa, I think) said that
he got into preserving PDP-8s and their literature (his web page has a long
article on copying DEC handbooks to better quality paper and hand binding
the copies, since the originals are degrading now) because he's run into
many people (freshmen? :-) who think that Bill Gates invented the computer.
People have always learned stuff by studing systems built by other people.
As for useless but interesting stuff, BTW, yesterday I found a RSTS V1
manual, which proves that RSTS really did start out with 3-character device
names such as DTA0: and PTR:, like TOPS-10.