What happened with mdillon? Gone, not gone..? Carrying on from yesterday: a history of being
Like, more than 20 years to get the point...
Started in computing in the mid 70s as an operator for Burrough's Machines (never seen a computer before). The first programs I see are Star Trek and a bit later Colossal Cave. Don't understand why they don't cost any money; but hey, the entire program is there. Doh. Learn my first programming (Algol68) by making selected stars vanish but keep their gravity ('black holes", yeah!) and similar tinkering. Rewrite some of the company's accounting software so it no longer runs over a weekend on an antique B500 but in a couple of hours on the amazing dual B6700. Everything works, lots more time in the pub.. Get put through disciplinary procedures. Now, if you told me a novice programmer rewrote the entire end of month accountancy procedure for the uk for a company and didn't get the output checked by an accountant, I'd understand. Then, I was pissed off. No more of this programming stuff for me; lets work on the hardware instead.
Bought a ZX80, rebuilt the keyboard, the memory, the graphics system. Left Burroughs and went off to work on hardware... I thought. City & Guilds in electronics should be enough, shouldn't it? Doh again. Worked as a wireman for a couple of years, then back into computers repairing BBC micros. Lots of pirate software, no free software. Assembly language test routines coming out of my ears, built my own ICE system and pushed up the overtime money (piece rates, you see). Managers find out, make me sign a piece of paper accepting 400 pounds for the design and promising never to design anything there again. That one I still don't understand. Someone told me the entire company was meant to be a tax-writeoff and intended to lose money. Maybe. Whatever, definitely need more qualifications to get out of this trap.
Work as a lab technician in assorted polys/unis. In between helping students, lots of little board designs, homebrew PAL programmers etc. - and day release. Finish the course and get a job teaching. Assembly language, helping out on programming courses. Meet Unix. Oh, you don't use Sun's C compiler? This gcc thing is better? And free? How bizarre. Doh. Can't run Unix on PCs though, better to concentrate on DOS, then Windows, instead. You're using Minix on your PC? How bizarre, why not use a proper system like Windows? Doh. The internet - great, what a nice atmosphere, everyone's so helpful, loads of people sharing software I can develop and use for classes. It's just there, no need to feed my own changes back (they're not good enough anyway). Doh.
Linux mania starts. The penny drops. After 20 years you may now officially certify me as a dimwit (but you can't because it's been abolished!... Chuckles manicly). Rest of this story may or may not continue another day.