A modest proposal

Discussion in 'Software' started by CDBarry, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

  2. Leo Lazauskas
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    Leo Lazauskas Senior Member

    It's a well-intentioned, heartfelt plea, but a slightly naive one that
    has many hurdles to overcome.

    The author didn't specify exactly which programs he found useful, but
    chances are they are still available on 12 inch or 5 1/4 inch floppy
    disks somewhere, possibly in that warehouse they showed at the end of
    the first Raiders of the Lost Ark movie. The compilers for the programs
    are probably stored in other warehouses around the USA.

    I fear the author has made a grave tactical mistake by suggesting that
    SNAME look into it. If it ever makes it into the committee stage, where
    allocation of resources are to be discussed, I suspect that the author
    will be more interested in a pension calculator than SMP source code by
    the time a decision is reached.
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I needed a good laugh and appreciate this piece. I still have CAD release 2, on 5 1/4 disks some place, if static hasn't killed them and a few 8" floppies of the EXE's for MicroCAD resting in a drawer too.
  4. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    I think the first CAD program I used was on a mainframe at College. It had a green phosphor screen to show the drawing. Mighty slow too, though of course there were other demands on the mainframe...

    After that it was PCDogs and Autocad 9 on 2 screens......

    Your'e right PAR, those old 51/4" floppies are terrible for long term storage and warp, get corrupted way too easily. Still have some stuff on 3 1/2" floppies but they are much more robust, unless placed near a powerful magnet, like an old CRT monitor or speaker.....
    Only lost 2 hard drives so far, and fortunately nothing much data wise. Now recovering data after del*.* was much more fun!
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    You just haven't lived much with only two drive failures. Must be nice . . . The first version of MicroCAD I ran was on an old System 3 IBM. It played Pong pretty good too.
  6. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    I had typed a response last night in much the same vein, but deleted it on the off chance this might lead to something. I don't much miss having to retype an entire line of code every time I got an array argument wrong. That meant walking a mile, logging on, fixing one line, then finding a shopping cart and pushing it through the snow to the building with the printer in it. If it was a card job, bring your own box of rubber bands because the ones they used at the center weren't any good. Anyone remember the SED text editor? Before disk drives, there were modded GE tape decks that could load a 1K program in about 10 minutes. But you had cut some filter stuff of the circuit board if you wanted that kind of speed. My highschool physics teacher was named Watkins. He bought a TRS-80 with his own money and sat in the back of his classroom. It was the first computer in a public school in Tennessee. His wife worked at the grocery store and they began the program that if you buy a can of soup, a dime went towards school computers. The program ended up buying thousands of computers nationwide.

    999 end
  7. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I understand the lament, the problem is that most of those old programs are obsolete. they may be simple to do quick calculations, but you actually have to know something about the underlying assumptions so you stay within the valid limits of the program assumptions. If you make such programs easy for anyone to download and start playing with you will likely get bad results. I think this is where the expression "garage in, garage out" came from, these kinds of programs. If you blindly put in values without knowing the practical limits (garbage in), you get bad results (garage out). most modern software gives you error messages letting you know it is an invalid input.

    these programs were always left to design professionals that know when they get a bad answer, the programs were just used to speed up hand calculations. they were not a substitute for knowing how to do the equations long hand, but rather gave you a faster way to evaluate different design variables.

    If he wants a simple calculation, he should do his own in an Excel spread sheet. Or he might go look for someone else's freeware spread sheet program on the net rather than lamenting on not getting a dos based obsolete program. I have lots of those old programs on floppys too, but I do not even want to try them on my modern work station since likely it will make a mess of it.
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Nothing but good comes out of my garage . . .
  9. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    You mean GIGO= Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    Another one of of my favorite is the material controller's expression FISH- First In Still Here.
  10. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I've been telling my other half this for years, to little avail.

  11. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Yes. Desperate times.

    These days, producing some results is about 50 times quicker using VB in Excel, Access or even Visual Studio if you want to get that sophisticated.

    They also have a million useful Math, Financial , Statistical etc functions, that weren't even dreamed of in DOS days.

    Add to that, all the free code examples on the WWW.

    I have ZERO nostalgia for the 'good ol days'
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