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Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Thu 25 Aug, 2016 11.43
by thegeek

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Thu 25 Aug, 2016 12.03
by bilky asko
Wasn't there a story around the turn of the millennium that said at least one bank who still handled all transactions in £sd because a part of their system couldn't handle decimal currency?

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Thu 25 Aug, 2016 17.18
by JAS84
That's ridiculous. A system using £sd probably isn't computerised!

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Thu 25 Aug, 2016 17.25
by Alexia
First page of Google.
Despite this, some institutions will hang onto their legacy systems as long as they can, because they work and they aren't causing problems.

"There are bank systems out there that are still operating at the back-end in pounds, shillings and pence — old currency," Skinner said.
http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-uk-ban ... -disaster/

FIRST PAGE JAS84!

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Thu 25 Aug, 2016 23.44
by Nick Harvey
I certainly programmed computer systems, back in the sixties, which worked in £SD. In those days, 10d and 11d were special, single characters, so the pence column always took up just one position.

The youngsters today don't realise how easy they have it, just working to base 10 and the occasional bit of base 16 for hexadecimal.

The early computers worked in octal, base 8. Then you had to work in base 12 and base 20 for currency; base 16 and base 14, plus a few others, for weight; base 12 and base 3 for length; plus all the other variations of Imperial.

To this day, I can switch to doing calculations to pretty well any base, in my head.

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Fri 26 Aug, 2016 15.47
by WillPS
Nick Harvey wrote:I certainly programmed computer systems, back in the sixties, which worked in £SD. In those days, 10d and 11d were special, single characters, so the pence column always took up just one position.

The youngsters today don't realise how easy they have it, just working to base 10 and the occasional bit of base 16 for hexadecimal.

The early computers worked in octal, base 8. Then you had to work in base 12 and base 20 for currency; base 16 and base 14, plus a few others, for weight; base 12 and base 3 for length; plus all the other variations of Imperial.

To this day, I can switch to doing calculations to pretty well any base, in my head.
Fascinating! Which systems were these for? What medium was your code stored on? When was it deprecated?

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Fri 26 Aug, 2016 23.13
by Nick Harvey
For the ICT 1500 (RCA 301 clone). Written in both machine code and FAS (Fifteen Hundred Assembly System). Initialy punched onto seven channel paper tape from code sheets, then the assembled programs stored on magnetic tape.

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Fri 26 Aug, 2016 23.28
by Nick Harvey
Here's the machine:

Image

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Fri 26 Aug, 2016 23.40
by Nick Harvey
Here's a bit of assembly code what I once wrote:

Image

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Sat 27 Aug, 2016 12.07
by cwathen
So this was transcribed from the sheets straight onto paper tape? No punched cards in between with the individual statements on?

What did this program do Nick?

Out of interest, would you say computing was more interesting back then? Being just a little bit junior to you, my first computing experience was on 80's home machines like the C64 and Spectrum, programming them in BASIC. Despite the limitations of what those machines could do, I still found the idea of understanding it and crafting your own software, along with having some idea of how they actually operated inside, what chips did what, how the memory was mapped etc far more rewarding then anything done on modern Windows machines today. The manual for the BBC micro was huge, and went as far as including schematics for the motherboard in case you needed to make repairs, and diagrams showing how every part of the computer worked in case you needed to push it to it's limits when programming it. Then there were libraries of books written by others about exploiting other things you could do with the computer - interfacing other hardware with it, upgrading it (real upgrades involving getting your soldering iron out, not a 21st century upgrade like slotting in a new graphics card), it was all there.

Although the machines were very simple and limited compared to what we have today, the subject itself seemed so much more immersive and rewarding compared to spending hours watching Youtube or playing Candy Crush.

Even when I was at school, it was still considered a staple of any serious computing course to teach programming, we learned Pascal in 6th form and before that at GCSE we wrote Macros in Excel to create stock control systems and although the idea of understanding how the computer itself worked was gone by then, you still understood what was going on within the language and again it was rewarding to feel that you were creating software.

Things like learning how to format documents in Word or using Powerpoint to make charts was very much a year 7/8 activity, today it seems to be as advanced as many people get.

Re: Windows 9 is now Windows 10

Posted: Sat 27 Aug, 2016 13.34
by Alexia
Anyone else have a VTECH PreComputer 1000 with its full Basic 1.0 function?