i was lucky to have a school that offered computer science as course, which was not the case in every school back in my times. our school had such exciting hardware as:
- Apple Lisa II - no one was allowed to touch it - didn't work i reckon :)
- Commodore Pet - unfortunatly only one and not for all
- Tandy TRS-80 - leared BASIC on this with 8k - i loved it!
- Xerox 820 - nice memories but this computer does not deserve them
while at the same time my friends where playing around with:
- Sinclair ZX-80 and ZX-81 up to Spectrum
- Atari 400 and 800
my brothers where real Commodore enthusiasts, so i had access to the whole palette:
- VC 20 - remember the cool Datasette, and i spent most time with
pokeand the amazing sprite engine
- Commodore 64 - now this one really changed the world and convinced me of becoming a programmer by heart
- Commodore SX-64 - this was such a rare one, early laptop and heavy!
- Commodore 128 - no friend of mine, half-hearted computer
- Amiga 1000 - i think my first own computer - it was amazing! And here i had a Lattice-C compiler to try my first graphics game with my brother.
- Amiga 500 - came later compact and advanced - the Plus version even with 1MB!
- Amiga 2000 - yeah, with turbo cards - affordable DSP chips. This was the main tool in the Amiga based advertisement agency my brother founded and we worked together.
- Amiga 600 - i told them, you don't need that, but they wanted them all
- Amiga 3000 - nice machine, but we only had one - for the boss of course
and i think it was the times of Amiga 4000 and Amiga 1200 where i stopped working there and with Commodore - unfortunatly the Brand started dying then.
So when i started programming, it was all about bits and bytes and getting stuff packed in very low memory profiles - optimization was a big part of development. The tools back then where Assembler, C/C++ and sometimes BASIC, but no matter what you did, you had to optimize for speed, memory, sound and display.
For a while it seemed the faster computers got, the less one had to worry about memory and speed, but eventually expectations grow just as fast and therefore even if the optimization happens on a different level now.
Not just computers and expectations have advanced, luckily also the developer tools. And there are so many new and exciting languages out there now and steadily new ones coming.
I just love these possibilities as developer and software architect. Constant challenges in grasping the customers vision, breaking technical limitations, creating innovative and reliable solutions, keeping schedules and budgets on track and finally implementing the "new-born" into it's future home, all this is what makes it my job, my blood, my heartbeat.
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