The code that lived in my head rent free for 30 years - Ayende @ Rahien

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2024-06-07 10:30:03

In middle-school (I was 12 - 13 at the time), I was taught Pascal as the entry level programming language. I found that to be a really fascinating topic, as you can imagine.

One of the things that I did was to try to read other people’s code and see what sense I could make out of it. That was way before the Internet was a thing, though. Even at that time, Pascal was mostly on its way out, and there wasn’t much code that a kid could have access to.

To give some context, at the time, if you wanted to move data from one place to the next, the only real option was to physically disassemble your computer, take out the hard disk, wrap it in a towel for protection and carry it to your destination. I recall doing that and then spending some hours at a friend’s house, trying to figure out the right jumper configuration so the BIOS would recognize two drives at once.

Because of this, I had a great interest in  disk parking , a technique that helps ensure that taking the hard drive from one location to the next wouldn’t ruin it. I remember running into a particular piece of code to handle disk parking in Pascal and being quite excited by this. Here I had something that I needed to do, and also in a language that I was familiar with.

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