This is the Message Centre for third asst. eng.(deuce of clubs)

enternal thanks

Post 81

Researcher 93445

Why limit yourself to 1's and 0's...think of what's happening at the level of transistors, or even electrons, if you want to give yourself a headache. I'm happy that I had enough technical education to understand more or less what goes on at all levels from the bare silicon on up. It's fun to think about sometimes, though of course if you're trying to get something done extracting it all to a high level languages is still the best bet.


enternal thanks

Post 82

third asst. eng.(deuce of clubs)

aacck head hurting trying to comperhend this strange block of silicone and plastic in front of me on the electron level,affjsd fdjkthoughtsbecominggarbledineeedtomovemythougtstoahigerlevelofactoin 1 11 1111 1 11 1 1 11 11 1 1 11 11 1 1 11 11 1 1 1111 1 1 1 11 11 11 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 111 1 1 1111 1 1 11 11 1111 111 1 111 1 1 1 1
whew I think I better keep it on high level work, that is enugh for me................at the moment
p.s. the binary section is just garbage not ascii I thought about it but that would require too much work for a forum post.


enternal thanks

Post 83

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence

Like Mike, I'm grateful for the fact that I started my language training in assembler and needed therefore to understand, logically, how the box works. My ex was comfortable at a lower level, tech-wise, than me, and once built a game of Pong out of a bunch of nand gates he found in an electronic junk shop.

Imagine a forum written all in ones and noughts.
*runs screaming into the balmy night*

Lil


enternal thanks

Post 84

Researcher 93445

One of the joys of a good education was to see quantum mechanics shade into transistors shade into logic gates shade into machine language shade into assembler shade into nth-generation languages....not that I really understand much of QM any more, or could design a whole computer. But it's left me comfortable with the notion that there really isn't any secret to this stuff. Sometimes things aren't designed well, but there's no mystery.

Never built a pong game, though I did assemble a Heathkit 4-function calculator that used transistors and simple ICs...and I learned some programming on an old HP calculator with magnetic strip cards...fortunately I've been saved from eternal nerdhood by moving out to the farm.

And if I *haven't* been saved, don't tell me!


ghost in the machine

Post 85

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence


What did the world do for nerds before slide rules?

You evidently understand the machine "deeper" than I do, Mike: while I understand the relationships between the chips on the motherboard, there is a point on my internal map where it says Here Be MicroCode.

Lil


ghost in the machine

Post 86

Researcher 93445

It probably helps that one of the first computers I programmed didn't use any language, just a bank of toggle switches on the front panel to insert binary instructions in memory locations. It's not too hard to understand that there's a microcode interpreter under there when you're talking straight to it. I'm not claiming I could _write_ microcode, but I know where it fits in the general scheme of things -- as, I suspect, do you. It would be fun some time to take a single high-level construct and trace it down as it's translated into successively deeper levels of stuff, until you run up against the silicon.


ghost in the machine

Post 87

third asst. eng.(deuce of clubs)

lowest I ever went was straight machine code to an OLD 80-80 computer to control a model crane but I had the help of a EE student and have no delusions of aduquacy with machine code or lower. I can comfortable go to laguanges and that my friends is where I stop.


ghost in the machine

Post 88

Researcher 93445

Hey, welcome back. We were just talking about you this morning smiley - smiley Has anyone mentioned the Onelist mailing list to you yet?

My first PC was a Heathkit H89...dual Z80 CPUs! Quite advanced for its time, but of course never got any decent PR so it kinda fizzled. But it could understand 8080 code (there was a crosscompiler) so I got a bit into that myself. In fact by pure coincidence there is a Z80/8080 assembly language book right here on the shelf by my desk. Ah, those were the days...when I actually had delusions of understanding how software worked.


ghost in the machine

Post 89

third asst. eng.(deuce of clubs)

yes I just vaugly rember those days but we own a 80-80 machine in good working order, collecting dust next to the 386 and 486 and ps2 and ps1 and my the list goes on. What this about a onelist sounds intresting. also I am only slightly back as I am using my dad's laptop while he is away on a buss. trip. he gets to fly to new Jersy and I get to house sit, It figures I go away to collage and my folks buy a brand new house in a distent city. oh well, The old first generation computers were actually pertty eaasy to under stand but these modern beasts are quite beyond me. in fact the are beyond just about every one that was not on the design staff.
'

p.s. I will return to the university and my faster internet connection on the 10th and should be back to normal by the 16th but I intend to check back in tomorrow and at least twice more on away computers beore I return to my poured concrete cube.

pps. it gives my warm fuzzes to be talked about I feard I was going to fall off the face of H2G2 over the holidays.


ghost in the machine

Post 90

Researcher 93445

A couple of us (and you'll recognize some of the names) have decided that we're not getting enough chatting in here and so have wandered off to a mailing list as well. You can sign up at http://www.onelist.com/community/H2G2 if you like. It requires approval but don't worry, we'll approve anyone we know. You might want to wait till you're back at your own computer or sign up for the digest...we're averaging 9 or 10 messages a day. Also you can see some of the silly things we've talked about at my web site at http://www.larkfarm.com/h2g2.htm .

Anyhow either way do check in from time to time. Of course you'd be missed if you wandered off. Say, when you hit the seas do you get to keep a good internet connection? Or at least regular email?


ghost in the machine

Post 91

Asteroid Lil - Offstage Presence


Yair, we call it tAlking in front of one's back. I hope we see
you over at onelist.

Mike, you were mentioning about tracing an instruction right back
to the silicon. Very memorably, this is what happened on the first
day of Assembler (BAL 370) training. The instructor began explaining
but answered any and all questions. The more questions he answered,
the more questions were inspired by his answers. He was amazing,
tolerant, and, as we eventually found out, crafty.

Our questions took us from the first line of the program skeleton
right down to how the hardware deals with electrical impulses. It took the entire day. And as we sat there, brains reeling, hyperventilating, the teacher said, "If it's OK with you, I would
like to start tomorrow by explaining the rest of this program
without any more interruptions. And then when we're done, you can
ask some more."

Lil


ghost in the machine

Post 92

Luna(Queen of Hearts)

TAE, all the technical talk is beyond me.
I popped in to further encourage you to join us at onelist.

Oh, and to tell you that you have been linked on my page as a 'fellow card'.

Luna


ghost in the machine

Post 93

third asst. eng.(deuce of clubs)

cool I have been linked, The favor shall be returened within the hour fellow cards unite!
I am not nearly as good with computers al Astroid evidently, right now I am crash coursing html, Java, and networks because I have been offered a job as webmaster for the engenering department.

On cruise last year we didnot have Internet connections but this year we are supposed to have e-mail so I will have to get on this onelist thingymajig, but I think I will wait till I return to my computer and the universities bazingly fast internet connection.


ghost in the machine

Post 94

Researcher 93445

Excellent, we'll look forward to seeing you on Onelist. And good to hear that you'll be getting email while on cruise. Some time I'd be interested to find out what the details are of their setup for keeping you all in touch on the high seas.

Working as webmaster, in today's economy, is definitely a plum for your resume. You might not ever be contemplating private industry, but it's worth grabbing just in case, I think. Don't worry, you don't have to know everything (unless the folks you're working with are smarter than most of the ones I've worked with), just enough to stay one step ahead.

Lil, that trainer sounds like one I would dearly have loved to take a course from. I remember my VAX Assembler courses are long gray stretches of nothing in particular...they could have used that sort of punch. Of course, I brought it on myself by taking a CS minor once I figured out that I didn't really want to be an engineer after all.


ghost in the machine

Post 95

third asst. eng.(deuce of clubs)

oh don't say that I am taking a CS minor with a mechanical degree!

on webmastering: boss:why doesn't our page have animations or 3d models of engine parts and laberitories?!?!?
me:ummm I am using high compatibility low bandwith simplicity protocalls to communicate effecivly with a larger target group.
boss:umm ok carry on
me: thanks boss


:: wishfull thinking ::


Engineering degrees

Post 96

Researcher 93445

Ah, but you see, you're taking a REAL engineering course. Perhaps a bit of history is appropriate:

My first college major was chemistry, later changed to chemistry engineering. That however was shortly before they threw me out for paying substantially more attention to sex and drugs than to my coursework.

When I went back on my own money some years later, I decided I wanted to try something with a bit more managerial potential and so enrolled as an industrial engineering major (of course, that's the one that the other engineers called "imaginary engineering"). This was at Northeastern in Boston, and I spent alternate terms doing co-op work in an engineering department at Wang Labs (before that company went down the tubes, which will give you some hint of how long ago this all happened). I discovered over the course of a few years there that I really didn't WANT to spend my time micromanaging workers and making their lives miserable.

Unfortunately by that time it was too late to switch majors without pushing back my graduation date. So, I added a CS minor. This was theoretically impossible as well, but by taking double overloads for my remaining terms it worked out. The courses were too easy there anyhow.

Then I went on to grad school for a completely different degree (Science and Technology Studies, concentration in History of Computing). Got my master's, was ABD on my doctorate when I dropped out to start a magazine. But THAT is another story entirely.

So, don't worry too much about ME+CS; that should be saleable. Although at Northeastern the MEs were the dregs of the engineering department, I'm sure that's not the case where you are!


Engineering degrees

Post 97

third asst. eng.(deuce of clubs)

No the ME's here in Galveston are rather an elite, but while we get enugh training to go to work at any design firm we are closer to mechanics than cube dwellers because most all of use (ande there are only 14 in the entire engeniering department) are going to ship out after graduation, that is we are going to work on ocen going vessals to trouble shoot maintain and fix every peice of equipment on a commercial vessal, I really love the work but with as much automation as there is in modern machenery a better knowldge of computers would be a good thing. Also a CS minor makes me more vaulable and I can get paid more when I start working, I know that shouldnot matter I should be doing somthing I have a passion for but it does even though I do really enjoy the work.

You have a very intresting view of mangment positions. When I had the misfortune to work at Wal-Mart (a situation that ended very abrutly do to complicated and shady cercimstances) the managment felt like they were gods gift to us peeons. The juggled departments so that none of them would understand how the store really worked to maintain that all importent managment ingnorence, sorry still a little bitter.

The great Irony of my studies is that I am really quite absymial at math (allthough I do enjoy science) where as I am very good at english but like i said earlier it is all about what you enjoy.


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