[vcf-midatlantic] assembler is tedious (was WooHoo!) (Jeffrey Jonas)

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Mon Aug 7 13:15:38 EDT 2017

Adam Michlin had a lot to say. It's pretty much reasonable, plausible 
stuff he has to say. But I have a few nagging comments.

I don't care for his use of a distinction between "real" programmers 
(his quotes), versus whatever-the-hell we do, we who post here, as less 
than real. I see his point, I have a BSEE myself. But I don't care for 
that ordering, or the choice of word. This is a discussion list about 
vintage computers; modern work is second, that's the order.

And I don't care to hear, what amounts to "assembly languages - learn 
one, learn them all". And emulators, while free and convenient, aren't 
quite the same as actual hardware sitting on your desk, or in a rack.

He's welcome to his preferences and priorities of course. But then - if 
he clearly favors one processor or architecture over another - why then 
claim any assembly language is like all others? It is...but it isn't.

I get his points, there was no insult intended. But it makes me cringe. 
Like a Civil War re-enactor cringes, when visitors ask them about Web 
sites, cell-phone reception, keeping cool in the summer, etc.

About "reality". I spent my time last week, as follows. Disassembling 
COSMAC 1802 code to restore source for an RCA monitor program. I looked 
at and discussed, oddball Z80 and 8080 architectures, for programming to 
SPI or I2C devices. I explained the repair of a 1979 S-100 bus backplane 
and just scanned its manual last night.

Please don't tell me, what I'm doing, isn't "real". That knowledge of 
and experience with architectural features are arbitrary details, 
readily learned, readily emulated. And don't do so, when some of these 
differences matter to YOU. No insult to you, just consider the larger 
contexts, as I've suggested.

keepin' it real

Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net

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