All programmers that developed in machine code and Assembly in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s died?

All programmers that developed in machine code and Assembly in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s died?

The majority of programmers that developed in machine code and Assembly in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s died?

Hello there!

I am not dead yet! I started in 1969.




You developed in machine code or Assembly in 1969 and the 1970s?

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As part of a recruiting drive by the company, the successful candidates were to undertake a six-months classroom training, fully paid, in what was then known as “programming”. There were too few and largely irrelevant university course for commercial programmers.

The first few weks of the training was with IBM unit records (cards) equipment that were programmed via boards and wires not unlike the old telephone exchanges.

Following that we went onto machine language and then assembler which was still very much in use at that time. After the first 6 weeks of this we went onto COBOL and the rest is history. :slight_smile:

It got me to spend the rest of my life doing things I mostly enjoyed doing. I still do now, although well retired, hence my involvement with Go.

Note, that at that time there were less than 100 computers in the country (Australia). That grew very quickly in the early 70’s.


Computers from that period weighted about few tens or hundred kilos. I find them quite fascinating :slight_smile:

Maybe some of them are still living but sure they are old.

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The Ken Thompson answer here in Go Forum?

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Me too! Not dead yet… not even close :-p

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Hi @cosmos

You might like the Living Computers Museum ( In addition to what they have on exhibit there, they also have some systems from the 1970s still running, and you can ask them for user accounts so you can use them via ssh over the Internet.

It’s really fun if you like that sort of thing. I have accounts on 7th edition Unix (running on a PDP-11) and Berkeley 4.3 (on a VAX11/780). These are nearly identical to the Unix systems I started with in the early 1980s. They also have computers running TOPS-20, VMS (which I also used professionally), and even a CDC 6500 supercomputer (when they can keep the chiller working).

I’m hesitant to actually recommend using those for learning, but if you play around on them, you can see what the original Unix versions were like - everything was much simpler! It’s a good way to help understand the basic core technology of Unix and the “Unix philosophy” of combining simple tools to build useful things. The two Unix systems have C compilers, if you can write in the original K&R C. And there is the Bourne shell. The BSD system has vi, and if you want emacs, you have to go to the TOPS-20 system. That’s how it was then. I learned the ed editor on 7th edition Unix because it was the only editor (if you can imagine that), then I learned vi on BSD, for which is was written, and I had to learn emacs to do my job on TOPS-20, which did not have vi or ed because it was not Unix.

As for assembly language, at the time I started, the Unix assembler was called “the ultimate dead language” right in the Unix documentation! The idea was that because Unix had C, no one needed to program in assembly any more. You could do everything in C with almost the same efficiency, and that was the best way to write software for Unix. The assembler was there mainly just to be one step in compiling C code.


A place where I would spend my whole day :smiley:

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