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Gandalf

One fucking great assembler programmer poorer.


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I don't know how much you know. This is what I remember.

We had to write the 3rd of 3 test programs. We had two months. I finished mine in the first morning, took the afternoon to write a random data generator, then had nothing to do for two months. I wandered into T's and E's office and stayed there.

They had a 3270 in the corner that I used to poke around in. I found 'Adventure' and everyone thought that was cool, but when I found Star Trek, T picked up his phone and said to someone 'I have someone you need to meet'. Then he told me how to get there - 'through to A ship, turn right, his name's on the door'.

A sign on his door. Something like 'the impossible is carried out while you wait, miracles take a bit longer'.

Robban came back to work one afternoon right before my bday. What would I do for my bday, he asked. Oh a glass of wine, bit of chat.

He was fucking hammered. 'I got some PCs in the vault. Take one home. Happy Bday.'

'But I don't want a PC at home! I want to leave my work at work!'

Robban was drunk. Sat there silent, then after a long while:

'I got some PCs in the vault. Take one home. Happy Bday.'

Same thing. Broken record.

'But what will I do with it?'

'Program it!'

'With what languages?'

'What languages do you want?'

'You know - you hired me!'

Robban picks up the phone.

'Hey Ivo, you got any C compilers?' Then to me:

'What kind do you want?'

'The Microsoft one is pretty good.'

'MICROSOFT!' he bellows.

'Yeah, actually it's just Lattice-C.'

'Yeah Ivo, we'll take one. No hold on! We'll take FIVE!'

Then I got to thinking. Gandalf had a son. He wanted to buy a puter for him. The vault was full of PCs. So I went and got Gandalf, took him back to Robban, Robban gave Gandalf one too.

Gandalf and I went to the train station for a 'pilsner'. I asked him if one could ever burn out on IT.

'Oh no. There's always so much new stuff coming along.'

I felt relieved. We took our PCs home but not much happened until Ivo's compilers arrived. Then things really happened.

Gandalf didn't know C. Never seen it before. We took home our compilers on a Friday; by Monday, he had a full screen interactive IDE. Shit you not. It had a menu and a bunch of stuff, like previewing files, running the compiler and linker, stuff like that.

IN ONE WEEKEND. And he'd never seen C before.

I reckon it's because he so intuitively understood CPU basics.

Remember his 'register 25' program? How we'd stop all the 3270s in the building?

But I remember him coming down on lame subordinates. 'I told you so many times not to do stupid shit like that!'

:)

I remember him going down the tubes over a girl. Then she dumped him. And he still went back to CC every night, sucker for punishment!

He used to come into work at 17:00. Class.

'He taught me the S/370 assembler vector instruction set. My head was spinning. The world is one fucking great assembler programmer poorer.'

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