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(BookRiot)   In the 60s dad got 2 computer programming books, one red and one blue. Each had a cloth bookmark just like dad's bibles. They were of the "read this page and choose which page to goto next". I learned programming from them. DIT   (bookriot.com) divider line
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1316 clicks; posted to Discussion » and STEM » on 17 Jan 2021 at 9:41 PM (12 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2021-01-17 11:12:01 PM  
5 votes:
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I learned by meticulously typing in the programs printed in the pages of these books. I remember making a hot air ballon sprite. Neato!

Then I made a password protect program for games I didn't want my big brother to play, but I messed up the password and locked myself out :(
 
2021-01-17 9:57:53 PM  
5 votes:

Unscratchable_Itch: I learned to program on TRS-80s at school and on my TI-99/4A at home. Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started that that sort of thing is frowned upon... you know, people did that all the time.


I learned to program on an HP-41C.
 
2021-01-17 11:20:47 PM  
4 votes:

Wine Sipping Elitist: [Fark user image image 425x573]
[Fark user image image 240x349]

I learned by meticulously typing in the programs printed in the pages of these books. I remember making a hot air ballon sprite. Neato!

Then I made a password protect program for games I didn't want my big brother to play, but I messed up the password and locked myself out :(


The musical keyboard program at the end of that Commodore 64 book was friggin awesome! I modded the hell out of it. Could go from playing piano to the harp to what sounded like a cacophony of giant diesel engines.
 
2021-01-18 2:28:27 PM  
3 votes:

Snotnose: More info.  They were hardbound from the late 60s or early 70s.  I suspect they were on some assembly language, but they may have just been high level concepts.  The books were a set, the second took over where the first ended.  The book sleeves were red (one book) and blue (the other one), I don't know what the actual cover looked like.

Dad was an EE working on military aircraft.  It was in the 80s when I was getting paid to write 8086 assembly that I asked dad about them.

Every page explained a concept, and at the bottom would be something like:

x = 4
y = x + 3
What is the value of y?

3.  goto page 72
4.  goto page 24
7.  goto page 34


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That sounds like a TutorText! https://hackaday.com/2020/08/28/a-tal​e​-of-tutor-texts/

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Do these look familiar? (https://babel.hathitrust.o​rg/cgi/pt?id​=mdp.39015033508683&view=1up&seq=7 via https://hackaday.com/2017/10/13/compu​t​ers-that-never-were/
 
2021-01-17 6:59:05 PM  
3 votes:
If you could provide a bit more information, it would be helpful.  Early 80s or late?  How large were the books?  Were the soft or hard bound?  Were they textbooks or reference manuals?  Do you know what language(s) they covered?  In 1977 had a red textbook for FORTRAN IV programming with WATFOR/WATFIV, but that's probably not what you want.

Back in the early 80s, compilers often sported vendor-specific extensions, so the only language reference was the manual (or manual set) published by the vendor themselves.  Did either of these books bear the name of a system vendor of the day?  DEC, CDC, IBM early in the decade, with microcomputer vendors like MODCOMP, Apollo, Sun Microsystems, Intergraph, and others.

I did use some microcomputers during that time, too.  Most were running CP/M or proprietary OSs, with DOS coming in later.  There were a few high-level languages for all of these (the CP/M FORTRAN compiler gave a 2-character error code on abort, and nothing else.  If you had a divide by zero it would say *DZ* on the console).  I don't remember what color the manuals were, but with sufficient information you should be able to mine places like Powell's Technical Books in Portland, which has a great used section that goes way back.  eBay is also an option for quite a few things, I've found.

/ Adventure was about 700 lines of FORTRAN code
// The start of natural language processing
/// You are standing at the end of a road before a small brick building.  Around you is a forest.  A small stream flows out of the building and down a small gully.
//// xyzzy
 
2021-01-18 3:44:31 AM  
2 votes:

The Googles Do Nothing: [lh3.googleusercontent.com image 350x512]


honestly programming was way easier to get into back in the day.
 
2021-01-17 10:25:19 PM  
2 votes:

Snotnose: Subby here.  Back in the 80s, when I was making good coin as an 8086 assembly programmer I asked dad about those books.  He didn't remember them.  I searched the house, no joy.  Dad was more an EE than a programmer.

I'm old and have $$$, and I'd love to track down those 2 old books.  Anyone have a clue?


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(Leventhal had a whole series of these.) Before the common title design,
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one was even red.

I'm with unixpro here -- what platform did you cut your teeth on? CPU? OS?
One random shot -- more of a CS thing than an assembly thing:
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or
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or
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Do these ring a bell? Amazon says these were from 1969 and 1970 respectively. A little before my time, but same publishing house and binding, correct timeframe, correct color.

Whatever the answer is - if you find it, let us know!
 
2021-01-17 10:17:45 PM  
2 votes:
Old as dirt.

1971- programming in COBOL for ICL System 4/50. Coding on sheets, sheets sent to punch card operators, punch cards verified by a card to printer run, usually to a TTY terminal.  Rinse, repeat.

Then cards topped and tailed with JCL cards, batched, uploaded to tape. Tape job verified/corrected.

Book overnight compilation run, because day shift is for actual production. Run compilation, get error report. Go back to step 1 as required.

All this meant you were working on several different projects in parallel, and not necessarily in sequence within project. Fun times.

Also, some things required Fortran modules, and other bits ( like merging tape and disc records) might be done in assembler language.

All this and mismanaging a new and ultimately unsuccessful marriage made being a grunt look a simpler life...
 
2021-01-17 10:10:31 PM  
2 votes:

Unscratchable_Itch: I learned to program on TRS-80s at school and on my TI-99/4A at home. Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started that that sort of thing is frowned upon... you know, people did that all the time.


Ahhh... the old Trash-80.  They were great fun.

RAY_
 
2021-01-17 7:51:26 PM  
2 votes:

unixpro: but with sufficient information you should be able to mine places like Powell's Technical Books in Portland, which has a great used section that goes way back. eBay is also an option for quite a few things, I've found.


If you can come up with a title, ABE is a great place to find most any book (hundreds of used book dealers from around the world)
 
2021-01-17 6:53:58 PM  
2 votes:
I believe "The Art of Computer Programming"was one of the better known books on computer programming from the 60s. It has been added to over the years and is now up to 5 volumes but I think it started out as two or three volumes.
 
2021-01-18 8:17:58 AM  
1 vote:
More info.  They were hardbound from the late 60s or early 70s.  I suspect they were on some assembly language, but they may have just been high level concepts.  The books were a set, the second took over where the first ended.  The book sleeves were red (one book) and blue (the other one), I don't know what the actual cover looked like.

Dad was an EE working on military aircraft.  It was in the 80s when I was getting paid to write 8086 assembly that I asked dad about them.

Every page explained a concept, and at the bottom would be something like:

x = 4
y = x + 3
What is the value of y?

3.  goto page 72
4.  goto page 24
7.  goto page 34
 
2021-01-17 11:20:10 PM  
1 vote:
the only book I ever needed

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2021-01-17 9:54:41 PM  
1 vote:
I learned to program on TRS-80s at school and on my TI-99/4A at home. Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I tell you, I gotta plead ignorance on this thing, because if anyone had said anything to me at all when I first started that that sort of thing is frowned upon... you know, people did that all the time.
 
2021-01-17 9:27:32 PM  
1 vote:
They were of the "read this page and choose which page to goto next".

So they were like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, but for programming?

Were they bound or wire spiraled? I vaguely remember some bound ones, but one was yellow and I think the other was red.
 
2021-01-17 6:19:57 PM  
1 vote:
Subby here.  Back in the 80s, when I was making good coin as an 8086 assembly programmer I asked dad about those books.  He didn't remember them.  I searched the house, no joy.  Dad was more an EE than a programmer.

I'm old and have $$$, and I'd love to track down those 2 old books.  Anyone have a clue?
 
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