In the beginning there was no Internet or even computer courses... we learnt programming on our own from books we bought

This is a collection of my books I used mostly in the late 1980's to 1990's when I was actively doing computer programming. The bulk of my work was in Clipper ( a database language) and involved peeking and poking system variables and low level control of HP Laserjet printers to get them to print on forms that were designed for filling in by hand (because corporate policy at the time prohibited anything except exactly those forms being used).

I had to source the books from technical bookshops back then as there was also no Amazon shopping site. This was largely the early days of the first IBM XT computers when we got excited about Hercules graphics cards, orange displays, and later on sound cards and the first 10 MB hard drives.

Two programs I wrote myself were OIVR (One Independent Variable Regression) which was a stats program used in crime analysis, and a Petrol System that assisted our SA Police to automate the filling in of their monthly petrol logs per vehicle (this saved them a tremendous amount of time and I heard it was still working many years later without any changes). I also wrote a membership application for a charity which had allowed for all sorts of variables to be user adjusted such as VAT rates to future proof it. As some offices were out in rural areas I also had to include various utility repair functions (backups, re-indexing, recreating of databases) that were totally 'user proof'.

It was pure fun in those days and I often worked right through the night to crack an algorithm and all the books were bought by me - thoughts of overtime pay and reimbursement were just not even thought about. Funny thing is it did pay me back in the long term, and I was able to retire at 55 so what you sow you do reap later on...

#technology #programming #retro


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