[Oberon] Re: Some questions about BB evolution.

John Drake jmdrake_98 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 3 19:24:48 CET 2003

--- eas-lab at absamail.co.za wrote:
> Yuri M. Skripkah wrote:
> Even with 'zero cost' hardware (redundant machines
> from 1st world)
> usage will not grow without applications. 
> Net-working (email &
> newsgroups: fidonet is strong in ex-soviet
> countries) would drive usage.
> I remember the days when 300 Baud connection speeds
> were OK.
> I believe that a minimumal cost modem - manchester
> modem perhaps -
> could suffice for < 2400 Baud.  I've tested the
> transmit side driver from
> a par.port via a few resistors: D to A; and
> speculate/hope that the 
> receive side is doable with minimum cost.   Since
> the ex-soviet countries
> have functioning telephone networks with low
> charges, minimal cost
> networking could build oberon user base ?

At such low speeds you can skip the phone company
and go with packet radio.
> Can any one remember when data was stored to audio
> cassettes ?

Yes.  It was a very bad experience for me.  I had
a trs-80 Coco.  I had to balance the slow tedious
process of saving programs with the very real
prospect of a power drop.  (I lived in a rural

> I had a cassette version of a subset of Pascal from
> Microsoft, with a
> 10 page A4 pamphlet, for the Z80 based TRS. The
> software consisted
> of a small p-code interpreter, and the compiler was
> directly from 
> Wirth's book.   It was better than n-o, because as
> the source was 
> scanned it was written to display, and just stopped
> at the error!
> I really think 'smart compilers' that claim to find
> multiple errors are 
> a bluff. 
> -- Chris Glur.
I don't see how you can charecterize that as 
"better".  Getting a compiler to stop at the first
error is trivial to do.  With a "smart compiler"
you can still treat it as a "dumb compiler" if
you so wish.  All you have to do is work from
the top down, only fix the first error and 
recompile.  But after gaining some familiarity
with the language and system being used I've
found that you can be much more productive with
the smart compilers.  I always start at the
top of the code and work my way down fixing
compile errors.  That way if the error I'm
looking at was actually produced by something
I just fixed higher in the code I'll already
be aware of that and move on to the next error.
Also compilation is so fast in Oberon that
it's practically instant.  Since the compiler
and editor are much better integrated than in
the "Pascal" days it's more of an "edit/test"
cycle then an "edit/compile/test" cycle.


John M. Drake

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