[Oberon] Re: Some questions about BB evolution.

John Drake jmdrake_98 at yahoo.com
Mon Feb 10 16:20:42 CET 2003

--- eas-lab at absamail.co.za wrote:
> John Drake wrote:
> > At such low speeds you can skip the phone company
> > and go with packet radio.
> >  
> Yes, packet radio is good for low-density (rural),
> but it doesn't
> fit the near zero cost model ? I guess old modems
> get lost &
> discarded easier than computers because of the size
> ?
> So a new modem needs to be bought ?
> I guess 20 redundant computers could be bought for
> the price
> of a packet radio installation ?
> In asia and africa packet radio is applicable, but
> ex-soviet
> countries HAVE a functioning telco network.

Right.  But I'm assuming that you have to pay for
access to that telco network.  So if you're truly
looking for "zero cost" then packet radio is the
only option.  Also even here in the states there
are areas where phone service sucks when being 
used for internet access and cellphone coverage 
is non-existent.
> > > 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
> > area).  
> It's very difficult for a US resident to appreciate
> the value of
> minimal vital information when we are bombarded with
> masses
> of garbage.  Imagine yourself 300 years ago, on a
> hill top in 
> England scanning the sea-horizon for the ship
> returning
> from distant lands: a timely single-bit of
> information - perhaps
> by a flag, could determine your life's savings !

I don't see the connection between your example
and using cassettes for data storage.  Anyway
what I can "appreciate" is how much time I lost
retyping programs that I lost because I was using
a cassette for data storage.  If that's all you've
got its all you've got but I think I'd rather have
a crystal radio set for getting a "timely single-bit
of information."
> In the days when you had to submit and wait for
> a compilation it might have justified trying to 
> fix multiple errors.  Now it's not. And it
> discourages
> successive refinement - small steps.
> -- Chris Glur.

Again I TOTALLY disagree!  I've used both the Turbo
Pascal experience and the Oberon experience.  The
latter is MUCH better for me.  In TP (or MS-P) you
were "pulled out" of the editor during compilation.
That pulls you away from your train of thought.
Perhaps it helps you but I find it an unecessary
distration.  Besides, as I already stated, you can
use the Oberon compiler as a "dumb" compiler if
you wish.  Just always have the discipline to only
fix the first error and recompile.  But if you
open yourself up to new ways of doing things you
may find, like I did, that you appreciate being
able to stay within the editor and fix multiple
errors.  I've found a "synergy" exists with this
method.  When I see "20 errors" I can quickly
see the 5 or 10 "root" errors that were causing
the problems, fix them and move on.


John M. Drake
> --
> Oberon at inf.ethz.ch mailing list for ETH Oberon and
> related systems
> http://www.lists.inf.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/oberon

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