On Tuesday 01 April 2008, Tim wrote:
On Tue, 2008-04-01 at 08:38 -0400, Gene Heskett wrote:
> The next time I wrote code with an extended lifetime like that, was on a
> TRS-80 Color Computer running OS9 level 1, with device drivers in assembly
> using an assembler, and the main portion in Basic-09. That function was
> in place of a $20,000 Grass Valley Group E-DISK package that our first GVG
> 300-2A/B production video switcher didn't come with. It outperformed that
> $20k unit by 4x in speed, and gave the operators english language names
> for their individual 'bags of tricks' files whereas the GVG used 2 digit
> hex codes for the filenames.
And back then, you could expect your equipment to come with manuals that
explained the tricks that could be done with their gear. e.g. If it had
a serial or parallel port, the pins would documented, the function codes
would be listed... Or, the sales division would get you the books for
Now, everything's a black box. One client's bought this Roland,
allegedly high-definition, digital video mixer (hi-def my left foot!,
that means high definition, not just able to output low-resolution video
with more pixels...). It has a port for the tally interface, that
mentions nothing about how to actually use it. Sure, it lists several
pins that you could have a tally signal on, depending on what mode its
in. But nothing that defines what the modes are, nor the output
voltages (TTL?, CMOS?, open-collector?, active low?).
Yeah Tim, but Panasonic, in the Techniques line of audio gear, copyrighted
that BS back about 1978, equiping their fawnciest RS-1520 1/4" multitrack
audio tape machine with a 9 pin octal interface plug for remote controls, but
if you wanted to use it, you had to buy THEIR $200 remote pendant. No docs.
And the schematics made it a weeks study to figure out that all it needed was
a contact closure to start it to record. I was automating the weather report
capture from the weather bureau. Worked a treat too. That was, in its day,
THE technological tour-de-force in audio tape machines. It could lay a 1%
distortion signal on the average roll of tape 10db louder than the best a
Studer/Revox could do, 70 db snr at 7.5 ips in 2 track stereo, 67 db in 4
track mode. When the heads were clean, 15 kilohertz bandwidth at 3.75 ips.
Bi-directional and handled 14" reels better than any other machine I ever
saw. You flat could not get it to dump tape on the floor, period.
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
<viro> "scanf is tough" -- programmer Barbie...
- Al Viro on #kernelnewbies