dmd platform support - poll

Derek Parnell derek at psych.ward
Sat Dec 27 14:38:48 PST 2008

On Sat, 27 Dec 2008 10:57:40 -0800, Walter Bright wrote:

> Back in the early DOS days, there was a lot of disdain for the platform. 
> "Real" programmers used unix workstations, not toy 16 bit PCs. It turned 
> out, though, that most of the fortunes were made programming for DOS, 
> and eventually those programs and programmers migrated to 32 bits and 
> brought the industry with it. DOS was the "gateway" programming platform.

In my world, the "real" programmers were working on IBM mainframes and the
like. The new-fangled "mini"-computers (Olivetti, Xerox, Sun) were starting
to make their way in to commercial operations and these were seen as
under-achieving toys by the "real" programmers. 

I was just about to recommend the IBM Model-23 mini-computer/word-processor
to my bosses when news of the IBM PC broke. I was given a preview and
demonstration of the new PC when I visited the IBM offices about 3-months
before the official release by the very enthusiastic, and aptly named,
"Entry Systems Division". 

The price/performance of the PC eradicated the mini-computer market
overnight. Sure it had technical limitations but the release of computing
to the masses swamped those limitations. One now no longer needed "real"
programmers to get some actual work done and it was damn cheap by

The Unix/PC divide was yet to happen. The 16-bit PC enabled non-specialist
people whereas Unix was seen, if acknowledged at all, as the domain of
arcane geeks. Unix was not practical and PC-DOS was; Unix was academic and
PC-DOS was business - end of story.

Times have changed, of course.

Derek Parnell
Melbourne, Australia
skype: derek.j.parnell

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