twisting wires together

//engtech has listed their favourite quotes from “Programmers at Work: Interviews with 19 Programmers Who Shaped the Computer Industry” edited by Susan Lammers (paperback available from Amazon).

This quote caught my eye:

“Programming is the ultimate field ofr someone who likes to tinker. Tinkering requires tools. Electrical engineers have various components they can put together to build something. But they’re constrained by the availability of physical equipment. With a computer, if you can think about it, you can do it. You can design your own tools or create the parts as you go along. If you don’t like something, you can just change it or rewrite it. It’s a wide-open tool box, given the resource, the computer. The only limiting factors are the amount of time it takes the computer to do the task and the amount of time it takes you to write the program.” Ray Ozzie, P188

I think electronics engineers have the best of both worlds. They can tinker on both hardware and software by developing hardware that a computer can talk to and listen for through standard protocols, for example, USB. They are not limited by the hardware environment of their computer, and can build on any hardware that they design.

My favourite quote is from my partner:

“I used to just twist wires together ..
now the wires are so small I use software”

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2 thoughts on “twisting wires together

  1. //engtech has since reviewed the book and has created a list of the interviewees.

    Gary Kildall is on the list as the creator of CP/M. Somewhere we still have the invoice for our copy that H got for a Little Big Board system that he built up 🙂

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