Chips that changed the world
ray at arachelian.com
Sun May 3 08:19:37 CDT 2009
Joachim Thiemann wrote:
> Then of course there were those programmers that thought they were
> clever, using the top 8 bits to store flags in pointers, etc. Royally
> messed up when upgrading to 68020 and up.
> Somehow this seemed only a problem on Macs - the "dirty" ROMs issue on
> the SE30 and some others. I don't recall the Amiga ever having those
> issues, and I have no clue about the Atari...
When you have a machine that only has 128K of RAM, every byte counts. I
wouldn't say that this was necessarily a bad idea given the situation.
Keep in mind that there are things such as deadlines to consider, so
quick and dirty tricks like those, look nasty in hindsight, and
certainly take a lot of time to clean up afterwards, but they do get the
job done for the moment. How many programming teams consider the long
run versus "just get it out the door"? Or I should say, how many
programmer's managers consider the long run? :-)
Individuals almost always care about their work and want to do a job
that will last, despite deadlines or pressure to cut corners. But
managerial pressure to do the wrong thing usually prevails.
The other great example of this is how enough address lines were snuck
into the original Mac to allow it to be expanded despite direct orders
to not allow expansion at all.
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