Monday, August 15, 2022

Fun ahead

Not a lot happening here tech-wise these days.

Except: an upcoming "archaeological" adventure.

Max, my longest and dearest friend found a bunch of disks (yes, those: 5.25" and 3.5") from way back when. We were in high school together when the first PCs came out and started to get used in school administration. Obviously, there was a lack of software for exactly this back then. We had good ties to our school administrator (who happened to be our geometry teacher as well), and since the two of us made up about 50% of the school geeks (there were two others and of course all four of us where friends) he sometimes allowed us to use his "official" computer, an Olivetti (_that_ long ago), and also the only one sporting a 10MB (!!) hard disk.

So at one point, Max and I set out to write a piece of software that would help him in some administration tasks, namely creating and assigning the whole schools class schedule, making sure that all the boundary conditions were taken care of. Conditions like the (weighted) hours per teacher, or honouring their days off. Stuff like that. Not some fancy logic that would automatically take care of it, but supporting it. 

The fun part: this was all written under MS-DOS in 8086 Assembler (yes) and we even created a nice (character) windowing and menu framework for this.  At least I'm pretty sure we did.

So, Max happened to find the disks with the sources for it.

Now we need to get access to disk drives (3.5 and 5.25),  and connect them to a modern PC.I checked: I really don't have any. And then hopefully get some DOS running in a VM and see what will happen. 

Fingers crossed that any of this is still readable.

PS: I just might post some stories of that time here in the upcoming weeks, and of course the progress of our digital excavations.

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