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Comment: Re: Invisible hand (Score 3, Informative) 488

Telephone and electricity wires cost money to run as well. We mandated that the utilities provide service to all and they used to simply spread the cost over the entire customer base. As long as you're profitable in the large it doesn't really matter if each customer turns a profit. However, if a company is not required to do so, they will, of course, focus only on profitable customers.

We chose to subsidize services that were viewed as vital, such as phone and electricity. Cable TV is not a necessity but internet access may be.

Comment: Re:Ahhhh, C++ (Score 1) 757

by putaro (#49231397) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

You can abuse the C pre-processor as well. The early versions of the Bourne Shell are, essentially, written in Bourne Shell through the use of a mess of C macros. When I was working at a Unix vendor I was assigned to track down a bug in the shell and that was just...wrong. Some time around Sys V somebody un-macro'ized the code.

Comment: Re:Early fragmentation (Score 1) 492

by putaro (#48911929) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

I did most of my work on Unix before I started at Apple in '95. All of the new OS development was being done in C by then. I suspect that before most of the OS development had been done in 68K assembler, not Pascal. When the switch to PPC started, Apple needed a cross-platform systems programming language and Pascal was not it.

This article from '93 references how the industry mindset had switched to C/C++ and that pushed Apple.

One thing to remember is that at that time, both Macs and PCs were not very powerful machines and large applications were being developed for Unix workstations.

Comment: Re:Java is Pascal++ (Score 1) 492

by putaro (#48902741) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

UCSD P-system was a virtual machine. introduced back in '78. I think it was most popular on the Apple II, though it ran on PC's and even the PDP-11. I went to UCSD in the mid 80's and we learned Pascal on PC's but the PDP-11's (these were small graphics workstations, not minis) were running RT-11, if I remember correctly and we used them for the assembly language class.

Comment: Re:Early fragmentation (Score 2) 492

by putaro (#48902733) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

I'd say that the reason C eclipsed Pascal was the popularity of Unix. There was an explosion of Unix systems in the mid 80's (including Sun workstations but many, many others) that were fairly inexpensive but with a lot of power and they were all programmed in C. Pascal had a lot of popularity on PC's with Turbo Pascal and a lot of stuff written of the Macintosh was Pascal back then (if you look at the old Mac API's you'll see an abundance of "pstrings" or Pascal strings) but C was "cooler" because it was coming out of the Unix world.

Comment: Re:Air-gap. (Score 2) 177

by putaro (#48802221) Attached to: The Importance of Deleting Old Stuff

This is very true. Another issue is not that there's anything embarrassing or bad, but the sheer work of producing documents for a lawsuit can be be very expensive. If you do keep emails or other records beyond the legal retention limits they can still be subpoenaed, but if you destroy them on a regular schedule, well, can't produce what you don't have.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."