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RE: Geek Trivia: Multi-connecting Terminals
This article reminds me of a job I took on in 1980 - the design of the firmware (i.e. operating system) for a multi-function terminal that could be switched to communicate with a variety of mainframe computers. Its basic functionality was similar to that of a DEC VT100 - the standard terminal at the time - but there were many systems that didn't use the DEC protocols, and we planned to sell these terminals to companies which possessed more than one type of system, thus enabling them to buy one type of terminal that could be used on any of their systems. The company I worked for was Pericom Data Systems in Milton Keynes, England, and it was the most enjoyable period of employment in my life (my current job being a close second). Development was done on a Motorola Exorciser system (we used the Motorola 6800 series processors) which used 8 inch floppy discs with (I believe) a 160 kilobyte capacity. The firmware had to fit into 16 kilobytes of EPROM, and saving a few bytes here and there enabled more functionality to be squeezed in. The programmers of today don't know they're born!