Hello from the programmers of the 80s

    Modern programmers can be called minions. At their service are powerful development environments, many programming languages. And just 30 years ago, single scientists and enthusiasts wrote programs even on calculators.

    Caution, under the cut a lot of photos!

    In the mid-80s, the state made a lot of efforts to popularize information technology. Scientific articles were published, whole sections devoted to IT topics appeared in magazines. For professionals (who were mostly scientists at that time), the USSR Academy of Sciences published the journal Programming. Do not forget about lovers. For example, in the journal “Technique - Youth” the heading “Man and Computer” appeared, which was devoted to the explanation of new terms and reviews of new devices. There were also published tips on fighting viruses, using carriers, etc.

    In an effort to increase the speed of integration of computer technology into the daily life of the state, the authorities did not make any special differences between women and men. So, the magazine “Worker” (circulation ~ 15 million) called on women to master the computer on a par with men, and also to teach daughters to this science. In September 1986, a little girl appeared on the cover of the publication in front of the monitor.

    Although the computer was quite expensive, it was really possible to assemble it from parts purchased on the radio market. Therefore, simple articles about computers and programming appeared even in Murzilka!

    This popularization of computer devices sometimes led to incidents. For example, in the newspaper Trud in 1987 there was a note about the enterprising head of the automated control system of a cement plant, who took out parts worth 6,000 rubles to assemble a personal computer at home. At that time, a small apartment in Moscow cost six thousand rubles, although the VAZ-2106 cost even more - 9 124 rubles.

    The topic of amateur programming was repeatedly raised on the pages of a popular scientific publication, like “Science and Life” (circulation - 3 million). Since 1985, articles began to be published there as part of the "Beginner Programmer's School" cycle. In these articles, the reader was taught the basics of creating programs for microcalculators. Now this may seem surprising, but at that time programming was called art. How much this approach differs from the “ Hindu ” code that is often found today !

    To plunge even further into the tube-like programming atmosphere of the late 80's, we offer you scans from the magazine Science and Life, which was miraculously preserved by one of the Cloud4Y employees for 11.1988. This lesson number 22 of the notorious "School of novice programmer."

    As they say, read and penetrate

    A slightly more convenient reading option is available at Archive.org . If you want to get even more information about programming on calculators, then here is a good article .

    What about them?

    While amateur programming was developed in the USSR, forecasts for the future were made in the USA. So, Apple held a contest of ideas about what computers will be like in 2000. The competition was won by a group of students from the University of Illinois. What they suggested is described in a note from the 1988 Science and Life magazine. She was found by sultee in 2009 , but she doesn’t get less interesting from that, right?

    It’s even interesting how many people can now write a program using the limited power of a calculator? If you still have successful examples or you yourself tried to write something similar, share in the comments.

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