E Tu’ Pascal ?

| March 30, 2013

love_birdsWe have the geekiest kitchen table conversations in the history of family conversations.

I suddenly – in passing by – asked the wife if she ever actually used PASCAL.

I don’t know why my mind drifted into that memory – but I do have a theory of how the mind rearranges itself as it ages.

But I digress …

My wife, the Computer Scientist, let out a cheerful giggle – “PASCAL ?!?”

We then got into an extremely geeky conversation about what languages we used and hated …

Then it became a “got-cha” session as I revealed the reason I went into engineering and more into a hardware direction was because of COBOL … Yet I did do quite a bit in C and of course pure MACHINE CODE … and how we both liked FORTRAN … and she could do this and that and threw out something to stump me and I did the same speaking in BINARY
I loathed COBOL …

We also still laugh about Y2K

The same way we laughed about it in 1998 …

But I digress …

She did a LOT of COBOL in her time. You had to if you did anything with writing software because it was easy to go behind someone else and fully understand their coding.
We are both perplexed about why PASCAL is even taught anymore.

It is a bit limited as far as practical application. Well – depending if your application is limited, then it’s fine.

pascal_in_three_days_bookI could never get my head around anything that could not be applied to get something done. I mean, in the real world

mad_horseIf not – Why bother ??? That was my attitude toward PASCAL.

If you have never read the paper

Why PASCAL Is Not My Favorite Programming Language

I encourage the effort if you find if/then and for/next statements funny.

apple_lisaI remember the APPLE LISA computer and it was all about PASCAL – which is why it went away quickly.

Apple always seemed to be all about doing it completely different (not necessarily better – just different) and being from another planet … yet if they followed the NEXT computer … uh – that’s a subject for another article or rant sometime.

Of course PASCAL was named after the French scientist / philosopher Blaise Pascal … who I believe is extremely cool despite being French and of a certain obscure religious persuasion ….. but I can appreciate that.

Blaise_PascalIf it weren’t for the real pascal, our understanding of the vacuum may have been delayed … not the suck-broom … but the absence of anything.

My main fascination with Pascal (the man) is that he believed in a balance between God and Science. That they are basically inseparable.

I completely dig that … not religion … Creator and Creation.

There are large portions of science that have become just as dogmatic, decadent and dangerous as any religious institution …
But I digress …

As our daughter was playing “Metroid: The Other M”, she was eavesdropping a bit on us …

She paused her game and made a comment that as parents it may be time for us to confess that we are really survivors of an alien ship that crash landed on Earth and we are waiting to be rescued while blending into human society …

… but we don’t have cone heads*mips!*

Still – does anyone actually USE PASCAL ? I mean USE IT … outside of academics ???

Category: Tony Rollo Blog

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