This 1970s Time-Share Basic manual KICKS YOUR ASS





  • Let's count the WTFs:

    1. Treating documentation like it were a programing example. PRINT "BLA-BLA" is legit for 1970s computers cause ya know, every byte matters. This is a dumb-dumbs manual, so let's just pretend everyone is a computer scientist! Kemeny and Kurtz should have wept.
    2. Carriage return and line feed are on the wrong sides of each other on those keyboard layout. This is 1975, fucking CR goes on the left, LF goes on the right. Cause 'Murica and ASCII. I reads left to right what's this backwards shit?
    3. Are commands entered by JUST CR or CRLF? At least authentication requires CRLF so which is it? Again, 1970s, saying "enter the following command" is a new thing for most people.
    4. Improperly capitalized section names. This is a fucking manual not a god-damned BASIC program.


  • @MathNerdCNU said:

    Improperly capitalized section names. This is a fucking manual not a god-damned BASIC program.

    You've never seen all-caps headings before? Hasn't that been a design/typography trend for hundreds of years?


  • SockDev

    @monkeyArms said:

    Hasn't that been a design/typography trend for hundreds of years?

    maybe. doesn't make it less stupid.



  • @accalia said:

    maybe. doesn't make it less stupid.

    Why do you hate america, women, and black people?

    Strawman jokes are funny?


  • SockDev

    I don't.

    But I do hate the topographic and stylistic choices made by those that drafted those documents.

    The people themselves were probably alright people... Except for their taste in typographic style.



  • I was either trying to be silly or practicing to run for government :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


  • SockDev

    Local state or national.?

    It was rather too high brow for national if you ask me but it high just fly at state level.



  • That's good feedback - I was going to start by running for president because my mom told me I could be anything I wanted to be.



  • That keyboard is... odd. I wonder what HERE IS does? I'm sure I actually could find use for a RUB OUT, from time to time.




  • SCR

    10 READ N$,A$
    20 PRINT N$"IS"A$"!!1"
    30 GOTO 20
    40 DATA "TAR","GREAT"

    LIST
    RUN



  • Textbook Sins.

    Everything wrong with... in a couple of pages.

    *Learning Timeshare BASIC is not applicable to the Hewlett-Packard Timeshared BASIC/2000, Level E, System.

    Oh great. I'm glad you didn't put that on the outside of the book, or in the description of the book in the mail-order. I had to buy it to find out.

    6 Where to find help when all else fails.

    Let's see, next few headers, all there, How to complete an entry, How to correct mistakes, How to break in, logging on & off. Wait, um.... seems we forgot something. Scan through to the end of the book. Well, small hint that this isn't the book to read for finding help when all else fails.

    is my user name

    You have a user name to my system? What's this? Anonymous?

    is my password

    And, you failed the pen. test.

    That is how the program was created and how it worked when it was executed.

    Narrating.

    Strings enclosed in quotes are printed just as they are, as you just found out.

    Still narrating.

    ahead to the topic "your own library" -but that really is cheating

    So, actually reading the book is cheating, because at this point, its really a test in disguise. Can you tell me the contents of this book without reading it? cough crap cough.

    It worked! So much for the LET statement.

    um.... so much for? What, did the LET statement fail? Produce something unimpressive. Is this some kind of vague sarcasm on a level I don't even get?
    I imagine the next statement is supposed to be "that piece of crap".

    What's the input statement we've yet to discuss?

    What's this some kind of demonic Dora the explorer episode, where they ask where Swiper is but don't put him in the background? I guess we're not supposed to do that reading thing again, because the next page.
    Oh it's on the next page.

    Enter a whole number FORM 1 to 3

    Well, ignoring that, the input is now in Y.
    But then we switch on Y, and do not use Y in the output. :facepalm: And that's where all the ternary operator TDWTF stories come from.

    Oh it was to introduce computed GoTo. And yet, the reader is still oblivious to the whole point of programming. To reduce work.

    A final hint, you'll see this type of statement again, at the end of the book. Don't let it take you by surprise.

    Yeah, cause it's a ninja. Murdered three readers already. Don't say I didn't warn you.

    Scientific Notation

    Say, wah?

    Let me get this straight. It does a pre-compiler pass for DATA, but doesn't bother converting big numbers for you?
    You have to calculate the notation. I mean, that's going to be difficult, since the book's intended target appears to be mentally handicapped toddlers.

    Computer just added more work to my day, cause it's not like I can't go.... 191231231412424142 + 12318898123 on paper.

    "Ah hal So that's how one adds titles and column headings." You're so right.

    Now the book is speaking for me.
    Xaade notices he speaks to himself in a condescending tone.

    Stop that. What is that voice? The book is narrating my post for me?
    It's the ninja...

    If you knew it all along, write a program...

    Otherwise, put the book down. Hang your head in shame. Find a new career. Do not pass go. Do not meet the ninja

    You start with the output you want, evaluate the input you have, and devise a means of converting your input into output

    Because, that's how science works. Or accounting.
    cough The Hockey stick graph. cough Enron cough

    You need not comprehend precisely how NOT works its magic.

    Because for this book to explain the background and design of not, and how it was purposed for 1,0 comparison, and for its purposes any number other than 0 acts as 1, you'd have to pay a hell of a lot more for it.

    explains order of operations

    You win math. I would get all sarcastic at this point, but there are a few scripting languages out there that can't figure out order of operations, so I'll take one sin off for this one.

    your own library

    I'll be honest. I cheated.

    SAVE

    You mean earlier when I lost my progress because I had to log out...

    "Ah," you say. "But..."

    No. No. I didn't.

    To be specific, this additional information is a descriptive code*, and the length of the
    programs in blocks**. I will not define this code or the term block for you here. They are described in
    the reference manual.

    Neither will you add in the footnotes for * and **. Scanned the whole document. These don't appear again.

    A string consists of up to 255 characters enclosed by quotation marks. Thus, a "string" in computerese
    is really a string of characters.

    Tautology is a tautology.

    100 DIM A$(25)

    Not really a sin, but if you wanted to know where DIM comes from in Visual Basic. There you go. It means dimension. Dimension of A$ is 25.

    So really, this is a Visual Basic sin.

    Remember? "Sure, but how about changing a string variable? That's simple, too. Simply re-describe the string's content in a later statement ... such as

    And the real problem of pretending I said something. You didn't place the ending quotation mark, leaving me to believe the entire rest of this book is just me talking to myself. Might as well stop here.

    Let me guess. I cheated again. Or is this compensation for having to psychically know what's in the book earlier.

    You will find functions much easier to use than to read about.

    That's your job... to make it easier to read about. You had one job!


    So from here on out the writing style significantly improves, and I can only assume that this book was written as the writer discovered how to use the machine, or someone else took over after he died from irony.


    Now that you've entered it, run it and most of your questions about the program will be instantly
    answered ... like "What does it do?" "How does it work?" etc.

    And he came back from the dead. No seriously, there had to be two writers. There's no other explanation.

    a chance to express the feelings which no doubt are welling up in you now that you have finished the manual.

    No. In no way does the sample program allow me to expressing the feelings welling up in my right now.


    25 sins.

    BASIC... ALLY.... HELL !!!!



  • @MathNerdCNU said:

    Carriage return and line feed are on the wrong sides of each other on those keyboard layout. This is 1975, fucking CR goes on the left, LF goes on the right. Cause 'Murica and ASCII. I reads left to right what's this backwards shit?

    Nuh uh.



  • @MathNerdCNU said:

    Let's count the WTFs:

    You really have no idea what you're talking about, do you? Timesharing in the 1970s was not for the "dumb-dumbs". Why the need to comment? Why the denigrating tone?



  • Some teleprinters had a "Here is" key, which transmitted a fixed sequence 20 or 22 characters, programmable by breaking tabs off a drum.
    This sequence could also be transmitted automatically upon receipt of an ENQ (control E) signal, if enabled. This was commonly used to identify a station; the operator could press the key to send the station identifier to the other end, or the remote station could trigger its transmission by sending the ENQ character, essentially asking "who are you?"

    If the operator detected the error before typing another character, he could backspace the paper tape punch, press RUBOUT which punched all channels of the offending chacter. This would be ignored on the receiving end when the tape was transmitted.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @monkeyArms said:

    I was either trying to be silly or practicing to run for government :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

    What's the difference?



  • @xaade said:

    RUBOUT which punched all channels of the offending character

    And this is why ASCII control code DEL has the code that it does (0x7F, all seven bits set) instead of being included in the 0x00..0x1F range with all the other control characters.

    ASCII NUL is 0x00; on paper tape, that's a spot with no holes punched so it's what you'd find on a tape's lead-in. DEL is all holes punched so it can be used to wipe out any other mispunched character. If paper tapes were Javascript, NUL would be Undefined and DEL would be Null.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Your ass is kicked.

    So is yours, for mistaking something obviously pitched as a junior school textbook for a manual.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    @xaade said:

    Some teleprinters had a "Here is" key

    And that's why it's called a heredoc:



  • Here documents and Here Is keys both contain the common English word "Here" but are otherwise unrelated. A here document is just a document that's right here, as opposed to residing in a file elsewhere.


  • I survived the hour long Uno hand

    Except for the totally related concept of inserting a preset block of data.



  • @flabdablet - is that your ASR33? It looks in great condition. If it is, please contact me, I desperately need a TTY repairman (willing to pay top $ for proven results)...

    I am NOT joking here.



  • The preset block of data emitted in response to the Here Is key was very limited in length - far more like a string literal than a document.

    Don't read too much connotation into "document"; remember that here documents first appeared in the Bourne Shell, which shipped as part of Unix, in which a document was the kind of thing you built with a text editor and then fed through troff to be formatted for printing. WYSIWYG was so not even a thing.

    A typical use for a here document in a shell script would be for a page or two of help text; rather more document-like than string-like.



  • @TheCPUWizard said:

    is that your ASR33?
    It's just a random wikimedia pic, sorry. I used those at college but never owned one.

    ASR33s are not rocket science. What's wrong with yours, and why not have a crack at it yourself?



  • I am not "mechanical"...giving me a screwdriver may be a felony offense. Keyboard needs re-alignment, Cams need to be disassembled cleaned, lubed. print mechanism needs adjustment (as well as new bumper), punch pins need to be sharpened...





  • Have you ever lifted an ASR33? Wouldn't be much left of the desk.



  • I think you know, deep down, that your ass is kicked and you just don't want to admit it to us.


  • area_deu


    Doesn't look so ass-kicking to me on the other images.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I think you know, deep down

    Weak sauce. Needs more vitriol.




  • SockDev

    still too weak.

    i want 16 meelion Scoville Heat Units!

    like this: http://www.hotsauce.com/16-Million-PURE-Capsaicin-Crystals-2-0ml-p/hsc-16-million-crystals2.0.htm

    or if you absolutely insist on it being a sauce.....

    maybe this, but that's still pretty weak:



  • @accalia said:

    16 meelion

    <RED>sold for medical or experimental purposes only</RED>

    Uh, medical purposes?! :wtf:



  • Because consuming it pure is very bad for you. It's not even allowed to be imported into the UK any more.

    You don't really need more than 1-2 million SHU in a sauce otherwise it's just excessively hot for the sake of it.



  • @loopback0 said:

    [i]very[/i] bad for you

    I suppose doing yourself actual medical harm constitutes a "medical purpose", but still...



  • It's the sneaky technicality of "if we sell this for consumption we're liable when you make yourself ill but if we claim medical purposes and you eat it then that's your fault".



  • I thought that's what NOT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION is for?



  • That's "we didn't make this for humans to consume full stop" vs "we made this for humans to consume but can't sell it as such".


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @xaade said:

    25 sins.

    BASIC... ALLY.... HELL !!!!

    You watch Cinema Sins also?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @loopback0 said:

    Because consuming it pure is very bad for you. It's not even allowed to be imported into the UK any more.

    You're screwing with me? The nanny state over there makes the USA look really free.



  • Nope - pure capsaicin cystals are now illegal to import.

    It's a bit daft IMO.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    It seems like you have a lot of lawmakers that want to nerf the world.



  • Some days I'm surprised we don't just all get wrapped in bubble wrap when we're born.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    Don't give them any ideas. Health and Safety will make their version of The Matrix to keep everyone safely cocooned and you will only be able to exist in virtual reality.


  • area_deu

    How can you know that we aren't already?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    My mind can't grapple with such philosophical arguments today.



  • Now that brings back memories.



  • @accalia said:

    PURE-Capsaicin-Crystals



  • @loopback0 said:

    It's the sneaky technicality of "if we sell this for consumption we're liable when you make yourself ill but if we claim medical purposes and you eat it then that's your fault".

    We sell it for spraying bears. Allegedly. That's what the can that my wife carries says on it, anyways.



  • Yeah - it's used for pest control (although I didn't realise that meant spraying bears) in the same way that it's used in pepper spray and genuinely it's used for medical purposes in creams for pain relief.
    People aren't rubbing pure crystals on themselves for pain relief I'd imagine. That'd hurt.


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