my c program.
I learned c to be able to use a new technology– MIT’s X Windows. We always called it X-Windows however I recently noted Wiki uses the “X Window System”.
It took me a moment to wrap my mind around c. At the time I was using primarily FORTRAN. No pointers, common blocks, indices that started at 1 and not 0. Then I had to integrate c on top of existing fortran using struts that had to align with common block multidimensional array elements that started with 1. This in conjunction with new things like widgets, gadgets, model, focus, etc.- X-Windows terms– was a little complicated.
Those in the know get– my resume is pretty impressive– even today.
The point– in 1994 or so when I wrote a little c program using my new borland c/c++ compiler- I should not have gotten the reception at work that I did.
I had been writing c programs for awhile. This on DEC Alpha, Unix and DEC VMS systems. Not on my new Gateway desktop computer with my new Borland C/C++ compiler. I got it in May 1994.
Why had I written a simple DOS c program on my equipment at home? Because in 1993 I had developed a very sophisticated HR program using Microsoft Access to handle all of our HR functions. Time Sheets, Work assignment Memos, reports– money, time, stats, etc. A system that had combined a lot of separate functions into one Database that did everything. Access was pretty new at the time– and the amount of time it took me to come up to speed and the sophistication of the program– was impressive. Forms were now generated on the fly within the program and printed out. Staff did not have to type up time sheets or other forms… it was a big cost savings to the office and the reason I sold the idea in the first place. It panned out.
The HR database went into use starting in October 1993 and was used daily until I left in April 1995. Over that time– I added new functions. The status reports we had to provide to John Winston about ongoing tasks– also went into the database. Anaheim emailed me every Monday with actual time information [local data was not official] and I set up a macro to automatically load the delimitated data to the time table of the database. For some reason– I was still in the loop in that Anaheim sent me the email which I in turn sent to newcomb.
John winston wrote a little ada [fortan? i think] program which ran on our DEC VMS cluster to parse the data of our status reports so they to could be inserted to the status reports tables of the database using a similar macro as that of the time data.
One of my selling points to Newcomb when I proposed the development of this system– was that Steph was competing with the Engineers using the System resources. Her data was not official– and we [the engineers] should not have been interrupted because steph had to run numbers that were unofficial. Her databases were several VMS RDBMS databases and several different ADA or SQL command procedures used to generate reports. A lot of cpu on shared systems.
I told Newcomb, I could put this all under one roof and it would run on her stand alone PC– insuring we were not trying to use the same cpu resources. I did.. however Steph had already left by the time the system went into production use.
I had a lot of accolades on the system. Anyway– in 1994 the same reasoning— why use John Winston, and his VAX/VMS program to manipulate the status reports for inclusion to the database… Why not have Mary do it with a stand alone c program I wrote for her pc.
Most things I did as related to this database system were well received. this was not. where am I going with this? Next post.