Boring Is As Boring Does

0 - Man Asleep on Desk

 

Apparently I have always been boring and just never realized it.  I was reading back through some of my old journals tonight and came across this fascinating little tidbit from 1998.  Keep in mind that the Internet was not really a thing in most peoples’ lives at that time.

After everyone had gone to bed, I adjourned to the office to try and do something constructive. I got out the old IRIG-B board from [company name] and began drawing a schematic of it (a slow, tedious process). I’m not sure what the purpose of this exercise is other than my vague plans of spending the long winter evenings writing and implementing a real-time operating system for the Motorola 68000 microprocessor on the board. However, my plans in this arena may be thwarted by the lack of a time-slicer. A cursory glance at the board revealed no obvious way of generating periodic interrupts to drive the scheduler with. However, I think I may be able to modify the IRIG-B circuitry to perform the task (since I doubt if I’ll be using IRIG-B for anything). This is a pointless exercise and I do it more for my own amusement than anything. What kind of sad commentary is THAT on my life?

Now, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I ask you, does this sound like the sort of thing that someone with an active social life would say?  No, it does not!  I think you can only return one verdict.  This man is guilty of …. being boring!

As we get older, we somehow begin to think (or delude ourselves into thinking) that we were interesting and fascinating in our youth.  “I may be boring now,” we say, “But boy howdy!  When I was a young man, I was a real firecracker!”   [For the record, I don’t actually talk like that.]

But if we (or rather, I) could hop in a time machine and go back and visit our younger selves, we (I) would be appalled!  Old Me would probably grab Young Me by the collar, slap Young Me several times back and forth across the cheek and say something like, “Good gravy, man!  Take a look at yourself!  What is wrong with you?  Where’s your pride? You’ve got to get out there and do something interesting or exciting!  If you don’t, you’ll end up not having any cool stories to tell people when you’re older!

And so that, Dear Readers, is why I don’t have any cool stories to tell you.  I have not been able to find a time machine to go back and slap some sense into myself.

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Footnote:  The Motorola 68000 microprocessor was one of the most beautiful, elegant microprocessors that ever existed.  It was a thing of beauty.  Writing code for it in native assembly was easy and intuitive and elegant thanks to its brilliantly conceived orthogonal instruction set.  Unfortunately, IBM adopted for its new line of personal computers the Intel family with its execrable Harvard architecture, which was a Rube Goldberg abomination of computational architecture if ever there was one.  The IBM PC took the world by storm, and the toothpaste was out of the tube.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 comments

    • Lol! I can’t believe that I was even remotely interested in that stuff back then. I don’t have the patience for it any more. If I could do something less boring, I think I’d love to be a stand-up comedian. But that is a young man’s game and I missed that train already. 🙂

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  1. My management never use to let me do presentations because they thought I’d start using jargon with power words that would immediately cause the audience to become comatose. And while I never did assembly code on the MOTOROLA 68000, I did write a bit on the old Commodore 64 (the MOS 6502 processor). Sometimes I wonder if I’m even the same guy…

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    • In my industry, we speak in almost nothing but acronyms and jargon. It took me over a year working here before I could understand anything anybody was saying. I guess every industry is that way to an extent.

      I always wanted a Commodore 64, but by the time I’d saved up my pennies to get one, they were already off the market and obsolete. 😦 And I feel your pain. I so miss the days when I did “real work”. I loved designing and building electronics and then writing the firmware or software for them. What a rush! But I haven’t done that in years. I’m not even sure I could any more. But it was sure fun!

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  2. There isn’t anything boring about your footnote. That’s some good writing, right there. I’ve never heard the phrase “orthogonal instruction set,” but now I want to know more about it. Off to Google I go!

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    • Thanks, Linda! It’s always good to hear that I’m not boring. 😀 And thank heavens for Google! It enables me to keep up with what people are talking about. And sometimes I find out I worked with something for years before I realized it was called a certain thing.

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