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// Tales from software development

Making a computer do stuff

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A little anecdote from the past…

It must have been around 1985. My girlfriend was a hospital pharmacist and she was called in to the hospital one evening. I went with her and while she was dealing with the emergency dispensing request I wandered around the half-lit pharmacy. On a desk in a dark corner I found a couple of Apple II computers. I’d never seen one running so I asked my girlfriend if I could start one up. She said yes so I switched one on.

After a few seconds there was a whirring noise and a clunk followed by a prompt on the monitor to insert the Apple DOS diskette. I didn’t really know anything about Apple IIs but I had assumed that they’d boot from ROM or hard disk.

I called out to my girlfriend that it was asking for a boot diskette and she replied, “You’ve got to give it its doos.”

What ? I asked her what she meant but she just repeated what she’d said, “You have to give it its doos.”

I looked around the desk and saw the Apple DOS diskette. I began to have a suspicion about what ‘doos’ was.

“Why do you call it ‘doos’ ?”, I asked. 

“Because it makes it do things. It says Do’s on the label.”

The logic of users!




Written by Sea Monkey

October 1, 2008 at 9:32 am

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