Geoff Chappell - Software Analyst
August and September turned in to months of tidying up old writing to prepare for new. There are plans, hatched in July, for substantial new notes on Security, especially on industry practices that would not be thought acceptable in analogous situations and might better not become accepted now. I might as well fight the tide!
While thinking this through, I was separately alerted to a generally well-made and entertaining video titled Windows’ Hidden Self Destruct Code by Nostalgia Nerd. I’d have said I’m not much given to nostalgia (despite being still a fan of pop music from the 1960s), but the video did get me reflecting on my earliest work that ever got controversial. It’s no secret that although I was the first to notice what would soon become known as the AARD code, and the first to explain what it tests, I was never fully on-board with much that others wrote about it. New pages tell more than ever of why—or will, if I ever finish them.
It turns out that supporters of DR DOS have been very busy with the historical record, especially with its presentation on Wikipedia. The histories there of MS-DOS and of the Windows that ran on it are no credit to anyone. There’s much to review and perhaps even to undo. For the first time in twenty years (or more) I have returned to looking at old notes on DOS and even to writing some new pages. The page on the seemingly simple DOS function 30h is an extended essay on DOS versioning, such as I might have written for DOS Internals all those years ago. I may indulge this for what remains of the pandemic year, i.e., until clients return to their physical offices and want my full-time attention.
This trip down memory lane has brought a happy side-effect. I am reminded that I still possess a copy in print of my very first professional writing on computer programming. It’s old enough that it just possibly never did get put on the Internet. That I can’t find it on the Internet now seems like some sort of loss. I take the liberty of reproducing it here.