Why I love technology – the anticipation that today, I might discover something new, and wonderous.
Throughout my career as a software developer, I remember distinct moments of wonder.
Times when I quite literally asked: “how did they do that?”
My first professional engagements were performed on the original IBM PC, running under MS-DOS. As I was learning my craft, I noticed that almost all professional apps displayed their screens instantaneously; while my screens painted painfully slowly, character by character. What was I doing wrong? And more importantly:
How did they do that?
Turns out, in order to display screen content blindingly fast, one had to use undocumented, unofficial areas of the PC’s memory space; by writing directly into the PC’s display memory, screens popped, rather than crawled.
The next time that I had a similar sense of wonder, I was working on web applications. In 2005, I witnessed the Google “Suggest” feature for the very first time (you probably know it best as the drop down box, with suggested search terms as…
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