Lost script

[This page was written years earlier than the Lost TV series and has nothing to do with it! You may, however, want to read a true story instead of a fiction script -ed]

EXE Magazine, May 1997

Cast: a software developer having been around 10 years in the industry.

Set: a cubicle featuring a desk, a large screen on it, keyboard, mouse and under the desk an tower computer (brand name or type can't be read). The computer has only a 3"1/2 disk drive.

Props: punch cards, green and white old style perforated listing paper, a double size hard-disk, 8" floppy disks, 5"1/4 floppy disks (plenty of them). Lots of code in many languages calling libraries from many operating systems.

Story: the main character is about to start a new project. Then suddenly he remembers that he wrote a similar routine for another project 10 years earlier. He then starts dreaming about all the software he wrote in his life as a developer.

He first sees in an accelerated motion all computers he ever worked on – small ones, big ones, terminals, embedded systems...

...His vision starts to slow down and moves to excerpts of software he wrote: some Fortran code on punched cards. Yes, that sort routine was so neat, if only I still had these cards...

... Some Basic on perforated listing paper, [the code starts to appear in mid-air], some Ada...

... some assembly (6502, 6809, 8086, 68000...). The way he implemented this complex communication protocol in 6809, that could be really useful today...

... some PL/1, some APL, some LISP, some Smalltalk, some Z, pure lambda calculus, some C, some C++ [the precise list and order of it should be decided depending on what excerpts can be found]. If only he could access all the code he wrote in his lifetime.

Suddenly the developer wakes up from his dream while remembering it. He knows he coded the same function. The developer tries to shove an 8" floppy disk in his 3"1/4 drive.


David Mery

(C)1997, Centaur Communications Ltd. Reproduced with the kind permission of EXE Magazine.