[TUHS] C question for the historians

Ron Natalie ron at ronnatalie.com
Wed Nov 29 05:00:09 AEST 2017

80 was the number of columns in the IBM punched cards.
Teletypes only had 72 coumns.
Most lineprinters could do 132.

I remember making the jump from the Visual200's (a vt52 clone) to the 5620
DMD.   I actually had at home in my kitchen a ASR-37.    It was one of the
only terminals I have used that I didn't need to engage nl mode.
It had a big NEWLINE key that sent "\n" and didn't need to have the "\r"
also sent.    It also did stuff with all the SI/SO and ESC 8 and 9 things
that nroff sent by default without the need for an converting filter.

Amusingly, it was also one of the the only terminals I used that did
something with CD and DSR.    Upon DSR coming up, it would turn on the motor
and on CD a giant green PROCEED indicator came on.    I never turned it off,
I just shutdown the modem.

-----Original Message-----
From: TUHS [mailto:tuhs-bounces at minnie.tuhs.org] On Behalf Of Larry McVoy
Sent: Wednesday, November 8, 2017 3:24 PM
To: ron minnich
Cc: tuhs at minnie.tuhs.org
Subject: Re: [TUHS] C question for the historians

> For me one of the worst is the 80-column requirement that came from 
> out of I don't know where. Let's see, we're all getting 4k monitors, 
> and yet somehow
> 80 columns is how we have to write code? Hollerith would be proud.

I'm an 80 column person, I like it for side by side diffs, stuff like that.
I also read very very fast by reading down the center and using peripheral
vision for either side (hockey habits die hard).  I can't do that with much
wider than 80 column.

I had a guy working for me who started to argue with me and caught himself:
"I work for you, so it's 80 columns.  When you work for me it won't be."

Fair enough.

More information about the TUHS mailing list