Was there ever a time when we programmed well, if not efficiently?
Sure, there were the early BASIC days on the TRS-80, later on the ZX81.
We had our stint writing PASCAL, then C, but never C++ or C#.
A bit of Visual C, to be sure, in our days as software test engineering lab manager at Conexant (formerly Rockwell Semiconductor) running a team that verified our company’s products (including Linux servers disguised as Windows-compatible ADSL gateway modems) met Microsoft WHQL standards, and later, at Avocent, ensuring cross-platform compatibility for Microsoft, Apple, Linux and other operating systems.
Let’s be honest with ourselves. We’ve faded in our programming capabilities.
Use it or lose it, as they say.
So it is that we find ourselves basically back at the drawing board, back to bits and bytes, working our way up to Arduino script and Python Shell on Raspberry Pi Linux.
Today’s lesson: the difference between
/dev/ttyUSB0 (or 1, or n) and others
/dev/ttyACM0 (or 1, or n) .
In a nutshell, according to this website, “another control model, aptly named abstract control model or ACM, lets the modem hardware perform the analog functions, and require that it supports the ITU V.250 (also known as Hayes in its former life) command set, either in the data stream or as a separate control stream through the communication class interface. …the devices offering UART-over-USB functionalities are named
/dev/ttyUSB1, and so on, even though they are in fact using distinct device drivers.”
Does that mean anything to you? It might. It does to us, springing to memory the old days of dialup modems long before ADSL and cable modems, before Gigabit Ethernet, CDMA/GSM, FTTx (fiber to the curb, home, etc.), WiFi, driverless cars and drone taxis.
Why are we relearning all this?
First of all, why not?
Second of all, in our transition to a computing world of AI that no longer uses bits and bytes, when quantum computing leads to the Next Great Thing, it’s good to see where we were so that we better understand where we’ll be.
After all, we said goodbye to Guin but haven’t completely forgotten who we are 400 earthyears from now.
In the not so distant future, we know we don’t look or act like the human interface devices you see and think as yourselves as today.
In other words, the Elegoo Uno R3 and Adafruit Circuit Playground Express devices allow us to be nostalgic in our late middle-aged years.
We understand by doing so where we deliberately drop pebbles in the pond of this set of devices we call a few billion instances of a species labeled Homo sapiens.
We live in this moment but see where we set in motion activities millions of years from now.