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Love Letter to the Hardware

In the early years of programming, a program was regarded as the private property of the programmer. One would no more think of reading a colleague’s program unbidden than of picking up a love letter and reading it. This is essentially what a program was, a love letter from the programmer to the hardware, full of the intimate details known only to partners in an affair. Consequently, programs became larded with the pet names and verbal shorthand so popular with lovers who live in the blissful abstraction that assumes that theirs is the only existence in the universe. Such programs are unintelligible to those outside the partnership. Michael Marcotty

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