Cover page by Robert C. Martin

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A. Tooling

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In 1978, I was working at Teradyne on the telephone test system that I described earlier. The system was about 80KSLOC of M365 assembler. We kept the source code on tapes.

The tapes were similar to those 8-track stereo tape cartridges that were so popular back in the ’70s. The tape was an endless loop, and the tape drive could only move in one direction. The cartridges came in 10′, 25′, 50′, and 100′ lengths. The longer the tape, the longer it took to “rewind” since the tape drive had to simply move it forward until it found the “load point.” A 100′ tape took five minutes to go to load point, so we chose the lengths of our tapes judiciously. ...

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