Table of contents:
- “How he did it in Soviet times, I don’t know!”
- We saved every byte
- This time, a lot of them pounced on, and they began to knead me
- “I'm not a bunny bunny. I had three jobs"
- Loser means lazy
Video: Soviet programmer about his tempestuous youth: every byte was saved
2023 Author: Seth Attwood | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 22:42
Colleagues call him "the god Excel." He himself says that he has always been a programmer. And in the 70s, when he worked for the defense industry and grew lilacs in the garage. And in the 80s, when he painted pictures and counted on an EC-1845 machine. And in the 90s, when he was selling cigarettes and firing an air pistol at robbers. Now Vladimir Ivanovich Prusov is 66 years old, and he is a programmer in the POLYComp holding, writes dev.by.
“How he did it in Soviet times, I don’t know!”
I studied at an ordinary mathematical school in Lviv, in the last two years the subject was taught as deeply as possible. This is the horror that happened. Mathematics - four hours every day. Our lessons were taught by the honored teacher of Ukraine Boris Grigorievich Orach. A very peculiar teacher, I just have not met such more.
School desk - for one student. Each desk has a remote control with buttons. On the teacher's desk there is something like a control room: a large control panel with light bulbs. How he did it in Soviet times, I do not know. But I have not seen anything like this anywhere else. He was explaining the lesson. Then the board moved apart, a screen appeared. Tasks were projected onto the screen. The teacher wrote them on a Whatman paper, photographed them, and then made slides and showed them like filmstrips. Answer options were given for each problem. There were a lot of them: you can guess, but we wanted to decide everything ourselves. It was like a competition, they tried to do everything quickly and correctly.
Time was running out, the board was moving, we pressed the buttons with the answer options. The light bulbs on the teacher's desk came on. Correctly decided - green, wrong - red. He chose the one who made the wrong decision, said: "Explain how you decided." Well, the student begins to back, mack. Then the one with the green light came out to the board, corrected the mistake, explained how to do it correctly.
We had programming since the 10th grade. In 1968 we went to the Lviv University in the computer center. There was a Ural-4 lamp-type car. Awful, huge, and the performance made much to be desired.
Left drawing for the soul. For many years then he still painted. Many of my paintings hang at friends' houses. I know where to hang the picture so that it looks good. A lot depends on how the light falls. It will be beautiful in one room, and absolutely nonsense in the other. I studied this for many years, you need to know it.
Now the computer has swallowed me up. I draw on the tablet. It's easier than suffering with paints: you dilute them, you stink the whole apartment. And I'm fond of photoshop. Photoshop is generally good. Any thought can be expressed.
We saved every byte
My father is a mathematician. He taught at the university and constantly studied with me. Says: "You won't be lost with mathematics." Yes, and I did it well, it was interesting. I love to follow the interest. When someone cannot, but I can do. You turn on your brains, look for options - and you find one of the best methods.
I entered the institute in Lvov at the Faculty of Mathematics. The computer is a completely new specialty. Programming was just beginning then. He learned to program on Ural-4 tube machines. Then the Ural-14 transistor type machine appeared. These were machines without a screen, the panel was in the form of light bulbs, it worked on the basis of a binary system. Then my father was transferred to Minsk for work, and I moved to the Faculty of Applied Mathematics at the Belarusian State University.
There we learned to program in Minsk-2, Minsk-22. Then came the computer with the ES-1840 screen. These machines were produced in the USSR, but the idea was ripped off from the Americans. They were made on the basis of IBM computers: ours "removed" the microcircuits layer by layer, made analogs. And then it didn't work out that way, and the Soviet cars began to lag far behind.
After graduation, he worked for the defense industry for 9 years. Then he went to the Institute of Applied Physical Problems (named after A. N. Sevchenko, BSU - ed.), Was there a senior researcher in the department of hydroacoustics. Carried out various orders. For example, they made gas meters for the metro under construction: from 1984 to 2000, they carried out vibration protection measures and predicted the impact of vibration and noise on the environment.
In scientific work, programming is just such a tool. The most important and difficult thing is to understand the physics of the process, the technology. You can only work in a team with physicists and technologists who will tell you the essence of the process. If I didn't fully understand what people were saying, I went to the library and read. You may not know anything, but if you want to figure it out, you’ll figure it out. You will get to the point and right away: “Aha. This leads to differential equations of the second kind, elliptic type, best considered Bauer's method. And then you start Matlab, Mathcad - and pure mathematics begins.
Cars in the late 1980s were slow and uncomfortable. I had a matrix: 400 equations, 400 unknowns. She was counted on a large machine EC-1845 for 18 hours. Now it takes about five minutes to calculate these 400 equations. A two-fold integral was counted eight hours on a machine with a clock frequency of 4 MHz. I started it in the evening, and woke up in the morning - the result is ready.
It was necessary to write programs using the minimum number of characters. We saved every byte. At first, we worked on machines where the maximum number of 37-bit instructions is 4096. In the 80s, on a program that weighed 36 kilobytes, I wrote three Ph. D. and one doctoral thesis. Desktop icons now weigh more.
IBM computers were already there, but they were very expensive. And the students learned from the domestic ones. And the specialists of the day before yesterday were graduated. I had to study along the way if I wanted to become at least some kind of specialist.
Technique is just technique. I was very tired last year, and made one typo: I put “c” in Russian instead of English. Then I spent several weeks looking for the error. Since then, I have just sat down to work with a clear head. You have to make technology work for you; it does nothing for people. I don’t know how now, but earlier in the first years of the university it was impossible to use mathematical packages. Because if you haven't felt what an integral is, what's the use? You will stupidly use programs without understanding the essence.
This time, a lot of them pounced on, and they began to knead me
The 90s were a very interesting time! What's scary? Nothing scared me. On the contrary, I saw a living organism: you can do something, move.
Back in 1974, my friends and I tried to grow lilacs in the garage in order to sell them on holidays. And this was a crime in the era of stagnation: private entrepreneurship is illegal enrichment! But it went well for us. Then they found a house in the village: an ideal place, on the outskirts, no one sees, the conditions for the growth of lilacs are good. And there they have already taken up this business in full. We sat in libraries, read about new methods of greenhouse farming. And then the owner of the house decided to flee from the USSR to Turkey. Passed the post and happy goes to himself in the open. It turned out that this was a fake post, and the real border was two kilometers away. They took him. In order not to go to jail, his parents placed him in a psychiatric hospital. And our epic with a large scale of lilac is over.
When the money went, people became lazy. This friend says: "Let's deal with the documents, and you are engaged in trade." The scheme is simple: the supplier worked at 2%, delivered goods to wholesale kiosks in Komarovka, they sold to small wholesalers and already worked at 10%, and the final kiosk kept 25% for itself. Main product: cigarettes, beer, chocolate. This has always gone well.
I brought up the goods, analyzed where the goods were in short supply, what to buy, what to deliver, and took the proceeds. For me it was all like a game. Very interesting, but like a game. My daughter helped me. Already finished 11th grade. I was a mumble, the saleswoman began to steal, I could not "build" it. And she will come, deal with everyone - she has what she needs. Well, by the way, this character came in handy for her. Now he sells auto parts.
My job was a good support for the family. But we also spent unreasonably. They could only give $ 100 a month for food. For comparison, the Ph. D. salary was $ 30. A milkmaid on a good private farm received more than my father - the only doctor of sciences in Belarus twice.
Once, on the way home, we decided to play with our daughter in the slot machines. Probably, I made money there. And they led us, it seems, from there. When we entered the passage between the houses, we were attacked. One - for my daughter, the second - for me. The one that attacked me was tall, grabbed me by the neck from behind, tore me off the ground and began to strangle me with his hand. And I had a pneumatic pistol with me. I bought it recently, we were shooting at targets. It lay comfortably in my pocket. I pulled it out and, without thinking, fired. These were probably scared. The daughter was released, she screamed, and I lost consciousness. And we didn't have much money with us. They took them, and all the documents were also taken: the passport, and the birth certificate, and much more.
And the second time, exactly in this place, they snapped at one. They probably knew. And why be surprised: my appearance is noticeable. Maybe they noticed that I walk near the stalls, I count money. This time, a lot of them pounced on, and they began to knead me. I jumped up, tried to resist, but they stunned and trampled on me in full. I left all the proceeds in the car, there was almost no money with me at all. But after that I was in the hospital for 21 days. Since then I have been speaking indistinctly.
The wife said: "They will kill you for the third time." Maybe it would be so. I gave up entrepreneurship.
“I'm not a bunny bunny. I had three jobs"
The funnest thing about work is making candy out of nothing.
Once we received an order for gas meters. The counters were made, but the installation that would test and check them was forgotten. Have gone!
The customer says: "Send photos of the installation." What to do? Everybody was on guard. I took a camera, found the points from which the photo would turn out well, photographed the place where it should hang, and finished painting it in Photoshop. With penumbra, everything is as it should be. I was not too lazy, I went to the atelier and printed it out. Then - in the late 90s - there was trust in photography. We sent it to the customer by mail, they were satisfied. The director calls me and says: “Sit down. And tell me what you painted there? " I say: "I drew the installation." Director to me: “So it must be turned into life! Sit down, rivet blueprints, write programs. " I did not know AutoCAD, I drew in Excel. I wrote the program in four days. Since then I have been called a genius at work. When the Internet appeared, it was already possible to learn from the experience.
By the way, there is one good thing on the slow Internet - porn sites load slowly. Until you download it, you don't need anything.
I'm not a bunny bunny. I had three jobs: first, nine years in the military industry, then - at the Institute of Applied Physical Problems, and 14 years ago I came to work at the POLYComp holding as a programmer.
I was already 52 years old, but they took me here without question. We often came across the management of this company at work, they knew me well. At first I did simple work. There were 20 cars here, they had to be watched. But now that they have grown, young people are doing this.
I like more subtle tasks. Now I work as a project manager, organizing production processes. If it is still easy to organize the work of a team of programmers and designers, but to organize the work of a workshop is a problem. When everything goes on one stream, it's simple. And when orders are different and there are many of them, what to do, how to track? We need to find a part, but where is it now? At what stage?
The bar-coding system allows you to do this. Did the worker - fought back, put it on the rack - fought back. The program clicks by itself, and we see in real time at what stage of production each part from more than 100 orders.
It was difficult to implement it. I walked and persuaded. I wrote a program, then bought two scanners for my own money, showed it. They only listened to me when they saw them at work. We bought six more scanners and returned the money for that.
I like it when it works out, when I manage to implement something like that, to convince people. And if it didn't work out, then I get upset.
More than 10 years ago, we proposed to the underground the idea of magnetic cards. Not like they have now: the number of trips. And magnetic cards with real money. The bottom line is simple: a person enters the metro, the cost of the trip to the final station is read from his magnetic card. But if he exits after two stops, the part of the cost that he did not travel is refunded. And ground transportation was offered. This is also logical, the state during the period of inflation would not spend money on reprinting coupons, and people would not overpay. Common sense method, as I call this idea. While she is buried in the instances.
Loser means lazy
If a person is a loser, then he is lazy. And you can learn everything from Google, you just need to not be lazy. Read to yourself, develop.
Not everyone wants it easy. There is a division even among programmers: some are system programmers who set tasks and look for orders. And the latter are encoders. They have other tasks, they are gaining crazy speeds, but they are just typing codes.
The profession of a programmer has always been prestigious. Both before and now. And it will be prestigious. Technologies will always be there, they help us live, unite us, simplify a lot. This also applies to personal life. Before, my brother and I called up once a month, but now we can talk on the vibe every day. This is good!
New technologies are born from new ideas. And new ideas are born only in an open society, where there is freedom. It is very difficult to create and implement something under the thumb. Everyone is scolding the United States, but the whole world uses their technologies. Because people have freedom there.
I will not look into the distant future. Who could have predicted in 1900 that two pieces of metal can be joined together - and the whole city is gone. Think about it.
Everything depends on people. How they will use these technologies.
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