Saturday, April 3, 2010

From Actor to the Real Thing

I decided that I needed more information about the Actor programming language. While at The Bit Bucket one day I asked Laird if he could get me some literature about Actor, figuring the store could place an order for me. He gladly accepted my request.

A few weeks later Laird had the materials in hand and he presented them to me. Then he said something that would completely change everything. He asked me, "Why don't you have a look at Smalltalk?" He told me that Smalltalk was the real deal.

This was not the first time I had heard of Smalltalk. At the New England Mobile Book Fair I had seen a book about it. I ran back to my office and started digging through issues of BYTE until I found an ad for something called Smalltalk/V.

I had seen this sort of ad before, but I just skimmed over it thinking it was a kind of communications program of the sort used with modems. There was at this time a very popular application of this kind named Crosstalk XVI, and this was the source of my confusion.

The ad seemed very interesting. I began to research Smalltalk. I learned that there was an August 1981 issue of BYTE dedicated to exploring Smalltalk. I went to the Boston Public Library and xeroxed all the articles from that issue. It cost me about $40 to do this. So I began to educate myself about Smalltalk.

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