Today, I remembered a mail order house, popular in the 1980s, where one might order specialized books on Cobol and Assembler. All I could think of was the name Dan McCracken, who wrote on Cobol and Fortran. But persistant search in google revealed a website which boasts old computer books, and on that page, I found the magic word MURACH:
I remembered that it was Mike Murach who offered those books. I could swear that, years ago I saw that one of his books was on the predicted decline of the programmer.
Perhaps the book was
The Decline and Fall of the American Programmer by Edward Yourdon
Yes, Yourdon was another popular author then.
When I saw that title, I thought it was foolishness. I never read the book, but now I see that it was not so foolish after all, but rather prophetic.
" In 1992, Yourdon wrote The Decline and Fall of the American Programmer, warning of impending loss of leadership by American software engineers. But a great deal has changed in three years, and Yourdon now sees a complete reversal of many of the trends he previously documented, as well as new trends such as the WWW, Java, "Good Enough" Software, and the enormous impact of Microsoft on the world of software and computing, that together signify the Resurrection of American software engineering. "
So in 1996, Yourdon wrote
The Rise & Resurrection of the American Programmer
In the early 90's, I served as a beta tester for a firewall product called LOCKDOWN, which protected one's computer from netbus trojans, who would access your computer while you are on line, and install a trojan.
I had some conversations with the author of LOCKDOWN. He said the whole thing was written in Delphi. He said that one could not afford to develop in Delphi without a fast T1 connection to the internet, for the simple reason that the product, off the shelf, shrink-wrapped, was obsolete until one downloaded all the updates, which he said were massive downloads. His point was that, without fast T1, one would not be able to keep current with compiler updates.
I became involved with LOCKDOWN because I was the victim of a totally new trojan designed to be specific to AOL, and to imitate various AOL screens. The Lockdown programmer spend an hour on the phone with me, talking me through the removal of the trojan (he did not use any remote log in program). Then, he had me email him the trojan to study. He used a powerful disassembler to convert the trojan back into its original code. He said it was a mixture of Delphi and Visual Basic. It had menus to do destructive things to the registry and to reformat the hard drive, etc.
LOCKDOWN would sound an alarm everytime there was an intruder attack, and would then allow you to trace the intruder's IP address, and do a WHOIS on their provider.
It used to be rather fun to trace intruders, and email their provider with a log which would help identify the hacker.