Firing up ole’ TP7 for the last post put me in a nostalgic mood, and I went looking to see where Turbo Pascal stands today. It doesn’t look like you can still buy it, and the only version available is Turbo Pascal 5.5 which you can download for free from: http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/20803
I believe my first experience with Pascal was at Indiana University when I started my first CSCI class in 1990. I believe we were using version 5. I also remember the first time I fired up version 7 and saw that certain keywords where highlighted in different colors. I was so amazed I almost wanted to do cartwheels, I was so impressed with such an amazing idea. IDEs have come a long way since then, but the Lord only know how many hours I spent staring at the old blue and yellow screen of the Turbo Pascal DOS IDE.
Below are two screenshots from TP7. The first is the default layout of 80×25 chars with the default colors, the second is my custom layout with the amazing 80×50 char layout showing twice the number of lines! (Hey it was a big deal back in the day). The pop up box in the blue one shows a successful compile. I’m not sure where the program came from that’s shown in the second image, I’m pretty sure it’s not something I wrote, but it’s what popped up automatically when I started the IDE. I do remember I spent a lot of time playing with interfacing to Netware servers back then, this program appears to be an attempt to log in without using the API (which was just a series of INT calls). I think it’s either the reverse engineered source code that a fellow Netware “hacker” developed who I had the pleasure of exchanging many e-mails with: Willem Jan Hengeveled. If it’s not his code, it’s probably something based off of it. Now I think I’m going to have to install an old Netware server in a VM to play with.