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Issue 17.4 ('100th Issue')
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FEATURE

Husband + Wife + Xojo

The Dukes celebrate 30 years in business

Issue: 17.4 (July/August 2019)
Author: Richard and Trisha Duke
Author Bio: Richard Duke is a commercial software developer for the art and insurance industries. His main products are Artscene and ACMS. He has been using Xojo for many years.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 14,895
Starting Page Number: 28
Article Number: 17404
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

To everyone reading this article, we thought it might be fun to tell the story of an original husband-and-wife Xojo developer team. We wanted to save our life story for the 100th edition of xDev Magazine.

I was born in Chelsea, London to parents from Rangoon, Burma and come from a noble family which can be traced back to the 16th Century (see Figure 1). Two of my ancestors were Lord mayor of London, Sir Walter Raleigh (he introduced tobacco and potatoes), who was born on the estate owned by my family, and the singer Sting and his wife who live in Lake House in Wiltshire which was owned by my ancestors for over 300 years. More recently, one of my ancestors was head of the British army.

I started my working life in banking in operations after studying computer science at a technical college in London. In those days of long ago, everything was just ancient, from punch cards and magnetic tape to paper tape readers and disk drives the size of a washing machine. Most computers I worked on are now part of various museum displays.

My first role was as an operations controller for Citibank where I was responsible for computer operators, output clerks, communications, and other computer-related staff. It was a very hard and stressful job involving often visiting the computer center at night to see if the night operators were really working or just joyriding around the car park.

We operated Data General Nova 3D computers with an RDOS operating system and programs were written by a company called Data Logic in Assembler, Cobol, and Fortran IV. After a short while, we upgraded to Data General Eclipse C350 computers and the AOS operating system. Our disk drives could only store 92 megabytes, so we were very restricted in the design of data files, and programs could not be larger than 32KB in size.

After just two years as the controller, I was approached to become a programmer. I had always been interested in programming, having mastered Cobol while in college. The bank decided to upgrade from Fortran IV to Fortran V and my main task was to speed up the batch processing. In banking, you often process millions of transactions a day and certain programs would take a long time to run. The result was often that the batch processing would delay the next day's start of operations.

...End of Excerpt. Please purchase the magazine to read the full article.