Thursday, March 29, 2007

From Leisure Suit Larry to software development

I suddenly remember an old game call Leisure Suit Larry (in the Land of the Lounge Lizards). This is an adventure game released by Sierra Online during the 80s on PC (XT), the game feature with some adult content, but is a funny game. The game is about Larry looking for (real) love in the city of Lost Wages (the name is a humor by itself, isn’t it?) .

The game has a series of 7 (or 8? I am not sure), I play the part 1 and part 2, can’t even finish the game without the clues.

The game was written by Al Lowe. Al Lowe is a musician... and a game designer, I am not sure he does programming as well. The theme song of Leisure Suit Larry is composed by Al Lowe, you can download from here.

Many of the developers of the original Apple Macintosh 128k operating system like art and music. Jef Raskin who started the Apple Macintosh project like music and composing. Bill Atkinson, one of the key developers for the Macintosh operating system, is a photographer, he is on full time photographing now.

In later development of Macintosh OS, Apple always choose a musical term as the code name for the operating system, eg. Harmony (Mac OS 7.6), Tempo (Mac OS 8), Allegro (Mac OS 8.5). Rhapsody and Copland, the two projects before OS X are music related as well. Copland named after a composer, Aaron Copland. May be these two later project is just a naming convention after the early development of Mac OS, but those developers in early days of Apple, like music.

To become a software developer, other than programming skill, you must be creative and artistic, because programming is an art itself. In the 80s, musician and game designer learn about programming, so they can create, design and develop the software. These days software developer just coding, that will be sad.

In 80s, scientist, physician, musician learn programming because they think software development is interesting. In 90s, most people learn programming to secure a good job and good salary. In 2000s, I know some software development friends leaving the industry and work as art designer, film director and play in a band, that is real sad (for software development industry).

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