I'm James Hague, a recovering programmer who has been designing video games since the 1980s. This is Why You Spent All that Time Learning to Program and The Pure Tech Side is the Dark Side are good places to start.
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Things That Turbo Pascal is Smaller Than
Turbo Pascal 3 for MS-DOS was released in September 1986. Being version 3, there were lesser releases prior to it and flashier ones after, but 3 was a solid representation of the Turbo Pascal experience: a full Pascal compiler, including extensions that it made it practical for commercial use, tightly integrated with an editor. And the whole thing was lightning fast, orders of magnitude faster at building projects than Microsoft's compilers.
The entire Turbo Pascal 3.02 executable--the compiler and IDE--was 39,731 bytes. How does that stack up in 2011 terms? Here are some things that Turbo Pascal is smaller than, as of October 30, 2011:
The minified version of jquery 1.6 (90,518 bytes).
The yahoo.com home page (219,583 bytes).
The image of the white iPhone 4S at apple.com (190,157 bytes).
zlib.h in the Mac OS X Lion SDK (80,504 bytes).
touch command under OS X Lion (44,016 bytes).
Various vim quick reference cards as PDFs. (This one is 47,508 bytes.)
The compiled code for the Erlang R14B02 parser (
erl_parse.beam, 286,324 bytes).
The Wikipedia page for C++ (214,251 bytes).
(If you liked this, you might like A Personal History of Compilation Speed.)