The Case of Ibm 386 Pc

The Case of IBM 386 PC

A Detective Story for Techies

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Here are three fictional stories from the early days of IBM PC. Some programmers play detective to try and solve some interesting computer bugs entirely by logic and deduction. They take turns narrating an interesting bug story from their past that others try to solve by thinking like an armchair detective.

The team gets a thrill hunting down clues in the story narration of three mysterious problems. Why wouldn’t the mainframe computer accept a password from a manager? Why did a DOS computer game developed in C++ fail only on a particular model of IBM 386 PC? What was the mysterious bug that waited for several months before striking a happy little C program?

You can read part of the first story by using the “Look inside” feature above. The first two bug shooting stories, carefully picked, are of general interest to anyone with a little inclination to computers and technology. You need not be a programmer to enjoy them. The third story delves lightly into the history of C, UNIX where the team solves a lightweight but interesting C programming bug.

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