Code Lost Then Found

Last December I wrote a post about old backups and the challenges of being able to recover content/files/pictures or whatever from backups made years ago.  I mentioned in that post that I was looking for an old programming project where I had written the Simplex algorithm in C. I was very pleased with that code way back then (late 80s) and I wished I had saved a copy to see if I could even understand it today.  Well, I found a working Zip drive and I ran all my zip cartridges through the drive and I found an old directory called simplex and it contained the original C code!

Not a big deal to anyone on the planet except me. It was just a beautiful piece of code that worked exactly as written and solved a large math problem for me.  When the same data sets were run with my program and a program from Stanford written in FORTRAN, we got the same answer on multiple trial runs.  The program implemented the Simplex algorithm in a beautiful fashion and it used dynamic memory allocation and lots of pointers to implement the algorithm in a simple fashion.   I was mighty proud of that program.

Soooo, I’m just excited to have this from a time when I was a good C programmer and I understand some advanced math concepts.  Plus it paid off to just keep looking and not giving up on those zip disks.

No one cares but me, but I wanted to share this anyway.  Remind me to tell you about the programming contest we held at work to navigate a blind mouse through 50 mazes in the shortest number of steps…

4 thoughts on “Code Lost Then Found”

  1. Mark, believe it or not, I fancied myself a programmer until Don Leftwich broke me at 20. Accordingly, I can relate somewhat, but I finally threw my old disks out a few years back. Pursuing the path of the other Leftwich has been a better move for me. Thanks for sharing your moment.

  2. I’m sure you have a favorite something that you’ve kept through the years. Perhaps a special ledger? Writing pad? 🙂

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