Re: I remember it in the early 90s
I also remember Turbo Pascal from the 90s and college. Recently found my old Lottery Number Picker from late 90s that I'd written in Pascal. Unfortunately not the source code.
My story of Pascal, for me, was interesting. I was never a good programmer. I enjoyed it but struggled to get my head round it, still do.
I wrote a long winded routine for the lottery program, my lecturer looks and managed to shorten the routine massively.
I discovered how to write to a file one week, so I then wrote, while at college in the Windows 3.11 days, a sniffer program. While having my programming lessons and during times using them in study periods, I'd note when students booted the machines, they'd forget to switch to the network drive, say F: drive and would type 'login' in DOS on the C: drive, it not being there would get an error so then they'd switch drives.
So I wrote my version of login and would stick it on the C: drive to see if it would work and if people would fall for it. I didn't know how to hash out what you typed so instead of * you'd see your password, get an bullshit error I'd display, realise you were on the wrong drive, switch to the correct drive and login as normal. Meanwhile my login program had grabbed your user name and password and stored them in a file called assignment.doc, because students also would leave their documents all over the C:
Again, not being a good programmer the details would be written in plain text. If you found the assignment file, you'd be able to read it and realise your machines were compromised. I genuinely only wrote it to see if it would work. I was amazed it did. I still remember one password that it grabbed that worked, 'masterofpuppets" once logged in as the user, we quickly logged out after. I told my college friends, who were also amazed by it to NEVER ABUSE IT. I left it at that. Never used it after that one account I got into, and never did anything bad with that account. I also warned them, if you abuse it and get caught, I had nothing to do with it.
So the day came when the dicks were messing around with it. Lucky for me I was bunking off that day as couldn't be bothered to go in. There was also a stupid cartoon animation tool on the machines that one idiot of the group of friends would use, to make piss take cartoon animations of the lecturers. The rule was, if you got caught pressing the reset button on a machine, you were up to something. They got caught that day. Got caught with the login program on them and the cartoons.
It all kicked off. They were pulled into interviews. It was serious. We had a big meeting in the hall over this login program that was found on the machines. That it was illegal blah blah. That meeting was to say 2 students have been kicked off the course and one given a suspension. I escaped. Lucky for me they kept quiet over where they got it or who wrote it. No one ever found out it was me. I carried on at that college for another 4 years with 2 different IT related courses. I'd learnt my lesson and didn't do anything like that again there.
In their interviews they told me the lecturers asked who created this program? Its very well written blah blah. And this is why I remember it so well. I said they are talking bollocks. They are saying that to see if you confess to writing the code. Why did I know they were talking bollocks? Because the code I'd written was in the Pascal help file :o) I'd just added the text the college display when logging in.
Some years later, while my cousin was at Leeds Uni I told him this story. He said they used a similar system, could I write the program for him. Still being naive I said sure and also because I'd been reading the 2600 magazine. In that they had a piece about Pascal and how to do very basic encryption for writing to files. Ooo, I could add that to my sniffer program. All it did was you'd type A, it would plus 20 to the ASCII value and write that to the assignment.doc file. I'd stick other random crap in the file also. So if you found that file, you'd just think it was a corrupted student assignment file and just delete it and think no more of it. You'd take that file home and decrypt with the decryption program that simply minused 20 from what was in the file. I never found out if he ever used it or not. He became a Doctor, so if he did use it, he never got caught.