Usually, when we are talking about old computers, we are thinking of BASIC interpreters. But [Fireship] reminds us that it was originally Fortran and promises to give you the essentials in 100 seconds. We didn’t think you could do much in that short amount of time, but we have to admit that they did a pretty good job.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we know Fortran — you probably aren’t going to be able to put it on your resume after watching this video. On the other hand, we were impressed with how much they did squeeze in. If you haven’t touched Fortran since the 1960s and 1970s, you should know that it has changed. Pointers, dynamic memory allocation, and even objects are all possible. It is still a very capable language and very adept at crunching large sets of numbers. Besides, there are many sophisticated algorithms you can borrow from decades of Fortran development.
If you decide you want to have a go, there is, of course, GNU Fortran. Honestly, as much time as we spent writing Fortran in years past, we don’t recommend it for new job prospects. But if you have some period hardware and want an authentic experience, it might just be the way to go. Or, just fire up a browser if you want to play.
Not everyone agrees, though, that Fortran is on the wane. There are efforts to bring it even more up to date. You can even use it for web development.