Ahh memories (80's in this case).
I once worked for a small basement maker of medical and laboratory research
and diagnostic instruments. Once upon a time we were working on a flashy
new device which would incorporate a microprocessor (Z-80) for control.
The company didn't have an operating system and didn't want to write one.
I will never forget the day they implemented the plan to get around this
obstacle. The EE team read the basic interpreter off of a trs-80 bought
from Radio Shack (I don't know if it was Level I or II Basic)
Anyhow they then donned guilty faces and commenced hacking in the features we
needed to control a medical diagnostic instrument.
I guess the company paid for this in the long run. On another series of
projects a management decision decreed that a low-production line of
instruments for industrial use would use the same processor board rather
than outsourcing say a Digital LSI/11.
It turned out that the designers hadn't quite gotten adequate power supply
to all areas of the processor board and the combination of tolerances meant
that about 5% of the early production boards sometimes fell below the
critical voltage at which the Z80 would stop operating.
There was a brief period when one of these faulty instruments was going
to cause a nuclear power plant to be late going back online (after safety
modifications dictated by NRC after the Three Mile Island incident). The
fine for causing a delay in restart of this power plant was $1,000,000 / day.
If memory serves the plant engineers went with a different measurement system
so we wound up off the hook. However the price in worry and wasted effort was
not a small one.
I guess that's karma for you. For my own part I'm happier that that instrument
didn't go into production on a nuke.