IN THIS CHAPTER
Making statements with the letters G, M, S, and T
Getting with the program: Subroutines, macros, cutter compensation, and more
Cycling about: Canned and multiple repetitive cycles
Mapping things out with the Cartesian coordinate system
On two occasions I have been asked, “Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?” I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.
Like it or not, the days of manual machine operation — all that crank turning and lever pulling I mention several times throughout this book — are deader than dinosaurs and the Dodge DeSoto. Granted, many of those hand-operated engine lathes and knee mills I talk about in Chapters 1 and 2 are still around. In fact, a fair amount of them are still built and sold each year, used primarily in toolrooms and hobby shops. But few in the industry would argue that their heyday is over, and the chances of it returning more remote than cloning a Tyrannosaurus Rex ...