Hello,

I have difficulty understanding a fragment of the text below (the text comes from First Certificate Exam papers) :

" (...) Working night and day, Gates and a friend squeezed the language into 4K with enough space left over to run a programme. It was a task so difficult that many claimed it was impossible. The coding certainly required a high level of ingenuity.

Things were done so quickly that a bootstrap loader had to be written on the flight to deliver the completed tape. By a miracle, the tape worked when it was loaded (...) "

Is "on the flight' an idiom meaning 'very quickly' (I looked it up and haven't found in online dictionaries) or the passage simply means that sth had to be done during a flight (a plane flight) ?

Thank you!
They wrote the bootstrap loader - for the Basic compiler - while on an airplane that was taking them to the company that was interested in buying the Basic compiler that Gates had written.
Hi,

Yes, it isn't an idiom I'm familiar with too. What is more, I'm not sure what a "bootstrap loader" means,

but I'd say it's said informally to mean that the program had to be completed very quickly, as you suggested.

PS - In the flight, however, is an idiom, but it doesn't fit this context at all.

Regards
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Thank you.

As far as the idiom 'in a flight' is concerned, do you mean that? :
"in the first/top flight
= among the best of a particular group"

Regards.
CoincidenceThank you.
As far as the idiom 'in a flight' is concerned, do you mean that? :
"in the first/top flight
= among the best of a particular group"
Regards.
Hi,

Exactly.

Regards
CoincidenceIs "on the flight' an idiom meaning 'very quickly'
No. That meaning is closer to "on the fly". Close, but not the same.

I take "on the flight" to mean on the airplane flight they took in order to deliver the tape personally.

CJ
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If intended as written, it would mean that the bootstrap loader was written on the aeroplane.

The term "on the fly" - "the bootstrap loader was written on the fly" would mean the code was written while the presentation (or whatever) was happening.