Why do we still assemble?

"Jim Camelford" <jimcamel@rogers.com>
20 Oct 2006 01:08:35 -0400

          From comp.compilers

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Why do we still assemble? jimcamel@rogers.com (Jim Camelford) (2006-10-20)
Re: Why do we still assemble? idknow@gmail.com (idknow@gmail.com) (2006-10-21)
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Re: Why do we still assemble? djohnson@arnold.ucsd.edu (1994-04-07)
Re: Why do we still assemble? jpab+@andrew.cmu.edu (Josh N. Pritikin) (1994-04-07)
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Re: Why do we still assemble? Nand.Mulchandani@Eng.Sun.COM (1994-04-07)
[33 later articles]
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From: "Jim Camelford" <jimcamel@rogers.com>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 20 Oct 2006 01:08:35 -0400
Organization: The WendeCam Group, Inc.
Keywords: history
Posted-Date: 20 Oct 2006 01:08:35 EDT

I find it so funny to read this some 12 years after it was written ... but I
was hunting around for a reference to a FREE C++ compiler and found it. I
was a senior systems programs at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario
Canda in the late 70's and was responsible for writing patches to the B6700
MCP, doing system updates and so forth. And, I also got a chance to write a
LOT of ALGOL By my estimation, some 50,000 lines of patches, full programs
and the like over 5 years. Gee it was a lot of fun - at 3AM when we got the
machine. And, as a lark, I did write a real Assembler for the B6700. You
could literally write a program in the mnemonics - just like a real
Assembler - and it compiled and ran. Yeah, you could cause a lot of
trouble - and so we tended to fiddle with this sort of thing only very early
in the morning. I did a paper, as part of my BSC, in the mid 70's on the
B6700's compiler structure so I knew how to write a compiler and generate
code files from scratch. I still have the original copy of the paper. Too
bad - but every 50,000 lines of that code was lost when Queen's eventually
purged all their tape archives and it was lost. Yes, I worked on
implementations of STUFOR and the Australian Pascal compiler - both of which
we temporarily mounted. If anyone's interested in a copy of the original
"How To Write A Burroughs Compiler" document, eMail me. it would be fun.
Especialy to see if anyone sees this after some 12 years.

BTW, the Burroughs architecture was the most impressive computer
architecture ever invented. How our world might have been different if the
PC adopted the stack machine architecture in the maintstream.

Jim Camelford
The WendeCam Group, Inc.
Ph: (416)605-3492

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