Browse Prior Art Database

Patching Loadable Computer Programs

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000047277D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 2 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Herman, P: AUTHOR

Abstract

Programs of computer instructions are stored in replaceable media, such as diskettes, and loaded into the using digital computer at each initial program load or microcode load. Each diskette stores an initial version of the program to be loaded, a set of selectable code patches, and selected parameter data associatable with program execution. The computer has a nonvolatile control for selecting which patches are to be compiled with the initial program for a given program execution or based upon a design or engineering change level of the using computer or its attached peripherals. The initial program includes a patch loader module which selects the patches in accordance with the indications of the nonvolatile control.

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Patching Loadable Computer Programs

Programs of computer instructions are stored in replaceable media, such as diskettes, and loaded into the using digital computer at each initial program load or microcode load. Each diskette stores an initial version of the program to be loaded, a set of selectable code patches, and selected parameter data associatable with program execution. The computer has a nonvolatile control for selecting which patches are to be compiled with the initial program for a given program execution or based upon a design or engineering change level of the using computer or its attached peripherals. The initial program includes a patch loader module which selects the patches in accordance with the indications of the nonvolatile control. Upon completion of the patch compiling, the data storage area of the using computer storing the patches and patch loader module is reallocated for other uses. The patches can contain identifications and authority codes for ensuring integrity of the automatic patch operation. In this manner, all program diskettes distributed to all users of the using computer can be identical with the nonvolatile patch selection occurring during initial program loading. As seen in the drawing, the diskette stores the initial program in one addressable area, the patches, patch IDs (identifications, such as engineering change level and the like) and authority control codes in a second addressable area, and the parameter data in a third addressable area. The parameter data can be electronic symbols to be printed by a peripheral printer (not shown) attached to and controlled by the using computer. The patch selector is a nonvolatile set of indicators (such as electrical switches, ROMs and the like) which indicate which of the code patches stored in the second addressable area are to be co...