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GAT: An Early Compiler and Operating System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129488D
Original Publication Date: 1986-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

BRUCE ARDEN: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Arden saw a copy of Knuth's paper (preceding) and followed on in the light spirit I suggested. He mentions the Statistical Research Laboratory in the Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies. As he says, at one time Cecil C. Craig was in charge of that laboratory and had an IBM Type 602 Calculating Punch, which could divide as well as add, subtract, and multiply. I remember speaking to Craig about that great wonder, the Type 604 Electronic Calculating Punch. Whenever I read something that induces reminiscence, as did Don Knuth's article on the 650, I am reminded of that well-known graffito, ";Nostalgia isn't what it used to be."; Subsequent reflection on what that means inevitably leads me to thinking about the indefinite pronoun in that sentence. With their preemption of the ultimate acronym, TT for Internal Translator, Al Perlis and his colleagues have forever sensitized me to indefinite antecedents. One could not use it without referring to TT. (Or one could not use TT without referring to it.) The era was marked by many forms of computing creativity. The 650 was not my first love, as it was for Don Knuth. Starting in 1950, I had worked with that marvelous electromechanical do-it- yourself kit called the IBM Card Programmed Calculator (CPC). After coming to the University of Michigan, I did some programming for SEAC and later for Michigan's version, MTDAC, of that early class of von Neumann machines. Hexadecimal programming, using at best relative coding with symbolic operations, was not a popular pastime -- that is, popular in the sense of widely practiced by many people. The introduction of the 650 marked the beginning of the popular era, however, although still a long way from popular in the 1984 sense. The machines were numerous, substantially committed to education, supplied with a good symbolic assembler, and, most important, reliable. The latter attribute was refreshing after experience with the early precursors of the sequential, binary machines.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1986 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

GAT: An Early Compiler and Operating System

BRUCE ARDEN

(Image Omitted: © 1986 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Permission to copy without fee all or pan of this material is granted provided that the copies are not made or distributed for direct commercial advantage, the AFIPS copyright notice and the title of the publication and its date appear, and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission. Author's Address: Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544. Categories and Subject Descriptors: C.1.1 [Processor Architectures], Single Data Stream Architectures; K.2 [History of Computing] -- GAT, hardware, IBM 650, people, software. General Terms: Design, Languages. Additional key Words and Phrases: education. © 1986 AFIPS 0164-1239/86/010056-058

GAT: An Early Compiler and Operating System

BRUCE ARDEN .00/00)

Editor's Note

Arden saw a copy of Knuth's paper (preceding) and followed on in the light spirit I suggested. He mentions the Statistical Research Laboratory in the Horace Rackham School of Graduate Studies. As he says, at one time Cecil C. Craig was in charge of that laboratory and had an IBM Type 602 Calculating Punch, which could divide as well as add, subtract, and multiply. I remember speaking to Craig about that great wonder, the Type 604 Electronic Calculating Punch.

Whenever I read something that induces reminiscence, as did Don Knuth's article on the 650, I am reminded of that well-known graffito, "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be." Subsequent reflection on what that means inevitably leads me to thinking about the indefinite pronoun in that sentence. With their preemption of the ultimate acronym, TT for Internal Translator, Al Perlis and his colleagues have forever sensitized me to indefinite antecedents. One could not use it without referring to TT. (Or one could not use TT without referring to it.) The era was marked by many forms of computing creativity.

The 650 was not my first love, as it was for Don Knuth. Starting in 1950, I had worked with that marvelous electromechanical do-it- yourself kit called the IBM Card Programmed Calculator (CPC). After coming to the University of Michigan, I did some programming for SEAC and later for Michigan's version, MTDAC, of that early class of von Neumann machines. Hexadecimal programming, using at best relative coding with symbolic operations, was not a popular pastime -- that is, popular in the sense of widely practiced by many people. The introduction of the 650 marked the beginning of the popular era, however, although still a long way from popular in the 1984 sense. The machin...