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Operating System for the B 5000

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000129531D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Oct-06
Document File: 7 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

CLARK OLIPHINT: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Two of the major B 5000 design objectives were (1) that all programming was to be done in ALCOL and COBOL, and (2) that the operation of the system was to be directed by a Master Control Program (MCP) which would relieve the operator and -- especially -- the programmer of virtually all the inefficient and error-causing details of peripheral unit designation, memory area assignment, and so on. The simultaneous and coordinated design of the computer and the programming system has produced a hardware-software system so well integrated that all B 5000 users employ the standard programming system (with minor modifications for special applications in a few cases). It has been the experience of B 5000 users that the exclusive use of compiler languages in programming gives advantages in documentation, program preparation, and debugging which cannot be over emphasized.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

Copyright ©; 1987 by the American Federation of Information Processing Societies, Inc. Used with permission.

Operating System for the B 5000

CLARK OLIPHINT

(Image Omitted: "Operating System for the B 5000" was published in Datamation, Vol. 10, No. 5, May 1964, pages 42-54. It is reprinted here with the permission of DATAMATION' Magazine, copyright 1964 -- all rights reserved.)

Two of the major B 5000 design objectives were (1) that all programming was to be done in ALCOL and COBOL, and (2) that the operation of the system was to be directed by a Master Control Program (MCP) which would relieve the operator and -- especially -- the programmer of virtually all the inefficient and error-causing details of peripheral unit designation, memory area assignment, and so on. The simultaneous and coordinated design of the computer and the programming system has produced a hardware-software system so well integrated that all B 5000 users employ the standard programming system (with minor modifications for special applications in a few cases). It has been the experience of B 5000 users that the exclusive use of compiler languages in programming gives advantages in documentation, program preparation, and debugging which cannot be over emphasized.

Another major design objective was that processor time unused by one program during input- output operations was to be used to process other programs, and that the availability of this feature was to have no effect on program preparation. In other words, the system was to operate in such a way that the programmer need have no concern about relative processor-I/O times. This objective has far-reaching implications. For example, if one program is to be run while another is waiting on input or output, then both must be in memory at the same time. Since the system was designed to free the programmer from housekeeping chores, and to allow any simultaneous mix of ALCOL and COBOL compilation and execution, all allocation of memory and peripheral units must be done at the time the programs are executed.

Operation of the Hardware

One would expect that this approach to computer design would result in a different breed of computer, and this has indeed been the case. For example, one of the unusual features of the B 5000 is the "stack," which is used to store operands, subroutine return information, subroutine parameters, and temporary values used by subroutines. Each program has its own stack in memory. As operands are brought from memory they are placed at the top of the stack, pushing down all other items in the stack. Arithmetic operators use the top two values in the stack as operands, remove them from the stack, and leave the result in the top of the stack.

The stack actually consists of two arithmetic registers, A and B, in the processor, and consecutive cells in core storage. The S register in the processor is initially set to the first addres...