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Master0fAsm



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Darlington, South Carolina [USA]
Master0fAsm
I've read this from somewhere:
Quote:
Hi! I spent about 20 years programming in assembly language, primarily on IBM mainframes (S/360, S/370, 43xx computers, DOS, DOS/VSE, OS/MFT, OS/MVS, etc). I've got an interesting story to relate.

In 1983 I was working in Denver, Colorado when we hired a new programmer named Olga Hnizdil. Olga had recently emigrated from Czechoslovakia, and didn't speak English very well. I was assigned the task of making sure she was reasonably familiar with assembly language. So I sat down with Olga and a simple BAL output listing, and proceeded to describe to her the various fields (location counter, assembled opcodes / data, input statement numbers, symbolic labels, mnemonics, comments -- left to right on IBM assembler SYSOUT), and to explain how they all hooked together, as best I could.

After about 10 minutes of this I noticed that Olga was just staring at me, her jaw slack in amazement. "What's wrong, Olga?" I asked. "Am I talking too fast? Is this making any sense?"

She shook her head slowly. "Are you telling me that if you want to add one more instruction to this program you can just put it in there, then run it through this assembler, and all the offsets to data items, and to other places in the program, will be fixed up by the computer itself?", she asked, incredulous. (Well, actually she didn't say it quite like that. She didn't speak English very well, then. But that was the gist of it.)

"Yes, Olga." I said. "That's exactly what I'm telling you. What's wrong with that?"

She shook her head in amazement again. "Well, in Czechoslovakia, if we added one more instruction to the program we had to go all the way through the rest of it by hand, and compensate for the extra 2 or 4 or 6 bytes that were in the program now. Sometimes it took a week just to put one new instruction into a big program!"

Olga was one happy camper right from the getgo. She could get an entire month's worth of work done in one or two days! And after that I never worried a bit about her facility as an assembly language programmer.

Notice the part:
Quote:
She could get an entire month's worth of work done in one or two days!

I'd sell my soul to be able to do that.. Twisted Evil
Post 19 Sep 2007, 21:32
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
Not fully as it may seem, i was talking with people who were using assemblers at that time.

However, many things were done "by hand" like this. But it was different world: you had 4KB memory for operating system, 4KB for usage, and that is all. You had to save every bit possible, so knowing "what is where" was essential, and not so hard in 4kilobytes. Try to code 4KB demo, and heavily optimize it, you will discover that you really know all offsets yourself.

Another problem was that computers were pretty rare by beginning of 80s, and computer time extremelly expensive. Tasks that humans cannot do (like planning economy, finding ideal compromises of production rates, etc..) had priority for computer time, because human really can't do these. Hand-compiling assembly code to machine code is not very hard for human, so it was not worth to waste precious computing time with it. It was certainly "cheaper" to let humans do compilation, that to let computer do it (and more effective overally).

Situation with computers with Czechoslovakia was similar to situtation in USA about 10 years ago... only place where you could get to actual computer was university, and even there time was very limited. Computers started to make it into production companies in about 1985 (pretty late, considering that Hitler was using IBM machines to find Jews back in 1943 Evil or Very Mad Wink )

Quote:
I've read this from somewhere:

I'd like you to be more specific about "somewhere", i am pretty sure you wasn't writing this from memory.
Post 20 Sep 2007, 00:35
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Master0fAsm



Joined: 01 Sep 2007
Posts: 11
Location: Darlington, South Carolina [USA]
Master0fAsm
Post 20 Sep 2007, 01:54
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shoorick



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 1605
Location: Ukraine
shoorick
here in USSR (at 1983) situation was not different from Czechoslovakia too much, and although PC, especially IBM PC was here as fantastic, i do not beleive there was such prehistoric situation here. (i say "not beleive" because i was the boy that time and do not know everything). in 1982 (if i'm right) in "Radio" magazine was published amatour PC "Micro-80" on i8080A with BASIC, editor and assembler - it was complex because of usage of low integrated chips. later, in 1986 there was published more simple PC "Radio-86 RK" on high-integrated chips, then was amatour PC boom.

although it looks as realistic situation, i can suppose some things:

1.there was poor integration that time: different organizations were on different stages

2.there were different tasks: i do know young specialists were searching errors in dumps, as there were punched paper cards and tapes to store data, and may be done or read not properly.

3.absolutely possible they were working with program without sources.

4.not all better specialists were emigrated into USA - emigated those who had wish to emigrate and have possibility to do this, and that disbalance between who emigrated and who stay leads to wrong imagination about our countries. she says "we in Czechoslovakia", but does this really mean "we all in whole Czechoslovakia"
Post 20 Sep 2007, 06:38
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shoorick



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 1605
Location: Ukraine
shoorick
here in USSR (at 1983) situation was not different from Czechoslovakia too much, and although PC, especially IBM PC was here as fantastic, i do not beleive there was such prehistoric situation here. (i say "not beleive" because i was the boy that time and do not know everything). in 1982 (if i'm right) in "Radio" magazine was published amatour PC "Micro-80" on i8080A with BASIC, editor and assembler - it was complex because of usage of low integrated chips. later, in 1986 there was published more simple PC "Radio-86 RK" on high-integrated chips, then was amatour PC boom.

although it looks as realistic situation, i can suppose some things:

1.there was poor integration that time: different organizations were on different stages

2.there were different tasks: i do know young specialists were searching errors in dumps, as there were punched paper cards and tapes to store data, and may be done or read not properly.

3.absolutely possible they were working with program without sources.

4.not all better specialists were emigrated into USA - emigated those who had wish to emigrate and have possibility to do this, and that disbalance between who emigrated and who stay leads to wrong imagination about our countries. she says "we in Czechoslovakia", but does this really mean "we all in whole Czechoslovakia"
Post 20 Sep 2007, 06:39
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
vid wrote:
...considering that Hitler was using IBM machines to find Jews back in 1943...

Nope.

http://www.turing.org.uk/turing/scrapbook/computer.html
http://inventors.about.com/library/blcoindex.htm
n.b. IBM enters into the realm of computers for the first time in 1953...
http://www.computersciencelab.com/ComputerHistory/History.htm
Leonardo da Vinci's drawings!!!
Post 20 Sep 2007, 08:21
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shoorick



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 1605
Location: Ukraine
shoorick
yes, i think slide rule invention was as important as computer invention! fast result with acceptable precision for general purposes!
i do remember case how scientists made new great fast computer and as example published calculated big factorial of big number in the magazine. then one schoolboy calculated it on calculator on said the first digits should be another. what a confusion was for scientists! Very Happy they published correct value and apologised later Very Happy
Post 20 Sep 2007, 08:32
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
Quote:
Nope.

check http://www.ibmandtheholocaust.com/. I don't posses the book, but i was reading article referencing some amount of material from that book.

Quote:
n.b. IBM enters into the realm of computers for the first time in 1953...

that's why i wrote they used IBM machines Razz
Post 20 Sep 2007, 11:29
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
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Location: Slovakia
vid
Just today i learnt that first computer installed at Slovak university was in 1962.
Post 20 Sep 2007, 11:32
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
vid wrote:
...that's why i wrote they used IBM machines...

Were those "machines" programmable?

http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/year_1935.html

shoorick wrote:
yes, i think slide rule invention was as important as computer invention! fast result with acceptable precision for general purposes!
As one of the few FASM forum members who actually was obliged to use a slide rule, I must respectfully disagree. The abacus, Pascal's tax computing machine, and other mechanical computing devices, are all, like the slide rule, FIXED in scope, and therefore limited to computations defined by their physical constraints. A general purpose computer, on the other hand, is also restricted in scope, but the dimension of limitation is nearly beyond our ability to discriminate. I agree with shoorick that slide rules were readily employed to compute quickly and accurately many useful solutions to numerous practical problems, especially in the first half of the 20th century. The slide rule depended upon manual dexterity, hence was useless in guiding unmanned spacecraft in orbit, though many of the first spacecrafts' managers, designers, and technicians used slide rules at the mission control centers, during flight of the first spacecraft, to quickly estimate various aspects of the propulsion/trajectory. Such engineers would first solve the differential equations by hand, then use the slide rule to finish the arithmetic.
Smile
Post 21 Sep 2007, 09:39
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
Posts: 7105
Location: Slovakia
vid
Quote:
Were those "machines" programmable?

I don't know, but i quess they weren't.

That IBM/Hitler joke wasn't the most important part of my post, no need to focus on that Wink
Post 21 Sep 2007, 11:11
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HyperVista



Joined: 18 Apr 2005
Posts: 691
Location: Virginia, USA
HyperVista
speaking of slide rules, check this ebay auction of the slide rule Buzz Aldrin had with him during Apollo 11 flight to the moon. i collect slide rules as a hobby, but this one was priced WAY out of my range Very Happy
Post 21 Sep 2007, 11:31
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shoorick



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 1605
Location: Ukraine
shoorick
this mechanism i've invited to teach my daughter names of weekdays and understanding what is "yesterday", "today" and "tomorrow"

each day she got up and had turned disk with names to one position Smile


Description:
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Viewed: 4880 Time(s)

weekdays.jpg



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Post 26 Sep 2007, 07:13
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shoorick



Joined: 25 Feb 2005
Posts: 1605
Location: Ukraine
shoorick
maybe will be helpful to someone Smile

sometime we need to count things of some sorts manually. usually it is possible with writing strokes on the paper for each met sort separately, and then count strokes for each sort. but if counts are tens or even hundreds - counting of strokes become hard Wink here is optimized way i met once

(upside usual method, downside same optimized)


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counting.jpg



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Post 27 Sep 2007, 06:22
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0.1



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
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Location: India
0.1
Interesting counting stuff Smile
Can someone please post how to use an Abacus?

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Post 27 Sep 2007, 06:32
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tom tobias



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tom tobias
Post 27 Sep 2007, 11:13
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0.1



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
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Location: India
0.1
Thanks a lot Mr. Tom Tobias!
I also searched the net but could not find a really useful link.
But this one appears to the point.
I will post after I learn the Abacus ( i.e. if I learnt Wink ).
Post 27 Sep 2007, 11:48
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vid
Verbosity in development


Joined: 05 Sep 2003
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Location: Slovakia
vid
Post 27 Sep 2007, 12:05
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0.1



Joined: 24 Jul 2007
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0.1
Thanks vid, for another to the point link!
I am trying to learn the Abacus, but the problem is that I don't have
an Abacus as yet. No, I don't want to use a software based Abacus.
I am looking for it, and will buy one ( i.e. if I get one Shocked ).

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Post 28 Sep 2007, 07:10
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tom tobias



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 1320
Location: usa
tom tobias
Here's one for seven dollars, US: $7.00
http://asianideas.com/abacus.html
Here's an interesting reference, that claims that the Aztecs also had the same device several hundred years before the arrival of Columbus:
http://www.indwes.edu/faculty/bcupp/lookback/Abacus.html
Post 28 Sep 2007, 18:29
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