A recent thread makes me wonder which languages would people like to
learn? (I confess to trying, as Dave does, but time prevents anything
more that learing syntax and writing toy programmes. One must write
something substantial -- not synonomous with large -- to really learn a
Erlang, Smalltalk, Prolog, Haskell, and Scheme come to mind...
On Wed, Dec 18, 2019 at 1:52 PM Paul McJones <paul(a)mcjones.org> wrote:
> Computer History Museum curator Dag Spicer passed along a question from
> former CHM curator Alex Bochannek that I thought someone on this list might
> be able to answer. The paper "The M4 Macro Processor” by Kernighan and
> Ritchie says:
> > The M4 macro processor is an extension of a macro processor called M3
> which was written by D. M. Ritchie for the AP-3 minicomputer; M3 was in
> turn based on a macro processor implemented for [B. W. Kernighan and P. J.
> Plauger, Software Tools, Addison-Wesley, Inc., 1976].
> Alex and Dag would like to learn more about this AP-3 minicomputer — can
> anyone help?
[I recommend that follow-ups go to coff, which is Cc'ed here]
I took a short stab at this, but can find little beyond references in the
aforementioned M4 paper.
I did, however, run across this:
This appears to be a declassified letter written to the US Air Force at
Bowling Green Air Force Base in regards to spare parts fo the AP-3
computer; dated October 19, 1966. The list of parts seem reasonable for a
minicomputer, and it further seems reasonable to believe that this may be
related to the same type of computer referenced in the M4 paper. However,
details of the sending party have been redacted, and there is nothing
pointing to the identity of the manufacturer.
Sadly, that's all that seems available. I wonder if, perhaps, Doug McIlroy
(Cc'ed directly to float this to the top of his stack) can shed more light
on the topic?
- Dan C.
'Interesting overview, but I have my doubts about its accuracy. Lisp
seems to have been too popular in the mid-1980s, and at the same time
he claims that Ada was the most popular language. Both seem highly
unlikely to me. '
fully agree. I never saw a lisp, ada job offer!
In the mid/late 1980s pascal and C were popular languages, whereas therestill were lots of cobol/fortran, mostly cobol, job offers.
Ken Iverson was given unto us in 1920; a pioneer in computer science, he gave
us APL (actually not a bad language; it was, err, *concise* and grew on you
after a while[*]) which was used to develop the microcode for the /360 series.
My brother (a car freak) knew that I was into computers, and wanted me to work
out the final drive ratios of various gearbox and diff combinations etc. I
blew him away the next day with pages of output (he thought it would take me
ages) generated with a one-line APL\360 program :-)
Around 1997 I and others had a problem with SCO UNIX 3.2V.4.2 on
'faster' Pentium CPUs. Faster defined as probably 200MHz or more.
There were at least two patches as far as I remember and maybe SLS
I didn't look at that time but now I'm wondering if other Unixes had
similar problems. Either commercial versions or free ones.
Anyone here who encountered such problems on other Unixes?
One patch had
"This is due to executing an invalid instruction in kernel mode (trap
6 is for an invalid instruction; a user process which does this will
simply die with a core dump). If your particular problem is a double
panic and it doesn't leave a system memory dump in whatever device
you've chosen for dumps (usually /dev/swap), apply the following
This is due to a problem in the kernel's querytlb() routine, which may
allow the Pentium to execute a 386-specific instruction which is not
supported on the Pentium. The cure involves patching a kernel module
using _fst. (see part 1 on where to find /etc/_fst). Go into the
/etc/conf/pack.d/kernel directory. We're going to work on locore.o, so
make a backup and then run _fst -w locore.o - The conversation between
you and _fst goes like this (the * is a prompt from _fst; don't type
it or any of _fst's responses):"
A second one was
"> Follow the additional instructions below ONLY if you now get
> a k_trap type 0 panic after following the instructions in
> IT os/2366. To correct a k_trap 0, do the following:
> # cd /etc/conf/pack.d/pit
> # cp Driver.o Driver.orig
> # _fst -w Driver.o
> * spinwait+2D?w F989 FEE2
> * $q
> # cd /etc/conf/cf.d
> # ./link_unix -y
> Reboot your system. The above patch corrects a problem with
> a software delay loop that was optimized out by the compiler
> and which can cause panics on faster processors."
We gained Rear Admiral Grace Hopper on this day in 1906; known as "Amazing
Grace", she was a remarkable woman, both in computers and the Navy. She coined
the term "debugging" when she extracted a moth from a set of relay contacts from
a computer (the Harvard Mk I) and wrote "computer debugged" in the log, taping
the deceased Lepidoptera in there as well. She was convinced that computers
could be programmed in an English-like language and developed Flow-Matic, which
in turn became, err, COBOL... She was posthumously awarded the Presidential
Medal of Freedom in 2016 by Barack Obama.
On Tue, 10 Dec 2019, G. Branden Robinson wrote:
>> Who'ld've thought that two computer greats would share the same
> Anyone who thinks there are at least 23 greats would bet that way. ;-)
Yeah, I know; I'd temporarily forgotten the Birthday Paradox :-(