[TUHS] MacOS X is Unix (tm)

Paul Winalski paul.winalski at gmail.com
Sun Mar 12 02:33:24 AEST 2017

On 3/11/17, jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com
<jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com> wrote:
> NT on the Alpha was... interesting.  The C compiler was a team effort
> between Microsoft and Dec, but it really really had issues. I had to compile
> just about anything on /OD ie, no optimizations for anything to really be
> workable across 2 machines.  The joke being that once they had a solid C
> compiler, in Visual C++ 6.0 / Visual Basic 6.0 Digitial went to Compaq, and
> they killed NT Alpha as it was always a threat to Compaq i386 servers.

The C compiler for Windows NT on Alpha was a hybrid--the front end was
the basically unmodified from Visual C++, and the code generator was
the GEM back end that all of DEC's compilers for Alpha used.  There
was an intermediate language translator that converted the output from
the VC++ front end to GEM IL.  DEC's GEM team had no access to the
VC++ front end source code--we worked from the Microsoft IL
specification.  A lot of the early instability of the Alpha NT C
compiler was due to cases where the IL spec was vague, or where things
didn't work quite as advertised.  Technically, it was an interesting
project to work on (sometimes in the old Chinese curse sense of

-Paul W.

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