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Author Topic: Machine code programming, lost art  (Read 713 times)

Offline nick65go

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Machine code programming, lost art
« on: May 16, 2019, 06:55:16 AM »
How funny when new powerfull CPU needs more bloated programs to justify their need for updates; no corelation between Intel(-igence USA) and M$(-windows USA)  :P
you wonder why Rusia or China have created their own procesors for army, hospitals, etc (just in case of...)

from https://indeedably.com/self-inflicted/
Quote
50 years ago all programmers had this gift. It was a core skill. A prerequisite to competence.
When Margaret Hamilton led the NASA programming team that wrote the control programs required to put a man on the moon, it had to run in just 64 kilobytes of memory.

By way of comparison, the “smart” TV in your family room contains more than 30,000 times the amount of memory that was available to NASA. If you’re anything like me, the most productive thing you’ve done with all that computing capacity is watch Game of Thrones!

Today an alarming number of programmers couldn’t write the simplest of “Hello world!” programs within NASA’s constraint.

Offline PDP-8

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Re: Machine code programming, lost art
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2019, 01:13:41 AM »
That article made me think about the perfect new sbc that Bela can port TC to:

The RCA / Signetics 1802 is *still* being used, mostly recognized as the 70's computer "Cosmac ELF" to today's "business card" version and still going:

http://www.sunrise-ev.com/membershipcard.htm

Be sure to get the radiation-hardened version. :)  The boards and their revisions seem to come and go over the years, so one should do due diligence before clicking on anything.

The 1802 is aboard many amateur satellites.  RPI's are fun, and have even been to space, but an 1802 - way cool!
That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline xyz-worx

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Re: Machine code programming, lost art
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2019, 07:43:41 AM »
Hi PDP-8,

if I remember correctly, there was a COSMAC derivate running with 12V operating voltage. Also I
think it was produced by RCA only, isn't it?

regards

xyz-worx

Offline PDP-8

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Re: Machine code programming, lost art
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 04:32:49 AM »
Not totally sure - I think the modern versions come from signetics, but I'm not really a chip-head.

I do think the article nick refers to is interesting, but to my mind, no matter how much or little space one has, *style* is most important, be it machine code or high-level language.

I think that of course was best expressed by Ken and Dennis having to start Unix on a PDP-7 after coming from Multics.  There was still plenty of machine code specific to the DEC machines, which of course got quickly replaced by high-level bcpl leading to C.  Heh, but then to prove the portability of not relying solely on machine code, putting Version 6 on the Interdata 8/32.  (proven near simultaneously by the Wollongong uni with the smaller 7/32 and blowing Ken's mind). :)

50 years ago, flipping bits manually or with assembler, and with very limited resources, style might have been elegant or confused with obfuscation.

The real genious is having a LOT of resources available, yet still using them wisely.  Like TC / Dcore / Picore does.  To me it's not just a matter of being small for small's sake, but having a style, or raison d'etre that keeps me hooked on *core.

That's a UNIX book! - cool  -- Garth

Offline andyj

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Re: Machine code programming, lost art
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 06:51:59 AM »
I still have my HP-48SX with 32kB of memory. I wrote a lot of programs for it, including a video poker program that is only 6 kB in it's ASCII form on disk. That was in the early '90s. I'd have a hard time doing that now, I don't remember the language that well anymore. Another lost art.  :'(

Offline coreplayer2

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Re: Machine code programming, lost art
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 12:01:34 PM »
It’s ironic that when I attempted to learn ASM there was a distinct lack of learning material on assembly language.   Today, now that it’s very rarely used there are more YouTube tutorials than you can poke a stick at!!

Go figure..


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Offline nick65go

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Re: Machine code programming, lost art
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 06:05:06 AM »
Quote
The real genious is having a LOT of resources available, yet still using them wisely.
did you read my mind? :)

Offline Pats

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Re: Machine code programming, lost art
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2019, 08:24:33 AM »
Simple answer is :
If someone has invented a wheel long ago,  ...  that does not mean next generations should not develop Bikes ,  Cars , Rails ,  Planes ,  or even Rockets !

Even Nature may not have stopped creating new galaxies and Black Holes !!

... By the way, my early days forced me to use Assembly and COBOL etc..  :)