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Re: backup archive format saved to disk

On Sun, Dec 10, 2006 at 08:34:37AM -0500, hendrik@topoi.pooq.com wrote:
> I meant, the compiler contained a lexical analyser, and there were some 
> irrecoverable bad blocks on the magnetic tape that contained the source 
> code for that lexical analyser.
> If there was a prospect of reviving the compiler (I suspect it's not 
> worth the effort except as a historical artifact) fillin in the 
> missing code would be a very small part of the project.  Rewriting the 
> code generator to generate other than IBM 360 code would involve more 
> work, as well as rewriting the whole thing in another programming 
> language so that it can be compiled and used on today's systems.
> But to succeed in today's language market, it would probably have to be 
> transmogrified into some kind of object-oriented Algol 68, which 
> would be a very different thing.

I've yet to see the appeal of OO.  Then again I've never seen Algol.  I
don't do C (too many punctuational snares); ditto perl; ditto bash;
machine/assembler isn't portable.  To me that leaves Fortran and Python
(I don't tend to use the OO nature of python unless I can help it).

I guess what I'm wistful for are all the lessons learned about how to
run a computer installation during the mainframe era that are
inaccessible now except by picking your brain.  The focus recently has
been on server-farm data centers, web interfaces, etc.  Now, IBM is
marketing server consolodation and virturalizing everything but that's
not the same. 

The last time I was at UofT, I checked out the applicable library and
came up empty.  Yes, every engineer has to learn Fortran so there were
books on that, and there were mathematic-centric texts on computer
design but there was nothing on the historical operating culture, the
accumulated wisdom of the age.

I'm not saying that I wish the CRT hadn't been invented or that I want
to try document processing using punch cards, but 99 % of what I use a
computer for can be done on any *N*X computer of any era.  (my 486
usually sits at 97% idle, 2% of which is top).  

With regard to your other post, I hope this hasn't become many to do
around naught.


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