From: John Larkin
Subject: Re: It must be christmas time
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 2002 19:32:39 -0800
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On Wed, 27 Nov 2002 16:46:30 GMT, Spehro Pefhany
>COBOL-"PLUS" ? Mr. High Tech. ;-)
COBOL-PLUS was one of the several languages that ran on the RSTS/E
timesharing system. A PDP-11 with 256 Kwords of memory would support 8
or so simultaneous users; ran three or four 'runtime systems',
essentially user shells that emulated other DEC operating systems; ran
BASIC-PLUS, Fortran, COBOL-PLUS, or MACRO-11 assembly. Priviliged
users or programs could do anything they wanted; nonpriviliged users
couldn't crash the system no matter how hard they tried.
I used to do 6800/6802/6803 assembly programming using a cross
assembler that consisted of nothing but MACRO-11 macros. I still use
MACRO-11 syntax when I program 68332s.
RSTS systems would generally run continuously, for months, between AC
line power failures. The RSTS command-line interface was a model for
CP/M and DOS.
Maybe, in another 20 years or so, we will again be able to buy
software this good.
>I once saw a telephone exchange in Eastern Europe which had
>colored Xmas-style lights operated by the stepping relays. It was on
>the 2nd floor of a building with a big smoked glass window. Very
>festive, with the lights changing as people made calls. Blavbeograd
>(sp?) Bulgaria, IIRC. It's probably been replaced by something that
>fits in a single rack cabinet by now.
I remember an old electromechanical telephone dial exchange in my
neighborhood when I was a kid. It used 2-axis mechanical stepping
relays; Strowger relays? It was cool inside, like being surrounded by
machine guns. The guys who ran it used to let us wander around inside
and steal wire. We also used to take the bus to the airport, MSY,
where they'd let us wander around in the control tower and radar