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December 13, 2012


Steve Will

Jon, Susan -- interesting. This is an IBM blog aggregation site I had not encountered before. Judging by the blogs I see, it appears to have risen from Software Group. I don't see any AIX there either, and only one blog which mentions Power in its description.

I have submitted "You and i" to be included. "The listing of this feed is awaiting the approval of the approver(s) below. It will be visible in the directory once approved."

Hopefully, that will happen soon. Thanks for pointing it out.

This company is So Big!

Greg Helton

Very cool. Its funny to think of an IBMer working on Arduino libraries but one of your bloggers is a very active contributor.

Infoq has an interesting presentation on the design and evolution of Algol and Burroughs from the author of Bisync.

The speaker states that when you bought Burroughs you got the source of the OS. And he says there are features in Algol that would be useful today.

Jon Paris

@Greg Some year ago I worked on a Burroughs B6000 (I think) and you are correct - users not only had a copy of the source of the OS but could (and did) modify it. This actually caused a major problem for Burroughs at one time and the source was (I think temporarily) withdrawn. Why? Because the OS programmers had used some "colorful" language in some places and rumour had it that a senior executive of a major client once was shown the code a system programmer was working on during a show and tell visit and was so offended he complained to Burroughs.

One the parts I was shown involved resolving a deadly embrace between a system function and a user function where one or the other had to die. The function that was called to dispatch the user task was called xxxxtheuser (you can work out possible values for xxxx yourself!). When a task died a process called the undertaker was called to to consign the tasks resources to the graveyard. It was all very colorful and remarkably easy to understand. I didn't get to use much Algol on the job - but I did find it an interesting language.

Jon Paris

@Steve Glad you have applied to have your blog included.

As to your comment re "Big Company" I have always felt that the biggest mistake many folks make is to see IBM as a single entity. It really isn't - it is many companies under one umbrella. The "contention management" style that Watson introduced is still alive and kicking.

Greg Helton

Social media of the 70s, ... another of Jon's early endeavors? (haha, sorry about that)

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