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2021-08-07, 17:57   #12
kriesel

"TF79LL86GIMPS96gpu17"
Mar 2017
US midwest

2×7×19×23 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by slandrum You mean GOSUB (at least in the basic variants I used, and there was a very small limit to nesting). CALL was used when you needed to call directly to machine code.
Yes the PBI I was thinking of was actually Gosub. But call or usr are more space efficient if really cramped in 16K ram or whatever, as was the case of my original IBM PC before expansion to a whopping 64K on the motherboard. At one point I wrote a program to compact Basic programs, by removing REM lines, and renaming variables to shortest possible name lengths, with output of a translation table, to help fit larger code in limited ram. Each instance of a variable name in a BASIC program in memory used as many bytes as characters in the name, in interpreted basic, aside from storage of the actual data. So longvariablename used 16 bytes times the number of occurrences in the code, while A1 only used two.

Last fiddled with by kriesel on 2021-08-07 at 17:58

 2021-08-07, 18:20 #13 slandrum   Jan 2021 California 24·19 Posts The original BASIC that I used was a time-shared BASIC on a Data General NOVA 2/10 with 16K of core memory. Variable names consisted of a single letter, or a letter followed by one digit for a maximum of 286 variables, and LET was explicitly required for assignments. All variables were 32 bit floats, but you could have arrays. If you had an array A[], then the Variable A was the same as A[0]. You could have up to 26 strings (which maxed at 255 characters) which were named by a letter followed $as in A$ or S\$. The interface was through ASR33 terminals (all caps) or one glass TTY - no-one wanted to use the glass TTY because it didn't have a tape punch, so you couldn't save your programs. We did have a high-speed paper tape reader, so loading was pretty quick, but if you needed to do a full boot you had to toggle in the beginning of the bootstrap loader, load the rest of the bootstrap from the high speed paper tape reader, then load in whatever environment you were going to be using. Personal computers were not quite really a thing yet.
 2021-08-08, 23:16 #14 storm5510 Random Account     Aug 2009 72×41 Posts It was my elder brother who used punch cards, not me. I was still in high school in 1972. GW Basic was the first language I was exposed to in trade school. That was late in 1987. Then Assembly, ANSI C, and finally COBOL. This particular COBOL ran on an IBM System 36, I think it was called. I found it easy to learn. I didn't like the way the keyboard was rearranged. "/" was "Enter," plus others. Fortunately, the alphabetic keys were the same despite being locked into upper case.
 2021-08-09, 08:20 #15 LaurV Romulan Interpreter     "name field" Jun 2011 Thailand 100110100100002 Posts We used intensively punch cards in the first 3 years of high school (Fortran and Cobol on Felix C256 beginning of the 80's, the main job of the first year students was to punch cards for the students in upper years, until we were able to write our first fortran programs, hehe) then moved to punched paper tape in last year of high school (and Basic, CP/M, on M18, which was quite a step-up at the time, only "good students" had access to them hihi). Later in uni, we had the ol' good Coral, with RSX-11M which was more advanced, but it still could read the perforated tapes we had from high school (they were like two years old, as we went to army in between). We still have a gomoku game written in Pascal and a MasterMind game written in Basic from that time, on paper tapes. Our license thesis at high school graduation was about game theory, and we exemplified some min-max with such games. Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-08-11 at 03:16
 2021-08-09, 18:11 #16 Dr Sardonicus     Feb 2017 Nowhere 537210 Posts I used paper tape for a class in high school, and punch cards as an undergrad. My uncle had a punch card with all the holes punched out as a novelty. He jokingly called it the "Card of All Knowledge." There was an episode of Bones [Season 10, episode 2, "The Lance in the Heart"] in which someone had supposedly converted all of J. Edgar Hoover's blackmail files to punched cards and tape, and hidden them in plain sight in a museum exhibit of a replica of Hoover's office. Converting even typewritten pages to punched cards would be a bulky proposition. Assuming a typed page of a report is double-spaced, with 25 lines of 78 characters each, that one page would fill about 24 cards of 80 characters each. One early use of punched cards was to keep population statistics. They proved to be quite useful, as explained in IMB and the Holocaust by Edwin Black.
2021-08-10, 09:48   #17
LaurV
Romulan Interpreter

"name field"
Jun 2011
Thailand

269016 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus My uncle had a punch card with all the holes punched out as a novelty.
We also have a bunch of them (like 200 or so) somewhere at home in Ro, also colored (pink, green, yellow, cyan, light blue, light red, etc) we collected used cards which were discarded for recycling, and totally-punched them when we could access the labs and the teachers were not around, then gave them to some more artistic (female) colleagues from the art classes to make lampshades , the activity (punching, not making lampshades) was frown about in the campus, because it was stressing the Soemtrons' and Juki's punching heads, and it could get you punished (physically! i.e. beaten by the principal or some of the tougher teachers) or even expelled if you were unlucky enough. But it was worth

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2021-08-10 at 09:51

 2021-08-10, 14:20 #18 lavalamp     Oct 2007 Manchester, UK 136610 Posts Sounds like everyone here had to code uphill both ways in the snow.
2021-08-10, 15:32   #19
kriesel

"TF79LL86GIMPS96gpu17"
Mar 2017
US midwest

10111111001102 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lavalamp code uphill both ways in the snow.
against a headwind in the dark while everyone else slept.

2021-08-10, 16:04   #20
PhilF

"6800 descendent"
Feb 2005

13×53 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by lavalamp code uphill both ways in the snow.
And it wasn't easy keeping the punch cards and paper tapes dry in those conditions.

2021-08-10, 16:57   #21
xilman
Bamboozled!

"𒉺𒌌𒇷𒆷𒀭"
May 2003
Down not across

3×5×743 Posts

Quote:
 Originally Posted by PhilF And it wasn't easy keeping the punch cards and paper tapes dry in those conditions.
And you try telling the kids of today that, and they won't believe you.

 2021-08-10, 17:01 #22 xilman Bamboozled!     "𒉺𒌌𒇷𒆷𒀭" May 2003 Down not across 3×5×743 Posts I once reprogrammed a card puncher. We had to work out how to do it from first principles. Programming was by plugging patch leads into a 2-d array of sockets. The 12 rows were easy enough to work out but mapping characters to hole positions wasn't entirely trivial even though we had a set of cards punched with each character from which to work. Happy Saturday afternoon with a mate of mine.

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