No, it's something different....
Print C ..... ALGOL answer will be 4 - in other languages it will be 3
13 posts • joined 30 May 2007
There was one particular feature of Algol that made for some interesting programming..
If a procedure was called with an expression as one or more of the parameters the expression was re-evaluated every time the parameter was referenced in the procedure (not just as the procedure was called). Nest that down a few levels and debugging was a nightmare.
I wrote my first Algol program in 1965. I can't tell you what for as I think I'm still bound by the Official Secrets Act.
On the same theme I recall a cartoon when PL/I (remember that?) was launched. Mummy COBOL and Daddy Fortran are crooning over their new child PL/I. Driving off in the background is the ALGOL milkman.
My house uses about 4000 KWh of electricity and 15000kWh of gas each year. If we no longer have gas - and even with heroic levels of insulation - the capacity of the electricity distribution system will need to double. This applies whether the source is nuclear, wind or solar. Is anyone planning for this?
One of IBM's great strength in the 360 era was forming relationships high in a customer company's hierarchy. The was a claim "nobody was ever sacked for buying IBM" but if it suited them, they would bypass the IT manager - even stabbing him in the back on the way to the CEO.
IBM engineers were good but also cheap. When I set out to buy a mainframe, the deicding price factor was IBM maintenance costs at <5% of price versus 10% or more elsewhere.
It's all very well to talk (as on the radio this morning) about the tons of chargers being thrown away. But if this is to stop it means that at some point the phones' boxes will say "This phone doesn't come with a charger, use your old one". But that won't be 2011 because there won't be any old micro-usb chargers to re-use. So the earliest savings look like about 2015 to me.
I'm retired now, but I spent 20 years running an IBM mainframe using IBM's VM operating system. Although VM was developed to host multiple versions of MVS etc, IBM also offered a simple OS called CMS that was a single-user operating system designed to exploit the VM hypervisor. It was fast, stable, reliable - all the things your author describes. And I miss many of its features....
It's wrong to blame a junior clerk. The problem is that organisations have stumbled into a situation where too much computing ability is placed on every desk. Someone handling tax returns doesn't need a CD/DVD writer on his/her desktop - nor a USB connection that allows data transfer to flash memory to take away. Even in an organisation as big as HMRC the number of people (other than the tecchies who can't access live data (can they?)) with this sort of capability should be in single figures.
Maybe a FOI request asking how much of this sort of kit is in HMRC??
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