Dave Horsfall dave at horsfall.org
Wed Apr 10 11:42:30 AEST 2024

On Tue, 9 Apr 2024, William H. Mitchell wrote:

> Re ICEBOL, there were lots of playful names for SNOBOL4 implementations.  
> FASBOL, SITBOL and surely SPITBOL come to mind.

Ahh...  SPITBOL...

We used it at UNSW, but it came with a time bomb i.e. the licence had to 
be renewed every so often.  So, me being me I took a hex dump and patched 
the expiry date with Superzap.

Well, it sort of worked...  The compiler would then crash at random for no 
apparent reason, so I took a closer look; it turned out that there was 
more than one check on the expiry date, and took a jump to whatever random 
"address" was in R0 (I think).

OK then; playing silly games are we?

I wrote a program that LOADed SPITBOL into memory, and scanned it for 
anything that looked like that expiry date, and printing them (nicely 
formatted, of course).

After checking the context there were about a dozen of them, and I patched 
the lot; it worked fine after that...

For that effort Dr. Graham McMahon (another of my CompSci lecturers) gave 
me the "Superzap of the Year" award :-)

-- Dave

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