[TUHS] 2.11BSD cross compiler

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Wed Sep 29 12:59:22 AEST 2010

On Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 10:38 PM, Larry McVoy <lm at bitmover.com> wrote:

> Color me old school.  I like MIPS, I worked at SGI (got married to
> an old school MIPS gal) but PDP-11 is so frigging intuitive.  How
> can you not understand that instruction set?  If you can't, well,
> sorry, not so much in my book.  It's like a stripped down C.

Yeah.  I used it on and off, but my serious assembler programming was
on the PDP-8.  Now *that* was seriously small, but you had to know the
tricks, like how to find out the absolute address of the 128-word
memory page following the one you are on when writing PIC code for
OS/8 device drivers, or how to microprogram the operate instructions
get interesting constants into the AC.

> Come on - has anyone ever seen a better instruction set?  More
> complicated, yeah, holy moly, yeah.  But cleaner?  We owe DEC
> for that one.

I remember how appalled I was when I saw the VAX instruction set.
Luckily, it didn't matter: I never did assembler again.  Still, trying
to make people think in octal at this late date seems unnecessary.

> Personally, I like anyone who can do any assembler.  One of my interview
> questions is "have you written swtch?"

/me chuckles.

>  If you don't get the question you are not an OS person,
> if you are, of course you get it.

Well, I know what it is but I've never written it.  There was a bug in
the V6 kernel version anyhow.

> Ken Witte - wonder where he is now.

Too many others out there, alas.

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