William H. Mitchell whm at msweng.com
Wed Aug 10 02:45:53 AEST 2022

A cool thing you buy in those days was the full source code for SPITBOL, on microfiche.  I bought a copy and a number of my friends did, too.  It was really beautiful code.

> On Aug 8, 2022, at 11:11 PM, Rob Pike <robpike at gmail.com> wrote:
> We're probably well off topic now but...
> Many years ago I ran into Bob Dewar on a visit to Cambridge University and we got to talking. He said that the original implementation of SPITBOL, for the System/360, was in assembler (of course), and written by him and Belcher (?). The story he told was that they wrote it all down first, put it on punch cards, and sent it to the IBM machine. The next day they got back a listing with a bunch of errors. They iterated. By the fourth round—fifth day—they had a working SPITBOL.
> I still marvel at the productivity and precision of his generation of programmers.
> -rob

More information about the TUHS mailing list