Category Archives: FORTRAN

More ALGOL history papers

As the ALGOL programming language enters its sixth decade, its interest to historians seems to be increasing. I’ve recently added additional citations to the “Papers on the history of ALGOL” section of the History of ALGOL web site: Edgar G. … Continue reading

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Gordon Bell: “Out of a Closet: The Early Years of The Computer [History] Museum”

The institution now known as the Computer History Museum began in 1975 as a closet-sized exhibit in a Digital Equipment Corporation building, grew into The Computer Museum located on Boston’s Museum Wharf, and finally metamorphosed into its current form and … Continue reading

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WIRED appreciates FORTRAN

WIRED‘s THIS DAY IN TECH feature for tomorrow is Oct. 15, 1956: Fortran Forever Changes Computing’s Fortunes. The article links to the Software Preservation Group FORTRAN web site and uses a photograph of John Backus and John Cocke from a … Continue reading

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BBC Radio observes Fortran’s 50th birthday

This week’s episode of BBC Radio’s Digital Planet show includes a short segment on the 50th anniversary of Fortran. The presenter, Gareth Mitchell, interviewed me last week and about 4 minutes of that interview are included. If you’re interested, the … Continue reading

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Remembering John Backus

As an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1960s, I first learned of John Backus and his work on Fortran, BNF, and Algol. Around 1972 or 1973 I attended a talk John gave on “variable-free … Continue reading

Posted in FORTRAN, General, Software history | 4 Comments

IBSYS Fortran II runs on a SIMH-based simulator

An upcoming release of Bob Supnik’s SIMH (Computer History Simulation system) will include IBM 704/709/7090/7094 simulation provided by Rich Cornwell. Rich has been very busy lately: implementing and debugging the simulations of the CPU, channels, controllers, and devices; tracking down … Continue reading

Posted in FORTRAN, LISP, Simulators | 2 Comments

A day in the life of an IBM Customer Engineer, circa 1959

I’ve added another important document to the Fortran I/Fortran II collection at the Computer History Museum: Anonymous. FORTRAN I, II, and 709 : Customer Engineering Manual of Instruction. IBM Corporation, Form R23-9518-0, February 1959, 67 pages. Copy belonging to Mark … Continue reading

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704 FORTRAN II listing available

I just posted a scan of the three-volume listing of the IBM 704 FORTRAN II compiler to the History of FORTRAN and FORTRAN II web site at the Computer History Museum. This listing was donated to the Smithsonian National Museum … Continue reading

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ACM grants permission for full text of FORTRAN-related articles

I have the pleasure of thanking ACM for granting permission to post the full texts of five ACM-copyrighted articles to the FORTRAN/FORTRAN II web site at the Computer History Museum. Here they are; for those already in the ACM Digital … Continue reading

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FORTRAN 25th anniversary film online

I recently updated this item of the History of FORTRAN web site at the Computer History Museum to include an online copy of the video: FORTRAN 25th anniversary film, 1982, 12.5 minutes. Computer History Museum lot number X2843.2005, donated by … Continue reading

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The birth of the FORTRAN II subroutine

By comparing three versions of the memo (unsigned, but believed written by Irv Ziller) “Proposed Specifications for FORTRAN II for the 704″, dated August 28, September 25, and November 18, 1957, you can watch the design of the subroutine feature … Continue reading

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Historic FORTRAN documents online

My efforts to track down source code and documents from the original IBM 704 FORTRAN project have been one of the pilot projects of the Software Collection Committee at the Computer History Museum. I’m starting to assemble a web site … Continue reading

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Dave Pitts is making progress running Fortran II

I have been negligent in reporting impressive progress made by Dave Pitts emulating IBM 7090 software. As Leif Harcke posted to alt.folklore.computers and bit.listserv.ibm-main on 2 February 2005: Dave has developed his “asm7090″ cross-assembler to the point where it can … Continue reading

Posted in FORTRAN, Simulators | 2 Comments

Systems Manual for 704 Fortran and 709 Fortran

In January, Peter Capek told me that while cleaning up a file cabinet in his home he’d come across: … a detailed description of the FORTRAN compiler, dated in 1960, and explicitly distinguishing between the 704 and 709 versions, but … Continue reading

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Fortran II source in Paul Pierce’s collection

Last Friday, Bob Abeles posted a comment here saying: The IBSYS tapes on Paul Pierce’s site contain the source for FAP, FORTRAN II, FMS (version that ran under IBSYS), plus lots of other goodies. I wrote a program several years … Continue reading

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IBM 7094 Emulator now runs Fortran IV compiler

I expect most Dusty Decks readers are aware of alt.folklore.computers, but it’s worth noting Rob Storey’s recent post IBM 7094 Emulator now runs Fortran compiler. As I posted in June, Rob has written a IBM 7094 emulator. Through the work … Continue reading

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As you sow so shall you reap

The effort in creating this weblog was quickly rewarded in the form of comments and email from readers. First Micah Nutt, son of Roy Nutt, commented that his family has possession of Roy’s collection of business documents and memorabilia, including … Continue reading

Posted in FORTRAN, SHARE | 4 Comments

George A. Michael

I followed a link from Frank da Cruz‘s IBM 704 page at Columbia to George Michael’s 704 page, which is part of his Stories of the Development of Large Scale Scientific Computing. I sent an email asking if George or … Continue reading

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Rob Storey

Earlier I had learned that Paul Pierce’s web site contains images of a number of system tapes for old IBM mainframes. Paul provides some utilities he wrote for making sense of these old tapes, which were written on 7-track drives, … Continue reading

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The Smithsonian redux

Every so often I try again to communicate with the Smithsonian. Eventually, I was able to make contact with Alicia Cutler, a Specialist in the Collection of Computers & Mathematics. She ran a search for me in their internal catalog, … Continue reading

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