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Now that explains alot

I just read an older post by incrediBill, that revealed he once programmed IBM 360 assembler. Wow. It’s clear now where all that anger comes from, and the hyberbolic distortions of justice and righteousness that pervade his blog.

Not only did I manage to survive my 360 assembler days without nearly as much personality damage, but while using early versions of WASM I actually *optimized* 360 assembler (not for search engines or footprint, but for clarity and portability). I credit those days with the incredible patience I now have for all-things-Internet. Compared to variable-free IBM 360 assembler (CONSTants make the world go round) this stuff is a walk in the park. Of course my assembler was academic and research work, and I am sure it was nothing compared to the work old Bill did when he changed the world back then.

I’m much younger than incrediBill, but yes, I coded punch cards for Fortran JCL runs and used computers before there were CRT terminals available to “average” science and engineering folks. Back then some guys had government contract credentials that gave them a free pass to the front of the card stack, but the rest of us learned to use less abrupt social engineering methods to get our stacks re-run promptly (and quietly… I bet that pissed off Bill back then, too). And when we couldn’t bribe the JCL technician, and here comes that patience thing again, we simply had to make damn sure our code was good.


  1. IncrediBILL wrote:

    Dear John,

    I’ve noticed your reading and comprehension skills are sometimes questionable and dyslexia comes to mind, have you been tested? ;)

    I actually started on micros around 1975/6 at the hardware and software level, mainframes bored me, but nice try with a nice long post based on a huge misconception. Although I’ve never programmed in IBM 360 assembler, I did program in assembler on an 80386, 80286, 80186, 8086, 8088, 8080, Z-80, RCA 1802 an even a 6502 that powered those crappy Apples and Commodored, but NEVER on an IBM 360.

    Dyslexically yours,

    – Bill

    Saturday, September 30, 2006 at 3:27 pm | Permalink
  2. John Andrews wrote:

    Ha ha, Bill, you’re the only misconception around here.

    As for my reading abilities, I’ll grant you that. I mistook an anonymous poster in your comments over there for you. My error. I suppose since she called you a grumpy webmaster it wasn’t actually you, but someone who knows you pretty well.

    Nice to know you programmed assembler, even if it was just Intel and a few Interactive Barbie controllers.  As I said the 360 Assembler taught me patience, but it was Motorola 68000 assembler that taught me how to innovate.

    Saturday, September 30, 2006 at 8:34 pm | Permalink