Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions - Plan9

This is a discussion on Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions - Plan9 ; > I've got some time to delve into Fascicle One again and indeed, MMIX > doesn't have any stack at all. When you need stack, you implement it > yourself. Anyone knows of other CPU's using this method for stack ...

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Thread: Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions

  1. Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions

    > I've got some time to delve into Fascicle One again and indeed, MMIX
    > doesn't have any stack at all. When you need stack, you implement it
    > yourself. Anyone knows of other CPU's using this method for stack
    > (i.e. no in-built support for stack in memory)? There is stack based
    > on registers, though.


    Current or obsolete architectures? The Sperry Univac 1100 Series,
    designed by Seymour Craye (sp? it's been a long time) had no hardware
    supported stack, although it had a bit in the 36-bit instruction that
    caused the signed upper half of the selected index register to be
    added to the lower half. I don't remember whether it was before or
    after applying the index to the base address in the lower 16 bits of
    the instruction, it would need to be fixed one way (post-increment, I
    think) because it was unlikely to check the sign of the upper half
    before deciding.

    Bloody marvellous, it was. Specially as it was the first computer I
    ever worked on. I have extremely fond memories of it. I can easily
    wax nostalgic about it. Hm, maybe I should look for a simulator for
    it, anyone know of one?

    ++L


  2. Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions

    On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 8:26 PM, wrote:

    > Current or obsolete architectures? The Sperry Univac 1100 Series,
    > designed by Seymour Craye (sp?


    Cray.

    I had no idea he designed it. It had a great front panel -- the lights
    were switches.

    I operated an 1108 as a student at E.I. Dupont de Nemours et. ci. in
    WIlmington, DE.

    Among other things, it ran "the Freon simulation", which evidently
    helped make up Dupont's mind on
    the ozone.

    Ours had a drum memory. The drum was about 20 feet long, two per
    cabinet, moving them required
    creating a hole in the side of the building and moving them with a crane.

    I once slipped while emptying the card reader
    and hit about 30 switches at once with my upper arm. The machine
    locked up. That's where I learned
    an important lesson: figure out if anyone saw you, walk away slowly,
    make no eye contact, "must be that software
    bug again" ... works every time.


    > Bloody marvellous, it was. Specially as it was the first computer I
    > ever worked on. I have extremely fond memories of it. I can easily
    > wax nostalgic about it. Hm, maybe I should look for a simulator for
    > it, anyone know of one?


    That would be fun, but you'd have to find Exec 8, right?

    Ah, the days of lights and switches. Today's machines have no soul.

    ron

  3. Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions

    > That would be fun, but you'd have to find Exec 8, right?

    Well, I suppose, if only because the EXEC subset of the assembler
    language was so unfamiliar :-)

    But the head of computing at the University of Cape Town used to be an
    international expert on Exec 8, so he may still have a copy.

    Now that you remind me, "load function in channel" never really meant
    a thing to me, so I think I'll skip being clever.

    Oh, as for the drum, at UCT we had frequency fluctuations in the
    mains, causing the synchronous motors of the drum to speed up and slow
    down, causing parity errors. Given that the exec code lived on drum,
    swapping it in under such conditions caused lock ups. Took many
    months to pin it down to supply problems.

    ++L


  4. Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions

    In article <2ca539b9873bc2cd75592dc3b1e40eb8@proxima.alt.za>,
    lucio@proxima.alt.za writes:
    >> That would be fun, but you'd have to find Exec 8, right?

    >
    > Well, I suppose, if only because the EXEC subset of the assembler
    > language was so unfamiliar :-)
    >
    > But the head of computing at the University of Cape Town used to be an
    > international expert on Exec 8, so he may still have a copy.
    >
    > Now that you remind me, "load function in channel" never really meant
    > a thing to me, so I think I'll skip being clever.
    >
    > Oh, as for the drum, at UCT we had frequency fluctuations in the
    > mains, causing the synchronous motors of the drum to speed up and slow
    > down, causing parity errors. Given that the exec code lived on drum,
    > swapping it in under such conditions caused lock ups. Took many
    > months to pin it down to supply problems.


    Exec8, drum, sounds like you are talking about a Univac-1100 (I came
    in late, sorry). I worked with one of those back in the 80's. We
    had a motor-generator between the mains and the computer that took
    care of keeping what the computer saw flat and smooth. I always
    thought that was a standard Univac installation.

    Hey, while I have your attention. I am looking for something from
    those days that we ran on the Univac at that sight and UCT being
    an edu may have also had it. Ever heard of The Software Tools
    Virtual Operating System? Any chance you have a 9-track with this
    on it still hanging around? I would love to get my hands on a copy
    again.

    bill

    --
    Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
    billg999@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    University of Scranton |
    Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include

  5. Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions

    > an edu may have also had it. Ever heard of The Software Tools
    > Virtual Operating System? Any chance you have a 9-track with this
    > on it still hanging around? I would love to get my hands on a copy
    > again.


    the Software Tools (begun by Kernighan and Plauger's book of the same name) can be found in:

    http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVall.../stugbasic.tgz
    http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVall...g/stugtoys.tgz

    the latter includes a LISP written in Ratfor


  6. Re: [9fans] Non-stack-based calling conventions

    In article <4b3dfa84b440e0780f7cf1472ed6f93b@terzarima.net>,
    forsyth@terzarima.net (Charles Forsyth) writes:
    >> an edu may have also had it. Ever heard of The Software Tools
    >> Virtual Operating System? Any chance you have a 9-track with this
    >> on it still hanging around? I would love to get my hands on a copy
    >> again.

    >
    > the Software Tools (begun by Kernighan and Plauger's book of the same name) can be found in:
    >
    > http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVall.../stugbasic.tgz
    > http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVall...g/stugtoys.tgz
    >
    > the latter includes a LISP written in Ratfor
    >


    Slight (and quite common) misunderstanding. This is not the K&P Software
    Tools. This was a graduate project that built on the ideas of K&P to
    create an API that at its peak ran on at least 50 different systems.
    It was covered in Communications of the ACM September 80.
    http://www.dcs.gla.ac.uk/~joe/auxiliary/ papers/Personal/VirtualOS.pdf

    After its release it took on a life of its own for many years. There was
    even a Users Group talking about it and building on it. Georgia Tech did
    the version for Pr1me computers. U Wisconsin - Madison did the Univac-1100
    version. Etc. It was pretty slick but unfortunately, like too many parts
    of our industry, is seems to have all but disappeared. It is one of the
    things I am trying to salvage not only for posterity, but also because I
    think it might have some utility as technology has eliminated its worst
    shortcomings with its natural advancements. Think of this as what later
    went on to be called POSIX. The big difference being STVOS actually worked.
    :-)

    bill

    --
    Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
    billg999@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
    University of Scranton |
    Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include

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