Thursday Jan 08, 2009

When Run Was A Compiler

Back in the day (I mean around 1965), the Fortran compiler for the CDC 6600 (the supercomputer of the moment, pictured at the left) was called "run".

Odd choice perhaps. Seymour Cray, the 6600 designer, and Garner McCrossen, the programmer of the run compiler, figured that all you needed to put on a command line (actually a punched card in the control deck) was

run

and the system would invoke the compiler to read the Fortran source cards in the deck and run the program.

There were no compiler options of any significance.

The compiler was written in assembly language for the 6600 and was a remarkable piece of code.

Click on the photo and it will take  you to a Google search for more images of the CDC 6600. (Back in the day, I was a systems programmer at NYU on the serial 4 machine in 1965, maintaining the run compiler and library).

About


Deep thoughts on compiling C, C++, and Fortran codes with Oracle Solaris Studio compilers, especially optimization and parallelization, from the Solaris Studio documentation lead, Richard Friedman. Email him at
Richard dot Friedman at Oracle dot com

When Run Was A Compiler

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