Subject: strange things to do with your IBM System/3x

From: Bill Allen Jr <>
Date: Sat Jan 25 18:02:47 2003

after reading the subject line, i thought the article
was going to be about sledge hammers or making them
into wet bars (yes on the web - someone has made a vax
rack into a wet bar).

all the ibm languages were available for the sys/34
and i have all of them basic,cobol,rpgii and fortran.

i even have diag and ssp (system support program,
ibm's os for sys3x)

the two sys34's i have both have bad control storage
cards - a typical problem with 5 years in cold

otherwise i would be playing with them and not this
basic less sys/36.

the ssp and all languages for the sys/34 are not
compatable with the 36.

i did find the 3270 emulator for the 34 and i may have
pc support for the 34 - i know i have both for the 36.

i found out that one of my 34's came from the local
collage - which explains the "funtime" diskettes.

they are programs is basic that have printfiles for
many "pic's" and football and other text based games.


Message: 42
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 18:17:57 -0800 (PST)
Subject: strange things to do with your IBM System/3x
(was Re: ibm
sys/36 5360 basic needed)
From: "Eric Smith" <>
To: <>

> I might, I'll have to check.. I know I have COBOL
and SSP and some
> crud...

When I was in junior high school, my friend Doug got a
job working on
code on a System/34. In his spare time, he translated
ADVENT [*] from
PDP-10 Fortran to RPG II [**] to run on the System/34.

I don't know if there existed a Fortran compiler for
the System/34, but
if there was, his employer apparently didn't have it.
COBOL would
actually be a more reasonable language [***] into
which to translate
ADVENT, and there was a System/34 COBOL compiler.

All of the text-handling code in ADVENT is
non-portable, because back
FORTRAN didn't have reasonable support for arrays of
characters. The
number of characters that would pack into any given
numeric type was
implementation-dependent. On the PDP-10, that was
five 7-bit ASCII
characters per 36-bit word, with one bit left over.

I think Fortran 77 fixed this problem, by defining an

Unfortunately I haven't been in touch with Doug in
over twenty years
now; I have no idea whether he still has a copy of his
Which is a shame, because it would be nice to try it
with the
Eraseerhead RPG II compiler, which is GPL'd:


[*] The original Colossal Cave Adventure game by
Crowther and Woods,
    written in Fortran for the DEC PDP-10. Named
"ADVENT" because
    the TOPS-10 operating system only allows for
    in SIXBIT code, which does not include lower case.

[**] Or maybe it was RPG III. I don't really know
what was available
    on the System/34 back in the late 1970s.

[***} I'll bet you never expected to see "COBOL" and
    in the same sentence, without an "isn't" between
them. :-) Now
    not saying that I *like* COBOL, but there are
definitely some
    that it is better-suited for than Fortran IV.

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Received on Sat Jan 25 2003 - 18:02:47 GMT

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