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Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: SkidMarks (62.6.182.---)
Date: October 21, 2011 11:49AM

I remember replacing all the "= 0"'s with "not Pi"'s in a Sinclair Basic routine as due to an oddity in the Basic it would return the same value but save a couple of bytes each time.

Thank you MC, I thought that it may give someone the chance, finally, to answer the question with YES!

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: MistyCat (
Date: October 21, 2011 12:08PM

First thoughts are usually right, and yes, the C=64 it was. The 1541 disk drive used not 6510 (the C=64) but 6502 M/l, the same as the Vic 20, but offset (aargggggh) by one byte (why, dear Lord, why!!!). While I'm rambling, the 1541 code was a rehash of the PET (Personal Electronic Transactor) Dual Drive, and whoever converted it from dual drive to the 1541 deserves either utmost sympathy (if s/he had no control) or a violent death, depending on whatever degree of responsibility or control over the result that person had. In my (hugely less than humble concerning 6502 and 6510) opinion, the 6502 code converted for use in the 1541 consisted of large chunks of efficient, concise and elegant code from the PET tied together with raw and bleeding clumps of binder twine (and I'll mash my metaphors however I please) for the 1541. The most glaringly, blatantly crepuscular (that doesn't mean what you think it means) example of that was the "Save at zero (S0:)" bug, finally proven to Commodore and demonstrated by (bugger. My memory's failed. Butterworth? What the hell, if you care, you know, and if you don't care, you stopped reading three whinges and a grizzle ago) .. and why the hell am I raving on in a thread named "An approaching landmark..." when all this happened before most of you were born?

This comment brought to you by Offtopic Overachievers Not very limited at all Pty, but totally sober no matter what you think and just because I've held this grudge for nearly thirty years is no reason to think that I hold any ill will at all against those &^%($%, $%^&*# mmpphh ...

(Exits stage left, accompanied by firm resolve not to re-read this in the morning.
And chocolate, because everything's better with chocolate.)

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: Marit (159.190.251.---)
Date: October 21, 2011 01:02PM

Please, MistyCat, come back and have some of the bubbly - I am sure it will take your mind off old computers and make it easier to join in the Landmark celebration festivities! You have been missed during your absence!

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: MistyCat (
Date: October 21, 2011 02:22PM

SM - In C=64 Basic, replacing "= 0" with "= ." saved 11 machine cycles on a 1 megahertz machine. I also remember spending some time evaluating the difference between "If x = 0 then..." and "If 0 = x then...," but strangely I don't remember my conclusion (but I think the second version won in terms of speed.) I wish my brain still worked the way it did way back then.

.. and yes. We're there now. We've not only arrived but we've turned the page. Yes we have. Yes. (Ahhhh.)

Marrit - thank you, I believe I will have a drop or two of bubbly. It's been a hard few months lately and it's not just old computers that I need to forget. On the bright side, since I've retired I've become better and better at forgetting about... about the... about the thing that...

Chocolate, anyone?

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: SkidMarks (62.6.182.---)
Date: October 21, 2011 03:32PM

While we are down memory lane, the oldest mainframe that I worked on, but not the first, was a Leo 3. I had worked on IBM360s, a KDF 9 and a GEC machine of unknown model before coming across the LEO. Happy days when you worried about making files fit segment boundaries and how to do a random access search when the client had forgotten to mention that the file was held on mag tape..........

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: MartinB (
Date: October 21, 2011 06:30PM

I am grateful to all the old codgers who somehow battled through all of that ugly stuff in order for me to have more computing power in my pocket than existed in the entire UK 60 years ago.

Not that they did it for me, but anyway....

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: Violetmoon (
Date: October 21, 2011 08:39PM

I learned my first little bits about computers on a Widget.

No one believes me, but I figure here, someone might...

Congrats to Skids!!! I was sad to have to be away from the computer yesterday and miss the big party, but hey, bubbly is always good!

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: Eoink (
Date: October 22, 2011 01:33PM

SM's post about segment boundaries reminded me of my early days at work in the mid80s. I was design and support for the first public data network in the UK (PSS for anyone who was around then).
We used core network switches with 128 KB of RAM, yep 128k, and a 6502 processor. So it paged smaller addressable pages in and out as required. When they did code changes, there was a risk of splitting routines across two pages and have them break. The manufacturer had a junior coder whose sole job was to add NOPs to the code until all the modules fitted onto the pages.

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: SkidMarks (62.6.182.---)
Date: July 17, 2013 10:53AM

We are (slowly) approaching another landmark. There are 2920 threads in Nextian Chat and 3918 across all the Fforums.

Will a new book and subsequent splurge of potential new posters mean that the total total hits 4000 before Nextian hits 3000?

Does anybody care?

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: delacuesta (
Date: July 17, 2013 07:22PM

Are those number decimal? If so, would we get more significant numbers using an other base?

I case of need we could of course always ask the shoe-and-pill-thingy guys.

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: EgonSpengler (
Date: July 18, 2013 05:28PM

Hmmm. It will only take two threads in any of the other forums for the whole Fforum to beat Nextian Chat irredeemably. Fortunately they're all dead as, oh, um, the buffalo?

Re: An approaching landmark...
Posted by: bunyip (
Date: August 05, 2013 05:46AM

As someone completely computer illiterate I did notb get the jokes of the previous few pages, but it did seem like people were staying on topic for an inordinately long time.

Beware, the proctors of the fforum will descend upon you and byte your bits.

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