Saturday, September 10, 2011

200K 7010 Reassembler

I have inherited this Japanese document from the person who passed away long ago. The document is 12 pages, and the translation is 6. Nobody needs to use this reassembler anymore, but I have great respect to all those engineers who had worked on never ending problems. It so happened that for a particular problem, Japanese engineers had a solution. And an amazing translator wrote instructions in English using good old pencil on yellow pad. Who does that nowadays? This is classic. Everytime I open this file, I feel filled with respect and appreciation to all those people. I'd like to donate the file to a mainfame museum if there is one. If anyone has a good idea for this file, please let me know.


Vincent said...

This too was very nostalgic for me, Keiko, and I'm grateful for your posting it. I didn't work on IBM machines till the late 70s and then quite indirectly, but programmed in PLAN, which was ICT's assembler for the 1900 series based on a Canadian Ferranti-Packard design. And in early 1973 I actually programmed in machine-code on one of their 24-bit machines, translating the bit-patterns into octal digits where possible. For this we didn't even have yellow pad, though the pencil still came in handy, and there were no electronic calculators then!

There is the Science Museum in South Kensington. I haven't been there for many years, but they have a collection to illustrate the history of computers.

keiko amano said...


Because I didn’t know about the computer world in Britain or other countries, whatever you write relating it is interesting. I’m sorry, but I didn’t even know International Computers.

About electronic calculators, I think I used an early model at Japan IBM in 1969. Maybe, you don’t call that electronic calculator. I don’t know. It had no memory, so if someone stepped on the cord, I had to key in numbers from beginning. My boss used abacus, and once in a while, he borrowed my denkikeisanki. Without it, I couldn’t do my job. For centuries, many people had learned abacus especially those who looked for bookkeeping type of job, but in those days, my head was away from traditional studies. My mother would say what a shame!

Anyway, when I went to my IBM interview in 1968, I was asked if I could type English and do Xerox. I asked around about Xerox, but nobody knew what it was, but a friend of mine was studying English typing. So I joined her. I had to be at least 35 wpm to graduate. She was striving to hit 40 wpm. I did hit 35 but it had a few errors, so I guess I failed that school. But thank goodness, when I started to work in the office, they had a typists section. Men handled telex, and women, type writers, and they typed like bullets.

Assembler was the love of my life. Once I had an opportunity to code for a software company although I already had a long blank in coding. After a great interview, a hiring process delayed. Meantime, I found other opportunity doing the same infrastructure work as a contractor. I wonder how it turned out if I went that route. I think I would have been quite happy.

About museums, I think all kinds of problem solving stories will bury in the history eventually. Those museums show mainly hardware. If we don’t write about our stories, nobody will ever know but us. Once, I wanted to write a story by interviewing my former colleague. He is like other hackers in the original, respectful term. But he talks fast, and I can’t comprehend all he says in detail. Maybe, someday, I write my many goofy stories.