Python Productivity Gain?

Scott David Daniels Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org
Sat Feb 21 05:51:32 CET 2004

Thomas Heller wrote:

> Peter Hansen <peter at> writes:
>>Scott David Daniels wrote:
>>>Robert Brewer wrote:
>>>>Gerrit wrote:
>>All right, machine language!  Was that with actual toggle input, or 
>>were you hand-translating from assembly and entering hex on a keypad?
>>I remember being able to write small print routines on the Commodores
>>in straight machine language... hmm.. 
Nope different era.  My first language was machine language.  We wrote
abstract code (using the 16 opcode letters), on paper, where we assigned
addresses to everything, then put in the instructions on paper tape and
fed it into the flexowriter attached to the machine (A desk-sized
vacuum-tube computer called an 'LGP-30').   Memory was a rotating drum,
and consecutive addresses were 1/7 rotation apart.  If the referenced
address was in that band (neither the first nor last after), the
instruction was accomplished 8 times as fast as if it missed the
rotation and had to pass the next instruction and catch on the next
rotation.  For about six months I thought that optimizing compilers
spent their time determining the positioning of instructions on the

> Keypad? Which keypad???
> All I had was a couple of switches, and a pushbutton.
> I had to set the switches to the binary values, and press the pushbutton
> to write it.  I do not remember whether the address was incremented
> automatically or not.  And LEDs to show the binary pattern.
I've also toggled in stuff, but that is more a 7 miles through snow
uphill kind of story.  The machine code first was real -- it was very
cool when I could just use a name for a location.

>>A9 80 20 FF D2 40 anyone? :-)
Actually hex was: 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 F G J K Q W
Cool -- I didn't even have to think hard for that.

-Scott David Daniels
Scott.Daniels at Acm.Org

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