Problems with FORT and ALGOL in TSS/8

Josh Dersch derschjo at
Tue Dec 8 22:34:16 CST 2020

On Thu, Dec 3, 2020 at 9:38 PM Josh Dersch <derschjo at> wrote:

> On Thu, Dec 3, 2020 at 6:13 PM Kevin Jordan via cctalk <
> cctalk at> wrote:
>> Specifically, in the case of FORTRAN, the compiler exits with an error
>> code
>> 6204. This occurs even when trying to compile trivial "hello world"
>> programs, and it appears to occur in all other TSS/8 distributions we've
>> tried as well (i.e., this particular problem is not unique to the LCM+L
>> distribution). We haven't found error code 6204 specifically documented in
>> the TSS/8 user/admin manuals, but the manuals do document other error
>> codes
>> in the 62xx range. Documented error codes in the 62xx range appear to
>> reflect file I/O errors, so we're wondering if perhaps one of the files
>> supporting the FORTRAN compiler is corrupt in all of these distributions.
> The LCM+L variant is built starting from the same disk image as all the
> other TSS/8 systems out there (which was originally taken from John
> Wilson's TSS/8 system).  I extended the filesystem to a full megaword (the
> maximum supported by TSS/8) for the RK05 image.
> I suspect you may be right that FORTRAN is corrupted, I'll take a look
> this weekend.  I'll admit to not having played with it; though I did test
> out everything else.

Finally had a chance to look at this.  The 6204 error message is documented
in the EDUSYSTEM 50 guide here:

See page 6-49:

"6204     Error in reading the compiler, FDCOMP.  Must be stored under
account 2."

And yes, the library account (2) is missing FDCOMP.SAV, and I know of no
existing copy of this code anywhere, unfortunately.  Perhaps it will turn
up somewhere someday, on a DECtape gathering dust on someone's shelf.  I
really do wish more TSS/8 stuff was out there, but I suppose we should be
thankful that any of it survived.

- Josh

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