Classic programming

Sean Caron scaron at
Fri Aug 7 15:58:46 CDT 2015

+1. This is my philosophy as well. If I can run something besides UNIX on a
machine, I will, and if I can program in something besides C, I will often
like to take the time out to play (although if I'm actually trying to "do"
something, I'll most likely do it in C because I'm most comfortable there)
... Not that I don't like UNIX, it's a fine system and wrangling it is a
fine career but there are plenty of machines that will run it; the great
variety in it is one of the things I love most about historical computing.



On Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 4:47 PM, Guy Sotomayor <ggs at> wrote:

> I view the language issue along the same lines as the OS (or monitor, or
> ???) that exists on
> the various classic computers.  With some notable exceptions, I tend not
> to run Unix on my
> classic HW but one of the original OS's that the HW was shipped with.  The
> same goes for
> programming languages.  I don't want to write everything in "C".  In some
> cases C imposes
> too heavy a burden (MVS 3.8 J for example) and isn't in line with the
> "flavor" of the machine
> and/or OS.  In the case of my Symbolics machines, even though there is a C
> compiler for it,
> my question is "why?".  It's a LISP machine, you should write in LISP
> (after all even the OS is
> written in LISP).
> When I'm doing programming, I choose the language that's most
> appropriate.  Not only based
> upon the problem at hand but the environment/machine it's intended to be
> used on.  For
> example, for my MEM11 project, I'm using a uP that is designed to run
> Forth, so I'm writing
> everything in Forth (including the simulator).  It turns out to be really
> efficient and low
> overhead.  I can't imagine what it would take for a C-runtime to provide
> the environment
> that I currently have with Forth.
> TTFN - Guy
> On 8/7/15 12:10 PM, Sean Caron wrote:
>> I suppose so ... in the process of building various little
>> single-board-computers based on historical microprocessors, I end up using
>> their corresponding assembly languages, some of which are probably no
>> longer really in commercial use.
>> Mostly on UNIX I just use C (or Perl, or ...) but on other platforms where
>> other languages are available, like on VMS, or on platforms where C (or
>> even Pascal) is _not_ available (say, MTS or MVS 3.8J on Hercules) I like
>> to play around with some of the older languages, that you might not see
>> used so much anymore ... Pascal, LISP, FORTRAN, PL/I, SNOBOL, of course
>> good ole BASIC ... whatever's available and I have some reference
>> materials
>> for (I enjoy collecting good old EE/CS textbooks as well) ... mostly these
>> are little "toy" programs though, just to run the compilers through their
>> paces and see the OS run a few executables ... I'm not doing any real
>> development in FORTRAN or PL/I :O
>> Best,
>> Sean
>> On Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 12:18 PM, Eric Christopherson <
>> echristopherson at> wrote:
>> Is there a subset of this group for people who like to program in
>>> languages or language implementations or libraries that are no longer
>>> in common mainstream use? Or other groups for such a thing?
>>> --
>>>          Eric Christopherson

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