And speaking of ALGOL

Sean Caron scaron at
Wed Aug 12 14:38:37 CDT 2015

Ooh, thanks for that; I have long been intrigued by Burroughs ... they
always tried rather unusual approaches ... seeing if I can get MCP fired up
sounds like a fun weekend project.



On Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 3:28 PM, Jay Jaeger <cube1 at> wrote:

> In addition, B5500/B5700 Mark XIII and B5500/B5700 MARK XV.3 release
> tapes can be found online.
> UNISYS released these under the "UNISYS MCP MARK XIII SOFTWARE
> EDUCATIONAL/HOBBYIST LICENSE AGREEMENT" in 2012, having been approached
> by the owner of the tapes.
> At least Mark XIII is available on Paul Kimpel's web site.  PLEASE NOTE
> THE LICENSE, which was arranged through Unisys (Bob Supnik was the
> contact at the time, but he has since retired from Unisys, according to
> what I see on LinkedIn).  The history of how that happened is on the web
> page, below, along with links to download the tape images.
> A Google for "MARK XV.3 BURROUGHS" will turn up the MARK XV.3 tapes as
> well.  ;)  I am not aware of a similar license document for that set,
> but I suggest it should be considered to exist under at least the same
> restrictions ("solely for non-commercial educational or hobbyist
> purposes").
> Anyway, I looked at my listing of the MARK XIII tape SYMBOL1 7 Track BCD
> tape image, and it has ESPOL source.  The ESPOL Compiler, version MARK
> XIII.0 starts at File 18, dated July 15, 1971.
> I'd expect it to be present on MARK XV.3 as well, of course.
> Also on the MARK XIII SYMBOL1 tape (Looking at the directory in file 2,
> from my same listing)
> DC1000
> I don't seem to have ever made a listing of what is on tape SYMBOL2.
> How odd.  But, not to worry, a listing of what is on that tape is
> available at:
> On 8/12/2015 12:39 PM, Nigel Williams wrote:
> >
> >> On 12 Aug 2015, at 11:24 pm, Paul Koning <paulkoning at>
> wrote:
> >>> On Aug 11, 2015, at 10:23 PM, Mark Kahrs <mark.kahrs at> wrote:
> >>> For those of you who might be interested, I sent a listing of the B6700
> >>> ALGOL compiler source code to the CHM.
> >>   I did find a copy of the B6500 ESPOL compiler online recently.
> >
> > In the B5500 emulator repo:
> >
> > It is still to be proofed though.
> >>
> >>> I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Burroughs extensions to ALGOL to
> >>> optimise|ize the use of the native string instructions.
> >>
> >> Did Algol come after the hardware?  I always thought of the hardware as
> having been customized for their Algol, but admittedly I don’t actually
> know which is chicken and which is egg.
> >
> > It is suggested in the oral history at that the B5000 was
> designed as an ALGOL machine and Burroughs had the idea that only compilers
> would generate machine code, so they made the B5000 compiler friendly, and
> the system would have an OS to manage resources, so it was designed around
> drum/disk being an intrinsic part of the system.
> >
> >

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