How is compiler software compiled?

  • Thread starter Bararontok
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  • #26
rcgldr
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How does the burner work? Is there a cable connecting the interface of the PROM directly to a keyboard?
Not normally. The companies that make typical prom burners expect the users to have computers that can send data via RS 232 cable in order to transfer data to the prom burner. The prom burner itself may only have one or two buttons used to start the programming or verification of a prom. A minimal prom burner would just have a RS 232 interface and the prom socket, relying on commands sent via RS 232 to start programming or verifying a prom. It would be possible to use an old ascii terminal with an RS 232 interface to manually send data to a prom burner, but it wouldn't be practical.

in the modern times ... so that the manual effort is eliminated.
I'm not sure what type of devices you're mentioning here, but other than a hobby, there's no point in going back to toggling switches to enter machine code on some crude computer system.

Going back to an earlier post:

In the earlier stages of computing technology, there were computers that used mechanical, electromechanical relays, and vacuum tubes to do computing. For a software to be written into these machines, the switches had to all be adjusted manually and one-by-one to generate the pattern of 1's and 0's that would cause the machine to contain information.
The ENIAC initially had to be manually programmed for specific tasks, but during development of the ENIAC, the idea of using storage for both data and program was already considered, included in the EDVAC, EDSAC, and eventully an improved version of the ENIAC. Note that punched card readers and writers already existed before the ENIAC, and they were used for input and output. The punched cards that were output could be read and then printed on line printers on other early data processing systems. Wiki articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENIAC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_405

The last remants of manual programming would be plug board programming used on early data processing machines, and for portions of the programming early computers like the ENIAC. Wiki article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plugboard

Once computers were being programmed in assembly or higher level languages, the utility program FARGO, and the programming language RPG were used to help with the transition from plugboards to compiled language. Wiki articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FARGO_(programming_language)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG_programming_language
 
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  • #27
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Not too hard to hand-compile code (using paper and pencil). Take for example a Do-loop to add a set of numbers. First code it in say C, then convert it to assembly, then convert the assembly to machine code. If you're a bit-head that's fun and when you go through an assembly-language course, you'll get use to converting assembly code to machine code and actually building a program by hand by stuffing hex numbers in a stack so then when read by an instruction counter, executes the code. So if I can do that for a Do-loop, I can then do that for more code, and more code, and then it's not a stretch to see how the creation of code which creates code can be created first by hand, then gradually converted to code which create code by the execution of the code itself.
 
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  • #28
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So basically computer technology has reached the point where programs are used to make programs in order to make programming easier and more automated. In fact Visual Basic and robotics programming applications even have pre-programmed modules stored in a library and all that needs to be done is to drag the icons that serve as command buttons into the screen and click the compile button to enable the use of the button activated codes.
 
  • #29
jtbell
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Magnetic core memory retains data without power.
You're right. I guess I didn't have to re-enter the paper tape loader as often as I thought I remembered. I did have to do it often enough to have that piece of paper with machine language code (written out in octal for ease of reading) taped next to the switches. Probably my programs ran amuck sometimes and wiped out the loader. :tongue:
 
  • #30
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ITT, the OP attempts to reproduce the "chicken-egg" philosophical problem in Computer Science. He pretends he does not realize that there are, and were different computer architectures and software throughout the history, and newer ones were first written on older ones.
 
  • #31
uart
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You're right. I guess I didn't have to re-enter the paper tape loader as often as I thought I remembered. I did have to do it often enough to have that piece of paper with machine language code (written out in octal for ease of reading) taped next to the switches. Probably my programs ran amuck sometimes and wiped out the loader. :tongue:
A friend of mine who used to managed the computers in the EE dept of my old university recalled almost exactly the same account of manually entering the tape boot-loader code as per your experience (almost word for word actually). So I tend to believe that your memory of this is quite sound. :)

Personally I have no first hand knowledge of this, but here is my hunch: If say the typical up-time of the computer was many days (or even weeks) then it might have been considered thoroughly worthwhile to trade-off 10-15 minutes of your time each re-boot (in manually entering the boot loader code) for the advantage of having that small extra handful of bytes available for user programs. Considering the extremely limited available memory of these early computers, then this does actually make sense.
 

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