Burroughs 200/205 assembler 

for STAndard Routine

(Also STAR 0 because of STAR 1's success)

Assembly Routine on Burroughs/Datatron 200 series, developed initially by Electrodata

Related languages
STAR => STAR I   Evolution of

  • Bemer, R. W. "The Status of Automatic Programming for Scientific Problems" view details Abstract: A catalogue of automatic coding systems that are either operational or in the process of development together with brief descriptions of some of the more important ones Extract: Summary
    Let me elaborate these points with examples. UNICODE is expected to require about fifteen man-years. Most modern assembly systems must take from six to ten man-years. SCAT expects to absorb twelve people for most of a year. The initial writing of the 704 FORTRAN required about twenty-five man-years. Split among many different machines, IBM's Applied Programming Department has over a hundred and twenty programmers. Sperry Rand probably has more than this, and for utility and automatic coding systems only! Add to these the number of customer programmers also engaged in writing similar systems, and you will see that the total is overwhelming.
    Perhaps five to six man-years are being expended to write the Alodel 2 FORTRAN for the 704, trimming bugs and getting better documentation for incorporation into the even larger supervisory systems of various installations. If available, more could undoubtedly be expended to bring the original system up to the limit of what we can now conceive. Maintenance is a very sizable portion of the entire effort going into a system.
    Certainly, all of us have a few skeletons in the closet when it comes to adapting old systems to new machines. Hardly anything more than the flow charts is reusable in writing 709 FORTRAN; changes in the characteristics of instructions, and tricky coding, have done for the rest. This is true of every effort I am familiar with, not just IBM's.
    What am I leading up to? Simply that the day of diverse development of automatic coding systems is either out or, if not, should be. The list of systems collected here illustrates a vast amount of duplication and incomplete conception. A computer manufacturer should produce both the product and the means to use the product, but this should be done with the full co-operation of responsible users. There is a gratifying trend toward such unification in such organizations as SHARE, USE, GUIDE, DUO, etc. The PACT group was a shining example in its day. Many other coding systems, such as FLAIR, PRINT, FORTRAN, and USE, have been done as the result of partial co-operation. FORTRAN for the 705 seems to me to be an ideally balanced project, the burden being carried equally by IBM and its customers.
    Finally, let me make a recommendation to all computer installations. There seems to be a reasonably sharp distinction between people who program and use computers as a tool and those who are programmers and live to make things easy for the other people. If you have the latter at your installation, do not waste them on production and do not waste them on a private effort in automatic coding in a day when that type of project is so complex. Offer them in a cooperative venture with your manufacturer (they still remain your employees) and give him the benefit of the practical experience in your problems. You will get your investment back many times over in ease of programming and the guarantee that your problems have been considered.
    The IT language is also showing up in future plans for many different computers. Case Institute, having just completed an intermediate symbolic assembly to accept IT output, is starting to write an IT processor for UNIVAC. This is expected to be working by late summer of 1958. One of the original programmers at Carnegie Tech spent the last summer at Ramo-Wooldridge to write IT for the 1103A. This project is complete except for input-output and may be expected to be operational by December, 1957. IT is also being done for the IBM 705-1, 2 by Standard Oil of Ohio, with no expected completion date known yet. It is interesting to note that Sohio is also participating in the 705 FORTRAN effort and will undoubtedly serve as the basic source of FORTRAN-to- IT-to-FORTRAN translational information. A graduate student at the University of Michigan is producing SAP output for IT (rather than SOAP) so that IT will run on the 704; this, however, is only for experience; it would be much more profitable to write a pre-processor from IT to FORTRAN (the reverse of FOR TRANSIT) and utilize the power of FORTRAN for free.
          in "Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Computer Applications Symposium" , Armour Research Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois 1957 view details
  • [Bemer, RW] [State of ACM automatic coding library August 1958] view details
          in "Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Computer Applications Symposium" , Armour Research Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois 1957 view details
  • Burroughs Corporation "STAR 0 Symbolic Assembly Program for the Burroughs 205 Electronic Data-Processing Systems" 1958 view details
          in "Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Computer Applications Symposium" , Armour Research Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois 1957 view details
  • [Bemer, RW] [State of ACM automatic coding library May 1959] view details Extract: Obiter Dicta
    Bob Bemer states that this table (which appeared sporadically in CACM) was partly used as a space filler. The last version was enshrined in Sammet (1969) and the attribution there is normally misquoted.
          in [ACM] CACM 2(05) May 1959 view details
  • Atchison, William F. "Training [at the Georgia Institute of Technology] for Engineering and Scientific Applications via Compilers, Interpreters, and Assemblers" view details Abstract: This paper reviews the use of Endicott and Georgia Bells, FORTRAN, FORTRANSIT, Runcible, IT, Oracle, and non-use of SOAP and GAT, at Georgia IT in 1957-58 [DP] Extract: FORTRAN, FORTRANSIT, RUNCIBLE, Bell
    Shortly after FORTRAN was made available on the 650 in the form of FORTRANSIT, we ran seminars on it. I t was felt that the high mnemonic value of the FORTRAN language would be a further aid to programming. This turned out to be the case for those students or faculty members who were already familiar with the Bell System or with machine language. However, it appeared to us that those without some previous computer background did not take to the FORTRANSIT compiler system as well as they did to the Bell General Purpose Interpretive System. Students with the appropriate background and with more complex problems were pleased with the ease with which they could program their problems using FORTRANSIT.

    It was about this stage that we decided that we would try to make the FORTRAN system available on our 1101. Also about this time the ElectroData Division of Burroughs Corporation indicated that they planned to make the FORTRAN system available on their forthcoming 220. Thus we felt that, by writing FORTRAN for the 1101, we would be able to program a problem in the FORTRAN language and run it on any one of our three machines. In this manner we would then be able to equalize the load on our three machines. Consequently, a year ago this past summer two of our programmers started writing FORTRAN for the 1101. They continued this work until they attended the seminar on compilers held last February 18-20, 1959, at Carnegie Institute of Technology, which was jointly sponsored by Carnegie, Case, and the University of Michigan. After returning from this seminar, these two boys reviewed their work and the compiler systems presented at this conference. They then recommended that the course of their work be changed from making FORTRAN available to making the RUNCIBLE system available for the three computers. As most of you probably know, the RUNCIBLE system of Case is the result of several revisions of Dr. A. J. Perlis' IT system. Our boys felt that RUNCIBLE was logically far more complete and much more flexible in its use. It was felt that these two major advantages were sufficiently great to overcome the loss of higher mnemonic value of FORTRAN. It was thus decided that the RUNCIBLE system would be used instead of the FORTRAN system. Since RUNCIBLE is more complete logically, it would be a relatively easy task to put a translator in front of RUNCIBLE to be able to handle the FORTRAN language if it was later decided that this was desirable.

    Our decision to adopt RUNCIBLE rather than FORTRAN has been further justified by the fact that the ElectroData people appeared to have set aside  their project to write FORTRAN for the 220. In the meantime, our programmers have also been able to run the RUNCIBLE on the 220 by use of the 650 Simulator. The simulator was written by the ElectroData people for the 220 and appears to be very efficient in the cases where we have employed it. It is true that this is not an exceedingly efficient use of the 220, but it is also true that in our case we will probably not run many compiler programs on the 220. It currently appears that we have enough people willing and able to write the machine language to keep the 220 busy. Even though we only installed the 220 early this year, we are already running two shifts on it. Most of this work is either sponsored research work or faculty-graduate student research projects that require the larger machine. Essentially, no one-shot small problems have been put on the 220.

    We are currently running our third seminar on the RUNCIBLE system. The attendance at these seminars has varied. This quarter our Bell seminar drew the usual sixty people, and the RUNCIBLE seminar only seven. However, the two previous RUNCIBLE seminars had about twenty each. In order that we may not be accused of being out of date relative to the current push on compilers, we are considering the possibility of offering only the RUNCIBLE seminar next quarter. Perhaps this will help overcome the mass momentum that has developed relative to the Bell System. I still have, however, the strong feeling in my own mind that, for the smaller one-shot computer projects of the uninitiated, the actual time elapsed between problem initiation and problem solution may be considerably less in using the Bell System. I had the experience of sitting down with a sharp faculty person one afternoon and describing the Bell System to him. The next day he came back with a moderately complex integration problem completely programmed and ran it on the 650. I have not had the exact set of circumstances to try the RUNCIBLE system, but I doubt that the same degree of success could be achieved.

    It seems very clear to me that an undisputed value for a compiler system such as RUNCIBLE or FORTRAN is for the larger-scale problems and for experimental mathematical studies, where the model is sufficiently changed to make it unfeasible efficiently to employ a simple interpretive scheme. My current feeling is that, within an educational research situation such as ours, there will always be a place for interpretive systems such as the Bell System. I t seems to me that, in learning such a system, one gets a better feeling for the way in which the machine actually functions. After all, the interpretive schemes are not too far removed from machine-language programming and yet still have many advantages over such programming. It appears that, the wider the basic knowledge that a student has, the more useful he will be when he goes out into industry, even though there his computer work may be confined to the use of a compiler. I would also concur in the continued inclusion of machine-language programming in the basic programming courses offered for credit by the Mathematics Department, the Electrical Engineering Department, or whatever department happens to offer these courses, someone has to have a sufficiently strong background to be able to build compilers.
    Extract: Not using assemblers (SOAP, STAR)
    You probably have noted by now that I have made no direct mention of assembly routines. This lack of reference reflects our situation at Georgia Tech. Small use has been made of them. No seminars have been run on their use. A few people have used SOAP on the 650. A very few are using STAR I on the 220. An assembly program was written for our 1101, but it was purely for intermediate purposes and had no direct use. I currently see no necessity of ever running a non-credit seminar on assembly routines, but I would advocate their inclusion in the credit courses in programming.

          in Proceedings of the 1959 Computer Applications Symposium, Armour Research Foundation, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 29, 1959 view details
  • Carr, John W III; "Computer Programming" volume 2, chapter 2, pp115-121 view details
          in E. M. Crabbe, S. Ramo, and D. E. Wooldridge (eds.) "Handbook of Automation, Computation, and Control," John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1959. view details
  • Weik, Martin H. "A Third Survey of Domestic Electronic Digital Computing Systems" Rpt 1115, BRL, Maryland, 1961 view details External link: Online copy at Computer History Museum Extract: LARC details
    Univac LARC is designed for large-scale business data processing as well as scientific computing. This includes any problems requiring large amounts of input/output and extremely fast computing, such as data retrieval, linear programming, language translation, atomic codes, equipment design, largescale customer accounting and billing, etc.

        University of California
        Lawrence Radiation Laboratory
        Located at Livermore, California, system is used for the
        solution of differential equations.
    Outstanding features are ultra high computing speeds and the input-output control completely independent of computing. Due to the Univac LARC's unusual design features, it is possible to adapt any source of input/output to the Univac LARC. It combines the advantages of Solid State components, modular construction, overlapping operations, automatic error correction and a very fast and a very large memory system.
    Outstanding features include a two computer system (arithmetic, input-output processor); decimal fixed or floating point with provisions for double
    precision for double precision arithmetic; single bit error detection of information in transmission and arithmetic operation; and balanced ratio of high speed auxiliary storage with core storage.
    Unique system advantages include a two computer system, which allows versatility and flexibility for handling input-output equipment, and program interrupt on programmer contingency and machine error, which allows greater ease in programming.
          in E. M. Crabbe, S. Ramo, and D. E. Wooldridge (eds.) "Handbook of Automation, Computation, and Control," John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1959. view details