Paradigm Corporation

2019 UNITE Conference

Presentation materials from the September 2019 UNITE Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


The Origins of Burroughs Extended Algol

Abstract What do Herbert Hoover, mass spectrometers, the Atanasoff-Berry Computer, Shell Development Research Company, and Donald Knuth have to do with the Extended Algol language we still use today on ClearPath MCP systems? Why does this heavily extended dialect of Algol have strange things like I/O LIST declarations, DUMP and MONITOR declarations, DEFINEs, bit-field manipulation, and POINTER variables? What in the world is a STREAM PROCEDURE and why do we no longer have it? And why, oh why, did the B5500 support addressing only the global and immediately-local lexical scopes in Algol programs and not the intermediate ones?

Algol on MCP systems has a long and interesting story reaching back into the early 1950s. It fundamentally changed the arc of the path Burroughs took from a supplier of mechanical calculating machines for business and finance to a leader in computer systems architecture and electronic data processing. This presentation will discuss the history behind the Burroughs dialect of Algol, the path that led to its development in the early 1960s, and how it has evolved into the tool we use today.

Presenter Paul Kimpel
Notes Narrative for the slides as Adobe Acrobat .PDF (605KB)
Slides Presentation slides as Adobe Acrobat .PDF – better for viewing images (670KB)

I Didn't Know You Could Do That! (2019 Edition)

Abstract It's time once again to sweat the small stuff. Like all mature computer systems, MCP systems have a lot of features and capabilities. Some of these are not obvious, or at least not very well known. Everyone has their favorite set of Tips & Tricks to make better use of the system, but no one knows all of them.

This presentation has a number of short offerings by multiple speakers, each describing a simple Tip or Trick you can take back to your shop and put to immediate use. There will be a brief write-up available on each one, and ample time for questions from the audience. A vote will be held to select Best Trick. Come have some fun and learn something you didn't know before.

Presenters Doug Dobson, Goldeye Software
Paul Kimpel
Alan Lechtenberg, University of Washington
Dan Meyer, University of Washington
Curt Timmerman, First National Bank Alaska
Slides Presentation slides as Adobe Acrobat .PDF


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