CONCATISO. My first Program.

Well, first I must tell you where and why the need arose for a program such as CONCATISO, my first professionally speaking program.

It was the years 1972 ... 1973 ... and the Department of Neurophysiology of the Center for Scientific Research (CENIC), led by Dr. Thalía Harmony, who in passing I will say was my main mentor in my early working years, A CID-201-B digital computer was awarded, manufactured by the then Central Institute for Digital Research (ICID).

The CID-201-B was a 12-bit word computer (not talking about bytes yet) with a memory of 16 KiloWords (16384 words of 12 bits each) and was programmed in LEAL, an algorithmic language of postfix notation where For example a = b + c should be written as bc + a = and so on with various aspects of this language, which made programming difficult and tedious. The alternative was to program in machine language coding "by hand" each bit of the instructions, since we did not have assembly language to do it.

Do you know what that means? That we had all the freedom in the world to program!. In hand-coded machine language there are many techniques that were developed and used almost independently by each programmer of that time, since we had to run programs on occasions that did not "fit" in the computer's memory or that had to operate "in computers memory holes" not used by other programs in order to coexist with all of them, data included. For example, altering by program the instructions of the same program according to the needs of the data so that on new occasions it works differently. Imagine that an IF could be replaced by a FOR or by a call to a subroutine!. This is not done now by Artificial Intelligence programs, which by the way in another article I will comment on why it has nothing or almost nothing of "Human Intelligence" and a lot of "Artificial".

The only data inputs and outputs that the CID-201-B had was the 0/1 switch keyboard, a RICOH brand Teletypewriter, which was a typewriter modified to connect to the computer, an 8-channel punched tape reader , and an 8-channel perforated tape printer. In another article I describe them in more detail, because I know that many, but many of you do not know or know these terms of equipment already lost in history.

In the following article I describe another part of the need for CONCATISO, so it will continue ...

Thanks for reading,

Octavio Baez Hidalgo.


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