Systems programming at home - Jay Maynard

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Saturday, 20 September 2003


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0328 - Systems programming at home

film2edit isn't the only person up at this ungodly hour. I've had another (!) cold the past couple of days, and tonight was the time it decided to stop my nose up completely. I couldn't sleep, so I decided to do a little hacking. (No, not cracking. If you're reading this and haven't heard my rant on the subject, and think that hacking means "breaking into computers illicitly", ask me why that's wrong...and be prepared for a lecture.)

I went back to my computing roots. Once upon a time, I thought that there was no future in little computers, and the big money was to be made doing systems work on mainframes. I held a succession of jobs, growing in importance and responsibility, until I changed fields in 1996. I still remember a lot from my days as a systems type, though.

There's a program that measures how long it takes an IBM mainframe to execute each instruction in its set. Of course, there's no source code available, so I get to disassemble it (turn it back into readable text). I spent a happy couple of hours getting the disassembler installed and running, and made a first crack at the disassembly.

Unfortunately, the disassembler I'm using is old, and doesn't handle a lot of instructions. I get to enhance that, too. Whee.

At least this is stuff I know how to do, and enjoy...

current mood: [mood icon] tired

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