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Fortran 77 on Atari 8 bit?

Fortran 77

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#1 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:59 PM

Hi together!

 

Was there ever a Fortran 77 for the Atari 8 bit?

 

Not the one for the ST.



#2 kenjennings OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:36 PM

Hmmm.  Have not ever encountered Fortran on the Atari 8-bits.   From what I read of the syntax it appears Fortran does not require any characters that the Atari lacks.    (Like the way C needs danged, curly braces.)  

 

https://en.wikibooks...torial&stable=1

 

Not necessarily very complicated.  Should be doable for someone inclined to port compilers..



#3 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:02 PM

Nope. nobody has ever done a native FORTRAN compiler for the 8-bits. Was kinda like, "why would you want to?"

 

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#4 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:07 PM

Just for interest. Must have learned that at the uni...

 

Just wondering, because all the other languages are available.



#5 ricortes OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:18 AM

IIRC: FORTRAN's happy days were prior to the Atari 8 bits wide distribution. I think the company I worked for got the language installed on our mainframe as ~$7,000 option. Not that it wasn't used *forever* once an application was written in it. We used a program for data reduction, database, and graphing that was written in FORTRAN for decades after the PC and MS platform took over the new application market.

 

Kind of like a lot of other languages that were relegated to the historical dustbin. I think some companies like State Farm Insurance still use applications written in COBOL, just that the new ones aren't. There was even a program that translated FORTRAN into C to ease the migration. Programming Darwinism at it best!



#6 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:39 AM

Hate to break it to you guys, but both FORTRAN and COBOL are alive and well in the works of big iron, or what passes for it today. Lots of financial institutions still use COBOL for transaction processing and account reconciliation, and WIRED did a feature just a couple months ago about FORTRAN and its continued use for computationally intensive jobs.


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#7 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:50 AM

Thanks DrVenkman, without knowing, I had that feeling, because Excel has some problems:

 

Excel-Bugs.jpg

 

even today!

 

Atari, with the good software, in the golden age didn't had those problems:

 

At the end of my site:

https://atariwiki.or...tari Calculator

 

Further, the precision is needed, as mentioned here:

 

https://atariwiki.or...ypra-Soft-Basic

 

before.

 

Well, when the preservation program is finished, then I know, what to do...

 

Hope, that my feelings with the 2.3 trillion are missing are wrong at least...


Edited by luckybuck, Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:58 PM.


#8 kenjennings OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:52 PM

. . .. Lots of financial institutions still use COBOL . . .

 

Yup.  I work for transaction processing at a bank.  The credit systems run on mainframes and they hire people and teach them COBOL.   Banks are the cheapest sons-of-guns on the planet and won't replace anything until it rusts away to nothing.



#9 fujidude OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:24 PM

 

Yup.  I work for transaction processing at a bank.  The credit systems run on mainframes and they hire people and teach them COBOL.   Banks are the cheapest sons-of-guns on the planet and won't replace anything until it rusts away to nothing.

 

I'm guessing maybe not as much being "cheap" as it is "If it isn't broke, don't fix it."  99.999 of the business of banking is absolutely reliant on software and computerization.  These days most industries can ill afford computer problems, but banking just cannot tolerate it all, or they're in huge trouble real fast.  I can see why they would be more comfortable sticking with what has been working than changing.



#10 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:30 PM

You did see my graphic in #7?

 

Excel is not able to multiply more than 8 digits... even today.

 

I came across that, because of the missing billions. It is one thing to get lost of that, but to not know how much, a complete different thing...

 

Well, if you format the cells in double precision, it works. But do all the bankers do that?

 

Excel is in that status, to my mind, because they wanted to be compatible to the very, very old spreadsheets...


Edited by luckybuck, Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:32 PM.


#11 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:51 PM

You did see my graphic in #7?

 

Excel is not able to multiply more than 8 digits... even today.

 

I came across that, because of the missing billions. It is one thing to get lost of that, but to not know how much, a complete different thing...

 

Well, if you format the cells in double precision, it works. But do all the bankers do that?

 

Excel is in that status, to my mind, because they wanted to be compatible to the very, very old spreadsheets...

 

I've seen plenty of banking Excel spreadsheets and workbooks - by and large they use sheets with numbers smaller than billions; for accounts and transaction amounts large enough, they use "Thousands" or even "Millions" as the column headers and just work with smaller numbers, fed into the sheets manually or by macros from other documents that in turn work with smaller numbers. 



#12 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:06 PM

Well, I think, this:

 

SumExcel2011.jpg

 

is small enough...

 

Try by yourself.

 

The problem occurs, if all the 'small' ones are sum together by those too big to fail...


Edited by luckybuck, Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:07 PM.


#13 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:38 PM

The Z80 and 680X world benefited from CP/M, Flex and OS-9 which were more business oriented so there were compilers for everything.
Without some business oriented 6502 OS standard it seems a few things didn't make it the the 6502 on any machine.

#14 fujidude OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:36 PM

Well, if you format the cells in doubleprecision, it works. But do all the bankers do that?
 
Are you prepared to show us that bankers use imprecise software?


#15 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:52 AM

@JamesD: Yes, definite, but I want to know the why.

 

@fujidude: quite simple, I have asked them. Those, who I have asked, are now using the double precision. What about you asking those, you know?



#16 ricortes OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:22 PM

Hate to break it to you guys, but both FORTRAN and COBOL are alive and well in the works of big iron, or what passes for it today. Lots of financial institutions still use COBOL for transaction processing and account reconciliation, and WIRED did a feature just a couple months ago about FORTRAN and its continued use for computationally intensive jobs.


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IMHO: This is the crux of the matter. Latin is considered a "Dead Language" even though there are probably more people alive today that can speak it then existed in ancient Rome. FORTRAN, in spite of updates, is relegated to specialty apps in unique situations. No doubt State Farm Insurance will still be running apps written in COBOL in the next millennium. There will always be some old telescope running FORTH or communication satellite running FORTRAN. I'm not sure I would give the languages status as alive. The percentage of apps that are developed in them is too small compared to total market.

 

FWIW: My S.O. brother is a programmer with IBM, 40 years. They still send him on trouble shooting missions around the world. Last summer they sent him to Brazil to fix some problems there. Trying to make light conversation with him, I asked "What do you program in, C?" He acted highly insulted! Kind of "What do you think I am, some kind of programming cripple that needs a crutch???" He said he programs in assembly. He seemed so butt hurt I didn't ask him about FORTRAN or COBOL. :)

 

I'm of the opinion that things such as the AC Cobra Lotus 7 can be tagged as dead. This is knowing full well you can get exact reproductions of them to this day as well as factory originals owned by collectors. They are still alive in various forms, but I know what people mean when they say they are dead. For that matter I don't have a problem with people that say Atari is dead in the same context.

 

We probably need a new word that would encompass something like the status of the Mona Lisa. I mean the original is still in existence and people are still reproducing it. It is a sure thing, Leonardo isn't the one doing the reproductions. 



#17 fujidude OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:05 PM

@JamesD: Yes, definite, but I want to know the why.

 

@fujidude: quite simple, I have asked them. Those, who I have asked, are now using the double precision. What about you asking those, you know?

 

What's simple?  You asserted an extrapolation of Excel to the banking industry.  I asked if you actually know that the banking industry is using inaccurate software.  I myself have real doubts about that.  Now you say when you did ask, you were told that they use double precision.  I think you just made my point.

 

I don't need to ask any bankers; I'm not the one asserting or suggesting that their software is unfit to manipulate large figures.  The rule is, the ones making the assertion should provide some evidence.  Exhibiting Excel doesn't really count, unless banks use that for their accounting software (which I personally have never heard of).  I'm  not saying you're wrong.  I'm saying I need more than that before I start to think such a thing about the industry.  If it's true, I would be interested in learning something that supports it (besides Excel).



#18 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:09 PM

Well, I just asked some bankers, they told me, they used it, after knowing the above, they moved to double precision, that is all.

 

In #10, I just asked: 'But do all the bankers do that?'

 

That does not mean, I know.

 

The question still remains, why don't they how how much is missing, when they have computers?



#19 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:39 PM

I'm not a banker but I have some professional insight into what they do and how they do it in the U.S. (don't ask - there are legal NDA's involved). Typically they use spreadsheets only for planning and presentation purposes. Real computation is done via mainframe applications (yes, some written in COBOL!). Reports and in some cases actual data exports from those applications feed into Excel for planning meetings, forecasting and presentations, either manually entered or via some fairly complicated macros. Actual transaction processing and account ledgers are not maintained in Excel however. Think of it more as a "big picture" front end to the real data.

Now what this has to do with Fortran 77 on an Atari 8-bit I don't know. :)

#20 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:51 PM

:-) You are right, we just came across with the precision in fortran 77.

 

Good to hear, they do it in COBOL, not in Excel.

 

Well, then just the questions remains, where are all the billions? Of course, that has nothing to do with the topic, nor with this forum.



#21 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 17, 2015 3:16 AM

The Z80 and 680X world benefited from CP/M, Flex and OS-9 which were more business oriented so there were compilers for everything.
Without some business oriented 6502 OS standard it seems a few things didn't make it the the 6502 on any machine.

@JamesD: Yes, definite, but I want to know the why.

Why there was no business oriented 6502 OS/machine or why nobody ported Fortran anyway?

You have to remember that CP/M started on the 8080 and Flex started on the 6800, both of which predate the Apple, TRS-80, and PET.
They only used terminals or teletype machines for user I/O and even use paper tape for data storage.
Being on the bleeding edge of personal computing people saw the potential to use computers for business and scientific purposes.
Once these machines had a foothold in the business and science worlds it was inevitable common tools would become available.
The funny thing is, Fortran probably wasn't ported until after 6502 machines like the Apple II and PET were out there.
I'm pretty sure fortran was out for Flex by 1980 though.

After saying Fortran didn't make it to any 6502 system I remembered there is a Fortran for the Apple II.
I believe it generates the same P-Code used in Apple Pascal (UCSD). That would make sense since Apple Pascal can run programs larger than memory.
Since it was a proprietary Apple product it didn't make it to any other system, but the P-Code it generates could potentially run on any UCSD runtime environment running on a 6502. There was a version of UCSD for OSI and if the source ever gets released it could be ported.

FWIW, some people did try to release a 6502 based computer along the lines of CP/M and Flex systems.
I believe the single board computers were so much cheaper none of the computer stores picked them up.
I don't think the manufacturer had a working OS yet either.

The KIM 1 had the potential to get a universal 6502 CP/M like OS.
I vaguely remember a lot of expansions being advertised for it but Commodore killed it off and offered the PET not long after purchasing MOS.
There was a lot of stuff in MICRO on the KIM 1 and I wouldn't be surprised if some people had released some sort of OS for it.
Once the KIM was dead so was pretty much anything major like that for it.
I guess the 6502 just didn't have enough lead time to develop it's own portable OS before the "trinity" of personal computers hit the market.

BTW, there is a CP/M like OS for the 6502 now called DOS/65.
http://www.z80.eu/dos65.html

#22 ricortes OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 17, 2015 8:50 AM

@James, kind of giggled to myself when I thought this. Answer to why ~business software in general was not ported to the 6502: Because IBM decided to use an 8088/8086. 

 

I still remember the beating I took when me an a coworker recommended we buy an Apple II for data reduction 1978. I kept the memo for a number of years but seem to have lost it after various moves and natural disasters. I don't know if you have ever been the subject of or taken part in one of 'those meetings' where you are called out in front of everyone from area directors to VPs. Basically it was a virtual gang rape! :) The IT peoples gave a tirade on how stupid and ignorant we were for even suggesting such a thing. The bean counters said they were a fly by night company that couldn't be counted on for support since they would probably be out of business in a couple of years. Our supervisors pretty much through us under the bus. hehe, last laugh.

 

The IT department was leasing time on a mainframe at the time and wanted to buy one which went down. Within a couple of years the thing was outdated/insufficient for our needs and the head of IT was sort of moved out of the company. They did go with PCs to make up for the data processing shortfall but many complained they shouldn't be forced to use a PC instead of a Mac.

 

Funny thing is there was still the perception of what a serious computer was and managements attitude towards them. We had this one jerk off VP who would let his favored employees literally love the pooch all day reading books or doing crossword puzzles *BUT* told the area coordinator to tell him if anyone was caught playing games on a computer so they could be fired immediately. Of course he didn't announce this and we only found out about it through the grapevine. I guess he wanted to surprise us.

 

While I love the 6502/68xxx series I think IBM made the right decision. Intel and the processor clone makers like AMD were always more professional<?> then the 6502 side. 



#23 Larry OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 17, 2015 11:30 AM

Fortran was the first language that I learned, and COBOL second. My recollection from the start was that COBOL = Tedious. But I was struck years later when BASIC was rolled out by how similar BASIC was to Fortran.  Sort of a "relaxed" Fortran.  Pretty sure that Fortran made it to the C64.  But honestly can't imagine why anyone would want it on an 8-bit (other than to say it exists for my machine).

 

-Larry



#24 JamesD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:21 PM

@James, kind of giggled to myself when I thought this. Answer to why ~business software in general was not ported to the 6502: Because IBM decided to use an 8088/8086. 
...

Huh? When I said business I clearly didn't mean major corporations. Small businesses used CP/M systems and Apple II's. Apple IIs became common in small business and with universities which is probably where it's Fortran was used the most. MP/M even allowed multiple users on one machine.

The IBM PC came out in 1981. CP/M was developed in 1973-74. CP/M, Flex and even the first 6502 systems predate the "PC" by over 5 years.
Wordstar, Visicalc, DBase... all originated on 8 bits. Businesses bought machines just for Visicalc.
CP/M was actually based on DEC PDPs commands and MS-DOS even grew out of CP/M.
If you look at computer sales, it even took a couple years for PCs to outsell Apple IIs.
While in the long run PCs became the machine of business I think it's a gross misrepresentation of the overall computer market to characterize things based on a corporate IT dept's choices. An 8 bit computer is no competition for a mainframe for large scale financial data crunching but it gave smaller businesses a lot of power they had never had before.
If you look at the ads in some magazines. there were companies selling customized business applications before the PC existed.

If you want to know why little business software was ported to the Atari but there was quite a bit for the Apple II, look at the company and the machine.
Almost everything Atari released was game or home user oriented. It was Apple themselves that ported UCSD Pascal and Fortran to the Apple II. There's no reason Atari couldn't have done the same.
Surprisingly enough, a lot of the custom business software that was released was written in BASIC. Atari had a non-standard BASIC that doesn't deal with strings as well as Microsoft BASIC. MS BASIC for the Atari wasn't available until 1981. Would you port an app to the Atari or the new IBM PC?
The Atari also lacked an 80 column display. Visicalc made it to the Atari but with a 40 column screen it's not quite as useful even if the CPU was much faster on the Atari. I realize the Atari can display 80 column text using graphics but that never really caught on for whatever reason and has anyone even used it from BASIC? Maybe it was due to the required video RAM and the max 48K RAM size on the first Atari machines. The Apple II language system allowed 64K of RAM.
On top of all that, Apple started out as a well documented open machine where Atari tried to keep developer docs to themselves at first.

FWIW, using graphics to display text was common on the CoCo. The CoCo supported the Flex OS using graphics text but then CoCos were modded for 64K RAM very early on and the graphics only took 6K, leaving around 56K for apps after loading Flex. Many CoCoDOS programs followed suit. Telewriter, VIP Studio, Dynacalc, etc... so it's not like it was unheard of for such a thing to catch on.

Edited by JamesD, Fri Jul 17, 2015 2:28 PM.


#25 ricortes OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:54 PM

Huh? When I said business I clearly didn't mean major corporations. Small businesses used CP/M systems and Apple II's. Apple IIs became common in small business and with universities which is probably where it's Fortran was used the most. MP/M even allowed multiple users on one machine.
 

"Why there was no business oriented 6502 OS/machine or why nobody ported Fortran anyway?"

That isn't exactly what I would call clearly. :)

 

My experience was different. In a company with maybe 700 employees I think we had at most two CP/M systems and those were dedicated word processors. Within ~two years of the PC release we had something like 300 PC on site. Prior to the PC introduction, everything was mainframe. There were a couple of nerds with computers, I think I was one of three people out of the 700 that actually owned a computer before the Apple II came out. 

 

The CP/M computers that did make it as a minor hit like Osborne and Kaypro, pretty much grenaded as corporations. They were exactly the reason why corporations would not buy any computer before IBM got in the market.

 

Apples were not common even in small businesses. The Apple III was pretty much a failure because businesses small or otherwise didn't adopt them. That was when the phrase "Nobody ever got fired for buying an IBM" became in vogue and I found it to be completely accurate and descriptive of the time. Through the 70s it was mainframe, from the 80s on it was PC. CP/M and 6502 never really entered the equation except for the .3%. Sheesh! Up until the 80s businesses were still leasing time on mainframes to do payroll and accounting. IIRC: Most of my checks from back then had ADT stamped on them. 






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