From: Joseph M. Newcomer on
There were a number of research languages created, and of course, there was a
parallelizing FORTRAN, one of the earliest parallelizing compilers. The key here is that
most supercomputer problems were written for ordinary computers in FORTRAN, and FORTRAN is
brain-dead simple to parallelize. Once you see how to do it, you can start using it as
exercises in introductory compiler classes.

On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 21:21:10 -0500, Hector Santos <sant9442(a)> wrote:

>What was the preferred language for it?
>The old story with the Cray, when Seymour was asked by his engineers
>"What Language doe we use for this new super computer?" Seymour said;
>"I don't know and care as long as its called FORTRAN!"
>Basically, Seymour knew that it would be harder to get customers to
>switch their million dollars investment to the CRAY if people had to
>use a new language in order to take advantage of its vectorization power.
>Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
>> There was exactly one Illiac-IV built. It was always a research machine, and never was
>> intended for production. I checked it out in wikipedia, and the article is essentially
>> what I remember, although I have a number of interesting stories, such as the fact that in
>> those days, the computer center ran 8-to-5 and it was a major effort to get it unlocked so
>> the Illiac-IV programmers could use the equipment. At one point they were simply locked
>> out. Extremely funny stories about how one of the group was a trained locksmith and had
>> immense amounts of fun with the suits.
>> It was intended to have 256 processors, but because it ran vastly over budget, only the
>> 64-processor base configuration was ever built. It was Emitter-Coupled Logic (ECL), a
>> real power hog/heat generator, and the unused sockets had to have dummy plastic "chip
>> cases" installed because gaps created nonlaminar airflow and hotspots.
>> Whenever it ran, it was necessary to first run diagnostics, if they were successful, then
>> run a couple hours of production run, then run diagnostics. If the diagnostics ran
>> successfully the second time, the previous few hours of computation were deemed valid;
>> otherwise, the problem had to be fixed and the computations re-run.
>> joe
>> On Sun, 17 Jan 2010 19:14:08 -0500, Hector Santos <sant9442(a)> wrote:
>>> Joseph M. Newcomer wrote:
>>>> Illiac-IV was the most important supercomputer of its era, and in
>>>> fact its architecture was the prototype for many subsequent
>>>> supercomputer architectures.
>>> Wow, and I thought I had a decent sense about computer history
>>> especially since I had a few years in with Cray machines and
>>> mainframes before that. It simply was unheard of by the early 80s - to
>>> me, and certainly not something used corporations like Westinghouse
>>> back then.
>> Joseph M. Newcomer [MVP]
>> email: newcomer(a)
>> Web:
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