[ubuntu-uk] memory lane, was: Please can someone look at this and try to help

Steve Flynn anothermindbomb at gmail.com
Tue Nov 13 12:46:57 GMT 2007

On Nov 12, 2007 6:50 PM, norman <norman at littletank.org> wrote:
> What a collection of wonderful memories. One of the many things I have
> puzzled over is the way the size of software has increased over the
> years.

Ain't that the truth.

> I had a theory that as RAM became cheaper and cheaper programmers became
> lazier and lazier and did not need to strive to be economical with their
> code.

Just to counter this, my day job is an Operations Analyst working on
IBM zOS mainframes (used to be MVS before we went all unixified). By
far and away the most common program I use is called IEFBR14 - it
consists of not much more than a  SR 15,15 and a BR 14 instruction
(hence the name) which effectively translates into "set the return
code to zero and return". It's roughly 5 bytes long and is utterly
utterly invaluable. Its purpose is to do absolutely nothing.

It's documented on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEFBR14).

A mainframe which costs millions, has petabytes of storage and 16 gig
of ram, has a hardware resilience coupled with unprecedented
availability and the most often used program is a few bytes in size.
Makes me laugh every time I think about it.

When one person suffers from a delusion it is insanity. When many
people suffer from a delusion it is called Religion.

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