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Programming Software

Things That Turbo Pascal Is Smaller Than 487

Posted by timothy
from the celestial-emporium-of-benevolent-knowledge dept.
theodp writes "James Hague has compiled a short list of things that the circa-1986 Turbo Pascal 3 for MS-DOS is smaller than (chart). For starters, at 39,731 bytes, the entire Turbo Pascal 3.02 executable (compiler and IDE) makes it less than 1/4th the size of the image of the white iPhone 4S at apple.com (190,157 bytes), and less than 1/5th the size of the yahoo.com home page (219,583 bytes). Speaking of slim-and-trim software, Visicalc, the granddaddy of all spreadsheet software which celebrated its 32nd birthday this year, weighed in at a mere 29K."
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Things That Turbo Pascal Is Smaller Than

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  • by boristdog (133725) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @10:36AM (#37907470)

    Obviously Your machine is poorly configured. My $400 Dell notebook starts Win7 in about 15 seconds.

  • by zblack_eagle (971870) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @10:52AM (#37907776)

    That 30 seconds of cursor blinking? The bootloader hack that you used to make your unlicensed copy of Windows 7 think that it's genuine is waiting for feedback from the bios. The 30 seconds is how long it takes to give up and continue booting. There are other/newer hacks that avoid that issue.

  • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @10:56AM (#37907866)

    That's your probelm, right there "attaching to a local domain". Windows does piles of things when attached to a domain it otherwise doesn't do. It seems slow, but most likely it is a bunch of network timeouts waiting for something that will never happen.

    Quite simply proven really. Put in the wrong password on a non-domain computer, and it comes back instantly. Same on a domain computer, and time it. It first has to check to see if the domain controller is there, if there is a new password, and then fall back on the locally cached hash.

    It is also constantly sending out device discovery information, publishing and receiving info about who has printers and such, and on startup this information has to be collated from scratch (or so the OS thinks).

    You can look into administration a little and optimize your startup to stop doing some of these things, which I would recommend even if you don't care abount speed.

  • by Latent Heat (558884) on Tuesday November 01, 2011 @11:04AM (#37907974)
    The story was that not only did that 39K COM file image (Y'all remember the .EXE/.COM file distinction and if you went with a .COM file it had to shoehorn into 64K or you had to revert to overlays -- ick! -- or other tricks? Y'all remember DOS memory models? Or am I, like, really old?) contain the whole works -- editor, compiler, run-time library -- the story was that it was Yet Another Pascal Compiler Compiled Using Itself.

    My suspicion is/was that the RTL (run-time library) was hand-coded in assembly language and from .COM file sizes of stuff compiled with Turbo Pascal 3.0 that RTL ran maybe about 10-12K. That is, the Turbo Pascal image had the hand-coded RTL in the first 12 K of the image and the rest -- editor and Pascal compiler -- were written and compiled in Turbo Pascal and occupied the rest, which was about the size/scale of a simple editor and a Pascal compiler based on the complexity of source codes for those things that were "around." The cool thing, especially on dual floppy disk PCs, was that the 39K was everything, no overlays, no nothing else. The 12K RTL got plopped into the COM file compiled from your source codes.

    The thing about it is that yeah, yeah, you had the limitations of Pascal, the Small memory model, 64K data segment, and Borland didn't even get the 8087 math coprocessor support right (inline instead of high-overhead function calls to a math library) until Turbo 4, which wasn't anywhere as kewl as Turbo 3 from the standpoint of compactness. But you could develop useful apps with this thing on a dual-floppy machine.

    The other thing about this is the Pascal language. I had a conversation with a dude who was selling some 3rd party library for the Turbo Pascal ecosystem who expressed the view that hate the begin-end, hate the quirky use of semicolon as a statement "separator" instead of 'terminator", hate the bondage-and-discipline aspects (although the Turbo dialect of Pascal solved the fixed-length string problem and gave you enough overrides to the Pascal type safety to allow it to do anything C can), Pascal is the Ur Single-Pass Compiler language. I guess the Arch language of simple parsing at the expense of stupid looking source would be Lisp, but Pascal was close behind in terms of simple syntax and simple compiler implementations. Back in the day before we had Cray Y-MPs on our desk as we effectively do today, that compilation of large programs in the time of a sneeze instead of a long coffee break was a huge, huge productivity booster that made up for whatever people hated about Pascal.

    So ol Nicky Wirth was a smart dude when he invented Pascal, and Anders Hejlsberg (Philippe Kahn was just the front man) was also a smart hacker in coming up with Turbo 3, and you have to give the man his propers in hackerdom. For what it is worth, Hejlsberg crossed over to the Dark Side and is credited as the Chief Architect behind the abortive Microsoft Java ecosystem J-somethingoranother from which came the good Visual Studio versions, C#, and all of that.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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