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Pier Guidi

Civilian
Software developer, CLC operating system

23 March 2011

Guestbook Entry


Question: Was the source code from all those man-years of work preserved anywhere (probably classified)?

A quick reply first about the source code... I have no idea what ever happened to the code (written in Symbolic Nike-X "SNX" assembly language for increased control over the resulting executable). And there was an amazing amount of code for sure. I too wondered what ever happened to those thousands upon thousands of programmer (men and women) years of effort. Certainly it was classified when I was there -- but after the SALT talks, etc. I don't know.

We had for sure the most powerful multi-processor hardware and software architecture in the world (and for many years after the project shut down for sure). BUT I do clearly recall that milliseconds of execution time were precious, very precious. "Modern" programming practices call for units of code that could be re-used, stacked, etc. (e.g. sub-routines, loops, no "go to"'s etc.). We actually had meetings to undo many of these techniques and replace them with linear code - faster to execute. Time was extremely important (vs. memory usage) because of the high demands from guidance software that managed the radars (tracking), the missiles in flight, ground safety, fault detection, etc.

As for more info on my memories of the CLC operating system... I will have to defer those for a while (and spend time trying to recall them!).