Computer Programming and Computer Systems by Anthony Hassitt and Anthony Ralston (Auth.)

By Anthony Hassitt and Anthony Ralston (Auth.)

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If the program is dormant because it is waiting for a reply from a programmer, then the machine ignores it. The programmer can afford to take his time in using his typewriter because he knows that the machine is busy with one of the 20 or 30 other programs. Typical of the applications of such a system is instant compilation. The programmer sits down at a typewriter and types his program. As he reaches the end of each line, the machine informs him of any mistakes that he has made. When he reaches the end of the program, the machine finishes the compilation and starts to run the program.

The contents of one location can be represented as a string of zeros and ones. These zeros and ones might represent a number in the binary notation; thus the decimal number 99 can be represented in the memory as 000000000000000000000000000001100011 Each 36-bit location can represent one integer number. It is necessary to represent both positive and negative numbers. The convention in the 7090 is to use the leftmost bit to indicate the sign, where 0 denotes plus and 1 denotes minus. Thus, —99 would be 100000000000000000000000000001100011 The numbers in the memory are actually represented in binary; however, in 2 · 3 BINARY NOTATION 45 describing these numbers it is more convenient to use octal notation.

There are electronic circuits that can store a " 0 " or a " 1 " in a core, while other circuits can detect whether a " 0 " or a " 1 " has been stored. The complete memory consists of 1,179,648 cores. The cores are arranged in groups of 36, each group of 36 constituting a location. The contents of a location is called a word. A word may represent a number, an instruction, or several alphanumeric characters. The string of 36 zeros and ones, 110101111011100100101101000000010101 might represent the contents of one location.

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