[Beowulf] Fortran is Awesome

John Hearns hearnsj at googlemail.com
Sun Dec 2 00:44:28 PST 2018

Talking about pointers and memory management, I have discussed this on here
As a CERN particle physicist I got deeply into the BOS memory management
system in Fortran.

This involved doing terrible, terrible things with COMMON blocks and
meetings at midnight at beam crossing areas.
I still am haunted by the memories..  <twitch>  <twitch>

On Sun, 2 Dec 2018 at 09:38, John Hearns <hearnsj at googlemail.com> wrote:

> Interesting things coded in Fortran? How about one of the first medical
> Deep Learning applications.
> In the 1970s.
> https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-642-93308-0_32
> My father worked in the Diagnostic Methodology Research Unit in Glasgow.
> I learned to code as a 12 year old by sneaking in and using their PDP
> 11-45 running RSX 11M.
> I learned Fortran coding using the PDP.
> The researchers there wrote an entire medical diagnostics program called
> GLADYS in Fortran.
> These days we would call it an expert system, it used Bayseian statistics.
> They had a room outfitted with a terminal with simple buttons, and a one
> way mirror.
> They were investigating if patients would be more inclined to discuss
> embarrasing conditions, and be more truthful, with a computer rather than a
> human doctor.
> My father also told me that clinicians from out of Scotland had to be
> given Glaswegian vocabulary coaching.
> "I've got the dry boak"  = dry retching  etc.
> On Sun, 2 Dec 2018 at 09:28, Mikhail Kuzminsky <kus at free.net> wrote:
>> I believe that the rationality of FORTRAN using is and now very much
>> dependent on the application. In quantum chemistry, where I previously
>> programmed, as also in computational chemistry in general, Fortran
>> remains the main language.
>> >Yes, C is dangerous.  You can break your code in ever so many ways if
>> >you code with less than discipline and knowledge and great care.
>> This may mean that in some cases write Fortran program can be easier
>> and therefore faster than in C.
>> > Hell, at my age I may never write serious C applications ever again,
>> >but if I write ANYTHING
>> > that requires a compiler, its going to be in C.
>> I haven't been programming in quantum chemistry for a very long time.
>> But recently I wrote a tiny program for the task of computational
>> chemistry - and I did it in Fortran :-)
>> Mikhail
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