You Are In a Maze of Twisty Little Passages, All Alike

(Deleted from Intel site, recovered thanks to archive.org!)

MAGIC WORD XYZZY

For computer geeks of a certain age, such as yours truly, it was an opportunity to relive the glorious past when Dennis Jerz announced that an early 1977 version of Will Crowther’s Adventure game source code had been discovered. Adventure was one of the first puzzle-exploration games and it not only captured the imagination of computer users worldwide when it became more widespread in 1978, but it inspired many future games such as the popular Zork and even many of today’s graphics-heavy computer games. Not bad for a text-only game written in Fortran. Right, Fortran.

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Domestic or Imported?

One day while I was wandering the aisles of my local grocery store, a woman beckoned me over to a table and asked if I would like to “try some imported chocolate?” Neatly arrayed on the table were packages of LindtToblerone, and… Ghiradelli? I asked the woman if California had seceded from the Union, as Ghiradelli, despite its Italian name, hails from San Francisco. I suppose that from the vantage point of New Hampshire, California might as well be another country, much as depicted in that famous Saul Steinberg 1976 cover for The New Yorker, “View of the World from 9th Avenue“.

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The long and winding road

The other day, I posted something in comp.lang.fortran in response to a post asking for a new feature in the Intel Fortran compiler. I suggested that the best thing to do was to submit an issue to Intel Premier Support asking for the feature since the more customers who ask for a feature, the easier job the Fortran project manager has in justifying it. This prompted a startled reply from someone who thought that I was the Intel Fortran project manager. “Heck no,” I replied, “I’m not even the most senior engineer on the project!” Well, really, I’m not on the compiler project itself anymore, but I still sit and work with those who are. Yes, I started my Fortran career at DEC in 1978, but there are others on the team who have been at it longer.

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Doctor Fortran – Something Old, Something New: Taking a new look at FORMAT

Most Fortran programmers of a “certain age” don’t give a lot of thought to the FORMAT statement – it’s been in the language “forever”, and many of us use only the capabilities that were provided by FORTRAN 77, or perhaps even FORTRAN IV. But as the Fortran standard has evolved, formats have too, and the Good Doctor decided it’s time to review what’s new in FORMAT since FORTRAN 77.

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Don’t Touch Me There – What error 157 (Access Violation) is trying to tell you

One of the more obscure error messages you can get at run time is Access Violation, which the Visual Fortran run-time library reports as error number 157. The documentation says that it is a “system error,” meaning that it is detected by the operating system, but many users think they’re being told that their system itself has a problem. In this article, I’ll explain what an access violation is, what programming mistakes can cause it to occur, and how to resolve them.

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Doctor Fortran in “To .EQV. or to .NEQV., that is the question”, or “It’s only LOGICAL”

Most Fortran programmers are familiar with the LOGICAL data type, or at least they think they are…. An object of type LOGICAL has one of only two values, true or false. The language also defines two LOGICAL constant literals .TRUE. and .FALSE., which have the values true and false, respectively. It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Yes… and no.

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