Pascal not considered harmful - was Re: Rich kids are into COBOL

Chuck Guzis cclist at
Fri Feb 20 14:38:23 CST 2015

On 02/20/2015 12:27 PM, Mouse wrote:
>>> Folks in the lab would stop looking up the instruction encodings and
>>> would just ask me...I could do the assembly in my head...
>> [...]
>> I'm not at all certain that such a skill is even marginally valuable
>> today.  Who codes much in assembly, much less machine code?
> Those two sentences are only somewhat related.  Knowing instruction
> encoding is important to anyone who is writing or maintaining an
> assembler or disassembler.

Uh, huh--and probably someone writing a good optimizing compiler.  But 
that's how many people outside the vast sea of script kiddies?

To put it another way, how many advertisements for job openings include 
"must recognize and interpret Super Wazoo 800 machine codes"?  I can't 
recall ever having seen such a requirement.  Generally it's something 
one picks up if and when it's needed, not a particularly unique skill, 
such as being able to mentally factor 20 digit integers.


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