> This reminds me somewhat a "Forth's Dillemma" rant: ...

Which I read, and I do not regard it as any "rant" but a
statement of fact, especially as I suffered the same --

In 1968, when I still did 360/DOS mainframe work, IBM added
job-stack capability for the DOS foreground-1 and -2 tasks,
but they FORGOT most systems had only one card-reader to do
job-stack input!   "Capturing" F1 and F2 job-stacks to tape
or disk was also impossible, as reading past a /& card (end
of job) was an ERROR that "canned" all cards until the next
/& appeared.

So, I read the assembled DOS kernel listing, noted the bits
set by a /& card, and wrote a B-Transient to CLEAR the bits
until a /&& card ("end of stack") was read.    Worked fine,
F1 and F2 got a lot more work done, and our nightshift girl
got home 2 hours earlier every night.

The upshot?   3 weeks later, my boss called me in and asked
me to be more "discreet" about any further changes I did to
the 360/DOS system.   I asked why, and he replied "Our S.E.
[systems-engineer i.e. "repairman"] heard about it, and now
they want to re-negotiate our MAINTENANCE contract!".

Within 3 months, and through absolutely NO fault of my boss
or that company, I had my first job in mini-computers.   My
opinion was that, if IBM thought only THEIR people at White
Plains, NY could do systems-programming, and everybody else
in the field ought NOT, then I did NOT need my "destiny" to
be controlled by those a**holes!   And I made that decision
at only age 23!

Your "Forth's Dilemma" is not any sort of "rant" but really
a statement of fact.   I know, since I have "BEEN there and
DONE that!", as we in the U.S.A. might say.

Jack R. Ellis

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