I have a MS-DOS-hosted UCSD P-system IV, where the disks have been converted to named VOL image files. One of these is called VOLITION, and contains a compiler on it. However, since the compiler is always called SYSTEM.COMPILER, it's not apparent whether this is a Pascal compiler or their Modula-2 compiler. Is there some way to determine which this is, given that I have no documentation associated with it?

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    Feed it some Modula-2 source code and see if it throws up? – another-dave May 18 at 17:13
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    Listing out the ASCII text contained in the image should give clues. The strings command can do it (for windows a version is available in the Windows Sysinternals collection of utilities and most Linux/Unix have the command available.) – Brian May 18 at 17:13
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    @Brian Does strings even exist on MS DOS. – OmarL May 18 at 18:30
  • Seems pretty similar to your other question, <retrocomputing.stackexchange.com/q/18364/15334>, if it’s not an outright duplicate. – user3840170 May 18 at 19:00
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    No, that one was about identifying the version of the P-System. Here, I know that the "disk" is for P-System IV, (though not 'bootable' on the DOS-hosted P-System) but I don't know whether the SYSTEM.COMPILER is a Pascal compiler or a Modula-2 compiler. – Jeff Zeitlin May 18 at 19:11

I wonder if you have a copy of the Volition Systems Modula-2 compiler (documentation). The docs and this PC Mag review indicate the compiler was built on top of the UCSD Pascal system (but that does not necessarily mean the tool will compile Pascal, only Modula-2).

  • That's more-or-less the question - is the "disk" that I have the one from Volition's Pascal compiler on the P-System, or the Modula-2 compiler on the P-System? As I indicated, I have no documentation with it (though I have plenty of documentation for the P-System itself, and IBM's P-System Pascal and FORTRAN compiler manuals). – Jeff Zeitlin May 18 at 19:12
  • I couldn't locate any reference to Volition's Pascal compiler, only their Modula-2 compiler and UCSD Pascal v.III runtime, until I found this buried in an archive of a Yahoo! Groups mailing list (archive.retro.co.za/archive/YahooGroups/UCSDPascal.html): – Jim Nelson May 18 at 20:45
  • "Get the Volition.VOL system of mine that Randy McLaughlin uploaded in the file area.. ... you could just boot the volition disk without any changes. From memory there is a blindingly fast II.0 pascal compiler on one of the volition disks as well as the ASE editor, and an M2 compiler." Since it's called SYSTEM.COMPILER, I wonder if that's the P-code compiler ("system"), as UCSD Pascal's runtime was often referred to as an "operating system" back in the day. – Jim Nelson May 18 at 20:45
  • SYSTEM.COMPILER is always the compiler invoked by the C(ompile or R(un commands - depending on how your P-system is set up, it might be Pascal, FORTRAN 77, Modula-2, or whatever (I've also heard of a BASIC for UCSD, but never seen it). As far as the YG archive, that implies that what I have as VOLITION.VOL may be the P-System II compiler, not the P-System IV version. :( – Jeff Zeitlin May 19 at 10:35

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