This was the CBD (Convert Binary to Decimal) instruction:
CBD X N(M)
The CBD instruction multiplies the positive double-length binary fraction in X and X* by ten. The integral part of the product is then stored as a decimal character in the position specified by N(M), and the fractional part is left in XX*
To produce the "n" digit decimal representation of a binary number we first divide the number by 10n, then repeatedly run the CBD instruction to get each digit of the number.
For example, to output the number 313149 in six positions we do:
num = 314149 frac = num / 1000000 [ frac = 0.314159 for 1 .. 6 digit = CBD frac [ digit = 3, frac = 0.14159 and so onOr, in real PLAN (Thanks to Brian Spoor):
LDX 2 '5/CHAR+0.0' [ 6 DIGIT O/P PTR LDN 5 0 [ MAKE DOUBLE LENGTH (X4/X5) DVR 4 '1000000' [ INTEGER IN X4 LDCT 6 #200 [ ROUND UP FOR CONVERSION MODE 1 [ SET ZERO SUPPRESSION CBD 5 0(2) [ CONVERT DIGIT BCHX 2 *-1 [ REPEAT FOR 5 DIGITS MODE 0 [ CLEAR ZERO SUPPRESSION CBD 5 0(2) [ CONVERT FINAL DIGIT(The MODE instruction is used to convert leading zeroes to spaces).
But what if we want to output MAXINT? The largest single length integer on the 1900 is 8388607, seven decimal digits, so we need to divide by 10.000.000, which is (obviously) a double length quantity.
The problem is that the 1900 doesn't have a double length divide instruction. (It can divide a double length number by a single length number, but if the result doesn't fit into a single length number it will overflow).
# # # BINARY TO DECIMAL CONVERSION USING MAGIC NUMBER. # PRODUCES MAX. 7 LEADING ZERO SUPRESSED DIGITS, # PLUS A TRAILING SIGN (+/-) - 8 CHARS IN ALL. # # ON ENTRY X1 = LINK ACCUMULATOR # X2 = CT/MOD FOR OUTPUT, 1 CHAR LESS THAN REQUIRED # X4 = INTEGER FOR CONVERSION # # ALTERS X2& X4 # USES X5& X6 # # MCONV LDN 6 #33 [ X6 = '+' SIGN MPY 4 '+7036875' [ TIMES CONVERSION FACTOR BPZ 4 *+4 [ J IF NUMBER POSITIVE NGXC 5 5 [ MAKE LOW WORD POSITIVE NGX 4 4 [ MAKE AND HIGH WORD POSITIVE LDN 6 #35 [ X6 = '-' SIGN MODE 1 [ SET ZERO SUPPRESSION CBD 4 0(2) [ CONVERT DIGIT BCHX 2 *-1 [ REPEAT UNTIL LAST DIGIT MODE 0 [ UNSET ZERO SUPPRESSION CBD 4 0(2) [ CONVERT LAST DIGIT BCHX 2 *+1 [ STEP POINTER DCH 6 0(2) [ ADD TRAILING SIGN EXIT 1 0 [ RETURNBut how does it work? What does it do? What is 7036875?
Comments in some ICL code claim that 7036875 is 246/107, which it is, if the division is done rounding up.
So what the magic constant does is simultaneously multiply the number by 246, pushing the bit before the decimal point up above the first bit of the double-word result and divide the number by 107, to make the binary fraction we want.
How does CBD manage to be so much faster than MPY? Examination of the 1904 microcode shows that it does the "multiply by 10" operation as
x_times_10 = ( x + x * 4 ) * 2where the multiplications are of course done by shifts. (The 1900 hardware could only do one bit shifts, so this is three shifts and an add. Stil much faster than a general multiply).