SuperZap

Computing Dictionary

SuperZap definition

tool, IBM
An IBM utility program used to quickly patch operating system or application program executable code in preference to editing the source code and recompiling.
The SuperZAP program was a quick hack written by one IBM Engineer, possibly from IBM UK, in the late 1960s to directly fix executable files. He needed to fix a bug but it would have taken hours to rebuild the vast OS/360 executables.
The S/360 architecture has an instruction ZAP (Zero and Add Packed) for packed decmial arithmetic, that sets the byte at a given address to a given value. Superzap used this to write data given as a string of hex digits to a given location in an executable file in a matter of seconds.
Soon the IBM development labs were releasing all Programming Temporary Fixes (PTFs) to OS/360 in this form. OS/360 included a version called IMASPZAP or AMASPZAP which persisted through MVS, MVS/SP, MVS/XA, OS/390 and probably still remains in z/OS, the distant descendent of OS/360.
[Private 2004-02-05 e-mail from Chris Gage, IBM employee and SuperZap user, 1970-].
(2007-03-15)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: superyacht
Next Definition: superzealous
Words Near: SUPERZAP
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for SUPERZAP
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing SUPERZAP
More from Dictionary.com Translator
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature