These CPUs are heavily CISC in nature, and originally had been implemented (supposedly) as multi-cycle FSMs. In order to get the modern high clock rates and high IPCs, such CPUs have to be reimplemented as RISC, superscalar pipelines, adding a complex instruction decoder (as in x86) to get away from CISC restrictions. It does not make much sense to do so - much easier to synthesise a simple MIPS core of a comparable complexity.
Hmm...it just occurred to me, this might be the appropriate place for me to post.
Thing is, I've made a USB board called PeekyPokey with an API so that you can use .NET languages such as C# for interfacing with electronics stuff like relays, RFID tag readers, tactile buttons, rotary encoders, keypads, sensors, servos and things like that.
The API also comes with an extensive toolkit containing classes for the PC side of things too - like a built in webserver, gamepad drivers, virtual keys, MIDI interface, a generalized HID interface and so on - things you can use to control electronic devices.
In essence, PeekyPokey has 8 general input/outputs, a virtual COM port, 3.3V/5V power supplies and kind of brings Windows PCs and electronics together in pretty much the same way IOIO does for Android.
The PeekyPokey board targets programmers curious of embedded electronics programming and hardware interfacing. The whole idea is to play, explore, learn and have fun with electronics.
This is just to let you guys know it's there and love to hear what you think!
NOTE: I'm not selling the boards, I'm just the creator.
As far as I know that is a direct signal straight from the hard drive itself, which is also directed to an LED when you have a drive installed in a removable tray. This might be an oversimplification since signals from multiple drives are combined and routed by the controller to the motherboard pin.
So, if you follow midnight_matt's lead, you can argue it is a driver issue of sorts, caused by the Intel Rapid Storage Technology thing that for some reason is polling the CD/DVD drive constantly.
"When you don't know what you're doing it's best to do it quickly" - Jase #DuckDynasty
I'm pretty sure the issue was coming from Win 8. Here's how I know:
I discovered that Win 8 was not seeing my DVD drive. So I found a fix for that on MSDN that involved adding a registry key and rebooting.
Voila! Not only did Win 8 start seeing my DVD drive, but the hard drive light was back to normal!
The difficult we do right away...
...the impossible takes slightly longer.
I've heard the "snappier" from other people as well... but I guess I'll make the change when I have to. I mostly develop for govt customers and it takes them forever to change as well so I usually want to work in whatever environment most of them are on.