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Thanks! Please allow me to reciprocate your season's greetings.
I too have been warned that I am starting to develop cataracts in both eyes, but the need for surgery is still a year or so away. My wife already had the surgery in both eyes, and it made a world of difference for her.
Thank you and best wishes to you. Recently went through some (successful) cancer surgery. Had cataracts removed from both eyes, and lens installed. Amazing difference in my sight. One eye now does close and the other does distance. Alas, the dollarectomy is always a challenge.
Lou An intellectual is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of the Lone Ranger.
Excellent read. I thought that they might mention the DEC Alpha[^] chip, which was big news in the early 1990s before they went bankrupt (ok ok they were almost insolvent and got bought out by Compaq, who were bought out by HP). It was the first mainstream 64 bit chip, and had numerous multiprocessing capabilities. If it was built today, it would still be close to state of the art.
I guess the Alpha was designed to shake the world, but I wouldn't say that it did.
I was a college lecturer when we tried to establish a Unix (/Ultrix) environment for the students, buying a brand new Alpha-based machine. In an attempt to get past the performance requirements of the acceptance criteria, the vendor had to double the amount of RAM (at no cost to the college), yet we demanded (and I believe: was granted) a price reduction. The CPU was great for the students to heat their lunch on I read somewhere that the first Alpha model required a 3-phase power supply; I believe that was before "volume" deliveres were made.
There may have been interesting aspects of the chip, yet Alpha was a market flop.
Going even further back, to the VAX CPU, or rather one of its competitors, the ND-500: It had a floating point arithmetic unit requiring 0.5 square meters of circuit boards (4 boards, each about A3 size (which, for you inch guys, means twice of A4, regular typewriter/printer paper). It did FP division by table lookup for the first 11 bits, followed by a newton iteration, two rounds for single precision, three for double precision. The FP unit was so fast that integer division was done by converting the values to FP and converting the result back to integer. -- The ND-500 certainly was no flop, but the manufacturer was small, not sized to take over the world.
Another chip that the academic in the back of my head wish had had more success (and then it would have rocked the world) was a truly object oriented machine: The Intel 432. Certainly not a RISC: It had capability based addressing and hardware (/µcoded) IPC, object oriented to the extent that if you sent an object to another process, the sending process lost it completely. It was way ahead of its time, and at that time Intel didn't have the expertise to get it fast enough (but the project gave them the experise to make the 386 MMS, which was very fast, considering its complexity). Today, they have both the experise and the technology to make it fast.
One of my dreams is that they start a new (research?) project based on the high-flying ideas of the 432, scaling it to the needs of today, adjusting the architectural details to fit what they know can be implemented with speed, but fully honor the extremely good data protection and strict programming dicipline that must be honored in a machine with capability based addressing in hardware.
Of course I know that my dream will never come true. And even with Intel's expertise, they could not make "432 Mark II" run any faster than the top range x64 chips. But it could demonstrate a machine with very strong protection against unwanted intrusion, and it could give some of the OO guys a good kick in the rear, showing what real OO should be like!
Do pickled cucumbers bring glad tidings to you and gherkin?
Final Christmas one for the year, so: To all those who read and appear to enjoy these, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and hope to chat with you all again in the new year. (I'll be here next week, but I suspect a lot of others won't - TotD will continue as normal)
Bad command or file name. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaaay...
Absolutely! I frequently text them to my friends. Just yesterday I took salt and pepper shakers and walked around the cubicle farm clacking them together and saying "seasons greetings" to various people.
One guy said, "wow, I can't believe you had the guts to do that."