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Author Topic: Member Interesting, Hair Raising, Humorous or Otherwise Unusual Experiences  (Read 4729 times)

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    • Renwable Revolution

Tip #5: Have Fun!

Five Tips to get the most out of your technology. Tip #5: Have Fun! - You can, and if you choose to you'll see that it helps make tips 1 through 4 even easier!


Agelbert COMMENT: Thumbs up for Tip #5, Leo.

Since I programmed a mainframe back in the 1980's (yeah, I'm ancient!), I learned to have fun with technology and accept that continued learning is sine qua non to having that fun. When you stop trying to keep up, it starts to get NOT fun to catch up a few years later.

The machine I programmed back then was a 32bit machine. It "only" took about 15 years or so  for the 32 bit machines to reach the general populace. If Motorola had been the winner of that race instead of Intel, it would have happened a lot sooner. But that is water under the 'sore subject' bridge.

Back then, even the definition of a  "half-word", "word" and double-word was in dispute! A "word" for us was 30 bits with the added 2 bits for parity. IBM had other ideas and they won out.  I bring all this up because I programed in assembler, not high level stuff. When you do a "double Shift left" (i.e. a type of divide in binary), in our assembler language (Sperry-Univac ULTRA -Universal Language Translator Assembler), 60 bits were shifted.

Everybody agreed about what a bit was. We all were familiar with the "bit bucket" where all embarrassing programing efforts were sent. But IBM decided what a 'byte" was and what a "word" was. Some guys had the TRS80 and programmed it so a bit of confusion ensued. The Boolean instructions that accessed a "word" or a "half-word" for buffer packing or math manipulations  needed some type of standard.

This is a quote from my Technology Dictionary published by Radio Shack in 1987:

Word: a collection of bits which the computer recognizes as a fundamental information unit and uses in its operations. Usually defined by the number of bits contained in it, e.g., 8-,16-, or 32-bit word.

Word Length: The number of bits in a computer word.

Byte: A group of adjacent bits treated as a unit. Eight bits is a common byte size.

END OF (ancient) QUOTE

Back then there  was all sorts of hype about the "coming advances" when computers would move from 8 bits to 16 bits. I was not impressed. If they could build a 32 bit data transfer (and 64 bit buffering!) missile tracker and modify it for air traffic control back in the 1980's, I didn't see why they couldn't make 32bit personal computers. Motorola was working on it. IBM and Intel  were taking their time.

Well, we are up to 64 bit handling motherboards with 128 bit buffering video cards (I may be behind here because I am not a gamer). I am certain that much wider data path technology (that DO NOT heat up motherboards like gaming computers do now) is available.

Leo, I have kept up and it has been fun to do so. But since I am, like you, a bit of a geek, I think it is much easier to do. Most people cannot get the "nuisance factor" out of their minds when dealing with technology. So I do appreciate your efforts to make all this stuff more "user friendly" to the user.

Thank you..
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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