51 votes
Accepted

Did any processor implement an integer square root instruction?

Yes. The Harris RTX 2000 Forth CPU offered a multi-step square root instruction, as did its military-grade sibling, the RTX 2010. There may have been others, but that is the one I know of. See: ...
RichF's user avatar
  • 9,336
42 votes

Did any processor implement an integer square root instruction?

Is 1946 retro enough? From Wikipedia: ENIAC used four of the accumulators (controlled by a special multiplier unit) to perform up to 385 multiplication operations per second; five of the accumulators ...
John Doty's user avatar
  • 2,624
40 votes

What were the major things that caused TCP/IP to become the internet standard protocol?

Back in the 1970's, there were essentially two candidates for a potential internet protocol suite: TCP/IP and ISO Open Systems Interconnection (OSI). OSI was being designed by a consortium of ...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 2,320
35 votes
Accepted

Minimum game cartridge manufacturing time

TLDR: getting ROMs manufactured. I actually built game cartridges in between coding them. We could turn around "hundreds" quantity of cartridges a couple hours after the last component ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
28 votes
Accepted

Historically speaking, why is man-db a separate package that is not part of the GNU project?

In the GNU project, documentation is supposed to be produced using Texinfo, not as man pages; as explained in the GNU coding standards: The preferred document format for the GNU system is the Texinfo ...
Stephen Kitt's user avatar
27 votes
Accepted

Did the UNIVAC I really have a 2.25 MHz clock speed?

I find this clock speed pretty fast compared to the stated number of operations per second. Because it's a serial architecture. Serial architectures access one bit at a time and process one bit at a ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
24 votes

What were the major things that caused TCP/IP to become the internet standard protocol?

It was there and it worked, it was an open standard, and it was reasonably straightforward. (FWIW, I had a small role on the losing team, working in a corner of DECnet/OSI, aka DECnet Phase V, which ...
dave's user avatar
  • 35.6k
20 votes

After creating HTML, why did Tim Berners-Lee bother creating HTTP? Why didn't he just write a HTML renderer for a FTP client?

The browser did, in fact, support retrieving pages over anonymous FTP from the beginning, and it also supported other protocols. But, some of the early documents mention additional features for ...
user24811's user avatar
  • 1,222
17 votes

Did any processor implement an integer square root instruction?

It's not that easy. The most efficient method to calculate square root is to calculate inverse/reciprocal of the square root using Newton-Raphson iterations, and then multiply it with the original. ...
user3528438's user avatar
  • 1,395
14 votes

Minimum game cartridge manufacturing time

If you take the Nintendo 64 as being the last cartridge-based console then the 'two to three weeks' mentioned in this 1997 article must surely be as low as anyone got it.
Alan B's user avatar
  • 4,435
13 votes

What were the major things that caused TCP/IP to become the internet standard protocol?

I used to work at a university in the UK, and went to a talk on the history of JANet (the Joint Academic Network, one of the first National-area networks that links university campuses and other ...
Graham Lee's user avatar
12 votes

What were the major things that caused TCP/IP to become the internet standard protocol?

I think IP became ubiquitous because there really wasn't anything else to compete with it. You see IP is not a protocol for networking computers together, it's a protocol (actually a suite or ...
JeremyP's user avatar
  • 11.8k
9 votes

Minimum game cartridge manufacturing time

That sounds way to broad, and at the same time comparing non comperable technologies (cartridge vs (CD) media). Cartridge' includes a large number of different technologies from (E)PROM all the way to ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 223k
9 votes

Did the UNIVAC I really have a 2.25 MHz clock speed?

The machine is primarily based on mercury-delay-line storage. A mercury delay line will accept pulses and one end, and output a matching sequence of pulses out the other end after a certain amount of ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 36.2k
8 votes

What other terms have been used to describe storing working data permanently besides "save"?

read and write are the normal terms used by programmers to send or retrieve data to a stream which may or may not exist on non-volatile storage, along with open, close etc... SAVE certainly goes back ...
Mark Williams's user avatar
7 votes

Why did the Motorola 68000 processor family fall out of use in personal computers in the 21st century?

I was at Intel from the late 80’s to the early 00’s first as a CPU architect then running various design teams and research teams. Prior to Intel I was an architect/designer of systems using 68K, x86, ...
jdmeta's user avatar
  • 71
7 votes

Did any processor implement an integer square root instruction?

The claim in another answer of the Quake trick being the most efficient has not been true for a long time, and was only true regarding low-quality results for floats on specific hardware. On pretty ...
Chris Lomont's user avatar
6 votes

Did the UNIVAC I really have a 2.25 MHz clock speed?

Did the UNIVAC I really have a 2.25 MHz clock speed? Yes. According to the Univac I Maintenance Manual, the master oscillator ran at 2.25 megacycles per second. See Figure 4-1, page 4-6, reproduced ...
dave's user avatar
  • 35.6k
6 votes

When did the 386 overtake the 286?

The sales figures have already been mentioned above, so I would just like to address the following point regarding the private end user, especially gamers: "that a typical desktop user would ...
Coder's user avatar
  • 1,068
6 votes

Why didn't C++ specify filename extensions?

They key thing here is that the header name used in the #include directive is NOT necessarily a file name! It could be a key into a library or database of header declarations. (It was true on VMS.) ...
Aron Insinga's user avatar
6 votes

What other terms have been used to describe storing working data permanently besides "save"?

The IBM 1130 Disk Utility Program used "STORE". To store a freshly compiled binary from Working Storage to the User Area under the name "PROG1", you'd do: // DUP *STORE WS UA ...
John Doty's user avatar
  • 2,624
6 votes

What were the major things that caused TCP/IP to become the internet standard protocol?

One reason that the IP suite got everywhere is that there are good specifications for running it on top of various other networks. So if you're already using X.25 or ATM, you don't need to add more ...
Toby Speight's user avatar
  • 1,678
5 votes

What were the major things that caused TCP/IP to become the internet standard protocol?

In the late '80s I was working for a university CS dept as the hardware manager. We had various computers with different networks running on them. At various points, we were running token ring (pushed ...
bkb105's user avatar
  • 51
3 votes

What were the major things that caused TCP/IP to become the internet standard protocol?

It may be worth looking at institutional aspects, as well. It wasn't that clear sailing as one might suppose. While the US DoD had switched to TCP/IP on Jan. 1, 1983, there was also the competing (and ...
masswerk's user avatar
  • 406
3 votes

What were the major things that caused TCP/IP to become the internet standard protocol?

There's a lot of apples and oranges here. And everyone had a lot of good points made, but your question is simple, and has a very simple answer. I'll endeavor to address that directly, but do need to ...
tallship's user avatar
3 votes

Why user-assembled kits?

Another reason—which applies today (but probably also back then) and only has a retrocomputing angle in that it applies to reproduction kits like the Minstrel or Harlequin—is that finished consumer ...
pndc's user avatar
  • 11.3k
2 votes

Northern Telecom SL-1 PBX Programming Language

Bitsavers has a large collection of old computer manuals in PDF format. They only have a few manuals for Northern Telecom. For the Meridian they only have the Design Guidebook.
Paul McGinnis's user avatar
2 votes

Component cost in historical ads versus wholesale

One point of measure: The 6502 was $25 in unit quantities when released. Atari contracted them for the VCS only a couple of weeks after release and was paying $12 for a 6502 and a 6532 RIOT.
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
1 vote

Primary manufacturers of picture tubes for early monitors

The (monochrome) picture tubes used in the computer monitors we made (in the USA) came from Ball Brothers, the canning jar people. That's one. [These monitors were proprietary, for a line of banking ...
jimc's user avatar
  • 117
1 vote

What was the first dedicated core router?

I'm not clear what you mean by "core router," nor on what kind of protocols and purposes you want the selection limited to. Providing more details about the implicit taxonomy of routers that ...
cjs's user avatar
  • 25.9k

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