Artelius
  • Member for 5 years, 6 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
  • Sydney, Australia
8 answers
votes
9k views
Why didn't early single-chip CPUs support multiplication instructions
57 votes

You don't need it Multiplying two arbitrary bytes together has limited practical value. (If you want to multiply by a constant you can hardcode the optimal sequence of instructions to do so.) ...

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8 answers
votes
4k views
Do the holes in Jacquard loom punched cards represent input data or program code?
15 votes

All code is data. But not all data is code. For example, you can take a digital photo and the numbers represent light intensity across a 2D rectangle. Nobody would dispute that this is data but not ...

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9 answers
votes
8k views
What was the point of separating stdout and stderr?
9 votes

To quote from ESR's "Unix Philosophy", Rule of Composition: Design programs to be connected to other programs. [...] Rule of Transparency: Design for visibility to make inspection and ...

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8 answers
votes
6k views
How to put a delay in AUTOEXEC.BAT
8 votes

tl;dr you can create a tiny text file, and use a tiny comes-with-DOS utility to do this. There's a lovely utility called DEBUG.COM which I believe is included in every version of DOS, that lets you ...

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15 answers
votes
11k views
Did many programs really store years as two characters (Y2K bug)?
7 votes

The mainframes have been covered. Let's look at what led up to the PC which of course is where a lot of business software evolved. Many PC programmers had previously been programmers for 8-bit systems,...

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8 answers
votes
12k views
Why were chips socketed in early computers?
6 votes

I am not to what extent this was a manufacturer consideration, however it made the machines much easier/cheaper to service. This meant customers would be more willing to "invest" what might be $1-2000 ...

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4 answers
votes
5k views
Why are old computers so vulnerable to temperature changes and moisture?
3 votes

Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I think larger components/contacts create larger shear forces due to the different rates of thermal expansion in different materials. For instance, a tiny ...

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7 answers
votes
2k views
Any ways to have an architecture with a different base than base16?
1 votes

And if not, any ways to do it? (maybe by making one from scratch or reprogramming a specific Cpu?) Yes—the easiest approach generally being a FPGA. These are like a programmable digital circuit, one ...

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