Computing power rolled back 4 decades

46 posts in this topic

8 hours ago, MadAxeMurderer said:

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I keep meaning to take a look at lisp. I'm deep into metaclasses in python and they say lisp is a meta language for declaring metaclasses

...

 

Ah, my student days...

LISP : Lots of Irritating and Silly Parentheses

 

If it won't compile / interpret properly, just add a few "close brackets"...

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I did hear that's what lisp stands for:  Lots of Irritating and Silly Parentheses

 

I've never looked seriously at lisp. But basically Fortran, Cobol, and lisp survive from the 60s.

1000s of language have been created. And each creator thought: "one language to rule them all" 

 

And they were mostly wrong. Fortran, Cobol, lisp, and C are the big 4 on which everything is built.

 

I could add regex to the list. It's predecessor was Snobol, it's around since glob & grep on Unix and is arguably a language.

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Well I stated off with this

 

 

 

 

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Not sure agree, that its a computer, but I had fun playing around with the Lunar Lander program, I could fiddle with the gravity simulation and play with different  thrust setting from the rocket, OK no where as good as Lunar Lander Arcade game from ATARI.

 

Then my father bought me an Acorn ATOM ( yes the same company who came up with the idea of RISK  chips ), which was the first real ( ish ) computer I got, first learned BASIC through it, although BASIC was very not standard  with this computer. Later, I tried my hand at writing some 6502 machine code, which I had to hand assemble.

The first time I ran it I could not believe how much faster it was than BASIC.

 

Unfortunately, I did not publish my program, like musk, who made money out of it.

 

You could get a LISP operating system for it, but I never tried it.

 

Last program I wrote for work, was in Perl, which I loved, because the task I was given, involved a lot of string manipulation, which perl is known to be good at, and it is. 

 

Couple of years ago, we had a big discussion on what a computer program is, is it just a compiled language ?, or can it included programmerable calculators and scripts and macro's ???

 

Seems to me, as long as you can make it do different tasks then its a program 

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Strangely enough vacuum tubes are resistent to radiation and there is nothing to stop you from making them the size of a blood cell, a tube computer would work in space without shielding.

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On 9/1/2021, 9:35:01, fraufruit said:

This thread is so hilarious considering that I can't ever put an app on my phone.:lol:

Are you my wife? :)

I bet also when you touch an app on the touchscreen if it doesn´t react instantly then you proceed to press it 1000 times in quick succession so when it does react you then complain about it opening up 1000s of times or that it freezes completely?

I bet when something on your phone doesn´t work you ask your husband who then fixes it and tells you how and you say well I did exactly that and it didn´t work for me?

I´ve set the wifes iPad up to use fingerprint ID for when downloading something from app store because I can guarantee she would forget her password yet without fail every time it asks for finger print she puts her bloody finger on the screen where it shows the little circle rather than putting it on the button on the iPad then will complain it won´t read her fingerprint.

 

 

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13 hours ago, slammer said:

Strangely enough vacuum tubes are resistent to radiation and there is nothing to stop you from making them the size of a blood cell, a tube computer would work in space without shielding.

 

That is an intriguing idea. Mind you blood cell size is still vastly larger than even 1um silicon geometry. Blood cells are 10um about. That's 100 times less dense because of the square law. 

 

Plus tubes are notoriously delicate. My uncle was a radio officer on ships up to the 70s.

 

The job of a radio officer as well as tracking message was to keep the radio working, and they had hundreds of spare tubes. If you had time you tried to isolate the defective tube, and replaced it. Problem was it may have been damaged by its neighbour which will blow it . So you have to locate the destructive tube.

 

And if the captain wants it operational in 5 minutes, or you feel you're going insane, just pull all the tubes, replace with all new. The radio will work then. 

And you just have to individually test each tube you pulled, dump the defects, and refile the working ones.

 

@HEM A PDP8! When I started uni in 1981 the signal processing lab had a pdp12 which I never touched, a VAX/VMS 11/780 which flew when they upgraded from 2M to 3.5M memory, and some card reading mainframe from ICL which I also never touched.

 

Actually the VAX/VMS really defined mid level computing for the next 2 decades. Small and cheaper than mainframes, but multi user with all the languages: Fortran, Cobol, PL/1, Pascal, Basic unlike 8086 PCs, which I guess only had C.

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