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Si Started conversation Aug 4, 1999
Reduced Instruction Set Computer
There was a move a few years back to cram as many instructions as possible into CPUs. The VAX was a prime example, IIRC, and had a list of instructions as long as your arm for things like atomic vector plotting and porcine dietary scheduling. This makes programming in Assembler easier because you don't have to fiddle about as much shuffling things from one register to another, not to mention all the paper and fag packets that had been required hitherto.
Complex Instruction Sets like these also take up alot of silicon, though, and as C compilers became better and better at generating code, it was decided to lower the number of instructions on the CPU and make the ones that were left perform simpler tasks. The C compiler would then worry about all the register shuffling and still wouldn't need to go anywhere near an empty fag packet. This also meant that there would be more space on the chip for lots of extra registers and, hey, f**k it, let's chuck in a load of on chip cache to really speed things up. Rather than use the extra space, I think some were just made smaller, enabling higher clock speeds.
The reason your Playstation is RISC and your PC is not, is that the PS is a new design and the 600MHz turbonutterbastard PIII in your PC still traces it's roots back to the 8088. Improvements in chip fabrication have made it less of a problem these days.
wingpig Posted Sep 10, 1999
Yep. They changed the forum notification thing with the result that recent but unprolific fora went unnoticed in the listing on the homepage with the result that I couldn't see half the things I remembered adding to recently. That explains it all, I believe. For some reason all my CS graduate bandmates were taught nothing but useless crap on their course (probably as part of the sinister theoreticallly-minded employment oppression scheme at edinburgh uni) and can explain little about the vagaries of computer science as it applies to the real world.
Si Posted Sep 10, 1999
I'm sure it was on their course but while they all did full time degrees, I did an HND on day release which meant that I had to attend *every* lecture to stand a chance of passing. Now, most of my friends are graduates, so I understand prefectly well that going to university does not strictly mean _going to university_. Your mates were probably in bed or the bar.
wingpig Posted Sep 13, 1999
No, a lot of the time we approached the campus at the same time. They must have at least been in the vicinity of their lectures. They certainly complained about something at lunchtimes. Whilst it must be much harder for the CS department to create a purely theoretical and non-vacational degree than it is for, say, the Biology Teaching Organisation (King's Building's, West Mains Road, Edinburgh) of Edinburgh Uni they still seem to have left out a few bits for the sake of teaching them about the history of things rather than the current practice. We had the same thing at school - they complained that even though polytechnics were being renamed as universities the standards of degree they offered was far inferior to those of the better universities. Snobbish wankers. I only wish that one of my lecturers had said "the Good Name of the University" in first year, when I still had time to pull out and go somewhere useful.Oh well. Off to do some more work for my exams, the first of which is on wedensday. See everyone in a couple of weks.
Si Posted Oct 29, 1999
I need a biologist here...
Are you interested?
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