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xp, cray, tesla

Richard Sexton commented on Philip Ngai's post.
What is there to suggest they were thinking? It's slower than XP and brings with it no nea features.
Every upgrade: win 3.1, 3.11, 95 and XP was forced in that anything you want to run uses the next version and you could not avoid an upgrade. Now you can and things still work fine and faster with XP than anything new and while not unix-like it will run for weeks without crashing now.
Dave Cutler redeemed himself :-)
(XP *pro* is actually really VAX/VMS without the stupid semicolon filesystem, clumsy but it works)


They shipped without an operating system because Seymour didn't think it was important.

He was half crazy. When the transistor gave way to the integrated circuit computers of the day were built from the cheapest versions of these, the L series. You might need schottky ("S") parts for some critical high speed things but that was all.

There were faster parts, they were just expensive. That was not Seymour's problem. A cray 1 for example is built from 4 different chips, that's all he used. Really fast ones though.
Anything Seymour did used the fastest parts the planet could make. And then he didn't design some simple machine that executed instructions like a Z-80 or x86, his things were optimized for n-way fast floating point like you'd use for Fortran matrix math which is in fact mostly what they were used for. I'd hate to program a web page in Fortran but then I'd hate to have to program matrix multiplication in any languages other than Fortran!
So, Seymour considered it "done" if he could write a diagnostic in assembler than did floating point instructions faster than anything in the world. The rest was just software and he did hardware.
"But what about an operating system" - reporter
"Yes that would be a good idea. Why don't you buy one and write what you need. Next question? - Seymour.
To him it was an "Afterthought" and in his world if you wanted to do a weather simulation or DNA analysis you took your algorithm, translated it into machine language - which you had to do in a way to keep all the machines pipelines running at full speed - and how much of a big deal was it to have 12 lines of code a the beginning that read in the deck of cards containing the program? How much OS do you need in that context?
Alas it was the idea that something this powerful should be shared, and when it was idle that was a waste given the power and environmental support these things needed.
So the idea of sharing computers like this took hold. Atlas in England had enabled this with the first "multiprocessing" computer which mad the idea of computer-time "sharing" to be possible.
So a big committee was formed to define what software was needed to do this and was called Multics. This committee produced a spec and was so bad on paper a simple swapfile worst case might take half an hour.
Some guys at Bell Labs simplified this to the parts you actually need and coded it in a couple of months, the wrote a computer language to make that task easier and added self documenting features.
When a terminal in Bell labs went:
They were done.
So, in no small way Seymour's brilliance and arrogance (which I think was just fear. Good software IS scary) begat Dennis & Ken to create C/Unix. If Seymour had knocked something shitty out in a weekend like MSDOS and it became established then there's a chance Unix would have never happened.
Seymour Cray was to software was Dennis Ritchie was to computer hardware. Didn't know a thing about it, hated it. It was years before one of Seymours machines actually shipped with in OS.
They're all sorta useless now. Whereas Dennis and Ken make your phone work. If you let Seymour do it cell phones would be an option that came with your car instead of a trunk. He was sort of the Rain Man of computer hardware and his computers made programming more difficult and had obstacles like 1) toggle in a bootloader via bit switches.
It was a very special purpose tool. unix otoh was to be as general as possible and the hardware it was done on was not only easier but lent itself well to clever programming tricks (auto increment was born here, stacks were perfected here) that enabled the concept of Multics, an impossible task to actually be feasible as unix. That is unix could never have been born on a cray, it would have been a stretch to get ms-dos working on the thing and I wouldn't even try without something like node.js today.
It's for doing matrix math and that's about all and your code just keeps stuffing numbers into pipelines and keeping them full. NASTRAN is a typical application.

Richard Sexton commented on Jonathan Zittrain's post.
Funny thing is I've never used AV software my entire life. Never. In all that time my kids once put a virus on one of my machines and my boss did also in 1989. Other than that, da nada.
I'm just careful. Don't click on programs to look at data, run trusted programs to open data files instead, you can't pass the program counter off to malware that way.
And I don't so html email. That's just asking for it. And this is with windows, unix where I spend far more time doesn't really have this problem.
So I just giggle when I see people get problems from av software.

Richard Sexton commented on Bradley W. Schenck's post. Just another problem to route around.
It's funny, 20 or 30 years ago we used a variety of tools to use the net now we use one and it's our world now.
Like the car companies, there's a big three: Mozilla, Chrome (both paid for by Google) and IE.
Opera is gone, replaced by New Opera which is Chrome and lacks all the cool features that made Opera special; recall Netscape did Javascript but Opera gave us CSS, Tabs and so forth. Opera just released it's new Opera Neon experimental browser with a new interface.
The guys that were the spark of clever at opera left long ago and formed Vivaldi, a better browser that nobody's heard of.
Meanwhile, real Opera ended at version 12 and there is an open source version of tha around now called "Otter". They're both very very good.
DRM is controversial. There will always be enough people around though that if something bothers ou you can use the software that routes around it. Or do it yourself.
Nii Quaynor shared a link.
13 October · 2018
BUSINESSINSIDER.COM Tesla needs over $1 billion in cash over the next 6 months, and Wall Street is going nuts figuring out where it's going to come from Tesla has over a billion in debt payments to make through March of 2019, but it also has yet to turn a profit making its new Model 3 cars. This has bulls and bears all over Wall Street wondering —…

Richard Sexton He has the #1 selling car in north America that doesn't pollute. 2
Theo Develegas You need to check the battery factory's contribution to global toxicity levels.
Richard Sexton I did. Not as much as a gas car.
Look, you know those "Dirty VW Diesels". What happens if we ignore labels and examine evidence.
If you run a "dirty" VW diesel at 60mph for ten years, 24 x 7 then you will pollute less than a 57 Chevy at idle for one hour.
Would you like to compare the environmental impact of making one tesla vs. what a gas car does in one lifetime?
No, you don't. There's a reason Tesla is the #1 selling car in North America. It's not because they're cheap to buy. You can get a Mercedes cheaper.
It's because that many poeple are giving up on oil. It was a bad idea to ever use it. A mistake. 1
Theo Develegas Richard Sexton The issue is that the owners of dirty old cars won't spend money for a Tesla. Not until it reaches a price point that makes sense. Anything environmentally conscious lacks global adoption, as politics choose big oil vs environmental protection.
Paul Stahura Bought my 4th Tesla 2 weeks ago. On my delivery day (in bellevue WA) I went to pick it up... They called and said they couldn't get to me till 7pm (originally scheduled at 4pm). I show up at 7pm.... the place was so jammed with people (50+?) buying model 3s that they had to stay open till midnight to deliver them all & they had recruited 20 current local Tesla owners as volunteers to help out with the deliveries. It was a party. Reminded me of fanatic Apple evangelicals back in th 80s.

Richard Sexton Theo Develegas They don't have to buy a Tesla, many other brands sell electric cars now.
You won't see a gas powered car in 20 years. Hopefully we'll stop seeing smog, too. 1
Theo Develegas Richard Sexton Gasoline powered cars today are extremely efficient as compared to 20 years ago. In 20 years, unless toxicity production created by battery factories such as Tesla is reduced considerably, the benefits of driving an electric car (price to performance ratio) won't make me buy one. If you think the future is self driven cars and batteries, better be able to send the byproducts of this mass production to Mars or other interstellar orbit.
Richard Sexton They emit poisonous gases.
You think they're safe? Breathe from the tailpipe. You'll die.
That's not safe given the numbers and the effect of that pollution on the soil and living things. Do you know what it does in detail?
I'm guessing not.
Theo Develegas Feel free to live in a storage room filled with used batteries, or to grow plants in a field soaked with chemicals that leaked to the ground. Mass production of something that - allegedly - is better for the environment, leads to the same issues, if not worse.
Richard Sexton Because petrol is cleaner? That's crazy talk.
Theo Develegas Richard Sexton Replace ALL the cars in the world - for no real reason - with electric ones that run on non efficient technology, and you will see my point. Manage LikeShow More Reactions · Reply · 6w Richard Sexton Richard Sexton You have no point. Electric cars pollute. In micrograms per lifetime. Cars pollute in grams pr mile of a substance so toxic people commit suicide with it in their garage in minutes. That gas is ot regulated by any "climte accord", that is they banned …See more
Theo Develegas Yes, it's hard to understand my point, but do research Tesla's practices on battery life span and toxicity levels. I am not buying into the electric car craze - the current efficiency of batteries and energy footprint needed to recharge them and dispose of them makes me see it as just another company that wants to sell their wares. Hence this article and how they need billions of dollars to sustain this model.
Richard Sexton "do research Tesla's practices on battery life span and toxicity levels"
I did. Gas cars are far filthier.
Theo Develegas Richard Sexton Not if you replace all the gas cars with a matching number of battery operated ones, "just because." Forcing electric car adoption is catastrophic. China won't take any more Western garbage in its landfills, which means more toxic items to remain in the US and elsewhere.

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