From: Dan Halbert <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [TUHS] A New History of Modern Computing - my thoughts
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 08:48:54 -0500 [thread overview]
Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> (raw)
On 11/28/21 6:35 PM, Adam Thornton wrote:
> Getting a bit far afield from Unixes, but A Quick Rundown Of
> Instruction Sets I Have Known, more or less in the order I learned them:
> 6502: you never forget your first love, and, sure, it's constrained,
> but it's elegant and concise and I still adore it.
> 68k: Lovely. I used it before I ever used the PDP-11, but in
> retrospect it's like the PDP-11 but more so. Roomy, comfortable,
> regular. Too bad it lost to x86 in the marketplace.
> 8051: I mean, OK, I get it, you need a low-cost embedded architecture
> and it's the 1980s, but...yuck.
> x86-and-descendents: the less said the better. Maybe I just don't
> like Intel's designs?
> SPARC: It's not bad. Having lots of registers is nice. But by the
> time it came along compilers were good enough that I never actually
> needed to use it in anger.
> S/360-and-descendents: The S/360 is OK, even nice, in a very 1960s IBM
> way. And then its evolution just KEPT adding ever more baroque
> filigrees onto it. Don't get me wrong, I love SIE, because I love VM,
> but even that is kind of a bag on the side, and by the time you get to
> System z...this is what happens when you don't start over from a clean
> sheet every so often.
> PDP-11: There's a very good reason it was used as a model architecture
> in coursework for decades. Also regular and comfortable.
> TI-99/4A (more or less TI 9900): I like microcode as much as anyone
> but honestly this is pretty silly here, folks.
When I was in high school, I loved reading about instruction sets. I
recommend the first five volumes of Annual Review in Automatic
Programming, if you are interested.
The DEC instructions sets were all quite elegant, from the minimal PDP-8
(nee PDP-5) 12-bit machine to the PDP-10 (nee 6). I maintained the BCPL
compiler at BBN for a while in the 1970's, and it was a pleasure to
figure out what machine code to generate.
Then there was RISC vs CISC, where the VAX was a major punching bag. I
was at Berkeley for RISC-I, and was a part of the small student group
that did its register windows scheme.
next prev parent reply other threads:[~2021-11-29 14:01 UTC|newest]
Thread overview: 29+ messages / expand[flat|nested] mbox.gz Atom feed top
2021-11-28 23:12 Noel Chiappa
2021-11-28 23:35 ` Adam Thornton
2021-11-29 1:53 ` John Cowan
2021-11-29 13:48 ` Dan Halbert [this message]
-- strict thread matches above, loose matches on Subject: below --
2021-11-28 20:26 Jon Steinhart
2021-11-28 21:07 ` Rob Pike
2021-11-28 21:15 ` Jon Steinhart
2021-11-28 21:31 ` Ken Thompson
2021-11-28 21:47 ` Jon Steinhart
2021-11-28 22:17 ` Rob Pike
2021-11-29 0:19 ` Clem Cole
2021-11-29 1:12 ` Larry McVoy
2021-11-29 2:23 ` Bakul Shah
2021-11-30 19:27 ` Ralph Corderoy
2021-12-01 8:46 ` Rich Morin
2021-12-01 12:28 ` Al Kossow
2021-11-30 3:18 ` Larry McVoy
2021-11-29 1:18 ` George Michaelson
2021-11-29 1:36 ` Bakul Shah
2021-11-29 1:47 ` Bakul Shah
2021-11-29 7:46 ` arnold
2021-11-29 7:52 ` arnold
2021-11-29 14:44 ` Larry McVoy
2021-11-29 12:11 ` Michael Kjörling
2021-11-28 21:23 ` Thomas Paulsen
2021-11-28 21:39 ` Steve Nickolas
2021-11-28 22:41 ` Ron Natalie
2021-11-28 21:40 ` Larry McVoy
2021-11-29 15:37 ` Phil Budne
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