[TUHS] curmudgeon credit

Aharon Robbins arnold at skeeve.com
Sun Apr 28 15:34:53 AEST 2013

> What I'd like is a new 64 bit PDP-11.  That assembler was wonderful to
> read and write, only a short distance from C.


> x86 makes me puke.  MIPS and Alpha aren't much better

Dunno if this is the right forum, but I have to wonder about the fact
that many old-time Unix and Plan 9 folks rant and rave about different
architectures.  (I mean, I know people who are *still* pining for the
DEC-10 with TOPS-10 and TOPS-20.)

IF you are not writing the compiler or the low level OS routines, what
freaking difference does it make?  I've been doing C, Unix, C++, Linux,
etc., for over 30 years, and what matters to me more are things like
what facilities are in my C library, how standards compliant a system is,
whether the library and OS behave like they should (cf MirBSD, which is
brain dead on at least 2 counts), and so on.

The only assembly language I ever learned was the PDP-11, and that was
on a Univac system using an assembler and simulator written in Algol-W
circa 1979.   And I agree, the architecture was beautiful.

But even though my home systems and much of my work has been on x86 Linux
for close to 20 years, I don't find myself constantly moaning and groaning
that the underlying instruction set isn't clean and elegant.

So other than the curmudgeon credit, what am I missing?


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