[TUHS] Need a new PDP-11 or VAX?

Peter Jeremy peter at rulingia.com
Sun Apr 28 17:45:29 AEST 2013

On 2013-Apr-27 15:41:46 -0700, Larry McVoy <lm at bitmover.com> wrote:
>What I'd like is a new 64 bit PDP-11.

That might be fun to program in assembler but I suspect the
performance would suck.  The ISA complexity implies a microcoded
implementation (with all the associated overheads).  And compilers
generally have difficulty taking advantage of complex ISAs.

>  That assembler was wonderful to
>read and write, only a short distance from C.


>  x86 makes me puke.

Likewise.  Warts upon warts...  It's an abomination.

>and Alpha aren't much better (I was hoping for better from Alpha but they
>seemed like they copied MIPS).

I disagree on the Alpha.  Apart from the idiotic decision to combine
imprecise exceptions with needing software support for IEEE FP, I
thought it was a very clean and well designed architecture.  It wasn't
fun to program in directly but it was intended for use with compiled
languages.  The designers went to a fair amount of effort to avoid
embedding bottlenecks in the language.

For anyone who's into really CISC architectures, check out the iAPX432.

Peter Jeremy
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