[TUHS] PDP-11 legacy, C, and modern architectures

Perry E. Metzger perry at piermont.com
Sat Jun 30 01:41:24 AEST 2018

On Thu, 28 Jun 2018 17:18:31 -0700 Larry McVoy <lm at mcvoy.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 06:29:54PM -0400, Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
> > On Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 05:03:17PM -0400, Perry E. Metzger
> > wrote:  
> > > 
> > > Tens of thousands of machines is a lot more than one. I think
> > > the point stands. This is the age of distributed and parallel
> > > systems.  
> > 
> > This is the age of distributed systems, yes.  I'm not so sure
> > about "parallel".  And the point remains that for many problems,
> > you need fewer strong cores, and a crapton of weak cores is not
> > as useful.  
> As usual, Ted gets it.

My laptop's GPUs are a lot more powerful than the CPU and do much
more most of the time, and they're ridiculously parallel. Everything
from weather prediction to machine learning to Google's search
stuff runs _parallel_, not just distributed. All the simulations I do
of molecular systems run parallel, on lots and lots of machines.

> Perry, please take this in the spirit in which is intended, but
> you're arguing with people who have been around the block (there
> are people on this list that have 5 decades of going around the
> block - looking at you Ken).

You don't remember that you've known me for thirty years or so?

Hell, you used to help me out. Viktor and I and a couple of other
people built the predecessor of Jumpstart at Lehman Brothers like 25
years ago, it was called PARIS, and you were the one who did stuff
like telling us the secret IOCTL to to turn off sync FFS metadata
writes in SunOS so we could saturate our disk controllers during
installs. (I guess it wasn't that secret but it was a big help, we got
the bottleneck down to being network bandwidth and could install a
single workstation from "boot net" to ready for the trader in five

I guess I wasn't that memorable, but I'm sure at least Ted remembers
me, we've been paling around at conferences and IETF meetings for

Anyway, I've also been doing this for quite a while. Not as long as
many people here, I'm way younger than the people who were hacking in
the 1960s on IBM 360s (I was learning things like reading back then,
not computer science), but my first machine was a PDP-8e with an
ASR-33 teletype.

> This is a really poor place for a younger person

I wish I was young. People do still tell me that I look like I'm in my
30s but I think that's just that my hair isn't gray yet for some
unaccountable reason.

Perry E. Metzger		perry at piermont.com

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