Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th Jun 2014 18:22 UTC
General Development

I gave a talk in 2007 that explained 8088 Corruption in detail, and in that talk I explained that displaying FMV using CGA in graphics mode would be impossible. This is because CGA graphics mode uses 8x the amount of video memory that 8088 Corruption was handling. Even a simple calculation assuming 24fps video reveals that the amount of data needing to be updated per second (24fps * 16KB = 384KB/s) is outside of the IBM PC's capability: CGA RAM can only be changed at a rate of 240KB/s, and most hard drives of the era operate at roughly 90KB/s. It sure felt impossible, so that's why I said it.

Then I thought about the problem for 7 years.

This is amazing. I also have no idea under which category to file this, but I settled for this one.

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lost art
by project_2501 on Fri 20th Jun 2014 21:51 UTC
project_2501
Member since:
2006-03-20

The art of squeezing the most from hardware is lost.

Why does a computer with GHz processors and wide bandwidth memory, with even faster graphics RAM, and hardware codec assist .. still stutter? Because the software that sits (I said sits!) on this hardware is bloatware.

Reply Score: 8

no mistery....
by sergio on Sat 21st Jun 2014 01:17 in reply to "lost art"
sergio Member since:
2005-07-06

Hardware is cheaper than programmer's time.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: no mistery....
by Alfman on Sat 21st Jun 2014 03:58 in reply to "no mistery...."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Hardware is cheaper than programmer's time.


That's often stated as a blanket statement, but of course it depends. Spending additional money for a developer to optimize an inefficient piece of code can be more expensive up front, but on the other hand inefficiency can lead to higher recurring costs in general. For example a dedicated server is now needed whereas more optimal code could have run on a much cheaper VPS).

Also the other consideration is the asymmetry of scale between software developers and users. The developer's time may be expensive, but the collective time/expenses incurred by the thousands of people using the software can be even higher such that it would have made more sense to optimize the software.


As an aside, it would be very interesting to find the correlation between software efficiency and greenhouse emissions ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: no mistery....
by gilboa on Sat 21st Jun 2014 05:56 in reply to "no mistery...."
gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

It greatly depends on the type of software being developed.
At least in my field (Network security DPI), trying to shove 100+ Gbps in-and-out of COTS server requires a lot of micro-optimization and even, *gasp* hand written asm code.

Granted, back when I started working in software development (90-something) an average developer was far more-knowledgeable and capable than the average developer today. (Back when man were man and wrote their own device drivers)

- Gilboa

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: no mistery....
by gfx1 on Sun 22nd Jun 2014 09:22 in reply to "no mistery...."
gfx1 Member since:
2006-01-20

One piece of hardware may be cheaper but slow software distributed over millions of computers increases everyones cost.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: lost art
by bassbeast on Sat 21st Jun 2014 13:34 in reply to "lost art"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Because you didn't have malware and zero days back then? Not to mention all the security focused processes, sandboxes, hell even memory management. Back then you were running bare metal and if something fucked up? Oh well, hope you got the OS floppies and none of them are corrupt!

Folks can wax nostalgic about the so called "good old days" but I'll take modern multitasking systems that don't easily corrupt or get infected any day of the week, thanks ever so.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: lost art
by Soulbender on Sun 22nd Jun 2014 08:56 in reply to "RE: lost art"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Personally I *really* miss messing endlessly with autoexec.bat and config.sys in order to create 5 billion different configurations that would work with whatever game or program you needed to run. Oh, and just for fun add QEMM and Stacker to the mix.
Damn, those where the good old days, eh?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: lost art
by tylerdurden on Sat 21st Jun 2014 20:12 in reply to "lost art"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

"Bloatware" is a handy keyword to filter out "Woo" in discussions pertaining technology.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: lost art
by Soulbender on Sun 22nd Jun 2014 08:58 in reply to "lost art"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Why does a computer with GHz processors and wide bandwidth memory, with even faster graphics RAM, and hardware codec assist .. still stutter?


Dude, how bad do you have to screw up your OS installation to get stutter?

Reply Parent Score: 4