Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Jun 2017 19:28 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems

Last week I wrote a Mandelbrot set program for the Xerox Alto, which took an hour to generate the fractal. The point of this project was to learn how to use the Alto's bitmapped display, not make the fastest Mandelbrot set, so I wasn't concerned that this 1970s computer took so long to run. Even so, readers had detailed suggestions form performance improvements, so I figured I should test out these ideas. The results were much better than I expected, dropping the execution time from 1 hour to 9 minutes.

Articles like this are very satisfying to post, because we can all agree this is just plain awesome, no ifs or buts.

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RE[3]: Manual
by jockm on Fri 30th Jun 2017 02:59 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Manual"
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Well most computers at that time didn't have a writable microcode store. But it is also important to remember that that flexibility came at a price.

Intel and AMD implement a CISC instruction set on top of a hidden RISC microarchitecture. Microarchitectures can be seen as the modern equivalent of microcode

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RE[4]: Manual
by viton on Sat 1st Jul 2017 16:02 in reply to "RE[3]: Manual"
viton Member since:

Microarchitectures can be seen as the modern equivalent of microcode

Some RISC CPUs have microcode too.

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