The Libertarian Power Grid of the 1890s New York City

The image on the left is the original 1890s NYC grid of power and telegraph cables, built by a hodgepodge of competing wire-running firms. A blizzard blew all of it down, causing chaos. After this, the city decreed that all cables are to be buried and passed regulations governing how it is to be done. [...]

Posted in: Hot Air, Memory, SoftwareSucks by Stanislav 19 Comments

The Hardware Culture, or: What They Build, Works! Can We Say the Same?

Yossi Kreinin throws down the gauntlet to all those who believe that a CPU ought to be designed specifically around the needs of high-level languages:
Do you think high-level languages would run fast if the stock hardware weren’t “brain-damaged”/”built to run C”/”a von Neumann machine (instead of some other wonderful thing)”? You do think so? I [...]

Simplicity: The Lost Virtue.

The author of LoseTheOS comments on the lost treasure of simplicity in computing:
“When I was a kid, you could put a line on the screen in two lines of BASIC code.  I had a book which literally told what everything… in my computer did. … Average people typed-in programs from magazines and, typically, knew enough [...]

Posted in: NonLoper, ShouldersGiants by Stanislav 1 Comment