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Comment Re: There is no left (Score 1) 383

I get paid $125/hr and the contractor pimp gets about $10/hr on top of that.

I actually don't know what the pimps above me are getting paid for my employment. Keystone pricing is common in retail where every step through the chain doubles the price. But for the IT work on do, $25 per hour on W2 is typical. A 1099 contractor might get $35 per hour.

Comment Re:Why is this x86 and not 64bit? (Score 1) 108

This idea is only accurate if you are a raging novice on the subject.

When I was studying electronics in the 1980's, the most common processors available to the home hobbyist had a fixed data bus: 8-bit processors had eight lines, 16-bit processors had 16 lines, and 32-bit processors had 32 lines. When I got into college and took intro electronics, I no longer wanted to do electronics as a career and eventually found my way into software testing and IT. Now that I have time and money, I'm getting back into electronics as a hobby. With all the datasheets available on the Internet, I'm finding out that there is a wide range of variations for implementing a processor.

A data bus could be 1-bit (aka serial) and I imagine if optical computing ever takes off that that might be the best choice there.

That prompted a lot of bitching and moaning on a microcontroller design with a 64-bit processor that had four 8-bit serial pins. Some people wanted 64 lines out. A lot of people who use microcontrollers don't understand electronics and want something that can plug into something else. Adding logic glue to go from four lines to 32 lines is beyond them.

Comment Re:Why is this x86 and not 64bit? (Score 1) 108

Or a 6502 would be a 16 bit processor because it has an 16 bit address bus.

I was referring to the data bus on the processor. The 6502 was an 8-bit processor with eight lines for the data bus and 16 lines for the address bus (64K RAM). The 65816 was a 8/16-bit processor with eight lines for the data bus and 16 lines for the address bus that is multiplexed for a 24-bit memory space (16MB). The data bus is the parallel lines that run out to the memory chips.

You always need to check the schematics when designing electronics around a particular processor. The 86000 processors had a 32-bit instruction set, but the early models had an eight or 16 line data bus with 20- or 24-bit addressing, respectively. Later models had a 32 line data bus and 32-bit addressing.

Comment Re:Why is this x86 and not 64bit? (Score 1) 108

The interface is not the most relevant feature.

Although I took intro electronics in college, I never pursued it as a career and eventually ended up in IT. I've gotten back into electronics as a hobby now that I have the time and money. (As a kid, I had the time but not the money.) I'm going through various designs to press a button to increment a counter from 0 to 9 on a LED display. My focus is on the "data" lines between different chips.

  1. One line inverted from the switch with a debouncer to the clock input of the decade counter.
  2. Nine lines (1-9) inverted from the decade counter to the 9-to-4 priority encoder. Line 0 on the counter is connected to a LED light as a status indicator. Zero on the encoder is represented by nine lines being held high.
  3. Four lines inverted from the 9-to-4 priority encoder to the BCD to seven segment decoder. BCD is Binary Converted Decimal that represents 0-9 in four bits (or four lines).
  4. Seven lines from the BCD to seven segment decoder to the LED display.

The next design of this circuit will have the nine-to-four encoder and two inverters chips replaced by signal diodes to reduce nine lines to four lines. Zero is represented by nine lines being held low.

If I was using a microcontroller for the design, I could use one line out to the clock input of the decade counter, or four lines out to connect to the BCD input on the seven segment decoder and discard two-thirds of the circuit. Turning on these lines is a programming detail that may or may not require me to know what is going on in the processor.

Comment Re: There is no left (Score 1) 383

Mr criemer makes $25 an hour. Criemer IT Contracting Ltd. bills out at a totally different rate.

I get paid $25 per hour on W2 by the contracting agency. The contracting agency gets paid $50 per hour per by the primary contractor. The primary contractor gets paid $100 per hour by the government.

Comment Re:Why is this x86 and not 64bit? (Score 1) 108

What defines the bit width of an instruction set isn't connected to data bus width, as different implementations of the same instruction can have different data bus widths.

That's news to me. When I doing electronics as a teenager in the 1980's, an 8-bit processor had eight data lines, a 16-bit processor had 16 data lines, and a 32-bit processor had 32 data lines. I recently saw a 64-bit microcontroller that implemented one-half of the data bus (32 bits) as four 8-bit serial ports (four pins). I'm not sure if that's a four-bit or two-bit design.

Comment Re:There is no left (Score 1) 383

Not believable.

If I wasn't working for government IT, I could make 40% more in salary. On the other hand, I wouldn't have 20 Paid Time Off (PTO) days, paid federal holidays, the usual benefit package, and the job security that comes from the prime contract being fully funded for the next four years. It really does suck to be poor in Silicon Valley.

Comment Re:Why is this x86 and not 64bit? (Score 1) 108

Which weren't x86 processors.

That depends on what you consider to be an 8-bit processor. Based on other comments, the devil is in the details regarding the 8086/8088 processors. I pointed out to another poster that the 80186 had an internal multiplexed 20-bit bus and available with an 8-bit or 16-bit external data bus. Unless someone changed the definition for a processor in the last 40 years, the data bus determines bit-width of a processor.

Comment Re:Why is this x86 and not 64bit? (Score 1) 108

8088 was 8 bits. 8086 was 16 bits so I assume x86 should mean at least 16 bits.

If you really want to nitpick... The 80186, based on the 8086, had a multiplexed 20-bit internal address bus and, depending on the model, an 8-bit or 16-bit external data bus. The 80186 was never released for the PC market, but was typically used for embedded applications and IBM token ring network cards. So I assume x86 should mean at least eight bits (for the data bus).

Comment Re:Why is this x86 and not 64bit? (Score 2) 108

Yes x86 is assumed to mean the 64bit version (x86_64) nowadays, which is a superset of the 32bit version and the 16bit versions of x86, all thanks to mode switching.

Don't forget the 8-bit processors. Some of us old timers cut our teeth on those 8-bit processors. Now get off my lawn!

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