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Comment Re:AMD is on the road to nowhere (Score 3, Interesting) 133 133

Segmented addressing is actually a clever idea for 8-bit (8080/Z80) software compatibility, it's definitely easier that bank switching on 8-bit CPUs (2600 carts, mappers on NES carts, C64 and CoCo RAM/ROM swap, etc.) IBM probably designed the PC as a generic, but superior machine to run 8-bit CP/M software, and compete against Apple ][. Too bad they did not consider improving their '70s 5100 portable computer.

Comment Re:Intel - weird failure mode. (Score 2) 164 164

The 8MB problem is an Intel firmware bug (older, non-Sandforce controllers). If you don't care about your data, ATA "security erase" can make it usable again. I think I used the DOS-based hdderase, and after a few problems it went through. Intel's DOS-based flash idiotically ignores the SSD because it identifies itself as "BAD_CTX"...

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 309 309

The only programming language available in all web browsers is Javascript, which is horrendously bad for large projects, even Google and Microsoft made languages that generate Javascript code (Dart, Typescript). Another problem is that Javascript code is plain text, offline apps entire code is easy to read (even after de-ofuscating).

Plugin? On iOS, Apple won't ever allow any plug-in that can run its own apps (everything must be from Apple store).

Comment Re:Fsck x86 (Score 1) 230 230

x86 survived because of price/performance caused by fierce competition (Intel, AMD, Cyrix, Rise, Centaur, etc.), and popularity of Windows/DOS. It was fun experiencing how x86 beat faster RISC CPUs (Alpha, PowerPC, Itanium) when there were builds of Windows NT.

Now, people are downgrading to ARM to use their low-power, low-performance portable toys (tablets, smartphones) running inferior operating systems. Sadly, Intel did an horrendous job with the Atom until 2-3 years ago, and Microsoft did even worse releasing the bloated Vista, which was awful for the now-dead netbook market.

Atoms are finally good enough, but still, the absurd 2GB RAM limit, and high power consumption (most Windows tablets can't charge from USB hub or PC) is still not good enough for Windows 8 (the real one, not RT).

And, please don't teach your kids x86 ASM. Modern C++ compilers generate good optimized code, runtime libraries are optimized. Besides, x86 code looks backwards, instruction set origins are from a 1970 terminal! (datapoint 2200), has endianness from hell, few registers, etc.

Comment Re:How about Microsoft Access? (Score 1) 281 281

I agree, it might qualify for non-profit versions of Windows. If Access doesn't qualify, anyway the MS Access Runtime is free. It's the full MS Access, w/o menus or IDE, although all menu options are available from VBA. Access Runtime might work in Wine, but I don't think the EULA allows it.

Besides, porting can be impossible, Access is quite unique: VBA (functions can be called in forms, reports, and even from SQL), Eval() (self-executing code), reporting is unique, Win32 API calls, and, it can automate any other Office application.

Comment Re:VBA ?!? (Score 1) 226 226

Learning kids to program using VBA is like learning to cycle using a pogo-stick.

...easy to use pogo stick commonly found in workplaces that can automate Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Access. I admit it's an awful programming language, but it's not that far away from PHP (Hack improves it), and Javascript (TypeScript, Dart).

Anyway, US schools have historically used technology as expensive educational toys, not for programming or other useful practical things. BASIC was barely taught in the 80's when it was built-in all micros/PCs, and most computer magazines included program listings, for example, Compute! and Family Computing.

Comment Re:It's about jailbreaking. (Score 1) 512 512

I was guessing the 64-bit move was for Apple compete against desktops in the current BYOD trend... Microsoft is doing the exact opposite with Windows RT, especially with Intel power savings improvements in Haswell CPUs, and, resurrecting the neglected Atoms. I wonder is Apple was expecting the Surface Pro to do better. It's significantly more powerful than any Android or iPad tablet, has a great pen device, and... there's no Apple Mac tablet.

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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