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Comment old school visualization (Score 5, Interesting) 68

Back in the day, working at an instrumentation company as a mechanical guy, I stopped to watch the senior electronic design engineer who was doing something that looked interesting. He had an old persistence-type storage oscilloscope hooked up to the rack-mount computer for a new instrument system and was watching the scope display, which was producing some fascinating patterns. Knowing f'all about this stuff but intrigued, I asked him to explain what was happening. He explained (and I'll butcher the explanation with layman's terms) that he was using d/a converters on the high and low bytes of the program address? to drive the x and y axes of the scope, and watching to see where, in the software, that the processor was spending much of it's time. He pointed to a hot spot on the scope display and said that this was where he would concentrate on optimizing his code. Fwiw, I thought that was pretty cool.

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