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Submission + - The Intel 4004 Microprocessor Chip Turns 45 1

mcpublic writes: Today marks the 45th anniversary of the 4004, Intel’s first microprocessor chip, announced to the world in the November 15, 1971 issue of Electronic News . It seems that everyone (except Intel) loves to argue whether it was truly the “first microprocessor.” Ken Sherriff's recent article in IEEE Spectrum tells the more complicated story. But what’s indisputable is that the 4004 was the computer chip that started Intel’s pivot from a tiny semiconductor memory company to the personal computing giant we know today. Federico Faggin, an Italian immigrant who invented the self-aligned, silicon gate MOS transistor and buried contacts technology, joined Intel in 1970. He needed both his inventions to squeeze the 4004's roughly 2,300 transistors into a single 3x4mm silicon die. He later went on to design the Intel 8080 and the Zilog Z80 with Masatoshi Shima, a Japanese engineer with a “steel trap mind,” the once-unsung hero of the 4004 team.

Comment law abiding (Score 2) 367

So the FBI wants people to cooperate with them, to use weak encryption so they can unlock data when they need to. OK. Who is going to do that? Let's say law-abiding people will cooperate. What compels criminals to cooperate? What compels non-Americans to cooperate? What prevents people from use their own additional encryption, like putting a 2nd lock on your door? What prevents people from obfuscating their data? Here's the key, see, it's a Rick Astley video.

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Comment one instance (Score 1) 361

Yes, the Harvey's Casino bomb story is interesting. But saying "here's what a real bomb looks like" is like showing an image of a bowl of noodles and saying "here's what real food looks like." It doesn't help you identify whether or not another thing is food (or a bomb).

Comment other points (Score 1) 9

what if you're half a mile away from the south pole? i think that works. what about 3/4 of a mile? 7/8? as long as the one mile south gets you to a point on a circle around the south pole whose circumference is 1/2^n of a mile, I think you'd be good. Would he really ask about miles rather than km?

Comment Re:Who gives a shit? (Score 1) 593

The original note says "To put things in perspective, it [Google] looks like the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers." That doesn't put things in perspective. In 1947, there was a Negro League full of very talented players who were barred from major league baseball. If there was a league of very talented black hackers today, would Google (and the rest of the tech industry) hire them? How long would it take?

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 230

The article talked about 1983. In 1981, you could get the Cadillac of ASCII terminals, the Ann Arbor Ambassador, for about $1000. In today's terms, you might call that a dumb terminal, but in those days, dumb terminal was an LSI-ADM3A, and Ann Arbor Ambassador was the hacker's choice. The LSI ADM-3 cost about $1000 in 1975.

See: http://terminals.classiccmp.or...

You also had bitmap terminal options like Bell Labs Blit/Jerq and BBN Bitgraph that had Motorola 68000s but used them as display processors, sort of like an X Window System terminal, but with their own custom windowing systems.

By 1983, Sun, Apple, and dozens of other companies were selling fancier personal computers with UNIX and other OSes based on the Motorola 68000 series and other CPUs, but their cost was more like $10,000-$30,000.

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