Tag Archives: CPU

Halt and Catch Fire

So I finally joined the streaming video generation. I joined Netflix back in November, Hulu in December, and it’s only now that I’m starting to come up for air. It’s true what they say: That shit is addictive!

After several months of my new addiction, I’ve now burned through a number of shows that either I missed when they aired or that are only available on streaming platforms. I never got to watch Burn Notice, for instance. Now I have. All seven seasons!

Another one I missed (and have now seen) was AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and I have very mixed feelings about this one. Kind of a love/hate thing…

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Sideband #59: Running Hot

running hotAs a diversion for the weekend: Have you ever wondered why computers run so hot? No? Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s actually kind of a hoot. (We’ll get back to the more serious topic of algorithms and AI, and wrap up that series, next week.)

You kind of have to wonder. Humankind has gone from oil and gas lamps, to incandescent copper filaments, to fluorescent lights, and now to LEDs. The trend here seems towards cooler more efficient light sources. But computers seem to need bigger and bigger fans!

The short answer: It’s all those short circuits!

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Running Code

VN architectureWe started with the idea of codedata consisting of instructions in a special language. Code can express an algorithm, a process consisting of instruction steps. That implies an engine that understands the code language and executes the steps in the code.

Last time we started with Turing Machines, the abstract computers that describe algorithms, and ended with the concrete idea of modern digital computers using stored-programs and built on the Von Neumann architecture.

Today we look into that architecture a bit…

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