Tag Archives: hardware

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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System Code

os-0We started with mathematical expressions, abstract algorithms, and the idea of code — a list of instruction steps in some code language. We touched on how all algorithms have an abstract state diagram (a flowchart) representing them. Then we looked briefly at the stored-program physical machines that execute code.

Before we go on to characterize the complexity of a computer, I want to take a look — very broadly — at how the computer operates overall. Specifically, look at another Yin-Yang pair: the computer’s operating system versus its applications.

This has a passing relevance to the computer’s complexity.

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Reflections: Work & Change

This is a piece I started almost a year ago, set aside for polishing and never returned to. It started as a rant and morphed into a looking back at what, now, might be the fullness of a career.

It seemed like it might be a good companion piece to the recent post, Ground Rush, so here it is for your dining and dancing pleasure.

The original title was…

Vent: Work

Things have been changing recently at work. In fact, for two years or so, lots of things have been changing at work; you’ve probably noticed.

The economic and work scene has been chaotic and scary; our government appears out to lunch; a fix seems far off and challenging at best… The uncertainty and foreboding, not to mention the financial situation itself, has generated many changes at work and in our lives.

Me, I keep waiting for a change that doesn’t suck.

I keep waiting for change that will make things better.

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