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Re: fast beer

Roland Spatzenegger - Mon Jul 26 12:46:43 1999


Micro was a real-time operator and dedicated multi-user.  His broad-band 
protocol made it easy for him to interface with numerous input/output 
devices, even if it meant time-sharing.

One evening he arrived home just as the Sun was crashing, and had parked 
his Motorola 68040 in the main drive (he had missed the 5100 bus that 
morning), when he noticed an elegant piece of liveware admiring the daisy 
wheels in his garden.  He thought to himself, "She looks user-friendly.  
I'll see if she'd like an update tonight."

Mini was her name, and she was delightfully engineered with eyes like COBOL 
and a PR1ME mainframe architecture that set Micro's peripherals networking 
all over the place.

He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin, 32-bit 
floating point processors and enquired "How are you, Honeywell?".  "Yes, I am 
well", she responded, batting her optical fibers engagingly and smoothing her 
console over her curvilinear functions.

Micro settled for a straight line approximation.  "I'm stand-alone tonight", 
he said, "How about computing a vector to my base address?  I'll output a 
byte to eat, and maybe we could get offset later on."

Mini ran a priority process for 2.6 milliseconds, then transmitted 8 K.  "I've 
been dumped myself recently, and a new page is just what I need to refresh my 
disks.  I'll park my machine cycle in your background and meet you inside." 
She walked off, leaving Micro admiring her solenoids and thinking, "Wow, what 
a global variable, I wonder if she'd like my firmware?"

They sat down at the process table to top of form feed of fiche and chips and a
bucket of baudot.  Mini was in conversation mode and expanded on ambiguous
arguments while Micro gave the occassional acknowledgements, although, in 
reality, he was analyzing the shortest and least critical path to her entry 
point.  He finally settled on the old 'Would you like to_see_my_benchmark 
routine', but Mini was again one step ahead.

Suddenly she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal the full 
functionality of her operating system software.  "Let's get BASIC, you RAM", 
she said.  Micro was loaded by this; his hardware was in danger of overflowing 
its output buffer, a hang-up that Micro had consulted his analyst about.  
"Core", was all he could say, as she prepared to log him off.

Micro soon recovered, however, when Mini went down on the DEC and opened her 
divide files to reveal her data set ready.  He accessed his fully packed root 
device and was just about to start pushing into her CPU stack, when she 
attempted an escape sequence.

"No, no!", she cried, "You're not shielded!"

"Reset, Baby", he replied, "I've been debugged."

"But I haven't got my current loop enabled, and I can't support child
processes", she protested.

"Don't run away", he said, "I'll generate an interrupt."

"No, that's too error prone, and I can't abort because of my design 
philosophy."

Micro was locked in by this stage, though, and could not be turned off.  But 
Mini soon stopped his thrashing by introducing a coltage spike into his main 
supply, whereupon he fell over with a head crash and went to sleep.

"Computers!", she thought, as she recompiled herself.  "All they ever think of 
is hex!" 





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