(nil): Andrew Floros (floros(@)wcl.ee.upatras.gr)
Ημερομηνία: Πεμ 10 Απρ 1997 - 06:31:25 EEST
Micro was a real-time operator and a dedicated multi-user. His broadband
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 68000 in the main drive (he had missed the 5100 bus that morning),
he noticed an elegant piece of liveware admiring the daisy wheels in his
garden. He though to himself, "She looks user-friendly. I'll see if she'd
like an update tonight."
He browsed over to her casually, admiring the power of her twin 32 bit
floating point processors, and inquired, "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 8K, "I've
been recently dumped myself and a new page is just what I need to refresh my
packs. 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 a top of form feed of fiche and chips
and a bottle of Baudot. Mini was in conversational mode and expanded on
arguments while Micro gave occasional acknowledgements although, in reality,
he was analyzing the shortest and least critical path to her entry point. He
settled on the old line, "Would you like to see my benchmark subroutine?"
but Mini was again one clock tick ahead.
Suddenly, she was up and stripping off her parity bits to reveal the full
functionality of her operating system. "Let's get BASIC, you RAM" she said.
loaded by this stage, but his hardware policing module had a processor of
its own and was in danger of overflowing its output buffer, a hang-up that
consulted his analyst about. "Core," was all he could say, as she prepared
to log him off.
Micro soon recovered, however, when she went down on the DEC and opened her
device files to reveal her data set ready. He accessed his fully packed root
device and was 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!" she squealed. "That's too error prone and I can't abort because of my
But Micro was locked in by this stage and could not be turned off. Mini
stopped his thrashing by introducing a voltage spike into his main supply,
whereupon he fell
over with a head crash and went to sleep.
"Computers!" she thought as she compiled herself. "All they ever think of is
Andrew Ch. Floros
Electrical & Computer Engineer
Wired Communications Lab.
University of Patras, Hellas