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17 February 2006 @ 03:21 pm
The legacy apps, they sting so!  
I was born in 1980. This means that I was always taught that CISC architectures are to be avoided. Which leaves me wondering why I am spending today learning how to use VMS on a VAX, the most CISC-tastically CISC-y CISC box that ever CISC-ed a CISC. I guess my answer is: "Nothing sucks like a VAX!"
 
 
 
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on February 17th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC)
And if you ever find a burning desire to simulate old hardware, the Computer History Simulation Program is your one-way ticket to midnight.
Stable Strangeletcuthalion on February 17th, 2006 10:52 pm (UTC)
CISC is to be avoided? Oh, you mean other than the most widely used ISA?
The x86 architecture is a CISC design with variable instruction length.

I think that as chip designs have advanced past the mid 90's the CISC/RISC distinction has become a lot less meaningful anyway.

>Also: is learning to use VMS (which sucks) on a CISC processor not completely identical to learning to use VMS (which sucks) on a RISC processor, other than the fact that the Alpha is newer and faster than the VAX?
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on February 17th, 2006 11:06 pm (UTC)
CISC is to be avoided? Oh, you mean other than the most widely used ISA?

I am aware that x86 is a CISC architecture - but it is the exception that proves the rule. It is the answer that settled the CISC/RISC debate by the time I ever touched a computer. At least that's how the debate played out when I took CS30 - I just never thought about it much after that.

Also: is learning to use VMS (which sucks) on a CISC processor not completely identical to learning to use VMS (which sucks) on a RISC processor, other than the fact that the Alpha is newer and faster than the VAX?

I am going to have to learn both the VMS command set and the VAX assembly language, since the tools we have to update for this program are very, very old (and the tool guys were bigger on FORTRAN than C in the late 70's). The machine that I am working with is an actual VAX - I don't know much else about it, because I will never physically see it. They are in the midst of porting it to run on a Charon-VAX Dell servers.
Doomutilitygeek on February 17th, 2006 11:36 pm (UTC)
As someone who used to do such things, I offer this:
Ha, ha!
Nightwalkerhalfawake on February 17th, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC)
Ah, CISC, RISC and all that jazz. I'm learning to despise it this semester with the joy that is assembly language programming. Honestly, outside this class, I doubt I'll ever be programming with a language this low level. I can definitely see it being useful for the engineers in our class, but I just can't imagine using it myself in the Real World.

But I suppose I can't complain too much, it is programming after all.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on February 18th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
That's what I said. Just warning you.
Nightwalkerhalfawake on February 18th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
Yeah, well, I'd happily avoid it like the low-level plague that it is if I had a choice. But if I want to stick with this major, or any of the related computer science majors, I'm stuck with this class so I figure I might as well finish it.

It may end up being one of the least useful classes in the Real World, but at least I've got a good teacher, so I can't complain too much.
masui on February 18th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)
it burns us; it freezes