Saturday, December 31


Six* Easy Pieces

Courtesy of Google. These are things I wrote at various points in the past, back in the days before blogs and munu. I didn't take any particular care to record them (for reasons that will become obvious), but others have done so.

Piece The First: The Great Microprocessor Conspiracy

Uwe Sattelkow wrote:

I need general information about CPUs, about architectures, etc. Anything relating to the topic "What makes a CPU fast?", nothing on specific CPUs. Could anyone tell me, where I can get information from? (webpages, ...)

The critical thing is to use fresh CPUs. It's well known that CPUs slow down over time; for example, my SGI O2 was quite zippy when I bought it back in 1997, today it's rather slow, and I expect within another year or two it will be almost unuseable.

This has given rise to a tremendous scam that has netted major computer vendors billions of dollars over the years. This is how it works:

New CPUs are fresh and clean, with wide-open pathways that allow electrons to zoom freely from pin to pin. As time passes, the occasional electron will get stuck in a tight corner, or overshoot an output buffer and hit the insulator and shatter. These particles - electrons and fragments of electrons such as deutrinos and kleptons - are known in the business as "cruft".

The "cruft" gradually builds up and clogs the once-wide paths, so that the problem starts to accelerate. Soon the once-fast system is getting old and slow, and at this point the vendor steps in and offers an "upgrade".

In fact, this "upgrade" is nothing more than a fresh, clean CPU. Even worse, the vendor will then take your old CPU, clean out the "cruft" with compressed air (they used to use freon, but this has since been banned), and - get this - re-sell the refurbished CPU as an "upgrade" to another customer!

What's more, vendors have over time been *deliberately* making the pathways on chips ever-narrower! The broad 3-micron boulevardes of the old days have been replaced by twisty 0.18 micron alleys, and if they're not stopped, we'll soon be trapped within goat tracks just 0.1 micron wide, forcing the electrons to move sideways!

I encourage everyone to write to their local media outlet or political representative to protest this outrageous behaviour!

(Originally posted to alt.test.wombat , Feb 24 2001)

* Plus or minus five.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 02:41 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 What the heck is a "klepton"? Something that steals power?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Saturday, December 31 2005 11:51 AM (CJBEv)

2 The scary thing is that this is posited so deadpan that someone what doesn't know the truth would believe it! In actuality, it has to do with magic smoke.

Posted by: Wonderduck at Sunday, January 01 2006 01:07 AM (mAAjO)

3 So, how's 2006 going for you so far? ;) Happy New Year, Dear Pixy!

Posted by: Susie at Sunday, January 01 2006 12:07 PM (a0oF7)

4 Brilliant!

Posted by: Eric at Sunday, January 08 2006 02:49 AM (3maSt)

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