Weird computer architectures

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6 Responses to “Weird computer architectures”

  1. Kabur Naj says:

    @#1 A great discussion on the benefits of ternary arithmetic can be found in Brian Hayes’ 2001 column for American Scientist titled “Third Base” (easily found by a websearch). The article also discusses the benefits of using balanced ternary representation (which uses the digits 1, 0 and -1 instead of 0, 1 and 2).

    @#4 Be careful of making comments like these… you’re likely to trigger all sorts of nerds with their own convictions to come crawling out of the woodwork (or perhaps just me). Here are my causes, hopeless though they may be:

    Human Math: Dozenal, not Decimal!

    Computer Architecture: Balanced Ternary, not Binary!

    Keyboards: Dvorak, not QWERTY!

  2. Lars Haeh says:

    I was hoping they would talk about trinary computers, which are base three instead of base two. Unlike these theoretical computers, there was actually a trinary computer built and used in the 50′s. Instead of bits, they used trits. The equivalent of a byte was called a trite.

    They even had one to describe the nibble (half a byte), called a tribble.

  3. License Farm says:

    @ Lars Haeh: Thanks for bringing that to my attention. I am by no measure of the word a computer scientist, but I’ve wondered for years whether computing might make the quantum leap if we could get past binary. Personally, I like the idea of an octary system, which could correspond to both the octave and the primary and secondary colors plus black & white. I think G.I. Gurdjieff would approve.

  4. The Unusual Suspect says:

    The description of slime mold also applies to IP.

  5. Takuan says:

    ****there is a certain beauty evinced in the sparks of life that flash into posts as the planetary terminator advances. As darkness encroaches behind with fading light, the twinkling of live keyboards flares bright with the evening’s leisure as work is done and social contacts renewed, then steadily gives way to sleep and the next wave flashes to light as the Earth spins and the sun comes up…..****

  6. sharkcellar says:

    The Toshiyuki Nakagaki experiment is a great tie-in to the Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ being all about fungus story…

    http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/04/04/the-unsurprising-psy.html

    In Paul Stamets’ ‘Mycelium Running’ he talks about the fungal carpet of forests and the planet. The way he explains it, they sound like the WWW or our highway system.

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