# can x^2 + y^2 = square root of -4?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Solar^, Jan 28, 2006.

1. ### Toolman TimGuest

In Blinky the Shark spewed forth:
In the snow.

Toolman Tim, Jan 29, 2006

2. ### Pee JayGuest

Well when I first started work we were issued with either a slide rule
or an abacus!!!!

Pee Jay, Jan 29, 2006

Abacus? You must've gone to a private school. We got a stick, and had to
bring our own dirt.

Blinky the Shark, Jan 29, 2006
4. ### Fred KasnerGuest

I even had a car once that had a crank starter as well as electric one. It
was a 1950 English Ford. One very cold morning it wouldn't start even when
fully choked. So I trotted out the hand crank and it started. Try that with
a 400 HP 6 liter engine with a 9.0 to 1 compression ratio. Could even a
heavy weight weight lifter do that?
FK

Fred Kasner, Jan 29, 2006
5. ### Fred KasnerGuest

barefoot.
FK

Fred Kasner, Jan 29, 2006
6. ### MartikGuest

Can't remember how many Cobol programs I wrote on punched cards!

Remember the "program card" wrapped on the drum for the IBM or Univac punch
card machine?

My favourite was watching a 4 reel tape sort in action - that was too
cool!!!

Martik, Jan 29, 2006
7. ### Toolman TimGuest

In Martik spewed forth:
Whoa - gotta video clip?

Toolman Tim, Jan 29, 2006
8. ### MartikGuest

Wish I did.

This might interest you (from wikipedia):

"Merge sort is so inherently sequential that it's practical to run it using
slow tape drives as input and output devices. It requires very little
memory, and the memory required does not change with the number of data
elements. If you have four tape drives, it works as follows:

1.. divide the data to be sorted in half and put half on each of two tapes
2.. merge individual pairs of records from the two tapes; write two-record
chunks alternately to each of the two output tapes
3.. merge the two-record chunks from the two output tapes into four-record
chunks; write these alternately to the original two input tapes
4.. merge the four-record chunks into eight-record chunks; write these
alternately to the original two output tapes
5.. repeat until you have one chunk containing all the data, sorted ---
that is, for log n passes, where n is the number of records.
On tape drives that can run both backwards and forwards, you can run merge
passes in both directions, avoiding rewind time. For the same reason it is
also very useful for sorting data on disk that is too large to fit entirely
into primary memory."

Remember in those days 64K was a lot of memory.

Martik, Jan 30, 2006
9. ### Toolman TimGuest

In Martik spewed forth:
Oh yeah - I used to work in 16K. Sorts were tough! When I finally got a
machine with 64K I was ecstatic. That was a TRS80 Model III. Later, they
came out with one that had 128K but a user could only access the extra 64
with some fun direct programming. I could do BIG sorts then <g>! Since these
were early "desktops" there were no external tape bays...or even 4 floppy
drives (which could have been used in a similar fashion) so most sorting was
all done in RAM. I normally used a Shell-Metzner sort - small code size,
fast execution, excellent stuff. Nowadays, I couldn't even begin to write
code

Toolman Tim, Jan 30, 2006

Hey, waddaya think I am, old or something?
And now we watch the clothes tumble around in the dryer. Where did we go
wrong?

Blinky the Shark, Jan 30, 2006
11. ### MartikGuest

I discovered the Shell sort back in my Honeywell mainframe days. But for
large sorts we used the 6ft high
tape drives. IIRC 20-30k records would take 1/2 hr to sort. When we finally
got the 20MB disk drives that were the size of a washing machine we started
doing disksorts. We programmers would have fun by allocating the sort work
and source files on opposite ends of the platter so the heads would go
crazy.

Check out these sort comparisons: (click on the horizontal bars to compare
speeds)
http://www.cs.ubc.ca/spider/harrison/Java/sorting-demo.html

Martik, Jan 30, 2006
12. ### LeythosGuest

I had a small catalog with 30mm records in it, it was a simple task, but
it took forever. In those days I had a simple 386sx16 and a single
drive, it would run non-stop for 20+ days, all due to drive head

I got smart after the first day and bought a second 30MB disk and
managed to do the sort in 13 hours.

It's funny how people don't understand head movement performance or
fragmentation performance on todays computers.

Leythos, Jan 30, 2006
13. ### Liza SmorgaborgssonGuest

Solar^ wrote:

I'm not sure if this is the forum for this but here goes:
Do computers worry you?

Liza Smorgaborgsson, Jan 30, 2006
14. ### Liza SmorgaborgssonGuest

Solar^ wrote:

I'm not sure I understand you fully.

Liza Smorgaborgsson, Jan 30, 2006
15. ### Liza SmorgaborgssonGuest

Budweiser wrote:

Do you sometimes wish you were looking for?

Liza Smorgaborgsson, Jan 30, 2006
16. ### Liza SmorgaborgssonGuest

philo wrote:

Does thinking of a lot of it from when you was in engineering school bring anything else to mind?

Liza Smorgaborgsson, Jan 30, 2006
17. ### Liza SmorgaborgssonGuest

Mike Easter wrote:

Liza Smorgaborgsson, Jan 30, 2006
18. ### Liza SmorgaborgssonGuest

Does this topic make you feel angry ?

Liza Smorgaborgsson, Jan 30, 2006
19. ### Liza SmorgaborgssonGuest

Gordon wrote:
We were discussing you -- not me.

Liza Smorgaborgsson, Jan 30, 2006
20. ### Liza SmorgaborgssonGuest

old jon wrote: