in programming

Computer architecture humor

Hil. Ar. I. Ous.

This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time, but maybe it’s only funny to other computer/hardware geeks:

I think that it used to be fun to be a hardware architect. Anything that you invented would be amazing, and the laws of physics were actively trying to help you succeed. Your friend would say, “I wish that we could predict branches more accurately,” and you’d think, “maybe we can leverage three bits of state per branch to implement a simple saturating counter,” and you’d laugh and declare that such a stupid scheme would never work, but then you’d test it and it would be 94% accurate, and the branches would wake up the next morning and read their newspapers and the headlines would say OUR WORLD HAS BEEN SET ON FIRE.

Link: “The Slow Winter” by James Mickens (his bio at Microsoft Research is also funny.)

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