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December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
Hello Nick,

>> no one forcing you to buy a new PC and DMD will continue to support
>> 32bit for a long time, I presume. but you cannot force people who did
>> buy a new PC in the last few *years* to be limited to your old
>> ancient hardware.
>> 
> A *few* years is not nearly a long as most people in the tech sector
> would like to believe (And one hell of a far cry from "ancient").
> Something that's only a few years old is still very useful, as well it
> *should* be. If you feel like you have to replace a machine every
> couple of years, you're wasting your money. (I'm using the general
> "you" here, not *you* specifically.) It's just an example of this
> society's rampant over-consumerism (ie, the so-called "consumer
> whore") and ever-decreasing pragmatism.
> 


Although your manner tends toward aggressive here, you have some very good 
points. :)

Our society is indeed caught up in over-consumerisim.   A 64-bit port will 
appear eventually because of demand.  For a few people the need will be a 
valid one; but for most, the port will only satisfy the ever-growing /perception/ 
of the need, rather than the need itself.  For consumers, this has been how 
the computer industry has operated for awhile.

Incidentally, I'm still using my Compaq Presario X1000 laptop (Pentium M 
1.4 GHz) which is probably close to 6 years old now.  I've updated certain 
aspects of it and fixed it a couple of times.  Amazingly it keeps running... 
and performs quite well for my needs.  But... I do recall the days when I 
used to throw money at computer upgrade after computer upgrade... probably 
every year.  For me, that was a huge waste of money, and I look back in horror 
at my spending practice.  For businesses, I imagine annual upgrades might 
be a necessity, however.

-JJR
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> Ah ha, there's that usual "if you go and buy a PC" catch. Which begs the 
> question, why would I? My existing system does everything I need it to do 
> perfectly fine. And since I'm not petty enough to allow anyone to shame me 
> into buying a new system just by calling my *current* system "legacy", that 
> leaves no real reason for me to buy a new one.

I agree that often there is little incentive to upgrade. In particular 
incentive can be negative when it comes to Vista vs. XP.

[snip]
>> so supporting 64bit is just supporting the current technology. it's not 
>> about fancy servers or anything like that, just supporting the current 
>> standards. that's a minimun that should be expected from any compiler 
>> implementation nowadays.
>> b) even though for now there is a compatability mode in most OSes, why 
>> would I want to limit the performance and abilities of my PC to old 
>> technology which is being faded away?
>>
> 
> Even in 32-bit "legacy" mode, 64-bit systems are absurdly fast anyway.

Talk about adding insult to injury. This is a rather random statement to 
make. Really, browsing the Web, writing documents, or writing emails is 
all you want from a computer? I'd say, until computers are not at least 
potentially capable of doing most intellectual tasks that people do, 
we're not in the position to say that computers are fast enough. When 
seen from that perspective, computers are absurdly slow and scarce in 
resources. The human brain's capacity bypasses our largest systems by a 
few orders of magnitude, and if we want to claim doing anything close, 
we should at least have that capacity. But even way, way before that, 
any NLP or speech recognition system that does anything interesting 
needs days, weeks, or months to train on computer clusters, when it all 
should run in real time. Please understand that from that perspective 
the claim that computers are plenty fast and memory is plenty large is 
rather shortsighted.


Andrei
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
John Reimer wrote:
> Incidentally, I'm still using my Compaq Presario X1000 laptop (Pentium M 
> 1.4 GHz) which is probably close to 6 years old now.  I've updated 
> certain aspects of it and fixed it a couple of times.  Amazingly it 
> keeps running... and performs quite well for my needs.

As my main machine, I use a P4 at 1.6 GHz, 512 Mb ram. I'm not sure how 
old it is, but when the power supply failed and I went to the nerd store 
to replace it, the guy said "I haven't seen one of these power supply 
configurations in years!" He sent me to the local pc recycler, where I 
got one out of a bin for $10.

Compilers don't need a lot of horsepower, and I'm not a gamer, so this 
machine has been just fine.
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
BCS wrote:
> Reply to Andrei,
> 
>> In my opinion, it's not application pressure that drives 64-bit
>> machine adoption, now or in the near future. It's RAM price,
>> availability, and usefulness. A 32-bit machine cannot gainfully have
>> more than 4GB of RAM, period.
> 
> IIRC 32 bit Intel chips can address more like 64GB of RAM (I can't find 
> the ref but I seem to recall about 4 extra address bits). It's just 
> virtual address spaces that are limited to 4GB (or 2-3GB after the OS 
> takes it's pound of flesh)
> As pointed out, only a few apps need anything near 2GB of RAM per process.

Even if only a few apps need anything near 2GB of RAM per process, their 
sum will exceed that limit rather quickly, which gives strong 
justification to 64-bit OSs. (Not sure if you meant to basically say the 
same.)

The real problem is that there are applications that need as much memory 
as they could possibly get, and for those dmd simply offers no option.


Andrei
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
Reply to Andrei,

> BCS wrote:
> 
>> Reply to Andrei,
>> 
>>> In my opinion, it's not application pressure that drives 64-bit
>>> machine adoption, now or in the near future. It's RAM price,
>>> availability, and usefulness. A 32-bit machine cannot gainfully have
>>> more than 4GB of RAM, period.
>>> 
>> IIRC 32 bit Intel chips can address more like 64GB of RAM (I can't
>> find
>> the ref but I seem to recall about 4 extra address bits). It's just
>> virtual address spaces that are limited to 4GB (or 2-3GB after the OS
>> takes it's pound of flesh)
>> As pointed out, only a few apps need anything near 2GB of RAM per
>> process.

found a ref:  

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa366778.aspx
http://forums11.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=1168664

the CPU limit has to be >=128GB (look at Server 2003) or it might be 64GB 
(re linux)

> Even if only a few apps need anything near 2GB of RAM per process,
> their sum will exceed that limit rather quickly, which gives strong
> justification to 64-bit OSs. (Not sure if you meant to basically say
> the same.)

Most people will not have problems with 2GB/process limits, those that do 
can go 64bit. Most people won't have much use for more than about 8-16GB 
total of RAM and those are well within the CPU's limit (but outside the OS's 
[vista/XP]).

My point is that few people are pushing either the per process or system 
total memory limits of the x86-32bit CPUs and need something that only 64bit 
CPU's will give them. (OTOH you might need 64bit to run the OS you need to 
get at enough RAM)

> 
> The real problem is that there are applications that need as much
> memory as they could possibly get, and for those dmd simply offers no
> option.

Agree. Compilers seem to need to be written for the corner cases. "No one 
will ever need to do that" is never a valid answer.

> 
> Andrei
>
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
Reply to Walter,

> Compilers don't need a lot of horsepower
> 

LOL, but then I'm me.
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> "Yigal Chripun" <yigal100@gmail.com> wrote in message 
> news:gj6e3m$1ilv$1@digitalmars.com...
>> two things:
>> a) current hardware is 64bit (if you go and buy a PC),
> 
> Ah ha, there's that usual "if you go and buy a PC" catch. Which begs the 
> question, why would I? My existing system does everything I need it to do 
> perfectly fine. And since I'm not petty enough to allow anyone to shame me 
> into buying a new system just by calling my *current* system "legacy", that 
> leaves no real reason for me to buy a new one.

I tried that. But these days, it's *really* hard to find AT hard drives 
to replace the ones that fail.
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
BCS wrote:
> Agree. Compilers seem to need to be written for the corner cases. "No 
> one will ever need to do that" is never a valid answer.

The other thing to consider is that the type of programmer interested in 
D likely would also be one wanting to work with the latest and greatest 
machines, pushing their limits, and that means 64 bits.
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
Hello Christopher,

> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> 
>> "Yigal Chripun" <yigal100@gmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:gj6e3m$1ilv$1@digitalmars.com...
>> 
>>> two things:
>>> a) current hardware is 64bit (if you go and buy a PC),
>> Ah ha, there's that usual "if you go and buy a PC" catch. Which begs
>> the question, why would I? My existing system does everything I need
>> it to do perfectly fine. And since I'm not petty enough to allow
>> anyone to shame me into buying a new system just by calling my
>> *current* system "legacy", that leaves no real reason for me to buy a
>> new one.
>> 
> I tried that. But these days, it's *really* hard to find AT hard
> drives to replace the ones that fail.
> 


Hmm... you just reminded me of one of the big reasons I was motivated to 
upgrade my computers.  It wasn't always about an insatiable desire for bigger, 
better, faster.  I really disliked the whole "legacy" support engineered 
into the PC hardware -- it made things a horrible pain to fix and troubleshoot. 
The PC hardware had to be consistantly designed for legacy 16-bit support 
because DOS/win95/win98 still had a strong hold on things.  Wishful thinking 
dictated that upgrading to the next thing would make things that much better 
and easier to fix/upgrade.  To some extent this may have been true.  USB 
saved us from endless dip switches and jumper changing (DMA/IRQ setup of 
COM/PARALLEL/Network ports were horrible -- remember the conflicts?) and 
improved the idea of hot-plugging. SATA drives eliminated setting drives 
to master/slave and figuring out which drive went where on PATA IDE channels. 
CMOS settings got better and more comprehensive.  Hardware got more integrated 
reducing the need for expansion cards.  

So, I'll have to admit that the so-called "craze" to move on from Legacy 
systems in not really as bad as it sounds.  Legacy systems were really quite 
horrid to use and  setup for many years.  So much of the advantage of modern 
system is reduced complexity in terms of upgrades and maintenance.  There 
were certainly advantages to be had the more removed one advanced from the 
legacy hardware.

I may have actually reached a point where my motivation to upgrade was significantly 
dampened by the fact that PC's technology had finally progressed to a more 
acceptable usability/maintenance levels.  Improvements in technology seem 
to be less about usability now and more about power and performance.  Perhaps, 
we've just finally managed to shake all those legacy trappings that were 
hampering us for so long.

-JJR
December 28, 2008
Re: dmd platform support - poll
On Sun, Dec 28, 2008 at 12:50 PM, John Reimer <terminal.node@gmail.com> wrote:

> I may have actually reached a point where my motivation to upgrade was
> significantly dampened by the fact that PC's technology had finally
> progressed to a more acceptable usability/maintenance levels.  Improvements
> in technology seem to be less about usability now and more about power and
> performance.  Perhaps, we've just finally managed to shake all those legacy
> trappings that were hampering us for so long.

I think that's the real issue.  For the kinds of things 90% of users
need, current PCs are plenty fast.  Really faster than they need to
be. That's why computer hardware folks are sweating, particularly
processor makers.  The number of people who can benefit from their
latest and greatest is just not as large a percentage of folks as it
used to be.    I agree with Andrei that we haven't even come close to
the limit of the number of cycles we can use yet, but it seems we're
at a bit of a dip in terms of the number of useful new applications
possible with the number of cycles we have.  We have way more power
than we need for doing word processing, but still not enough to do
interesting AI.  That's assuming we even knew how to do some kind of
AI that would be useful to average users.

--bb
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