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From: Meltsner, Kenneth (
Date: Thu Jun 22 2000 - 15:12:24 PDT

Admittedly, your mileage may vary, etc. but a 1-MIPS machine was probably
later than the late '70s -- the original MIT Athena target was 1 MIPS (around
1983) and that was considered to be roughly "workstation class" performance.
The original PC had a 4.77 MhZ clock, and used at least 4 cycles for each
instruction, so I suppose it was nominally 1 MIPS, but a "VAX MIPS" was worth
at least 10x a PC, I think.


Kragen Sitaker wrote:

> Eugene Leitl asks, echoing Tomwhore:
> > I've been abstaining from comments on this whole WAP craze, but what
> > can it be good for, given size-dictated dinky displays and keyboards
> > in cellphones?
> The question, "What is a 40x90-pixel one-bit-deep one-square-inch
> display good for?" is rather similar to, "What is a 1-MIPS computer
> with 4K of RAM good for?", which was a popular question in the late
> 1970s.
> The answer is that a 40x90-pixel one-bit-deep display is not good for
> nearly as many things as a 1600x1200 24-bit display, but it has
> compensating benefits. For example, I can carry it everywhere.
> You can put roughly 13,000 times as much information on the bigger
> display, so you can use it for more things.
> But there are lots of applications for these tiny screens:
> - asynchronous notification of particular events; preferably
> ten words or less. Examples: calls at your office number, stock
> changes, servers going down at your office, important email arriving,
> etc.
> - quick access to particular well-defined bits of information: Is
> Alaska Airlines flight 7248 on time?
> - somewhat-less-quick access to somewhat-less-well-defined bits of
> information: what's new on Slashdot?
> - sending one of a well-defined set of responses to queries, or sending
> numeric responses to queries: will you be late, yes or no? Buy,
> sell, or hold this stock, and how many shares? What's John's phone
> number?
> Unfortunately, WAP sucks for all of these.
> --
> <> Kragen Sitaker <>
> The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08. Hurrah!
> <URL:>
> The power didn't go out on 2000-01-01 either. :)

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