[FoRK] ridiculous project

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Jul 7 23:48:56 PDT 2013


On Sun, Jul 07, 2013 at 10:06:00PM -0700, Joseph S. Barrera III wrote:
> I started reading again about the EDSAC and I've been wondering if
> you could possibly fit a BASIC interpreter in 1024 words of 17 (!)
> bits each, and leave room enough for a BASIC program. It would be
> hard as even TinyBasic used 2 or 3 KB. Actually, maybe LISP would

Why not FORTH?

> make more sense? The first step of course is to write an EDSAC
> emulator. There are of course a few but I feel a need to write one
> in JavaScript so you can run all this stuff in any browser.
> 
> I actually wrote an Algol 60 interpreter in JavaScript a few years
> ago so that I could run my dad's thesis Algol deck.
> 
> In retrospect, the 8080 was a really impressive piece of technology.

Never thought I saw "8080" and "impressive piece of technology"
right next to each other.

I like the Novix/MISC way of doing things, or at least RISCish
6502.

> It's fun to imagine how the software world would have evolved if the
> hardware world was stuck at the 8080. For one thing, we would have
> been doing massive parallelism much sooner. MapReduce would be

How is that? It had no signalling fabric.

> second nature. And of course counterfactuals are always tricky, but
> if in our 8080 world we were still able to reduce feature size, we
> could have blocks of silicon with thousands of 8080s with networking

Look at GreenArrays F18A
http://www.greenarraychips.com/home/documents/greg/PB003-110412-F18A.pdf
and 144x of that in
http://www.greenarraychips.com/home/documents/greg/PB001-100503-GA144-1-10.pdf

> on the same piece of silicon. I guess this is kind of the Transputer
> vision?


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