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the absolute least exciting thing in the computing world is currently the Intel processor family and it fills me with glee to think we might finally see the backside of asstastic x86 in my lifetime

@djsundog what gets me is that it's not even x86's fault. There's a lot of bullshit there but the architecture doesn't specify any of the shit that Intel's done. Speculative execution, for instance, isn't part of the overall x86 architecture. They've made such a mess in the name of workloads that their users don't even have.

@djsundog amen! it's always astonished me that the worst microprocessor architecture - almost of all time! - is the one that prevailed

...even if it was sort of inevitable once IBM's engineers built a computer around the 8085 and then needed to get a 16 bit machine out the door in months :-(

@djsundog tbh

I vehemently disagree with the take that x86 is boring (I often see it presented alongside an argument that Power has CHARACTER AND SOUL)

“character and soul” so often really means “haphazard engineering” and/or “a story about a plucky upstart actually pulling it off” - and x86 has the former in spades, being an extension of an extension of a single-chip version of a video terminal’s processor (that’s really what the 8008 was)

ARM has the latter, with how early ARM was developed… and frankly some of the former with the whole complete lack of platform consistency and dropping features

Power, OTOH… it was designed by committee by the 20,000 pound gorilla of the computing industry at the time

…but as far as x86 being shit, yeah, it’s basically impossible to make an actually good implementation, due to the complexity and edge-cases and shit documentation

@bhtooefr @djsundog

that's true. the MIPS and RISC-V are boring architectures, intentionally so; indeed, that's why they're regarded as good - no surprises, so very easy to compile and optimise for (and quite tedious to code for directly).

the x86 is certainly the polar opposite of that...

@thamesynne @bhtooefr @djsundog

Oh, Intel processors are not boring, they cause a storm of emotions... a variety of emotions 🤣

@bhtooefr @djsundog The 8008 was also an extension of said terminal processor. (IIRC, they deepened the stack and added a few opcodes.)

The POWER1 architecture, surprisingly, is basically a redesign of the IBM ROMP processor, which itself was an extension of the IBM S/801 research architecture. PowerPC was an extension of POWER2, and then POWER4 became an extension off of PowerPC, so contemporary POWER architectures have a similarly deep extension relationship, I suppose. ;)

@bhtooefr @djsundog People say that?

I want my hardware boring, and as you point out, the x86 is anything but. 😀
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