Insights AVX-512 Assembly Programming: Opmask Registers for Conditional Arithmetic Conclusion - Comments


Insights Author
2018 Award
The articles brought back memories!

As our university changed machines, which happened from time to time since the 70's, a professor of ours took the old machine and held Assembler courses which included visits of this machine. One could set addresses manually by setting a row of switches. The result could be seen via small red lights. The entire machine was fed with punched cards.

And before some kids will drop comments as "vintage" or "long ago", I'd like to answer: It is far less old fashioned than one might think! Many programs deal with huge amounts of data: telephone companies, transportation companies (railroad companies, airlines, airports, etc.), energy suppliers, meteorologists and so on. They often still run their machines set up in the last century and any modern replacement is often difficult to impossible. People's fear of the millenium bug wasn't because of the missing bits for the millenium, it was because of these old machines and codes, written somewhen in the 70's and still active. Myself has read thousands of codelines, many in Assembler, only to check whether the millenium bug can do any harm. Modernization is often impossible, because of the lack of knowledge in this sector, not because nobody wants to do it. Furthermore, someone has to write the C++ compilers.

The next revolution will probably be quantum computing, but it is a misinformation that all algorithms will speed up. It depends on their ability to be parallelizable. I already see the managers of tomorrow demanding a switch to quantum computing, but nobody can handle the old codes anymore! And what is written and has lived for decades cannot be renewed only because some economists think it can.

So in this sense, the articles are far more relevant than youngsters might think, if they read "Assembler".

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