* Posts by Brinkley Harrell

2 posts • joined 7 Dec 2006

Remembering the CDC 6600

Brinkley Harrell
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A waaaay back machine

Outstanding reminder of my past days at Purdue University. We had a state-wide timeshare network running on IBM-7094 hardware that ran as a batch processing front end to the CDC machine.

On one experiment in our Physics Department, I consulted with the graduate student and his professor because they were burning all of their NSF grant money up on the IBM SYS/360 they used. We recoded the electron density probability study (large matrices and double precision floating point) in FORTRAN on the CDC and it ran like greased lighting -- 4 hour runs reduced to 15 minutes.

You could actually run from the 8 word instruction stack on the processor. If you hand-optimized your code, it was possible to make an inner-product matrix multiplication loop run inside the stack. Of course, this also balanced performance on the two ALU's in the processor.

If I am not mistaken, the initial description of the CPU and PPUs was incorrect in the fact that the PPUs were actually 15-bit computers instead of the referenced 12-bit.


Dell Inspiron 6400 Core 2 Duo laptop

Brinkley Harrell

Dell Inspiron 9400 fares similarly

I have a Dell Inspiron 9400 with Core2Duo T7400 processors, 17" WUXGA screen. 2GB of memory, and a 100 GB SATA 7200 RPM disk. I concur with your assessment. The 9400 does come with a DVI connector on it.

I don't like the Bluetooth implementation in conjunction with the Logitech mouse. I find its performance spotty.

I have used CPUz and another benchmark to compare this performance to my Dell XPS Generation 3 with Pentium 3.6GHz HT processor. Other than the RAID disk performance, the laptop literally womps the desktop.

Your comment about the extra Dell software is right on target. I stripped off as much as I could and still could not tolerate the performance. After one week, I blew away the laptop and rebuilt it from the Dell media -- way better!