Access to a ridiculous computer? :-D

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by Tomás Ó hÉilidhe, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. Has anyone here got access to a ridiculous computer? Something like:

    CHAR_BIT == 9
    PADDING_BITS(int) != 0
    NUMBER_SYSTEM == SIGN_MAGNITUDE
    Null pointer bit pattern == All ones

    I'm writing some fully-portable code and would love to actually compile it
    for, and test it on, a very strange machine :-D

    Or does anyone know of a particular machine I could get my hands on very
    cheaply just for playing around with, something very strange which I can
    get a compliant C89 compiler for? An old supercomputer perhaps? The main
    thing I'd want is a strange value for CHAR_BIT, but I'd be ecstatic if the
    integer types had padding aswell!

    --
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe
     
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe, Jan 1, 2008
    #1
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  2. "Tomás Ó hÉilidhe" <> writes:
    > Has anyone here got access to a ridiculous computer? Something like:
    >
    > CHAR_BIT == 9
    > PADDING_BITS(int) != 0
    > NUMBER_SYSTEM == SIGN_MAGNITUDE
    > Null pointer bit pattern == All ones
    >
    > I'm writing some fully-portable code and would love to actually compile it
    > for, and test it on, a very strange machine :-D
    >
    > Or does anyone know of a particular machine I could get my hands on very
    > cheaply just for playing around with, something very strange which I can
    > get a compliant C89 compiler for? An old supercomputer perhaps? The main
    > thing I'd want is a strange value for CHAR_BIT, but I'd be ecstatic if the
    > integer types had padding aswell!


    Your best bet for CHAR_BIT > 8 is probably a DSP (Digital Signal
    Processor), but I think those systems tend not to have hosted C
    implementations (i.e., much of the standard library may be missing).

    You *might* be able to obtain an old working supercomputer for not too
    much money, but the power and air conditioning costs are likely to be
    huge. In any case, on the relatively old supercomputers I've used
    (Cray T90), CHAR_BIT==8 (the compiler went to considerable effort to
    make this work, even though the hardware didn't support 8-bit memory
    access. But I believe at least some of the predefined integer types
    did have padding bits.

    cray-cyber.org offers free access to some old supercomputers; some of
    them are available 24/7, others are not.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <>
    [...]
    "We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
    -- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
     
    Keith Thompson, Jan 1, 2008
    #2
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  3. In article <Xns9A18EBF80CB1Etoelavabitcom@194.125.133.14>,
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe <> wrote:

    >Has anyone here got access to a ridiculous computer? Something like:


    > CHAR_BIT == 9


    Possibly you could use one of the emulators at simh.trailing-edge.com.

    "SIMH implements simulators for:

    * Data General Nova, Eclipse
    * Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-1, PDP-4, PDP-7, PDP-8, PDP-9, PDP-10, PDP-11, PDP-15, VAX
    * GRI Corporation GRI-909
    * IBM 1401, 1620, 1130, 7090/7094, System 3
    * Interdata (Perkin-Elmer) 16b and 32b systems
    * Hewlett-Packard 2114, 2115, 2116, 2100, 21MX
    * Honeywell H316/H516
    * MITS Altair 8800, with both 8080 and Z80
    * Royal-Mcbee LGP-30, LGP-21
    * Scientific Data Systems SDS 940"
    --
    "There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person
    could believe in them." -- George Orwell
     
    Walter Roberson, Jan 2, 2008
    #3
  4. Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

    Thad Smith Guest

    "Tom��������������������������������" wrote:
    >
    > Has anyone here got access to a ridiculous computer? Something like:
    >
    > CHAR_BIT == 9
    > PADDING_BITS(int) != 0
    > NUMBER_SYSTEM == SIGN_MAGNITUDE
    > Null pointer bit pattern == All ones
    >
    > I'm writing some fully-portable code and would love to actually compile
    > it for, and test it on, a very strange machine :-D


    Such a machine would be interesting for testing portability. The best
    solution is a configurable simulator and compiler that lets you specify
    many of these implementation-defined and otherwise variable attributes.

    Writing the simulator sounds interesting -- writing a configurable compiler
    seems like a lot of work!

    Perhaps something based on a C language interpreter would be better. Are
    there any C interpreters that would make a good starting point for a
    configurable target?

    --
    Thad
     
    Thad Smith, Jan 2, 2008
    #4
  5. Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

    Randy Howard Guest

    On Tue, 1 Jan 2008 17:11:48 -0600, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe wrote
    (in article <Xns9A18EBF80CB1Etoelavabitcom@194.125.133.14>):

    >
    > Has anyone here got access to a ridiculous computer? Something like:
    >
    > CHAR_BIT == 9
    > PADDING_BITS(int) != 0
    > NUMBER_SYSTEM == SIGN_MAGNITUDE
    > Null pointer bit pattern == All ones
    >
    > I'm writing some fully-portable code and would love to actually compile it
    > for, and test it on, a very strange machine :-D
    >
    > Or does anyone know of a particular machine I could get my hands on very
    > cheaply just for playing around with, something very strange which I can
    > get a compliant C89 compiler for? An old supercomputer perhaps? The main
    > thing I'd want is a strange value for CHAR_BIT, but I'd be ecstatic if the
    > integer types had padding aswell!
    >



    There was a DS9K for sale on ebay last week, but somebody snapped it
    up.

    --
    Randy Howard (2reply remove FOOBAR)
    "The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those
    who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
     
    Randy Howard, Jan 2, 2008
    #5
  6. Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

    Eric Sosman Guest

    Randy Howard wrote:
    > On Tue, 1 Jan 2008 17:11:48 -0600, Tomás Ó hÉilidhe wrote
    >>
    >> I'm writing some fully-portable code and would love to actually compile it
    >> for, and test it on, a very strange machine :-D
    >>
    >> Or does anyone know of a particular machine I could get my hands on very
    >> cheaply just for playing around with, something very strange which I can
    >> get a compliant C89 compiler for? An old supercomputer perhaps? The main
    >> thing I'd want is a strange value for CHAR_BIT, but I'd be ecstatic if the
    >> integer types had padding aswell!
    >>

    >
    > There was a DS9K for sale on ebay last week, but somebody snapped it
    > up.


    ... and left the seller negative feedback, in ones' complement.

    More seriously: The IBM AS/400 (iSeries?) is said to handle
    pointers in a way that trashes some widely-held but non-portable
    assumptions. It doesn't meet all your requirements for strange-
    sized characters and so on, but it might be worth while seeing
    whether IBM operates a public grid or something on which they'll
    rent you some time. (If your stated goal is an AS/400 port of
    the software, they might even waive a chunk of the rental.)

    --
    Eric Sosman
    lid
     
    Eric Sosman, Jan 2, 2008
    #6
  7. I came across Univac machines today. Supposedly one of them had 72-Bit
    bytes.

    I also read that one of their machines consumed 125 kW :-O I plugged
    two 2 kilowatt heaters into an extension lead today, and the *extension
    lead* got nice and hot, never mind the heaters.

    --
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe
     
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe, Jan 4, 2008
    #7
  8. "Tom��������������������������������" wrote:
    > I came across Univac machines today. Supposedly one of them had 72-Bit
    > bytes.
    >
    > I also read that one of their machines consumed 125 kW :-O I plugged
    > two 2 kilowatt heaters into an extension lead today, and the *extension
    > lead* got nice and hot, never mind the heaters.


    <offtopic>
    Don't Do That. At least in the UK, 4kW through one plug is over 17A of
    current (230V voltage), and you shouldn't ever try to draw more than 13A
    through a plug. Many house fires have been started in this way.

    In other countries, it's still a bad idea, though the details may differ.
    </offtopic>

    PS: FYI, your name is still screwed in my newsreader.
     
    Philip Potter, Jan 4, 2008
    #8
  9. Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

    Randy Howard Guest

    On Fri, 4 Jan 2008 05:04:18 -0600, Philip Potter wrote
    (in article <fll3rj$kh9$>):

    > PS: FYI, your name is still screwed in my newsreader.


    Get a better one.

    --
    Randy Howard (2reply remove FOOBAR)
    "The power of accurate observation is called cynicism by those
    who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
     
    Randy Howard, Jan 4, 2008
    #9
  10. Too much current

    Philip Potter <> wrote in comp.lang.c:

    > Don't Do That. At least in the UK, 4kW through one plug is over 17A of
    > current (230V voltage), and you shouldn't ever try to draw more than
    > 13A through a plug. Many house fires have been started in this way.


    (I find the ambiguous spelling of "lead" irritating so I'm going to
    replace it with "led" or "leed" where applicable)

    The extension leed has four sockets, each of which leed to a common 13 A
    fuse.

    I should be able to plug whatever I want in wherever I want... worst case
    scenario being a blown fuse.

    (I originally set out writing this post to prove you wrong... but I did
    the calculations and you turned out to be right)

    Power = Voltage * Current
    4000 = 230 * Current

    Current = 4000 / 230 = 17.4 A

    My original argument would have been that I should be able to plug
    anything in wherever I want because the plugs all have 13 A fuses, but
    now I'm at a loss to explain why a fuse wasn't blown when I was drawing
    17.4 amps through one plug... ?

    There's only two reasonable conclusions I can draw. Either:

    A) The fuse is letting 17 A pass, and so isn't really a 13 A fuse at all.
    B) Each heater is in fact only 1.5 kW (or maybe just one of them is
    weaker)

    Anyway, a question I'd like to ask: Should an actual plug or leed
    ever become hot? Because the plastic of the plug from the extension leed
    going into the wall was pretty hot, as was the leed.

    I'm an electronic engineer myself but I still wouldn't have batted an
    eyelid about plugging things in willy-nilly, (even into a mutli-adapter),
    because the worst thing that should happen is a blown fuse.

    I bought a smoke alarm along with the heaters though, just in case,
    and I have it mounted right above them. I've got smoke alarms on the
    ceilings of the rooms in my house, but I've also got ones mounted
    specifically above high-risk devices (my washing machine, dryer, and the
    heaters). I've only ever had one fire in my house and it was in a washing
    machine; thankfully it was noticed in time and the unit was dragged out
    into the back garden before any real damage was done.

    --
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe
     
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe, Jan 4, 2008
    #10
  11. Randy Howard wrote:

    > On Fri, 4 Jan 2008 05:04:18 -0600, Philip Potter wrote
    > (in article <fll3rj$kh9$>):
    >
    >> PS: FYI, your name is still screwed in my newsreader.

    >
    > Get a better one.


    A better what? Newsreader? Tomas (or his Newsreader) is violating
    NNTP message standard, by using non verbatim 7-bit ASCII
    characters in the name field. There is of course a way to put
    extended characters in there, by using a specially encoded
    format. However some Newsreaders need to have this enabled
    explicitly, and some can't encode in that way.

    Tomas uses Xnews, which can decode encoded NNTP headers, but
    can't encode. So he has to provide the encoded field himself or
    use a different Newsreader or don't use extended characters in
    Header fields.

    Wolfgang Draxinger
    --
    E-Mail address works, Jabber: , ICQ: 134682867
     
    Wolfgang Draxinger, Jan 4, 2008
    #11
  12. Re: [OT] Too much current

    "Tom��������������������������������" wrote:
    > Philip Potter <> wrote in comp.lang.c:
    >
    >> Don't Do That. At least in the UK, 4kW through one plug is over 17A of
    >> current (230V voltage), and you shouldn't ever try to draw more than
    >> 13A through a plug. Many house fires have been started in this way.

    >
    > (I find the ambiguous spelling of "lead" irritating so I'm going to
    > replace it with "led" or "leed" where applicable)
    >
    > The extension leed has four sockets, each of which leed to a common 13 A
    > fuse.
    >
    > I should be able to plug whatever I want in wherever I want... worst case
    > scenario being a blown fuse.


    [snip]

    > Anyway, a question I'd like to ask: Should an actual plug or leed
    > ever become hot? Because the plastic of the plug from the extension leed
    > going into the wall was pretty hot, as was the leed.
    >
    > I'm an electronic engineer myself but I still wouldn't have batted an
    > eyelid about plugging things in willy-nilly, (even into a mutli-adapter),
    > because the worst thing that should happen is a blown fuse.


    I am not an expert by any means, but I was told at school many, many
    times never to overload a socket. The only conclusion I can come to is
    that although the fuse *should* protect the plug and cable, if that fuse
    doesn't work as it should then you've got a problem. Fuses are blunt
    devices - they don't trigger immediately and they don't trigger at
    exactly 13A. And, too often, the wrong fuse gets fitted to a plug.
    Making a fuse a single point of failure is probably not a good plan.

    I would take a hot cable as being a significant warning sign. If the
    cable was hot, I'd say it was carrying more current than it should.

    But again, I'm not an electrician.

    > I bought a smoke alarm along with the heaters though, just in case,
    > and I have it mounted right above them. I've got smoke alarms on the
    > ceilings of the rooms in my house, but I've also got ones mounted
    > specifically above high-risk devices (my washing machine, dryer, and the
    > heaters). I've only ever had one fire in my house and it was in a washing
    > machine; thankfully it was noticed in time and the unit was dragged out
    > into the back garden before any real damage was done.


    Ouch!
     
    Philip Potter, Jan 6, 2008
    #12
  13. Re: [OT] Too much current

    Philip Potter wrote:
    (replying to tom who wrote)
    >>
    >> I should be able to plug whatever I want in wherever I want... worst
    >> case scenario being a blown fuse.


    The epitaph of many a dead householder.

    > Making a fuse a single point of failure is probably not a good plan.


    Correct. But offtopic.

    > I would take a hot cable as being a significant warning sign. If the
    > cable was hot, I'd say it was carrying more current than it should.


    Also correct, and also offtopic.

    --
    Mark McIntyre

    CLC FAQ <http://c-faq.com/>
    CLC readme: <http://www.ungerhu.com/jxh/clc.welcome.txt>
     
    Mark McIntyre, Jan 6, 2008
    #13
  14. Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

    Al Balmer Guest

    Re: [OT] Too much current

    On Sun, 06 Jan 2008 14:23:49 +0000, Philip Potter <>
    wrote:

    >I am not an expert by any means, but I was told at school many, many
    >times never to overload a socket. The only conclusion I can come to is
    >that although the fuse *should* protect the plug and cable, if that fuse
    > doesn't work as it should then you've got a problem.


    The fuse is intended to protect the house wiring, and is sized
    accordingly. It won't stop an overloaded extension cord from
    overheating itself and whatever it comes in contact with.

    --
    Al Balmer
    Sun City, AZ
     
    Al Balmer, Jan 6, 2008
    #14
  15. Re: [OT] Too much current

    Al Balmer <> wrote in comp.lang.c:

    > The fuse is intended to protect the house wiring, and is sized
    > accordingly. It won't stop an overloaded extension cord from
    > overheating itself and whatever it comes in contact with.



    If the fuse was intended to protect the house wiring rather than the
    appliance's wiring, then it would make more sense to have fuses in our
    sockets rather than in our plugs.

    The max rating for the sockets is 13 A, and it's also 13 A for the plugs.

    If the extension lead overheats when less than 13 A goes through it, then
    it should be rated as maybe an 8 A extension lead, and accordingly have
    an 8 A fuse in its plug.

    Anyway I've come to conclusion that either:
    a) The heaters are 1.5 kW instead of 2 kW.
    or
    b) The fuse is allowing 13 A to pass.

    I'll look into it.

    --
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe
     
    Tomás Ó hÉilidhe, Jan 6, 2008
    #15
  16. Re: [OT] Too much current

    On 6 Jan 2008 at 17:30, Al Balmer wrote:
    > On Sun, 06 Jan 2008 14:23:49 +0000, Philip Potter <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >>I am not an expert by any means, but I was told at school many, many
    >>times never to overload a socket. The only conclusion I can come to is
    >>that although the fuse *should* protect the plug and cable, if that fuse
    >> doesn't work as it should then you've got a problem.

    >
    > The fuse is intended to protect the house wiring, and is sized
    > accordingly. It won't stop an overloaded extension cord from
    > overheating itself and whatever it comes in contact with.


    You know, it's the mindblowing, breathtaking, pisstaking hypocrisy of
    this group that's the real killer.

    If someone outside The Clique posts something heretical - perhaps they
    assume their C implementation uses a call stack - then it isn't long
    before HeathField's attack dogs (usually the insufferable Falconer or
    the tragic Default Luser, sometimes Psycho Mackintyre or Martin "send
    the men in white coats to pick me up in an" Ambuhlance, sometimes others
    too) respond with a barrage of "OT - not C - not portable - I hope your
    mother dies in agony you worthless piece of crud" posts.

    But here we have a huge subthread, started, developed and kept going by
    The Clique. Let's examine its subject. Oh, amateur electrics. (flicks
    through the precious C Standard) Nope, current, wiring, plugs, cables,
    none of them are their in N7342, or in N334124, or indeed in N2342141.
    So where are all the messages saying "Cabling is an implementation
    detail - take the discussion to a group for your platform"?

    The amazing thing is that I think The Clique really are completely
    unself-conscious about this - they just don't realize there's any
    hypocrisy in what they're doing.
     
    Antoninus Twink, Jan 6, 2008
    #16
  17. Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

    jacob navia Guest

    Re: [OT] Too much current

    Antoninus Twink wrote:

    > You know, it's the mindblowing, breathtaking, pisstaking hypocrisy of
    > this group that's the real killer.
    >
    > If someone outside The Clique posts something heretical - perhaps they
    > assume their C implementation uses a call stack - then it isn't long
    > before HeathField's attack dogs (usually the insufferable Falconer or
    > the tragic Default Luser, sometimes Psycho Mackintyre or Martin "send
    > the men in white coats to pick me up in an" Ambuhlance, sometimes others
    > too) respond with a barrage of "OT - not C - not portable - I hope your
    > mother dies in agony you worthless piece of crud" posts.
    >
    > But here we have a huge subthread, started, developed and kept going by
    > The Clique. Let's examine its subject. Oh, amateur electrics. (flicks
    > through the precious C Standard) Nope, current, wiring, plugs, cables,
    > none of them are their in N7342, or in N334124, or indeed in N2342141.
    > So where are all the messages saying "Cabling is an implementation
    > detail - take the discussion to a group for your platform"?
    >
    > The amazing thing is that I think The Clique really are completely
    > unself-conscious about this - they just don't realize there's any
    > hypocrisy in what they're doing.
    >


    Of course they do not see anything wrong.

    Talking about wiring is allowed TO THEM. If I speak about
    something like generic functions in C, or any "heresy" like
    that, OFF TOPIC is immediately sent to me...

    They started a thread about English poetry that lasted for a week.
    (Around October or September last year). When I protested
    they made a point in going ON and ON.

    --
    jacob navia
    jacob at jacob point remcomp point fr
    logiciels/informatique
    http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~lcc-win32
     
    jacob navia, Jan 6, 2008
    #17
  18. Re: [OT] Too much current

    Mark McIntyre <> writes:
    [...]
    > Correct. But offtopic.

    [...]
    > Also correct, and also offtopic.


    Indeed. This whole thread, even though it's marked "[OT]", has
    absolutely nothing to do with C, and is not appropriate in this
    newsgroup. Please take it somewhere else.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
    [...]
    "We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
    -- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
     
    Keith Thompson, Jan 7, 2008
    #18
  19. Re: [OT] Too much current

    Mark McIntyre <> writes:
    [...]
    > Correct. But offtopic.

    [...]
    > Also correct, and also offtopic.


    Indeed. This whole thread has absolutely nothing to do with C, and
    even though it's marked "[OT]", it's not appropriate in this
    newsgroup. Please take it somewhere else.

    --
    Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) <>
    [...]
    "We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
    -- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
     
    Keith Thompson, Jan 7, 2008
    #19
  20. Tomás Ó hÉilidhe

    CBFalconer Guest

    Re: [OT] Too much current

    Keith Thompson wrote:
    > Mark McIntyre <> writes:
    > [...]
    >> Correct. But offtopic.

    > [...]
    >> Also correct, and also offtopic.

    >
    > Indeed. This whole thread has absolutely nothing to do with C,
    > and even though it's marked "[OT]", it's not appropriate in this
    > newsgroup. Please take it somewhere else.


    True. However do you realize that this, and many other of your
    posts, are multi-posted. The postings are something like 1 second
    apart (in this case).

    --
    Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    <http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>
    Try the download section.



    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
     
    CBFalconer, Jan 7, 2008
    #20
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