Running different OSes on classic hardware (Re: Re installing XP on Sony)

Tom Jennings tomj at
Mon Mar 7 10:44:41 CST 2005

On Sun, 6 Mar 2005, Mark Davidson wrote:

> "low-level" hardware and has usually been very snappy.  Take a look at the 
> original NeXT machines... the fastest NeXT was a 33 MHz 68040 and it was very 
> responsive.   I have an old AT&T box that runs AT&T Unix and I know it can't 
> be faster than 30 MHz, and yet it runs Oracle!

I'm still impressed by a million ops/second. Imagine! One million!

I feel like one of those jungle tribe people who count "one, two,
three... many".

Most of the TTL computers are more-or-less one million -- the mini
era. It's like 100 KHz for tubes, there were plenty faster but
straightforward design ignoring transmission line issues seems to
be these two numbers.

They always seem crisp with a 9600 bits/sec console :-)

More seriously, most people grossly overrate the importance of CPU
speed within some reasonably local framework. We've got students
at UCI doing 3D image rendering, OK, CPU matters there (especially
with bloatware), but for general purpose computing the CPU is
usually waiting for you to type something.

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