Pascal not considered harmful - was Re: Rich kids are into COBOL
Chuck Guzis
cclist at sydex.com
Sun Feb 22 18:14:00 CST 2015
On 02/21/2015 08:25 PM, Eric Smith wrote:
> Having short, int, and long types that occupy 64 bits of storage but
> only effectively have 48 bits of integer value is perfectly fine, but
> it does have some consequences that must be considered.
The reason I asked was because of the Seymour Cray/Jim Thornton
philosophy on design. I don't know if this is reflected in the Cray 1,
but it certainly is the case in the CDC 6000-7000 series as well as the
STAR/Cyber 200/ETA-10 line.
The 6000/7000 machines have a long add (60 bit) unit, but no integer
multiply/divide unit--it's possible to perform a multiply or divide
yielding a 60-bit integer, but it's a bit involved and generally not
done. So significance on integers is limited to 48 bits out of 60.
The Cray 1, of course, didn't even have a divide unit--just a "floating
point reciprocal approximation" instruction.
The Cyber/STAR goes a bit farther in not mentioning the word "integer"
at all and divides the 64 bit word into two parts--the exponent/length
high-order part of 16 bits and the significand/index part of 48 bits.
Any integer operations are conducted as "index" operations and the sign
bit is bit 47. Period--no 64 bit integers at all. Bit-logical
operations operate on the entire 64 bit word. Double-precision floating
point is the pretty much the same on both 60 and 64-bit systems--an
upper and lower floating point part, each being a complete floating
point number with exponent. No integers per se.
I know there was a C for the ETA units, but I don't know if a C existed
for the 60-bit machines. But it wouldn't surprise me if it did.
--Chuck
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