Computers and heat density

Bill Sudbrink wh.sudbrink at
Sun Aug 13 19:34:20 CDT 2006

Don wrote:
> Jules Richardson wrote:
> > Tim Shoppa wrote:
> >> Jules Richardson <julesrichardsonuk at> wrote:
> >>> Why it's getting steadily worse, I don't know. I'm tempted to lay the
> >>> blame at the feet of faster and more widespread communications; if
> >>> people can communicate more quickly and further afield then there'll
> >>> be more pressure to get a job done as quickly as possible and with an
> >>> eye to short-term savings only.
> >>
> >> I was tempted to think that in the 2000 era we had gotten past the hump
> >> of "buy more hardware because it's cheap" stage.
> >
> > I think the problem there was that the software guys saw that people
> > were buying lots of hardware because it was cheap, and bloated their
> > code out to match :(
> And, to be honest, I think "we" (developers, etc.) also take
> advantage of the improvements in technology.  Laziness creeps
> in.  E.g., I had to write a nice little search algorithm
> to minimize a function.  I didn't hesitate to pass int[50]
> arrays AS ARGUMENTS to the *recursive* function (e.g.,
> it will recurse to a depth of ~50 and each invocation
> carries 200 bytes of int[] arguments).  Sure, I could
> write something more elegant but it's a throw-away
> algorithm (to verify some parameters) that I *may* use
> twice more in my lifetime??

The very idea that you can pass anything other than LVALUES as
parameters is evil.  Jackass language designers (Oh! I'm going to
design the silver bullet language that it is impossible to write a
bug in) and compiler writers are to blame.  Really, everything
should still be written in assembler.  C is just a portable
assembler.  I'm not kidding here.

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