OT: Re: E11 / Windows ME question

From: Fred Cisin <cisin_at_xenosoft.com>
Date: Thu Feb 15 01:04:13 2001

> At 03:49 PM 2/14/01 -0800, Fred Cisin (XenoSoft) wrote:
> >A friend told me off-list that when copying a file, there is a graphic
> >icon of each bit being moved. He suggested that the floating point was
> >required for the OS due to some MICROS~1 OS programmer being unable to
> >compute the parabolic trajectory of the bits without using floats.
> >BTW, 95 will install on the same machine without the FPU (486SX).
> >Which apps, etc. are different? Or did MICROS~1 simply do the FPU
> >requirement to reduce the number of performance complaints about their
> >apps?

On Wed, 14 Feb 2001, John Foust wrote:
> You mean to tell me that you've never seen or used contemporary
> post-95 Windows, but you feel comfortable criticizing it?

1) My friend (who has a small but nice collection of Ohio Scientific,
Northstar, Osborne, etc.) likes to bash Windows, and made the remark NOT
to let me know about the existence of the graphic, but to [JOKINGLY]
identify that graphic as being the FPU needy ap.
I do use a lot of Windoze machines, and am familiar with it.

2) Does this mean that it would be inappropriate for me to criticize a
Yugo if I don't own one? Or that I have to own a Ferrari to be able to
say that it is NO GOOD for transporting minicomputers? Actually, I
generally agree with your point - Ralph Nader does not have enough
experience wrenching, driving, nor owning cars to have appropriate
standing to criticize ANY of them, even VW or Corvair.

> Yes,
> there's a lame animation when copying files. I can tell you a
> number of things wrong with *just that animation* - such as
> that it's not actually an accurate depiction of anything.
> It doesn't represent bits, bytes, blocks or any actual percentage
> of completion in any consistent fashion (between apps)
> as far as I can tell, and doesn't adequately represent errors.
> I highly doubt the code to do the arc uses floats. There are
> only a small number of steps in the animation. I would guess
> the tweens are hard-coded.

3) Once again, we were JOKING about that animation as:
a) producing animation for every bit
b) calculating positions for the animation
c) using float for the calculations
d) being THE reason why 98 "needs" a FPU.
all exaggerations, and presumably NOT valid.

> As for the FPU, if they raised the bar for a minimum
> processor to an Intel level that includes an FPU, then they
> no longer need to compile code that can either use a software
> floating-point library or the hardware FPU. I was looking
> over the Windows 2000 requirements today - they only demand
> a Pentium 133 as the minimum... and that was the "recommended"
> level of system for Windows NT 3.x five-six years ago, as I recall.

That still does not address why an OPERATING SYSTEM would EVER need to
"compile code" that uses float! Certainly many aps might need float. But
what POSSIBLE legitimate reason would there ever be for an OS to need or
use floating point? Can anyone name any variable in an OS that should be
float? Or are you actually saying that the FPU requirement is NOT for the
OS at all, but that the OS is doing that for the sake of some aps?

If I don't care about the speed, why would I need to have 133 for 2000?
Does it still use "i386" as it's directory on the CD?
Any reason why I couldn't create a glacially slow machine running it on a

Grumpy Ol' Fred        cisin_at_xenosoft.com
Received on Thu Feb 15 2001 - 01:04:13 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:33:44 BST