OT: Re: E11 / Windows ME question

From: John Foust <jfoust_at_threedee.com>
Date: Thu Feb 15 07:49:34 2001

At 11:04 PM 2/14/01 -0800, Fred Cisin (XenoSoft) wrote:
>3) Once again, we were JOKING about that animation as:
>a) producing animation for every bit

Sorry, I didn't catch the sarcasm. While we're on the topic of
animation in OSes and apps, perhaps we should switch to the
talking, dancing paper clip.

>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?

I doubt this discussion has been heard within the halls of Microsoft
for more than a decade, so I guess it's on-topic. I see your point,
particularly from a classic standpoint... an OS is considered the
part that runs apps and manages resources, not drawing pretty pictures.

But it's like arguing that Linux isn't an OS, it's a kernel and a bunch
of GNU apps wrapped in a distribution. Win 9x doesn't really exist
without the bundle of everything else. Could it be written without
floats? As an exercise. It would be more fun to argue that DOS and
Win 9x aren't really OSes. :-)

I'm sure they didn't want to scare the bejesus out of the first
wet-behind-the-ears CS grad who attempted to use "float" in their
C program and got a link error. So where might floats be? In graphics
code, particularly sloppy graphics code. But these days the OS includes
OpenGL and DirectX, too, which have floats galore. In user-friendly
code that showed percentages for completion or resources consumed.
And then there's scads of apps like "Calc.exe", the calculator app.

>Any reason why I couldn't create a glacially slow machine running it on a

Uhm, it would be glacially slow? :-) And Intel / Microsoft cabal
doesn't want you to even try.

- John
Received on Thu Feb 15 2001 - 07:49:34 GMT

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