One-upsmanship (was: Secret Mac

From: Tom Uban <>
Date: Thu Apr 18 09:04:33 2002

At 08:43 AM 4/18/02 -0400, you wrote:
>From: Cameron Kaiser <>
>>> If a formula for determining classic computer cool factor gets finalized,
>>> I'd like to create a calculator script on the VCF website so that people
>>> can enter their parameters and have their score automatically computed.
>>> We need a unit or label for this number.
>>The neuron.
>Feh! Too common, everyone has a few many don't use them.
>First it should be dimensionless, those are weird enough. If not then
>like DB (DeciBell) which will give it a log or exponential character though
>I'd be interested in seeing other oddly shaped numbers.
>A possible name? Calcula with a range of values from microcalcula
>(watch calc or smaller) to Kilo or maybe megacalcula(Sage! or other beast).

A great idea, but "calcula" has too many syllables. How about "ambit", which
means the bounds or limits of a place or district, or a sphere of action,
expression, or influence? Then as Allison projected, we could have mega-ambit,
micro-ambit, 0.1 ambit, or 10 ambit as necessary.

Then we have to come up with the unity ambit (or whatever we choose) machine,
just like the VAX 11/780 was the gold standard for a 1 mip machine. I'm sure
that this part will be the most difficult given the broad range of this
tastes. Something between a Babbage engine and an Apple I would be my guess.
A good check for the quality of the equation would be to verify that the
increases properly with the various machines over the years...

Received on Thu Apr 18 2002 - 09:04:33 BST

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