Computer hardware is the collection of physical elements that comprise a computer system.

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40
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Is there a good reason to run 32-bit software instead of 64-bit on 64-bit machines?

Is there any good reason to supply a 32-bit version along with a 64-bit version of any software targeted at modern desktop machines, running modern 64-bit operating systems on 64-bit hardware? It ...
-1
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0answers
32 views

What is the rate of entropy for data stored on a standard magnetic hard disk? [closed]

I recently pulled out an old external USB magnetic hard drive, that I hadn't used for about four years (I thought it was broken), and found it contained several standard compressed video files. I ...
5
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4answers
367 views

Avoiding hangs when calling a native API

Background We have a piece of programmable hardware here at work that we integrate into almost all of our systems. This piece of hardware came with a native Windows DLL (for which we do not have the ...
3
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5answers
175 views

How can Jeff Dean's “latency numbers every programmer should know” be accurate in the context of varying hardware implementations?

I'm referring this chart of latency numbers, attributed to Jeff Dean at Google. The thing I don't understand is, do these numbers not vary from one set of hardware to the next? How can these be ...
2
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1answer
136 views

In a polled interface, is it okay for an object representing hardware to start a task responsible for the polling?

I am a hardware/test engineer currently writing a C# application for a device that does not have any event/interrupt mechanisms. Because of this I am forced to poll the device's internal control ...
1
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2answers
456 views

Hardware accelerated text processing

Graphics processing units (GPUs) are very common and allow for efficient, parallel processing of floating point numbers. PPUs (Physics Processing Units) used to be a buzzword several years ago but ...
38
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19answers
4k views

Would you purchase hardware with your own money to use at work to do your job better? [closed]

At work, I was given a reasonably-spec'ed machine (dual quad 2GHz, 4GB RAM, 160GB 7200RPM drive, Win7), but it was lacking in a few places (HDD / RAM). The IT staff was OK with me replacing hardware ...
2
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1answer
50 views

Hardware under MIT license?

I have some VHDL design that I plan to release as open source. I like MIT License for its simplicity and would like to use it for my code. However, I am not sure if it is OK to use it with hardware ...
0
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1answer
1k views

When does it become mandatory to sign up with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG)?

My company is looking to add Bluetooth functionality to our hardware, so that we can integrate connectivity to our products with various tablet devices. To do this, we are looking to purchase an ...
3
votes
3answers
528 views

Why (most?) retro computer emulators are single threaded?

All real computer hardware works in parallel. So why most emulators of retro systems (like NES) are single threaded (or I'm not right?)? You have main loop and you counting CPU cycles and after ...
13
votes
4answers
777 views

Isn't functional paradigm too divergent with underlying hardware to be generally efficient?

Inspired by a question from SO: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/6623391/how-to-gain-control-of-a-5gb-heap-in-haskell It can be a long debate about FP's numerous advantages and disadvantages, but ...
3
votes
3answers
227 views

How to maintain modularity in C?

I am writing C code with multiple modules like LCD display, flash memory, and GSM module etc. The project consists of thousands of lines of code, in different files. The behavior of the system can be ...
5
votes
0answers
761 views

Slow developer machines - approach with vmware good? [duplicate]

we are using slow developer notebooks. They come equipped with vista and 2 gb rams, which slows down everything. Someone decided a good resolution would be to use vmware clients instead of faster pc ...
5
votes
4answers
579 views

What are the reasons for great performance differences running the same program?

I wrote a Python program that has to perform some expensive spatial searches while holding lots of data in memory. I tried to improve the performance, that is tried different approaches (see my ...
40
votes
9answers
3k views

Looking for meaningful, strong argument in favor of antivirus software on development machines [closed]

When forming opinions, it is a good practice to follow scholastic tradition - think as hard as you can against the opinion you hold and try to find counter-arguments. However, no matter how hard I ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

What parts of my computer should I upgrade first to speed up development? [closed]

I use Eclipse, and the two most noticeable slowdowns caused by my computer are waiting for compiling and waiting for intellisense. I already have a fast SSD drive and 3GB of ram. I'm guessing that ...
11
votes
1answer
233 views

What are the absolute, minimal requirement for containing SE Asian charsets for an embedded system project?

I work for a company that has begun integrating embedded computer systems into our products that we manufacture. We have a pretty wide range of products and they are distributed across the globe. ...
2
votes
3answers
101 views

Data padding for different hardware support?

Some hardware cannot read non-aligned data. For example Bitmap images are aligned to 4-bytes from the header and with each scan line in order to maintain device independence. For example you can ...
28
votes
4answers
2k views

How to efficiently troubleshoot or test new code when hardware setup to reproduce bugs is difficult or impossible to obtain?

I work at a mid-sized company (150ish employees, ~10 size engineering team), and most of my projects involve interfacing with lab equipment (oscilloscopes, optical spectrum analyzers, etc) for the ...
1
vote
4answers
198 views

Making an automotive system more 'modular' in terms of software?

I am working on an automotive project that we are supposed to make more modular. I am a software guy and I have very little knowledge of automotive hardware.I dont have any requirements or details ...
-4
votes
2answers
168 views

How do you learn a language without actual tools? [closed]

I will bring a concrete case here. I have a project involving Sketch and Arduino. Since I was they only guy willing in the group, I had to take the Sketch part. The problem is that our informatics ...
50
votes
6answers
26k views

What is the history of why bytes are eight bits?

What where the historical forces at work, the tradeoffs to make, in deciding to use groups of eight bits as the fundamental unit ? There were machines, once upon a time, using other word sizes, ...
19
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3answers
4k views

How do people define the minimum hardware requirements for software?

How do people define the minimum hardware requirements for software? For example: how can a software development company tell the customer that they will need 8 GB of RAM to run the program properly?
42
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15answers
10k views

How have languages influenced CPU design? [closed]

We are often told that the hardware doesn't care what language a program is written in as it only sees the compiled binary code, however this is not the whole truth. For example, consider the humble ...
5
votes
1answer
264 views

Designing interfaces to hardware

I am writing a library in C++ that is used by customers to interface with hardware. There are many different devices that I need to support. For the sake of simplicity, assume I have 2 Widgets, ...
3
votes
2answers
263 views

Cross device testing for web development

Currently, I do not have a fixed process for cross device testing other than randomly asking the people around my co-working space to test my site on whatever device they have on-hand. This is quite a ...
1
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0answers
72 views

Is conversion from C/C++ to Verilog/VHDL for FPGA a derivative work? [duplicate]

Say I have a C/C++ software licensed under GPL that gets converted into hardware design. By this conversion I mean that the exact functionality of the original software is being programmed into an ...
0
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3answers
146 views

How do web servers deal with issues that arise when a machine has been on for a long time?

It seems to be accepted that computers that have been powered on for a long time and have any sort of complex software (ie and OS) running on them they tend to develop random errors and problems. ...
0
votes
1answer
959 views

How can I test my camera-dependent android app on most devices? [duplicate]

We are developing an app for taking photos faster. We do this by actually taking videos instead of photos and processing the individual images in the video on the fly and combine them to create a ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

What are memory addresses? [closed]

I have more or less 0 knowledge in low-level topics, so forgive my possible ignorance. I know that in languages such as C, pointers hold 'memory addresses', i.e. strings (or binary data?) written in ...
0
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2answers
135 views

How do we add software to a machine? [duplicate]

When we build a new machine, how do we add software to that machine? I know we have assemblers and compilers that convert the high-level code into machine code for it to understand. But having ...
1
vote
1answer
274 views

Hardware-control on one computer. But how about several?

For a while I have been pondering the question of, given a standard interface specification, whether there is a way to allow multiple programs to control multiple hardware devices across the network. ...
0
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1answer
282 views

How to learn new technologies in short period of time? [duplicate]

The title says it all. I'm a .NET programmer, working mostly on WPF applications with C#. But I need to be familiar with latest web development technologies, JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, ASP.NET MVC, ...
0
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1answer
215 views

Why XML is meant to be Software and Hardware independent?

While studying the features of XML, I got to know that XML is software and hardware independent. Can anyone explain me why it is meant like that?
2
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2answers
211 views

How faster could a dedicated chip do sequential squaring modulo operations to break a time crypto capsule?

I'm facing a very real problem and, sadly, I cannot find the answer on my own: I'm hitting my limit as a programmer because my hardware knowledge is not sufficiently advanced at all. It's an issue ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

DDD / Optimizing a specific service belonging to a specific bounded context regarding hardware

Well known is the split of a whole application into several bounded contexts to emerge an Ubiquitous language. while practicing Domain-Driven Design. In general, 1 bounded context = 1 archive file ...
1
vote
1answer
232 views

How to implement RGBA in 8-bit microcontroller?

I have successfully connected my microcontroller to my TV via through VGA adapter i made that convert digital to analog signals with the help of resistors. Currently i am utilizing 8 pins that I am ...
1
vote
1answer
269 views

Using GPL software with closed-source hardware

Does it violate the GPL v3 if I were to use a gpl licensed firmware with my closed-source hardware that I am selling? Or do both have to be open-source, or do I just have to make the firmware source ...
30
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1answer
920 views

Performance of single-assignment ADT oriented code on modern CPUs

Working in immutable data with single assignments has the obvious effect of requiring more memory, one would presume, because you're constantly creating new values (though compilers under the covers ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the absolute minimum set of instructions required to build a Turing complete processor

I have a general idea of how the processor handles instructions but spend my time working in mostly high level languages. Maybe somebody who works closer to the iron can provide some valuable insight. ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Pythonic design for controlling multiple devices through an I2C bus

I'm writing a piece of software in python that will communicate with a bunch of devices via an I2C bus. Each of these devices are going to need some sort of a module or class to handle the ...
5
votes
2answers
479 views

Why isn't exponentiation hardware-implemented?

Why is there no exponentiation operation in hardware, even though many languages have builtin operators for it? Is it because even hardware implementations would need to use the same algorithm as ...
6
votes
3answers
669 views

What is the gain from 64-bit architecture?

I played with 8-bit machines (C64), I used 16-bit machines (Win 3.1), I enjoyed flat 32-bit address space (Linux). Every time as a user (which was also means being a developer for fun or profit) I ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How long is a typical modern microprocessor pipeline?

I learnt some about pipelining but those were 4-stage and 5-stage and I think that modern pipelining typical is much longer and more complicated in practice. How long are typical pipelines and how ...
2
votes
1answer
564 views

Can we illustrate a CPU pipeline with a UML sequence diagram?

I study multicore pipelining and the diagrams are not UML sequence diagrams for instance Why not remake this diagram like an UML sequence diagram, would not that be more clear so that we can see ...
6
votes
1answer
258 views

Hardware that accelerates pointer dereferencing?

Most modern languages make a heavy use of pointers / references: a typical OOP language uses VMT lookups, a typical functional language builds key data structures out of pointers, etc. Even typical C ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't computers come with specialized hardware such as sorting networks?

Instead of programming the way we do, why don't we make specifications of common tasks such as "sorting", and then let the environment compile it to make best use of it's hardware? This way, we could ...
2
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4answers
355 views

idquantique .vs. rdrand

We are currently looking at using the idquantique random number generator device to provide random numbers. There are some issues though. We would only be using one device and we have at least 5 ...
2
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2answers
389 views

Hardware running gpl code

Let's say I am selling hardware that uses the linux kernel. Do I have to state somewhere that it is running linux(or other gpl code)? The reason I am asking this is because I bought a television, ...
7
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3answers
643 views

What is the difference between a stock-hardware and a micro-coded machine in “A Critique of Common Lisp”?

I was reading this article: A Critique of Common Lisp and finding it hard to make out the precise definition of "stock-hardware machine" and its difference with "micro-coded" machines. I tried to ...