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

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12answers
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How Do Computers Work? [closed]

This is almost embarrassing ask...I have a degree in Computer Science (and a second one in progress). I've worked as a full-time .NET Developer for nearly five years. I generally seem competent at ...
51
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25answers
23k views

Thoughts on Development using Virtual Machines [closed]

I'll be working as a development lead for a startup and I've suggested that we use VMs for development. I'm not talking about each developer having a desktop with VMs for testing/development, I mean ...
30
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1answer
932 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 ...
13
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4answers
788 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 ...
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?
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8answers
2k views

Is it necessary to understand what's happening at the hardware level to be a good programmer?

I'm a self-taught programmer, just in case this question is answered in CS 101. I've learned and used lots of languages, mostly for my own personal use, but occasionally for professional stuff. It ...
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 ...
51
votes
6answers
27k 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, ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Understanding the levels of computing

Sorry, for my confused question. I'm looking for some pointers. Up to now I have been working mostly with Java and Python on the application layer and I have only a vague understanding of operating ...
28
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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 ...
7
votes
3answers
648 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
679 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
413 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
823 views

GPL licensed software installed on commercial hardware

Do vendors need to provide sources, at the customer's request, for GPL licensed software installed on the hardware they sell? For example, a vendor sells an IPTV box and pre-installs some proprietary ...
2
votes
3answers
245 views

Smartphones and tablets for testing

In my work I have started development of a website/webapp that will be viewed primarily on smartphones and tablet. I have now been given the task of buying the necessary hardware for testing the ...