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

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18
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3answers
3k 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?
25
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1answer
666 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 ...
15
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19answers
33k views

Do computer glasses work? [closed]

There are a few different types of "computer glasses" available: Steelseries Scope Gunnar Computer Glasses They seem to be designed for long gaming sessions. Seem a little silly, but thought I'd ...
23
votes
8answers
1k 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 ...
36
votes
6answers
16k 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, ...
6
votes
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
798 views

Does hybrid hard drive improve programming experience? [closed]

I'm tired of how luggish my developments PC is. It's Core2 Duo, 2GB RAM, Seagate ST3500320AS HDD - not the top model, but quite a decent one. Typically I open several copies of Visual Studio 2008, ...
6
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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 ...
7
votes
3answers
877 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 ...
7
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3answers
590 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
621 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
602 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
235 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
587 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. ...