Richard Guy Briggs
rgb at tricolour.net
Sun Mar 20 23:25:04 EST 2005
On Sun, Mar 20, 2005 at 11:11:30PM -0500, Frank Stratton - VE3YY wrote:
> This is a true story!
> At one time believe it or not, a computer manufacturer I worked for, was
> looking into having a piece of memory represent three states, zero, one and
> not (zero or one). Memory was so expensive when I was first around computers
> that it made sense. Basically it would have been the ternary system. 0, 1,
> 2. So two bits could be combined to represent 6 states instead of four.
> Arithmetic got a little hairy. So you had to revert to the standard binary
> system. However computer commands could use the not 0 or 1 as modifiers.
> It meant that a computer would have more commands with less logic.
So, what would have happenned if we had evolved with 2 fingers and a
thumb on each of 3 limbs, or 9 limbs? ;-)
> They set one fellow off to see if he could design a computer system to use
> this numbering system. The company went belly up before he completed the
> project. I believe this was a fitting end to the idea because I think they
> were going to send him to the funny farm. I've often wondered what would
> have happened if he had succeeded.
> I guess we would have continued that until we had multiple states like not
> zero but close and not one but pretty close. Maybe computers would have
> then been able to decide between Frosted flakes and Puffed Wheat in the
We might even have AI by now!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: oclug-bounces at lists.oclug.on.ca
> [mailto:oclug-bounces at lists.oclug.on.ca]On Behalf Of Patrick Smith
> Sent: March 20, 2005 9:42 PM
> To: General Membership Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [oclug] KWeather
> >>[GR] But why does it make sense to count in hexadecimal?
> > Repeatedly multiplying or dividing by two keeps the same number of
> > significant digits.
> That's true in binary, not in hexadecimal. E.g. 2 times F is 1E.
> Anybody for duodecimal (dozens, gross)? :-)
slainte mhath, RGB
Richard Guy Briggs -- ~\ Auto-Free Ottawa! Canada
<www.TriColour.net> -- \@ @ <www.flora.org/afo/>
No Internet Wiretapping! -- _\\/\%___\\/\% Vote! -- <Green.ca>
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