RISC Architecture

 I accidentally ran across this video from 1986, and I love it for so many reasons. First, the video is about RISC architecture, which I teach in my undergrad course. Second, it calls to mind a show I really like, Halt and Catch Fire, since the video is from the same era that the show portrays, the early days of my computer science adventures. Surprisingly, given that the video is 34 years old, it still is a good overview of RISC concepts.

Here are some time-stamped highlights:

  • 1:16 The PC alternative shown is Leading Edge (1200 baud modem woo-hoo!) My husband bought this stock way back when, and lost a bundle. He started calling the company "Bleeding Edge"
  • 1:50 The guys play the "RISK" board game (flashback!) while describing technology challenges in scaling up to memory as MASSIVE as 8M!
  • 5:00 David Patterson appears as his younger self
  • 11:15 Ridge Computers? gone to the dustheap of startups, I suppose
  • 13:45 Check out the boxy mouse! The machine costs $10,000. Yikes!!!
  • 19:25 Palo Alto experts highlight problems of introducing RISC to the market. Palo Alto was the research group that inspired Steve Jobs with many of their innovations, which he gleefully borrowed, and then complained when Bill Gates did the same.
  • 24:40 Lotus 123's HAL AI program. Seriously?
  • 25:10 News Flash: Computers will expand class size. C'mon, class size is driven by financial consideration. 
  • 25:30 A preview of new and modern software (sarcasm)

Everything old is new again: Beards. Thin ties. Terrorism. The promise of a molecular computer. 

Enjoy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIccm7H3OA0


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