17 Mar 2003 ladypine   » (Journeyer)

kilmo gave a good lecture in haifux which made some order in the mess in my mind regarding boot loaders, partitions, cylinders and head. One might expect each head wear a cylinder, right? well, in each cylinder there are 256 heads, it appears. And I almost fell to believe that HardDisks nowadays are made with 256 real heads accessing the data at the same time. Quite an imrovement, I thought, since I read of two heads per disk in 1997...

Hardware has never been my cup of tea. Actually, I see it as the final stage of the "Computer Concept":

  • Write a program which computes something: the area of a triangle, for example. Assume the CPU will do some magic for you.
  • Have the program interact with the user, have it print to the screen, or even to a file. Assume the filesystem and shell will do some magic for you.
  • Have your program actually DO something in the computer world, such as access files, remove them, open sockets and pipelines. Assume the Operating System does some magic for you.
  • Compile your program while taking into account the architecture of the machine you are using. Assume the Virtual Memory and the Hardware will do some magic for you.
  • Stop being childish. There is no magic. Understand how the magic you once had to assume really works. tk, the danger in being named by a number (an ID number instead of my name, in that case) is that any "word" which contains 9 digits is valid. Hence, there is no possibility to correct mistakes in that kind of encoding. There is a limited error detection capability, since the last digit is computed from the others. The only problem is that few people know how to compute it. I do not. And yet, I finally made the Technion clerks (after several months of trying) change my name to what it really is. Now my name finally matches my number, which was the sole solid identification manner so far.
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