Monday, August 24, 2009

(Your Joking)

I pull in at the local Shell service station to get some mints, they are eighty six cents, I put a dollar on the counter. The Indian guy is casting around for something.

"What's up?" I say
"I am looking for the calculator, the machine is broken."
"Mate, it's fourteen cents" I say, incredulous.
"The change, it's fourteen cents"
"Ah, I found it!" He is relieved. click click click
"You are right, it's fourteen cents"
We don't have one cent coins anymore, So what's going to happen next I wonder?
He hands me fifteen cents. (Why were they priced at eighty six cents anyway?)
"Aren't you doing computers at uni?" I ask.
"Yes, information technology."
I'm almost speechless. I have chatted with this guy before, he going to a uni or college for computers.
"How are you going to get on with 2s complement, signed and unsigned stuff?" I ask
"Sorry, what compartment?"
"Never mind, see you later." I say, and exit the shop.
I hope he doesn't end up building missile software.

That night I think about this, can I still remember this complement stuff? Do IT guys even need to know this anymore.

    *= $0000
    LDA #$56       ;86
    EOR #$7f       ;xor 1111111
    ADC #$81       ;2s complement
    ADC #$64       ;add to 100
    STA io_puth    ;should be 14
    ;Another easier way, no complementing at all
    ;Must remember the borrow though
    LDA #$64       ;100
    SBC #$56       ;subtract 86
    STA io_puth    ;should be 14

Hmmm, took me a bit longer than it used to. Peter Norton reckoned that assembler was a waste of time anyway. So perhaps you don't need to know this stuff. Maybe why the HP-16C is dead and burried. But surely there is a line. OK. I can't do long division - I use a calculator. But eighty-six from a hundred? Julius Sumner Miller hated calculators. Kids will become "Mathematical Slobs". He may have been right.

Look what the car and other appliances have done to our waistlines and fitness. What will these 'thinking' machines do to our brains. It's a way off yet, but we could all come to a sticky end.
Deus Est Machina


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