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    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2021
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2021
    At least on one system I used, the solution would be 4 machine instructions. No compiler needed.

    This hails back to about 1969. A beautiful vector-architecture machine with virtual memory (48 bit address space, which was phenomenal for the time).
    The problem was that customers wrote FORTRAN (an APL was available; it was almost trivial to implement) and tons of code was written in an attempt to automatically vectorize it. Ultimately, to make the system usable to the average customer, a scalar unit had to be added.
    The point is that our instruction set architecture today is probably more rigidly confined than it was 50 years ago.
    Parallelisation did not seem to figure in the ranking, but rather code conciseness.
    • CommentAuthorAsterix
    • CommentTimeNov 4th 2021 edited
    The problem with most computer languages is that they are used by humans, who are unused to vector and parallel thinking.

    Most semi-modern PCs have multiple cores. (This one has eight and it's by no means state of the art). Yet, I suspect that for most stuff I do, two or fewer are in use at any time.

    I know that there are applications that employ both vectors and multiple cores (many graphics-intensive stuff does), but I venture that the bulk of work done involves a single core and lots of scalar operations.
    • CommentTimeNov 5th 2021
    If all computers would stop updating screens when nobody looks at them we could save lots and lots of energies.