Humanist Discussion Group

Humanist Archives: May 6, 2021, 6:54 a.m. Humanist 34.370 - low-level nittygritty

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 370.
        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
                      Hosted by DH-Cologne
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        Date: 2021-05-05 11:25:39+00:00
        From: William L. Benzon <>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 34.366: low-level nittygritty?


Back in the ancient days, early 1980s, I bought a textbook in microelectronics
to learn about that kind of thing. It was tough sledding, but interesting. But
I’ve pretty much forgotten it. Whatever it was, it’s obsolete. Things have
changed a great deal. Here’s a post at my blog where I include a string of
tweets comparing a processor chip from 1985 with Apple’s new M1. It is very
instructive, with photos so you can get an ‘aerial’ view of how the chips are
laid out:

Here’s a post where I include an hour and a half YouTube video in which Jim
Keller talks about chip design these days. You should listen to it. It is VERY
instructive even if, shall we say, a bit obscure. He starts talking about layers
of abstraction at roughly 04:00 and continues. Interesting soundbite: you can
execute a program 100 times and get the same answer each time, but have 100
different execution paths.

I just googled the phrase “chip design for dummies”. Some interesting things
turned up. Might be something there.

Bill Benzon

> On May 5, 2021, at 1:53 AM, Humanist <> wrote:
>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 34, No. 366.
>        Department of Digital Humanities, University of Cologne
>                               Hosted by DH-Cologne
>                Submit to:
>        Date: 2021-05-04 07:01:08+00:00
>        From: Willard McCarty <>
>        Subject: microelectronics of the chip & innards of the OS
> I'm looking for explanatory literature on two closely related subjects:
> the microelectronic design of processors and the structure of operating
> systems, in both areas written for the technologically undereducated
> (like me). For the former, I am looking for design at the level of the
> designers make -- but explained in terms scholars in the human sciences
> would understand, perhaps with some effort. For the latter, I am especially
> interested in implementation of abstraction levels and information
> hiding.
> Any help would be greatly appreciated.
> Yours,
> WM
> --
> Willard McCarty,
> Professor emeritus, King's College London;
> Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews;  Humanist

Bill Benzon

917-717-9841 <> <> <>

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