July 27th, 2014

Hard Stare

And now for something completely different. [Tech blog post, by me.]

[Recycled (part of) a mailing list post: another crack at trying to explain what was significant about LispMs.]

One of the much-ignored differences between different computer architectures is the machine language, the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA). It's a key difference. And the reason it doesn't get much attention is that these days, there's really only one type left: the C machine.

There used to be quite a diversity -- there were various widely-divergent CISC architectures, multiple RISC ones, Harvard versus von Neumann designs, stack machines versus register machines, and so on.

Most of that has gone now -- either completely disappeared, or shrunk into very specific niches.
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