Tuesday, August 06, 2019

A Message To A Youthful Enquiring Mind

Kraftwerk: Computerlove

This is a story about lost opportunities, and how I would stereo typically say 

Young people today: you have it all so easy

I think this message has been issued from parent to child for countless generations, but when it comes to Information and its availability in 2019, I really believe that youths today have

Never had it so good

In 1980

Or thereabouts  I wrote and then tried to market a C compiler.  It worked but had one fatal flaw.   No floating point mathematics.  At the time CPU chips like the Zilog Z80 could do addition (in binary) but there was no multiplication.

Now it is approximately 40 years later, and I thought, what the hell, let me finally learn how to do it.  And of course the answers are available instantly.

In 1980

- Nobody of my age, and I mean nobody, had a computer

- Nobody of any age at all that I could speak to or telephone or communicate via modem & Bulletin Board could explain to me about Z80 assembler

- I tried to research, but in the days before the WWW and any sort of public Internet, who could I possible ask?

- I spent literally weeks trying to understand and failing.

In 2019 it was a matter of 2 YouTube searches taking less than 90 seconds.  I present the results here.

Floating Point Binary

Floating Point Multiplication

In Summary
Dear Kids,  believe me, in 2019 you live in a world where anybody with an open Internet connection has access to an infinity of technical information.  Available worldwide.  And for free.   Don't waste it.

And yes, after all those years, I finally understand Floating Point multiplication, in 01100010 01101001 01101110 01100001 01110010 01111001