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View Diary: Smart Economy: Crazy Market "Logic" & the 486 Computer Chip (32 comments)

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  •  Ahh, the Pentium FPU glitch (3+ / 0-)

    That was monumentally bad. That was bad because Intel discovered the problem after the chips had been sold. The team working on Excel discovered it when users started reporting failures with spreadsheets run on Pentiums that worked just fine on 386/486 machines. I forget the exact details of the problem but it was something as silly as (1.4 - 1.4) != 0.0. In effect that shit storm is what would've happened in the market if Intel hadn't disabled the onboard 487 for those chips, weird math failures (or crashes). With the Pentium they thought they had all the production problems squared away for the FPU was always enabled. It turns out the problem was with their microcode instead. Eventually they made it so their chips could have the microcode reprogrammed. Which leads to the other diary about security in a world where you can't trust the hardware. Once you can change how the CPU functions at an instruction level you can't trust any software on the box to be secure.

    Sorry conservatives, but Occam's Razor isn't a beard trimmer for jihadists. What it means is I don't have to accept your crazy-assed theories as an alternative to reality.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jul 15, 2013 at 12:46:00 PM PDT

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