[TUHS] Lorinda Cherry

Stuart Remphrey stu at remphrey.net
Thu Feb 17 22:36:15 AEST 2022

Sad news. Had read her papers in BSTJ early in my career. Very interesting
to read of her career, and thanks for the links.

I'm a daily/weekly "dc" guy (RPN ftw).
Never got into bc. Occasionally used eqn et al.

> Wicat 150WS 27.3 sec
> Unison 32.6 sec
Unison must have been real slow!

Dave H. -- remember LSC's ads/posters:
    "WICAT with *new* GLTC Technology"
Lionel/someone just made up the term.
For a while no-one asked, eventually it was revealed to stand for "Goes
Like The Clappers". ("A Wet Week" more like it)

Fortunately I supported the Unix stuff from LSC Brisbane/Qld. So in my
first UNIX job I got to play with Sun2-Sun4, lots'a Pyramids, one Convex.
Don't recall LSC's Gould though; before I joined?

When our sales reps sold WICAT (68000 or 68020?) it was mostly running PICK
ported by a bloke in our office (another Dave? I recall him destroying a
phone in frustration over the UART/terminal driver). Weird O/S: efficient
on-disk hashed DB; but very prone to corruption on unclean shutdown.

On Thu, 17 Feb 2022, 06:30 Dave Horsfall, <dave at horsfall.org> wrote:

> On Wed, 16 Feb 2022, Leah Neukirchen wrote:
> > Apparently it was a popular benchmark back in the day:
> > https://www.tuhs.org/Archive/Documentation/AUUGN/AUUGN-V05.1.pdf
> Yep.
> > > The benchmark was "echo 99k2vp8opq I /bin/time dc > /dev/null’. It
> > > uses dc (the desk calculator) to calculate the square root of 2 to 99
> > > decimal places,
> Ugh; that "I" ought to be "|" (and I can see other typos), so someone
> really needs to proofread those PDF scans if they're going to be regarded
> as authoritative.  Yes, I can help...
> > > This benchmark has been applied to a large number of machines° It has
> > > (up until now) been useful because most manufacturers have not
> > > optimised dc, so the results are not likely to have been distorted by
> > > attempts to optimise for benchmarks.
> Indeed, when a lot of compilers recognised the Sieve of Eratosthenes being
> used and optimised for it...  Wasn't all that long ago that vehicle
> manufacturers also started doing the same thing :-)
> > > Wicat 150WS 27.3 sec
> > > Unison 32.6 sec
> The WICAT 150 was just a terminal with several serial ports, and was
> p*ss-awful (I worked for Lionel Singer, and had to support the poxy
> thing); I'm surprised that it beat another box, though...
> > I looks like V7 dc used 100-limbs internally, so printing in decimal was
> > fast, but printing in octal required conversion.
> Yep; extra work for the CPU.  Not much of a benchmark these days, as CPUs
> are really fast; when I was supporting Unify I used to use its automatic
> tutorial as a benchmark, and I used to joke that I needed a calendar on
> some boxes...
> Trivia: Lionel Singer also sold the then-new Sun-3, and we had one set up
> at an AUUG conference, giggling whenever someone tried that benchmark;
> what they didn't know was that the prominent window was actually an
> "rlogin" to the Gould that we also sold...  The looks on their faces were
> priceless :-)
> -- Dave
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