Dale - Computer Science Illuminated 43

Dale - Computer Science Illuminated 43 - 16 Chapter 1 The...

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16 Chapter 1 The Big Picture In the mid–1980s, larger, more powerful machines were created, and they were referred to as workstations . Workstations were generally for busi- ness, not personal, use. The idea was for each employee to have his or her own workstation on the desktop. These workstations were connected by cables, or networked , so that they could interact with one another. Work- stations were made more powerful by the introduction of the RISC (reduced-instruction-set computer) architecture. Each computer was designed to understand a set of instructions, called its machine language . Conventional machines such as the IBM 370/168 had an instruction set of over 200 instructions. Instructions were fast and memory access was slow, so specialized instructions made sense. As memory access got faster and faster, using a reduced set of instructions became attractive. SUN Microsys- tems introduced a workstation with a RISC chip in 1987. Its popularity proved the feasibility of the RISC chip. These workstations were often
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This note was uploaded on 01/13/2011 for the course CSE 1550 taught by Professor Marianakant during the Fall '10 term at York University.

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