Subject: Re: Java is really convenient. Re: Sun thinks about switching Java to S-expression syntax: Lava
From: (Rob Warnock)
Date: 1999/02/24
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <7avouq$>
[Off-topic alert!]

Raymond Toy  <> wrote:
| Rob> How big is "gf256-multiply-table"?
| Of course, the old multiplication table.  Forgot about the most
| obvious way of doing multiplication. :-)

Which reminds me of a piece of computer history trivia:

The IBM 1620 (which was used in an NMR Lab where I worked in college),
like the IBM 1410, had arbitrary-precision hardware arithmetic. Numbers
were literally strings of decimal digits. And the hardware "multiply"
in the 1620 (though not the 1410) *did* use a lookup table, which was
loaded into low core (yes, "core"!) at boot time.

One of the favorite practical jokes the old-timers would play on the
newbies was to alter a few of the entries in the multiply lookup table,
then walk away. A newbie would come in, see the machine unused, and --
wanting to quickly get a chance to run their program before the grad
students came back & kicked him off the machine -- would load & run
their programs WITHOUT REBOOTING FIRST...  (Oops!)


Rob Warnock, 8L-855
Applied Networking
Silicon Graphics, Inc.		Phone: 650-933-1673
2011 N. Shoreline Blvd.		FAX: 650-964-0811
Mountain View, CA  94043	PP-ASEL-IA