Register | Sign In


Understanding through Discussion


EvC Forum active members: 57 (9170 total)
1 online now:
Newest Member: Neptune7
Post Volume: Total: 917,354 Year: 4,611/9,624 Month: 386/1,096 Week: 91/119 Day: 1/16 Hour: 0/1


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Tribute Thread for the Recently Passed Greats
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 4483
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(4)
Message 1202 of 1298 (910650)
05-02-2023 11:02 AM


Gordon_Lightfoot
Gordon Lightfoot (November 17, 1938 – May 1, 2023)

Stop Tzar Vladimir the Condemned!

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2598
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 5.6


(4)
Message 1203 of 1298 (910651)
05-02-2023 11:06 AM


Gordon Lightfoot, 84
Another true giant!
Gordon Lightfoot - Wikipedia
One of the very first songs i learned to fingerpick was "In the Early Mornin' Rain".
and now we witness the green dark forest too silent to be real...

"I'm the Grim Reaper now, Mitch. Step aside."
Death to #TzarVladimirtheCondemned!
Enjoy every sandwich!

- xongsmith, 5.7dawkins scale


Replies to this message:
 Message 1204 by xongsmith, posted 05-04-2023 7:48 PM xongsmith has not replied
 Message 1212 by Theodoric, posted 05-07-2023 11:19 AM xongsmith has not replied

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2598
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 5.6


(2)
Message 1204 of 1298 (910677)
05-04-2023 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1203 by xongsmith
05-02-2023 11:06 AM


Re: Gordon Lightfoot, 84
Around the open-mike circuits I used to nickname him
====> Gordon Nanosecond
because it takes roughly 1 nanosecond for light to travel about 1 foot.

"I'm the Grim Reaper now, Mitch. Step aside."
Death to #TzarVladimirtheCondemned!
Enjoy every sandwich!

- xongsmith, 5.7dawkins scale


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1203 by xongsmith, posted 05-02-2023 11:06 AM xongsmith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1205 by dwise1, posted 05-04-2023 9:04 PM xongsmith has not replied
 Message 1206 by Phat, posted 05-06-2023 1:00 PM xongsmith has replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5959
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 6.4


(2)
Message 1205 of 1298 (910678)
05-04-2023 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1204 by xongsmith
05-04-2023 7:48 PM


Re: Gordon Lightfoot, 84
because it takes roughly 1 nanosecond for light to travel about 1 foot.
RADM Grace Hopper (AKA "Queen of Code") used to hand out "nanoseconds of wire" at her lectures, wires cut to about a foot in length, the distance that a signal could travel in one nanosecond (she brought a handful of them to her interview on 60 Minutes back when she was still a CAPT -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LR6NPpFxw4 , 06 Mar 1983).
Just for fun, a proof:
Speed of Light, c = 299,792,458 meters per second   (nearly 300 thousand km per second)
1 nanosecond = 10-9 seconds
c = 299,792,458 × 10-9 meters per nanosecond
    = 0.2998 meters per nanosecond
    = 29.98 centimeters per nanosecond
    ≈ 1 foot per nanosecond
Before integrated circuit technology, computers were incredibly expensive and slow. The speeds that we depend on now would have been impossible to achieve. And the complexity was limited by the size of the army of girls you could hire to assemble all the parts.
In a late-70's interview about the new microprocessor, the "computer on a chip", the interviewer asked the engineer how they would repair a microprocessor. The interviewer couldn't understand the answer, "simply replace it and throw it away", since all computers the public knew about cost millions of dollars.
The Cray S-1 supercomputer (circa 1980) was in the shape of a C with circuit boards interconnected by wires inside that C. None of those wires were longer than two feet (ie, 2 nanoseconds).

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1204 by xongsmith, posted 05-04-2023 7:48 PM xongsmith has not replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18383
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003


Message 1206 of 1298 (910702)
05-06-2023 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 1204 by xongsmith
05-04-2023 7:48 PM


Re: Gordon Lightfoot, 84
Open Mike Circuit? What is the connection between the late beloved songwriter
and Cray Supercomputers?
The only song that I knew from him (though he wrote many)
was The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald which had a history all its own.
Why would you call him Gordon Nanosecond?
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called Gitche Gumee
The lake it is said never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1204 by xongsmith, posted 05-04-2023 7:48 PM xongsmith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1207 by Tanypteryx, posted 05-06-2023 1:12 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied
 Message 1208 by dwise1, posted 05-06-2023 3:23 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied
 Message 1209 by xongsmith, posted 05-06-2023 3:30 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied
 Message 1211 by Theodoric, posted 05-06-2023 5:31 PM Phat has not replied

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 4483
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(1)
Message 1207 of 1298 (910703)
05-06-2023 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1206 by Phat
05-06-2023 1:00 PM


Re: Gordon Lightfoot, 84
xongsmith in Message 1204 writes:
because it takes roughly 1 nanosecond for light to travel about 1 foot.
Phat writes:
Why would you call him Gordon Nanosecond?
Really? You don't get it...Gordon Light foot?

Stop Tzar Vladimir the Condemned!

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1206 by Phat, posted 05-06-2023 1:00 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5959
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 6.4


(3)
Message 1208 of 1298 (910705)
05-06-2023 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1206 by Phat
05-06-2023 1:00 PM


Re: Gordon Lightfoot, 84
What is the connection between the late beloved songwriter ... and Cray Supercomputers?
It was a pun. You need for us to explain a pun?
quote:
Man beseeching God: Why did you create the world like you did?
God, impatiently: Well, if I have to explain the joke then it's no longer funny.
Read Message 1204 and Message 1205 and think. BTW, I'm the one who mentioned the Cray-1S (our class from the UND Computer Science Dept toured their manufacturing facility in Chippewa Falls around 1980).
xongsmith was citing a pun, which I developed further.
Think about it:
  • Despite both CDR Spock and Han Solo erroneously using it as a unit of time (the standard Physics for Poets college class should be augmented with Science for Screenwriters), the light-year is a unit of distance: the distance that light travels on one year = 9,460,730,472,580.8 km (exactly) ≈ 5.8786×1012 statute miles.
    Subsequent quotes in this message are from that Wikipedia page.
    quote:
    The nearest known star (other than the Sun), Proxima Centauri, is about 4.24 light-years away.
  • This has spawned other units, most of them informal, for the distance traveled by light in smaller units of time; eg, the light-day, the light-hour, the light-minute, the light-second, and the light-nanosecond.
    For example, the distance from the sun to the earth is about eight (8) light-minutes, since it takes sunlight about 8 minutes to reach the earth. This was used in a sci-fi short story dramatized on the first revival of The Twilight Zone (or Night Gallery) in which a young boy (I keep thinking it was Bill Mumy) with the ability to predict the future was asked on live TV to predict the future of humanity and he predicted the most incredibly wonderful future for us. Immediately off-camera all the adults were ecstatic but the boy was inconsolably sad. When asked what was wrong, he explained that the sun had just exploded but we wouldn't know that for another eight minutes so he gave us joy before our sudden deaths. Final shot was the camera following an adult's gaze to the window and the sun.
    Communication with deep space probes is delayed by distance:
    quote:
    Reflected sunlight from the Moon's surface takes 1.2–1.3 seconds to travel the distance to the Earth's surface (travelling roughly 350,000 to 400,000 kilometres).
    ...
    New Horizons encounters Pluto at a distance of 4.7 billion kilometres, and the communication takes 4 hours 25 minutes to reach Earth.
    ...
    Voyager 1 as of October 2018, nearly 20 light-hours (144 au, 21.6 billion km, 13.4 billion mi) from the Earth.
  • A light-second is basically the definition of the speed of light:
    quote:
    ... the light-second, useful in astronomy, telecommunications and relativistic physics, is exactly 299,792,458 metres ...
    .
    Therefore, a light-nanosecond is the distance light travels in one nanosecond, which is about 29.98 cm, about 3/16-ths of an inch short of a foot.
  • CAVEAT: the speed of light depends on the medium through which it is traveling. The highest speed is through a vacuum (ie, the absence of a medium) and is hence slower for various media (eg, glass, air, water). Electrical signals travel at the speed of light and hence are also slowed down by the medium through which they travel.
    Fun fact: When light transits from one medium to another, its speed changes thus causing the light to refract. This is why lenses and prisms work.
  • While terms such as "light-<unit of time>" are used to measure the distance that light travels in that unit of time, we can also use terms such as "light-<unit of distance>" to measure how long it takes light to travel that distance.
    quote:
    Light travels approximately one foot in a nanosecond; the term "light-foot" is sometimes used as an informal measure of time.
Per the last, since a "light-foot" refers to one nanosecond of time, then through algebraic substitution Gordon Lightfoot's name becomes "Gordon Nanosecond".
QED / QEF
The Power of the Pun!
 
Circa 1977 in the USAF Electronic Computer Systems Repairman Course (305x4), we kept encountering delay lines without fully understanding their importance. The basic explanation is that they were needed to synchronize the arrival at signals to a gate. A logic gate (eg, AND gate, OR gate, inverter AKA "NOT gate") uses input signals to generate an output signal, but all those input signals had to be present at the same time (and be held there to compensate for propagation delays within the gate circuitry). An example we were given was an AND gate requiring 5 inputs, four of which were generated nearby but the fifth came from a circuit at the other end of this six-foot cabinet, so while four signals were present almost instantaneously, that last signal too at least six nanoseconds to show up. Hence those other signals needed to be delayed by six nanoseconds in order for all five input signals to arrive at that gate at the same time (actually, input levels were not a problem outside of having to be held, but it was the pulses that needed to be delayed). As a result, the switching speed of large computers were constrained by the length of the longest conductor (plus other factors, of course).
We also studied signal waveforms, especially the rise and fall times which were surprisingly slow (remember, this was 60's/70's discrete component tech). The designers of those circuits had to take all those delays into account by waiting a little extra longer in order to ensure that the signal had time to arrive. The technical term for those extra delays was "sloppage factor". And of course having to include those sloppage factors every time you turned around further contributed to slowing down the entire computer system.
Another problem with long conductors was the rapid degradation of the square-wave signals -- digital signals are all square-wave signals since you're switching between two discrete voltage levels. If you use Fourier analysis to look at a square wave's power spectrum (the amplitudes of the waveform's harmonics; eg, for frequency f they're 2f, 3f, 4f, 5f, 6f, etc), you will find that a square wave has very strong harmonics. Since conductors and all electronic devices have inherent "stray" capacitance and inductance, just running a conductor creates an unintended filter circuit (as well as inductive coupling between wires creating "cross-talk" -- the longer the conductors the greater the effect). Those unintended filters would filter out whole sections of a square wave's higher harmonics, the ones that give the rise and fall edges their sharpness, thus reducing those signals to crap. That means that if a digital signal has to travel any appreciable distance then it will degrade into meaningless mush -- rule-of-thumb for RS-232 data cables was to keep them shorter than 25 feet. And of course, that would increase the need for greater sloppage factors.
A large part of my father's enjoyment of being a general contractor was meeting clients from other professions and learning about their work experience. When he did a home remodel for a data processing supervisor, he was given a tour of the data center (circa 1972). For every piece of equipment, he was told which mental hospital the designer had ended up in. The story he was given was that because of the mental exertion needed to get all those signals synchronized exactly right, the designers ended up having a nervous breakdown. What I learned in tech school confirmed Dad's story.
Shortening those distances, which is taken almost to its extreme by integrated circuits, has contributed enormously to switching speed and signal quality. Ever since tech school as I would watch computer tech become ever faster, disk density ever more compact, and systems ever more reliable, knowing the inherent problems I am still amazed that any of it can even work at all, let alone moving such immense amounts of data so reliably.
 
Now back to the Cray-1S. Around 1981 at the University of North Dakota, I went on a Computer Science Dept field trip. In Minneapolis we first visited Sperry Univac and the offices of Cray Research, then we traveled to Cray's manufacturing facility in Chippewa Falls where they were had just completed a Cray-1S for delivery to Japan.
As I already described, viewed from above the computer looks like a "C". Our guide asked us why that was and one student offered, "Because 'C' for 'Cray'?" The guide chuckled, saying that he hadn't thought of that. Rather, it was because they needed to keep all interconnecting wires as short as possible in order to increase the speed of the computer (along with other measures, such as their choice of very fast IC chips). He told us that there was not a single wire in that computer longer than two feet, which is to say with a delay longer than two nanoseconds. And when they still needed a delay line for a signal, they would simply lay a little extra trace on the circuit board, like a zig-zag.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1206 by Phat, posted 05-06-2023 1:00 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2598
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 1209 of 1298 (910706)
05-06-2023 3:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1206 by Phat
05-06-2023 1:00 PM


Re: Gordon Lightfoot, 84
Phat asks:
Open Mike Circuit? What is the connection between the late beloved songwriter
and Cray Supercomputers?
WTF is the connection between Open Mikes and computers, Phat?
I've performed at zillions of Open Mikes and have never run into a Cray Supercomputer.

"I'm the Grim Reaper now, Mitch. Step aside."
Death to #TzarVladimirtheCondemned!
Enjoy every sandwich!

- xongsmith, 5.7dawkins scale


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1206 by Phat, posted 05-06-2023 1:00 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 1210 by xongsmith, posted 05-06-2023 5:30 PM xongsmith has not replied

  
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 2598
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009
Member Rating: 5.6


Message 1210 of 1298 (910707)
05-06-2023 5:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1209 by xongsmith
05-06-2023 3:30 PM


Re: open mikes
BTW here is my reverbnation link:
Nate Smith | ReverbNation
- nate

"I'm the Grim Reaper now, Mitch. Step aside."
Death to #TzarVladimirtheCondemned!
Enjoy every sandwich!

- xongsmith, 5.7dawkins scale


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1209 by xongsmith, posted 05-06-2023 3:30 PM xongsmith has not replied

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 9265
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


(1)
Message 1211 of 1298 (910708)
05-06-2023 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 1206 by Phat
05-06-2023 1:00 PM


Re: Gordon Lightfoot, 84
Nope not going to say anything.
Yup. I am.
Really? Really?
And you think we should treat your arguments as intelligent?

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. -Christopher Hitchens

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1206 by Phat, posted 05-06-2023 1:00 PM Phat has not replied

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 9265
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


(3)
Message 1212 of 1298 (910710)
05-07-2023 11:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1203 by xongsmith
05-02-2023 11:06 AM


Re: Gordon Lightfoot, 84
I live about 15 miles outside of Superior, WI where the Edmund Fitzgerald left from on its final trip. In 1975 my wife's grandparents would have been able to see it on its way on Lake Superior from their farmhouse a 1/4 mile up the road. I know people that saw it many times on it's visits to the Twin Ports. I even have met people that were passengers as guests of the company.
Gordon was a well-known and well thought of around here.

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. -Christopher Hitchens

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1203 by xongsmith, posted 05-02-2023 11:06 AM xongsmith has not replied

  
Tanypteryx
Member
Posts: 4483
From: Oregon, USA
Joined: 08-27-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


(3)
Message 1213 of 1298 (910898)
05-24-2023 5:00 PM


Tina Turner
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tina_Turner

Stop Tzar Vladimir the Condemned!

What if Eleanor Roosevelt had wings? -- Monty Python

One important characteristic of a theory is that is has survived repeated attempts to falsify it. Contrary to your understanding, all available evidence confirms it. --Subbie

If evolution is shown to be false, it will be at the hands of things that are true, not made up. --percy

The reason that we have the scientific method is because common sense isn't reliable. -- Taq


  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 9524
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 5.6


(4)
Message 1214 of 1298 (910907)
05-25-2023 3:05 AM



Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London. Olen Suomi Soy Barcelona. I am Ukraine.

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 9265
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


(2)
Message 1215 of 1298 (911083)
06-08-2023 9:39 AM


Pat is dead. Worm dirt. Compost.
No tribute. He was great because of his hate.
Good riddance to a preacher of hate.
Pat Robertson - Lawyers, Guns & Money

What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. -Christopher Hitchens

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


Replies to this message:
 Message 1216 by Theodoric, posted 06-08-2023 10:03 AM Theodoric has not replied
 Message 1217 by Theodoric, posted 06-08-2023 10:04 AM Theodoric has not replied
 Message 1218 by dwise1, posted 06-08-2023 10:27 AM Theodoric has not replied

  
Theodoric
Member
Posts: 9265
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 3.3


Message 1216 of 1298 (911084)
06-08-2023 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 1215 by Theodoric
06-08-2023 9:39 AM



What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. -Christopher Hitchens

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1215 by Theodoric, posted 06-08-2023 9:39 AM Theodoric has not replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2023 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.2
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2024