We Who Value Simplicity Have Built Incomprehensible Machines
How creeping feature additions turn good ideas into morasses of incomprehensible options.
May 28, 2012
The 8086 "AAA" instruction seemed like a good idea at the time. In the 1970s, there was still a case to be made for operating on binary-coded decimal values, with two digits per byte. What's the advantage of BCD? Large values can be easily displayed without multi-byte division or multiplication. "ASCII Adjust After Addition" (AAA) was committed to the x86 hardware and 30+ years later it's still there, emulated in microcode, in every i7 processor. The C library function memcpy seemed like a go... Read full story on Dr.Dobb's
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