Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What I did on my holiday

1. Read "Perl Hacks" again, and caught a bunch of stuff I had missed first time around. Like, wantarray returns undef in void context.

2. Read "Parallel Programming in C with MPI and OpenMP" by Michael J. Quinn
Very American (the first computer was ENIAC - really?) No mention of the ICL DAP (Distributed Array Processor) - one of the first commercially available parallel processors.
Nice to see terms like "Functional Decomposition" from the 1970s recycled to be used in a parallel computing methodology.
It really bugs me when authors come up with "Creating Arrays at Run Time" and give code like this:
int *A;
A = (int *) malloc (n * sizeof(int));
When there is a perfectly good feature in C99 to do it:
int A[n];
That's it! This is a C99 Variable Length Array, one of the more obvious features of the changes from C89. The book was published in 2004, so why no mention?
The author uses for loops to access arrays quite often, but there is no mention of optimisers, and the effect of optimisations on parallel processing. Ho hum.

1 comment:

silent E said...

OMG! Someone that rememebers the ICL DAP. I used a Denelcor HEP in my CS Masters degree thesis project. I coded up an algorithm to find prime factors of composite numbers via continued fractions.

Ah, the good old days.

--silent E
"Turning dams into dames since 1985"