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Old 28. Jan 2012, 09:02 AM   #130 (permalink)
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Location: New Zealand
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Originally Posted by wdhpr View Post
Thanks for the explanation. By the time I owned my IBM compatible computer (1989) The 32 bit bit software worked very well and still worked fine with 16 bit stuff. I bought my IBM compatible just so I could play Doom

Before 1989 I owned and Amiga which I like allot but it soon died a slow lingering death.

Anyway throw Unity and Gnome 3 at us Linux users and things start to get really fun!
What I find most interesting is that the x86 CPUs can effectively run everything back to the late 1970s. The CPU transistor count of the previous generation is less than half the new generation. Just 2% of the latest Intel I7's transistors are needed to duplicate the last of the 32-bit CPUs (Intel Pentium 4).

The decision to stop supporting 16-bit stuff was made because segmented memory is messy. This way they simplify with flat address spaces.
Better to light a candle ... than to curse the darkness.
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