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Pil Seung

Location: Penang, Malaysia

April 25, 2005

Moore's Law

On April 19, 2005, Moore's Law celebrates its 40th birthday. An observation made by Dr. Gordon E. Moore, the R&D Lab director of Fairchild Semiconductor in 1965 that the number of transistors per square inch of integrated circuit had doubled every year. Here is the original article where he was given the chore of predicting what would happen in silicon components in the the 35th anniversary edition of the Eletronics Magazine. Before we fast forward, Dr. Moore, together with his colleague, Robert Noyce left Fairchild Semiconductor to co-found Intel in 1968.

In 1975, Dr. Moore revised it downward, saying that the number doubles every 2 years. Some quoted Dr. Moore that he said 18 months, but he is adamant that he never said it. Anyway, the best phrase to use today is "approximately 2 years". The "18 months" could be traced back to the Intel Developer Forum in Fall 1997.

For many years, those so called experts had been predicting the demise of the Moore's Law. Intel has keep on proving to them that they are wrong. If I am not mistaken, it was Albert Einstein who said "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result".

On the other hand, the Moore's Law had become a self-fulfulling prophecy, a predcition that actually causes itself to become true. In my opinion, Dr. Moore prediction sets the pace for the race. This causes the industry focuses their resources toward achieving results per Moore's Law. If everybody is working towards that direction, those who could not keep up with the pace will lose the race.

Dr. Moore was named the Chairman Emeritus of Intel in 1997. He has gone fishing since.

In an article in Embedded.com by Jack Robetson in year 2002, Dr. Moore said that the pace of doubling the number of transistors had slowed down. OK, let's see what is next after 30-nanometer.

Oh yeah, David Clark from Surrey won the USD 10,000 reward posted by Intel on eBay for the original copy of the April 19, 1965 issue of Electronics Magazine. Dr. Moore lent out his copy and lost track of it.

April 13, 2005


First of all, here is the disclaimer, I am not the one who invented the word Benglish. It has been around for quite some time. In India and the United Kingdom, the Indian community call the English spoken by the Bengalis (from India and Bangladesh) as Benglish. In Malaysia and Singapore, on the other hand, Benglish is the English spoken by Ah Beng. Who the "bleep" is Ah Beng? No answer will be given here at this moment. You have to find out on your own. This is exactly the same as to the song by Smokie, "Living Next Door to Alice". So, who the "bleep" is Alice? You tell me, then I will tell you.

Before I continue, I would emphasize that plagiarism is not encouraged. The reason being, the Benglish presented here is different from those mentioned in Talk Cock Forum. Please don't "leverage" Benglish words here and "reuse" them on another site without acknowledging the source.

While we are not living alone in a perfect world, it is an honour and an advantage to be able to pick up and use some Benglish. This will really enhance your daily communication and make your work smooth. Here are a few examples:-

kapita - carburetor
margart - mud guard
tachap - touch up (for car paint)
ling - rim (for wheel)
kalachi - clutch
laisub - drive shaft
sibalar - spanner
joo - zoo
trefitlai - traffic light
lehlew - radio
lokter - doctor
sils - cheap sale
tiktakpen - mechanical pencil
sehgenderi - secretary
henfoon - cell phone
henbat - handbag
stim-x - streamyx
yangshen - junction
lohtek - road tax
met - mathematics
jeelow - zero
standlet stil - stainless steel

However, there is one word that Ah Beng pronounces better than those educated non Ah Beng. For "chassis", Ah Beng says "jehsi" or "JC" which is quite near to "chair see", but educate non Ah Beng usually says "cheh-sys". At least, Ah Beng's command of English is not that bad after all. Ah Beng Boleh!

Good old manual

It has been a while since I last blogged. Well, there are many higher priority stuffs to take care of. While sorting through all my old junks recently, I came across an "Installation & User's Guide" for "ChameleonNFS(tm) for Windows". Damn, it has more than 400 pages, all in English. On the page before the table of contents, it says "Copyright 1990-1995 NetManage Inc." There is no CD-ROM version or soft copy of the manual. There is not a single thing in German (Deutsch), French (Francais), or Simplified Chinese, etc. This company still exists but things has changed tremendously since.

I bought a D-Link wireless router a few weeks ago. For printed materials, all I have is the Quick Installation Guide which contains information in 7 languages, i.e. English, German, french, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Traditional Chinese. The whole English section comes in 16 pages only. OK, maybe I am not comparing apple to apple, but you can really see the change. The latest Panasonic air conditioning unit does not come with a manual. It comes with a card with all the "visual clue". I am not going to elaborate what visual clue is here. The bottom line is that customers don't have to read so much a thick manual and the company is saving "USD 20 million per quarter" as well. OK, the amount saved could be exaggerated, but it is a win-win situation here!

Back to the good old ChameleonNFS manual. It has all the "common information" included. In those days, this kind of information was scarce. There was no Google, even though you have Yahoo! there. Well, you have Yahoo, so what? It is hard to search for this kind of information. Remember! This ChameleonNFS is the software to get you online. If you are not online, how are you going to use the Yahoo search engine? It is a Catch 22 situation. Of course, you can use Trumpet Winsock. Sounds familiar? So, you must be an old timer. Hey, that company still exists. That was the day when we were struggling with DOS and Windows 3.1. There nearest computer that might have internet connection could be couple of miles away.

The good old manual even listed what classes of IP address that are available and their ranges, sample PPP/SLIP scripts, and a lot more. Back then, you have the options to choose from BOOTP, DHCP and RARP for dynamic configuration. Nowadays, all companies are trying their best to make their hardware and software user-friendly, shielding users from all the technical details. Yes, this is the way to capture the mass market, and increase earnings. So, the experts will become more "expert", while normal non-geek users will make calls to tech support. Companies no longer have to ship things that add on the the weight and are usually ended up collecting dust at users' premises.

The good old manual is no longer useful because we don't use Windows 3.1 anymore, we have Windows XP. We don't deal much with 56k analog modem, we use ADSL modem and wireless router. We don't need to edit win.ini, system.ini, config.sys, and autoexec.bat. We have InstallShield to perform installation and to update the Windows registry. Archie and Gopher? Huh? The last Archie Gateway is dead as well. Telnet is still around, but you may try asking what telnet is during interview to a recent computer science graduate.

So, I am still not sure whether to throw the good old manual away. It is no longer useful as I said but the nostalgic feeling is there. Share you comment if you have but don't tell me to look forward. I am working on stuffs using C#.NET, VB.NET, Python, PHP, WindowsPE, etc. I appreciate it if you want to share something like CP/M, DRDOS, PC Tools, WordStar, Lotus 123, Fortran 77, etc.