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30298Re: [midatlanticretro] More info on the latest TV prop deal -- show identified!

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  • David Riley
    Apr 24, 2013
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      On Apr 24, 2013, at 8:15 AM, "Wesley Furr" <wesley@...> wrote:

      > "As a note, the series' unusual name is derived from a term for a computing
      > code specifically designed to destroy a machine's CPU."
      >
      > Really? Never heard of such a thing! That alone doesn't bode well in my
      > mind... Unless of course there actually was at some point in history a
      > machine that could be physically damaged by code alone...in which case, I
      > sit corrected.

      As others have noted, that description is incorrect, which makes me
      maybe a little less enthused about the show. Good chance their
      copywriters aren't as up on the lingo, though. An HCF opcode was
      one that, intentionally or otherwise, trapped a processor in a
      tight loop that was unrecoverable except by reset. If it was an
      intentional opcode, it was usually for e.g. factory testing (just
      incrementing the PC forever or something else with a diagnostic
      purpose). If it was unintentional, as was the case with a few
      early micros that used a PLA-based state machine instead of ROM
      microcode, it was just a not-very-programmed area of the PLA that
      had unexpected results.

      Either way, it generally never resulted in the destruction of
      anything unless there was some peripheral on the board (or off it)
      that reacted poorly to random data writes. That definitely did
      happen on occasion, but it was rare.

      Seeing the phrase, though, does make me optimistic, however they
      might have treated it in the promo copy.


      - Dave
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