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'[OT] Different Computer systems - Trivia'
|Trivia ... !!! :-) ...
From: John Payson <CIRCAD.COM> supercat
>|I guess that those based on Digital Binary are the most popular.
>|But I know that there are/were others, like the Analog ones, and
>|Does anyone out there have some trivia on this?
This should be enough trivia to go on with -
Ternary is the most efficient storage method available (at least
using integer numbers). The most efficient is the natural logarithm
base "e" (2.718...) but its a bit (pun unintended) hard to make
2.7-state devices so 3 is the best available.
eg - consider d240 (= 2 x 3 x 4 x 10)
Base 2 = 16 states (2 states per bit x 8 bits)
Base 3 = 15 states
Base 4 = 16 states
Base 5 = 20 states
Base 10 = 30 (3 x 10 states )
Numbers equal to (base^n)-1 will give best results for that base.
2 20 states
3 21 states
Here binary just improves on ternary but even the optimised decimal
(999 = 10^3-1) uses 50% more storage.
Overall, Ternary wins.
Nowadays Andy & Bill don't care about such things.
I understand that the Russians made ternary based computers in the
early days when the cost of storage and registers was extreme.
Nowadays this is not a consideration and the great ease of using
binary logic states ensures that binary rules.
IBM made some early "mini-computers" which thought in BCD. Our
university had one (circa 1969 !!!) and it could run Fortran 4 - but
it took 2 passes as it didn't have enough memory to fit all the
program in at once..
(1210 years old)(base = ???)
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