PC News, Part II

Here’s another PC News cover flashback from my LLNL days, circa ’84/’85.

Umm, what to say about this one? I don’t know that I can fully explain what’s going on here anymore. Too many years removed. I think what’s going on is that this was for an article talking about how they were able to give PC’s verbal instructions and have them translated into proper computer language, but then you can probably pick up that much from it on your own.

And for reasons I don’t recall, I was playing around with a quasi-Chester Gould “Dick Tracy” look. Though I no longer fully understand what I was trying to do here, I still think it was kind of a fun piece.

The “flashback-ery” will continue.

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2 Responses to PC News, Part II

  1. Nat Gertler says:

    Actually, what you’ve got here has nothing to do with speech recognition. It’s an illustration of how the computer languages that computer programmers understand (the “high-level language”) get turned into language that the machine understands (“machine language”, or close enough to it). The programmer is reading what he wrote on the screen. Then beyond that, we see the two different processes; an “interpreter” is a program that figures out what your program is saying while it runs the program – you might use that for a quicky little BASIC program that you wrote. If you wrote a section of program that decides what happens if the user hits the space bar, and the user never hits the space bar, that section never gets translated – but if you write a section that says what to do when the user hits the Return key, and the user hits Return 37 times, then the interpreter will translate the commands 37 times.
    A compiler takes the whole program and translates the entire thing into machine language all at once, while the program isn’t running. Then you have a program that’s ready to run again and again with no further translation, and will thus run much faster.

  2. Mark says:

    Nat,

    Thanks much for stopping by my site, and for the explanation! Lots of water under the bridge since I did this, so I couldn’t fully recall just what was supposed to be going on. Though truth be told, I’m not sure they ever explained the concept to me to this degree.

    Now we can say my site not only has lots of stuff to look at, but it’s also educational!

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