Understanding Spectre: A Explainer on the Speculative Execution Vulnerability

Ben Visness, How does Spectre work? In a nutshell, Spectre is a class of vulnerabilities that exploit speculative execution, a feature present in modern CPUs to enhance performance. This article by Ben Visness offers an intuitive explanation of how Spectre works and what can be done to mitigate it. Speculative Execution: The Basics To understand Spectre, one must first comprehend speculative execution and out-of-order execution. Speculative execution is a process where the CPU guesses whether a condition will be true or false and proceeds accordingly to save time if it guesses correctly, with only a minor penalty if it guesses incorrectly....

March 25, 2024

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February 26, 2024

After 14 Years in the Industry I Still Find Programming Difficult

The article on Piglei’s blog reflects on the author’s 14-year programming career, challenging the notion that programming becomes significantly easier with experience. It presents eight insights that highlight the complexities and nuanced aspects of programming. These include the difficulty of writing good code, the importance of creating and maintaining a passion for it, the necessity of an efficient trial-and-error environment, and the significance of understanding both the technological and human elements of software development....

February 26, 2024

Encoding Floating Point Numbers To Shorter Integers  [Draft]

February 26, 2024

The First Microcomputer

The article discusses the Arma Micro Computer from 1962, which predates common references to the first microcomputer. This 20-pound, transistorized computer was designed for aerospace applications, including navigation and engine control. Despite its advanced features for the time, like a 22-bit serial architecture and a small instruction set with complex operations, it does not meet modern definitions of a microcomputer due to its use of discrete components. The computer used unique storage called transfluxors for non-destructive readouts, contributing to its reliability in aerospace environments....

February 26, 2024