Any last outposts of alternative architectures in this era of creeping x86/ARM duoculture are worthy of
You're the guy running NT on Alpha, aren't you?
And running VMS on VAX...and RT-11 on PDP-11...and Kickstart/Workbench 3.1 on Amiga...there's room for variety, is what I'm saying.
Sorry, man. No intent to pick on you. Just lamenting the state of affairs from a different angle. Unfortunately the point is still to most people the hardware doesn't matter. It doesn't matter to any C programmer if the hardware has register windows or a stack, etc. By the time the coder sees it it's all abstracted away unless he's writing the OS. It's only for those of us who love assembly programming the hardware matters but stuff like UNIX has made hardware magnitudes less relevant. The API
the machine. You
How many people actually have any interaction with the hardware? UNIX boxes are 99% C and the rest is assembly wrapped in C. Most UNIX and Windows programmers are completely isolated from the box they're coding on. The API
the machine. Does it really matter what the architecture is as long as it performs as you want?
The API is not the machine, because you take the machine away and the API is just a collection of theory. Hardware will always matter because without it software is irrelevant. (Besides which, even in the RISC world architectures differ significantly in performance characteristics for different applications.) The idea that we've reached (or
reach) some kind of transcendent state wherein software runs in an ethereal realm of Pure Computation where the concerns of the physical processor world cannot touch it is futurist silliness.
APIs are not a collection of theory. It
the hardware as the OS presents it to you. Unless you're writing your own OS this is where your reality begins and ends. You can't see or touch anything below that.
Software is relevant without hardware. Software is an abstraction, hardware is an abstraction. You can run software through your head without any hardware. If you're an engineer you can run hardware through your head. It all depends on your world view. Everything is increasingly abstracted away and good hardware mostly doesn't matter any more, because nobody gets close to it. That's what I'm saying. There was a time when all this mattered but every day it gets further and further away...
"My advice to you, is to start drinking heavily..."