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The Pattern On The Stone

W. Daniel Hillis


Content Preface: Magic in the Stone Chapter 1 Nuts and bolts Chapter 2 Universal building Blocks Chapter 3 Programming Chapter 4 How Universal Are Turing Machines Chapter 5 Algorithms and Heuristics Chapter 6 Memory: information and secret codes Chapter 7 Speed: Parallel Computers Chapter 8 Computers That Learn and Adapt Chapter 9 Beyond Engineering



  • Your Highlight on Location 76-77 | Added on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 10:38:31 PM the first is the principle of functional abstraction, which leads to the aforementioned hierarchy of causes and effects.

  • Your Highlight on Location 80-80 | Added on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 10:38:59 PM The second unifying theme is the principle of the universal computer

  • Your Highlight on Location 84-85 | Added on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 10:39:21 PM The third theme in this book, which won’t be fully addressed until the last chapter, is in some sense the antithesis of the first. There may be an entirely new way of designing and programming computers—a way not based on the standard methods of engineering.

  • Your Highlight on Location 136-137 | Added on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 10:44:17 PM This particular equation, called De Morgan’s theorem (after Boole’s colleague Augustus De Morgan),

  • Your Highlight on Location 348-349 | Added on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 7:15:37 PM In it, we’ll define a powerful set of building blocks: logical functions and finite-state machines. With these elements, it’s easy to build a computer.

  • Your Highlight on Location 403-404 | Added on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 10:39:10 PM we want to build a machine to act as a judge of the children’s game of Scissors/Paper/Rock.

  • Your Highlight on Location 435-436 | Added on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 10:45:09 PM (The position of the decimal point “floats” relative to the digits, so that a fixed number of digits can be used to represent a wide range of numbers.)

  • Your Highlight on Location 505-507 | Added on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 10:58:27 PM Many other types of digital computing devices, including most general-purpose computers, also advance their state at regular intervals, and the rate at which they advance is called the clock rate of the machine. Within a computer, time is not a continuous flow but a fixed sequence of transitions between states.

  • Your Highlight on Location 540-540 | Added on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 11:05:30 PM He presented me with the following famous puzzle, called the firing squad problem:

  • Your Highlight on Location 673-674 | Added on Thursday, December 3, 2015 10:42:49 PM most of the names are obscure acronyms (such as FORTRAN, for FORmula TRANslation, and LISP, for LISt Processing).

  • Your Highlight on Location 807-809 | Added on Friday, December 4, 2015 12:27:42 PM When most of the work of conversion is done beforehand, the translation process is called compilation, and the program that performs the compilation is called a compiler. If most of the work is done while the program is being executed, then the process is called interpretation, and the program is called an interpreter. 编译与解释的区别

  • Your Highlight on Location 944-945 | Added on Friday, December 4, 2015 7:33:27 PM science—Turing, Church, and another British mathematician named Emil Post all independently invented the idea of universal computation at roughly the same time. 参考科学松鼠会关于计算的极限系列文章

  • Your Highlight on Location 1016-1017 | Added on Friday, December 4, 2015 9:07:36 PM This loss of entanglement, called decoherence, could turn out to be the Achilles heel of quantum mechanical computers.

  • Your Highlight on Location 1250-1252 | Added on Monday, December 7, 2015 10:25:53 PM In a sense, communication and storage are just two aspects of the same thing: communication sends a message from one place to another; storage “sends” a message from one time to another. 从时空的角度理解通讯与存储

  • Your Highlight on Location 1360-1361 | Added on Monday, December 7, 2015 10:53:04 PM This leads us to another measure of information: The amount of information in a pattern of bits is equal to the length of the smallest computer program capable of generating those bits.

  • Your Highlight on Location 1430-1430 | Added on Monday, December 7, 2015 11:12:06 PM Again, the basic tool is some form of redundancy.