[rescue] Small servers (was Re: WTT: 1.5G of PC2700 for 1G of PC100)

Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Wed May 7 20:55:27 CDT 2008

On May 5, 2008, at 10:14 , der Mouse wrote:

>>> Which is as it should be; computer science is a theoretical  
>>> discipline
>> No, it is not.  It is an applied science just like medicine or
>> engineering.
> That's a substantial part of the problem, then; different people
> understanding the same words to mean different things.
> What do _you_ call the theoretical discipline, then?


The problem with "computer science" is that it is very difficult to  
learn anything useful without using a real machine, just as it is  
quite difficult to learn anything useful in medicine if you never  
touch a test tube, a patient, or chemicals.

Sure, you could "theorize" about gall bladders, but that doesn't tend  
to do the world very much good.

In fact, it is quite rare for even theoreticians to be purely  
theoreticians if they want their work to be at all useful.

> The one to which
> belong things like the proof that general sorting cannot happen faster
> than n log(n), the Halting Problem, et al?

Seems to me that "Computer Science" is a combination of theory and  
engineering, just like most useful learning.

Why do you feel the need to draw a line?

It's almost useless to do that with pure math and physics, and  
definitely useless for computer science.

At some point, you have to demonstrate that you are right about your  
O(n) predictions (which are often quite wrong on real hardware), or to  
demonstrate exactly why some problems are np complete, etc.

It's all well and good the theorists have speculated that there is a  
world out there but they'd all starve to death of the scientists and  
engineers had not lived in that world and done things with it.

Shannon Hendrix
shannon at widomaker.com

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