The Pentium Bug and the Usenet Oracle
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 94 17:56:08 PST
Subject: The Pentium Bug and the Usenet Oracle
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Sean Eric Fagan <email@example.com>
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Sewell)
The following should be in the next Oracularities digest on
rec.humor.oracle (I'm a Priest of the Oracle & forwarded it), but since
that may not be out for a few days and since the reply depends on the
topicality of the FDIV bug, I thought I'd post it here. [N.B. for British
readers. I'm *sure* the Oracle knows a "Ben" is a mountain. Even though
he lives in Indiana he's omniscient, after all. He's just playing on
The Usenet Oracle has pondered your question deeply.
Your question was:
> Magnificent Oracle, who bestrides the world like a colossus but isn't
> in the least bit overweight,
> I've often heard it said that faith can move mountains. Well I've been
> trying to move Ben Lawers to the middle of Hackney Marshes, but can't
> seem to build up enough faith, even though I've got to the point of
> being genuinely astonished when it doesn't work. What am I doing wrong?
And in response, thus spake the Oracle:
} Oh, you've noticed, have you? Here's what Intel faxed me on the subject:
} "Intel has detected a subtle flaw in the precision of the
} mountain-moving operation for the Faith processor. For rare
} cases (one in nine billion possible moves), the precision of
} the result is reduced.
} "This is not a problem. Intel's extensive testing has
} demostrated that the loss of precision is slight and extremely
} "An average user could encounter incidents of reduced
} precision once in every 27,000 years of use. The user is much
} more likely to encounter issues with other subsystems, such as
} memory or prostrate problems.
} "Concerned users doing extensive mountain operations requiring
} extraordinary precision who desire further details can call
} Intel at 408-765-8914."
} The facts are as follows:
} 1) Instead of Hackney Marshes, Ben Lawers has been moved to
} Johore Bahru, where he's engaged in devouring a truckload
} of lichees and rambutans charged to your Visa card.
} 2) You cannot trust your faith to give correct results for any
} operation anymore.
} 3) Intel isn't going to replace your defective faith, because
} you are an average user.
} You owe the Oracle your participation in his class action suit.
© 1994 Peter Langston