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The Soul of a New Machine

Tracy Kidder An Atlantic Monthly Press Book - 1981
(Chapter 9-10) Chapter 9: A Workshop This chapter mainly talk about a workshop that West have in house. But the main point is not the workshop itself. From the workshop, the writer is trying to give illustration what kind of person Mr. West is, his motivation, ambition, and. And it seemed that the writer was trying to make us, the reader, feel about the frustration West bear at eagle project West spend about 12 hour a day working at his office. This routine and the burden he take have made him bored. One day he said that he wished he could bring his guitar to work and play with some of the youngster in the group who were musicians. Some night he would go away from Eagle and play music with friends and acquaintances, some times all night long and he will drive right in to work and become once again a though, grim-looking manager. West had previously owned a new and smaller house in the vicinity. A wooded plaque near the front door announces that it was erected in 1780. For some years latter the residents have to work hard adding things on. So does West. He has to make the repair. But when there was nothing left for him to do in the way of renovation, he sold it and bought the farm, with leaking roofs, and sagging, rotting barns. In several years he had almost completely restored it. Tom repairs every thing. Some of his works were the rebuilt roof; a room which no corner was square was transformed room to kitchen; and the mahogany coaching table in the living room. His Crowning domestic achievement was his basement workshop. On the workshop there were several chambers. In one sat most of machine: a lathe, a shaper, radial arm say, a band saw, drill press, a sanding machine, and two grinding machine and 2 goggles near by. In the other corner there was a spacious bench with a handsome vise, and hanging above it , wood clamps, chisels, backsaw, cross cut saw, coping saws, key hole saw. Everything in that place was ready there and very organized. A pencil sharper, music, phone, chair, beer, hammer, coat. That entire thing was practically ever invented right in is place. On the post and windowsills you can find some photograph an post card. One card read: “it’s easy to do it yourself”. There are also a place for his farming equipment, metal working, and a store room for keeping smaller parts. When West was in high school and the family was residing in Lincoln, Nebraska, he always working on things. He once bought a run-down little sailboat, stripped it to bare wood, and build it , until it did gleam. West went to Amherst College, in western Massachusetts, where he studied the natural science. His academic achievement was not so good. He was considered as an underachiever and should take underachiever program which is a program for young man whose brain seemed much better than their grade were expelled for a year, so they might improve their character. West become the first underachiever. He spends his exile in Cambridge, Massachusetts, unrepentantly playing guitar. West play in coffeehouses, know some of famous folksinger before they become ones. When he returned to Amherst, he decided to become an engineer. However, West didn’t want to be any old sort of engineer. He wants to have carrier in space program and help building the electronic equipment, monumental in it complexity that would send man to the moon. He managed to get a job with the Smithsonian Institution. West built and carried all over the world to various satellite tracking stations, a series of digital clock that told exactly the right time. After seven years, however, he quit.

was something special. just before he have to change the job because of the lost of RCA to IBM. build. both building and repairing the machine. West want to take up the guitar seriously again. What the machine was didn’t matter. The observer Rosmarie see that as time went in the Eagle project.made things. all within a perfectly justifiable scenario. With what he has learned in Smithsonian. the Vietnam War was occurring and to avoiding the military draft he have to join companies that were making things for it.”Some notion of insecurity and challenges. the design of digital circuitry.” Even though west already examine. Both of them enjoy for being able to master a machine. There were some interesting statements from West about Eagle. share the same with West. West only said with a small smile. When she come to his office West must be starring at a paper and don’t notice her standing in the doorway. he got to work on project that interest him and got registered on his name. The first project was the first Eclipse. West seemed to grow skinnier and skinnier. But at that time. Regarding this. a veteran of FHP and EGO. But in the end. & Idioms . Dave Bernstein. The early time was not so successful. West was working for Data general. and repair many machine in his entire life but the fact that of a string of previous success could imply the imminence of failure. the company didn’t want the project under taken at all. Actor Tom West De Castro Cotton Mather Rosemarie Seale Ed Rasala Dave Bernstein Amherst College Smithsonian Institution RCA IBM Teams Abbreviations. but since the computer is the most complex of all man. you gotta lose one sometime”. She cannot figure out why West working that hard even. Eagle in this regard. But building them and getting it out of the door is still interested West. “Realistically. He hate the fact that a machine is end up with making people become so dumb. and another six months self study of computer he manage to be employed by the RCA. After RCA. as if it was consuming his flesh. He got what he said as dumb job. He only put the computer on his office for special occasion such as debugging EAGLE. He couldn’t wait to get the computer out of his sight. One of them was when he said. of finding out what you can’t do. It’s for the kind of guy who likes to climb up mountains. of where the edge are. He said that computer that you design now will just become a hot box for two years. Terms. West particularly didn’t love computer very much. Some time he also talk about the rapid development of computer and become obsolete. In his office. he rarely put a computer.After seeing one of his friends in Cambridge has become a famous musician. repairing and building them pose interesting challenge for him. During the debugging time West was ill every morning before work. from her perspective. Then he decided to become a computer engineer.

. debugging process didn't require to be proven by exhaustive analysis that the machine was in all its details logically correct. 3 member of Hardy Boys. In this chapter.Chapter 10: The Case of The Missing NAND Gate This chapter mainly talk about a problems when the Eagle project is going trough the debugging phase. To visualize IP and Sys Cache in Eagle memory system. Moreover. Holberger join the company three years ago and now he bear the responsibility under Rasala for the details of the hardware of this major CPU. Holberger designed most of IP in Eagle. Between Veres and Holberger there exists a kind of technical understanding that outrun the power of speech. He trashed out the plan for implementation of the memory management system in many long. The only faults that Rasala found on Holberger was that he sometimes moves too quickly and makes careless mistake. According to the Eclipse Group's theory. The development of micro diagnostic program for 32-bit Eagle is going slowly and this brings Fear to Rasala. Like Rasala. and move on. He is known as the one of the tough guy in the basement. and Eagle still not running because of problem in its accelerator. and the boards of Main Memory are in the widest funnel's mouth. Jim Veres. Rasala and Holberger are good friend. so the debuggers cannot figure out the real problem. Instruction Processor (IP) and Sys Cache. If he working on a problem with several other engineer and feels that too many are involved then he’ll simply ignore what one or two of them have to say and eventually they’ll get angry and go somewhere else. but its contains a storage compartment larger than IP. both of them work in a different way. it can make IP going to order the machine to execute the wrong instruction. That is the worst sort of problem that they were encountering in Eagle. Jim Veres is one of the Hardy boys team member. Holberger have a great passion in doing his job. Eagle have special parts known as accelerators that used to eliminate the bottleneck between the machine and its storage. and Jim Guyer work together to solve this accelerator problem. Holberger have a trim black beard. The IP has a small storage compartment called “I-cache” in which it keeps instruction that are likely to be required next and also instruction that have been used recently. Due date for debugging phase has been passed. For him his job was very challenging. loud sessions with Wallach. The accelerator is consist of parts. the way he walks down the hall. There are also a problem about Holberger’s in the lab. Sys Cache in the middle. Sys Cache also have a roles to keep handy commonly used instruction and data. interesting and yet prestigious. He help Holberger to debug in eagle project. The engineer would plan to come back and make a proper repair but might forget about it. The Sys Cache also makes assumptions about what the computer will be asked to do next. Holberger sometime worries about playing the guy. it can get quickly from the Sys Cache. IP making assumptions about what the next instruction in a program will be. while it is telling the computer what instruction to be execute right now. This problem also caused by debugging methods that used by Eagle's debugging team. Ken Holberger. His behavior is just like West. so if the IP doesn't have necessary information to order up next step in the program. To Veres Holberger is “very quick” with his superior knowledge of Eagle design. Data General only have a micro diagnostic program for 16-bit Eclipse. imagine a funnel where at the narrow end are IP. the shape of his mouth when he gets ready to talk. he also embodies the assertion that West have. and weeks later it would cause some mysterious failure. fix it temporarily. In the other time it is because of unreliable mechanical connection causing “flakey” failures. Once in a while someone would find a problem. The machine will fail running a diagnostic program. The accelerators are throwing out blocks of information and they must assure that they are always consistent with Main Memory and with each other. Ken Holberger is a chief sergeant detective of Hardy Boys. A program have to be made to gain this purpose. But if inconsistency between IP and Sys Cache happen. They loss some time that way.

One day Holberger give an instruction to run the diagnostic program called “Eclipse 21” for both Coke and Gollum. At a bachelor . Rasala said that Guyer is A mechanic. After three years working at Data General and he likes the pace. and they set the analyzers so that they will snap their picture and printed “listing” of the steps when the machine fails. he examined the result.Holberger can “fill in the details” for Veres. Jim Guyers is also one of the Hardy boys team. I-cache contains the block instructions . But the tag for what should be the corresponding block in the Sys Cache is 45. When he get the picture from the analyzer. it did return to the right place. He likes to work on IP because he doesn’t know how it works and it give more challenge to him. He examines addresses. But difference is Guyer like to work at the night. he likes to go rock-climbing. Veres sees in his analyzer that at the moment when the machine fails. the Icache contains an outdated piece of memory. Jim Guyer comes in and he began to join in the diagnostic process. Further analysis from the diagnostic have realized that when the target instruction is switched from 21765 to 21766. He has become favorite to both Rasala and West mainly because of his attitude toward debugging. Guyer and Veres were working together on order to debug the machine. Practically he love to tinker anything. Both Guyer and Veres were very head strong. At the moment Guyers appear to much less interested in the board he helped to design. However. Veres has already done this. Veres like to tinker with his computer when he was at home. He went to MIT as an undergraduate and went to northwestern for a year of graduate school. he found a clue. He was those whom West must have had in mind when he said that computer engineering was sort of thing that appealed to people who love to climb up a mountain. the target instruction is supposed to be in the address 21766. and designed large part of it with Holberger’s assistance. And what is interesting is that an instruction exactly before this failed one has successfully performs and located at address 21765. Veres continue to performs JSR and Return to Gollum. each one of which consist of dozen of instruction. This program is extreme repetitiouness where every test is contains a number of subtest. and to build one. and the result is Gollum ran 921 passes of Eclipse 21 with 30 failures. Guyers has brown beard that makes his face looks rest inside an oval frame. A group of neighborhoods address called “blocks” created. Holberger and Veres hook the probes of two logic analyzer to various part of Gollum. Even the number of failure is small. and calls him “one of the star”. Veres goes searching to find out which one is right. and realized that when the machine fails. Next. in the I-cache the target instruction is still at 21765. This new instruction should direct the machine to go right back to the place where it was. They run the diagnostic program which is telling the machine to “jump” away from the stream of instruction it's executing and go get a new instruction. He like to tinker. At work he deals with hardware and at home he focuss on software. it is a bad news because it's hard to locate the cause of failure that crops up only once in a while. In short. particularly the IP. before it took the jump. but when it got there. the IP receives this command and looks through I-cache. The program. including all repetitions of the subtest is repeated a large number of time before pass is complete. Each block contains 256 address location and has a unique address called “tags”. he likes to fix things. When he look at the logic analyzer. the IOC. He usually leaves office at 3 in the morning than a few hour later veres come and continue what Guyer have done. At the 122nd iteration of the sub test. The two tags should be the same. and location 21766 contains an error message. same result to the Coke. And holberger was impressed with Veres. then he is in some of the other boards. From this diagnostic they figure out that the machine did in fact jump to the right instruction. it execute the wrong next instruction. Guyers has stubborn personality. Veres was given the responsibility for the IP. the tags of the blocks in I-cache is 21. Veres examines addresses rather different from Guyer.

the program still produced a failures. A few more picture show that IP getting its signal crossed. Gollum successfully negotiates all the basic Eclipse diagnostic. the arrival from the second signal can be delayed. When IP get the signal from Sys Cache to remove tag 21. so that IP will always have time to clear out an old block before it's asked to do something else. Holberger found that they have the IP board out on the “extender”. They put the IP back in its proper place and the failure no longer occurs. After NAND gate installed. at the 158nd iteration. Permission to copy and/or distributes any or all of it’s contents in any forms for academic and/or non-commercial purpose only. but the machine still commits the new failure. Terms. Greatly relieved. including Eclipse 21. So the problem is not the NAND gate. The solution is takes the material form of a circuit called a NAND gate. & Idioms © 2010 Group 5. before it can obey that signal is gets changed by another signal coming from another part of the machine. In the end. With the NAND gate. Veres has observed the Sys Cache instructing IP to replace tag number 21 with 45. However.with tag number 21. At the 151nd iteration. Actor Ed Rasala Dave Epstein Ken Holberger Jim Veres Jim Guyer Hardy Boys Diagnostics Support Group HEATHKIT flakey failure Micro Diagnostic Program Eclipse 21 Logic Analyzer Instruction Processor I-cache Sys Cache Main Memory JSR & Return Teams Abbreviations. the IP has disobeyed the order and I-cache is still harboring tag number 21. which reproduces the “not and” function of Boolean algebra. Veres takes out the NAND gate and run the failing program. All right reserved. Group Member: Ichsan Giri Suseno – 0706276324 Nurindro Danu Wicaksono – 0706276450 .