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SubjectRe: PNP design philosophy?
On 9 Mar 2000, H. Peter Anvin wrote:

>> It is specific. I read it as a 386 system. i486 is a 486
>> system.
>> And how would saying ix86 making it more specific?
>> Actually, "x86" or "ia32" are the appropriate terms. If you are
>> refering to the Intel 32 bit linux port (or original depending on
>> your viewpoint and level of pragmatism), it is _mislabeled_
>> "i386" for legacy reasons. Calling your machine an
>> "i386" because of the name linux gives it architecturally is a
>> good way to be misunderstood. Use "x86" or "ia32" to refer to
>> Intel architecture as opposed to sparc/alpha, etc..
>No, it really isn't. The i386 is a *very* different architecture than
>the 8086, i186, or i286. The name IA-32 is a very recent construct.

ia32 is nonetheless a more proper name for the 32 bit Intel Linux
code. i386 has implications in the name that ia32 clears
up.. Again, this is IMHO, so if you disagree, thats ok too.. it
doesn't make much difference to anything...

x86 however I agree is too generic a term as it implies all the
processors you mentioned and more.. When refering to a processor
in the here and now though, if someone says "I am using an i386
type processor" do you think they are using a real Intel 386
processor such as a 386DX40, or do you think of a Pentium
III? When it comes to knowing what family of processor one is
refering to, I think using x86 is best when you mean ALL Intel
CPU's in the whole McCoy 8088 through P-III, and ia16 when you
mean 286 and less, ia32 when you mean 386 through P-III. It is
just much clearer that way. I do agree that the ia32 construct
is fairly new though..

If someone says i386 for anything though, I'll take it literally
unless the context makes it obvious they mean ia32.. I suspect
most others would as well. Its all just lingo though.. no

Mike A. Harris Linux advocate
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