Fun_People Archive
29 Nov
The Pentium Bug and the Usenet Oracle

Date: Tue, 29 Nov 94 17:56:08 PST
To: Fun_People
Subject: The Pentium Bug and the Usenet Oracle

Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Sean Eric Fagan <>
From: (David Sewell)

The following should be in the next Oracularities digest on (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

=====Attachment follows=======

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
} 	rare. 
} 	"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 []