Pentium humor

Mark Q. Maxham (
(no date)

In case you hadn't heard, Intel's top-of-the-line chip has a bug with its floating-point divide being imprecise. For example:

5505001/294911 = 18.666651973 (powerpc)
5505001/294911 = 18.66600093 (pentium)
5505001/294911 = 18.666651 (cheap $5 calculator bought at Thrifty's)

The Net's response:



Q: How many Pentium designers does it take to screw in a light bulb? A: 1.99904274017, but that's close enough for non-technical people.

Q: What do you get when you cross a Pentium PC with a research grant? A: A mad scientist.

Q: What's another name for the "Intel Inside" sticker they put on Pentiums? A: Warning label.

Q: What do you call a series of FDIV instructions on a Pentium? A: Successive approximations.

Q: Complete the following word analogy: Add is to Subtract as Multiply is to 1) Divide 2) ROUND 3) RANDOM 4) On a Pentium, all of the above A: Number 4.

Q: What algorithm did Intel use in the Pentium's floating point divider? A: "Life is like a box of chocolates." (Source: F. Gump of Intel)

Q: Why didn't Intel call the Pentium the 586? A: Because they added 486 and 100 on the first Pentium and got 585.999983605.

Q: According to Intel, the Pentium conforms to the IEEE standards 754 and 854 for floating point arithmetic. If you fly in aircraft designed using a Pentium, what is the correct pronunciation of "IEEE"? A: Aaaaaaaiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeee!

TOP TEN NEW INTEL SLOGANS FOR THE PENTIUM ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

9.9999973251 It's a FLAW, Dammit, not a Bug 8.9999163362 It's Close Enough, We Say So 7.9999414610 Nearly 300 Correct Opcodes (you mean, 299.9999831538?) 6.9999831538 You Don't Need to Know What's Inside 5.9999835137 Redefining the PC--and Mathematics As Well 4.9999999021 We Fixed It, Really 3.9998245917 Division Considered Harmful 2.9991523619 Why Do You Think They Call It *Floating* Point? 1.9999103517 We're Looking for a Few Good Flaws 0.9999999998 The Errata Inside