Stories by Gary H. Anthes

  • Digital world is real world

    Ike Nassi is something of a renaissance man in IT, having held senior technical positions at SAP, Cisco, Apple, DEC and several other companies. He's now the senior vice-president for research at SAP Labs US. Nassi founded Firetide and co-founded Encore Computer, and he helped start the Computer History Museum in California. He has held positions at Stanford University, MIT, Boston University and the University of California, Berkeley. Nassi played key roles in the design of the Ada programming language and the Mach operating system. He recently told IDG's GARY ANTHES what's driving change in the software world.

  • Computer to user: You sort it out

    Researchers in the US and the UK are developing computer systems that make deliberately ambiguous interpretations of human environments. What's more, the systems are often flat-out wrong. But the developers are delighted with their progress so far, and claim that with computers, sometimes less is more.

  • High-speed databases rev corporate apps

    Relational database management systems have become all but ubiquitous in enterprise computing since 1970, when they were first devised by E.F. Codd. But as powerful and flexible as those databases are, they've proved inadequate for a handful of ultrademanding applications that have to process hundreds or thousands of transactions per second and never go down. Now, the very-high-performance database technologies that sprang up to serve these niche markets, such as options trading and telephone call processing, are poised to move into mainstream computing.

  • Supercomputer on a chip

    Computer scientists at the University of Texas at Austin are inventing a radical microprocessor architecture, one that aims to solve some of the most vexing problems facing chip designers today. If successful, the Defense Department-funded effort could lead to processors of unprecedented performance and flexibility.

  • CPUs rev new engines

    When it comes to processors, speed rules. Or does it? GARY H. ANTHES writes that there are several problems with chips, not the least of which is keeping them cool.

  • Optical storage sings the blues

    Even IT managers can get the blues. Or at least that’s what a gaggle of vendors are hoping as they prepare ultradense optical storage products based on blue-laser technology.

  • Invensys to lay off 5000 workers

    Invensys yesterday became the latest company to join the "tech wreck," saying it will lay off more than 5000 workers. The London-based software, control and power-systems company blamed deteriorating economic conditions in the US for a downturn in sales and profitability.

  • The long arm of Moore's Law

    In 1965, an engineer at Fairchild Semiconductor named Gordon Moore noted that the number of transistors on a chip doubled every 18 to 24 months. A corollary to "Moore's Law", as that observation came to be known, is that the speed of microprocessors, at a constant cost, also doubles every 18 to 24 months.