Largest Provider of Commercial Smalltalk
Cincom is one of the largest commercial providers of Smalltalk, with twice as many partners and customers than other commercial providers.

Tom Nies

How Can We Get the Most Out of Our Modern CPUs?

Windows Task ManagerMulti-core computers are ubiquitous.  Dual and quad cores from Intel and AMD are commonplace with 8, 16 and 64 cores around the corner.

Rear Admiral Grace Murray-Hopper

Seeing this topic generates a lot of interest, which has prompted Cincom Smalltalk™ project management to research ways to leverage this multi-core computing, with the idea of developing something that would allow users to make the most of their CPU’s power.

Rear Admiral Grace Murray-Hopper is a distinguished computer scientist. She was actually there when they took a moth out of the relays of one of the early computers. (This is where the phrase, “getting the bugs out” was coined). Admiral Murray-Hopper had a great ability to convey ideas in easy-to-grasp perspectives.  She said:

“When the farmer, using a horse, could not pull out a stump, he didn’t go back to the barn for a bigger horse;he went back for another horse.”

Using this “team of horses” viewpoint, we developed our approach for simplified concurrency to leverage multi-core and grid computers. It can’t solve every concurrency problem, but where it works, it is easy to use, requires minor code changes and helps keep you out of trouble.

A “small” matter of programming …

  • Most concurrency is NOT EASY.
  • Concurrency problems and solutions have been studied for decades.
  • Both AMD and Intel have donated money and personnel to universities that are doing concurrency research specifically with the intent of increasing market demand for their products.
  • “As the power of using concurrency increases linearly, the complexity increases exponentially.”