Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Alan Hu

I have a very interesting Lecturer for CS418, Computer Architecture. Just for the record, his name is Alan J. Hu, but this is not as interesting as he is, though you can make still fun of his first name (Alan Hu. Alan Who? Get it? =)) We go to his class every Thursday even though that's sorta the only class we have for the days. It's more of a free entertainment event. =)

Amidst floating (and sometimes sinking) on the flotsams in the sea of technical jargons in archi class, we were relatively challenged by Hu (last week, Thursday) on remembering a certain term for some bizarre data system component that stores instructions during processing. Terms were blurted out after much cajoling from Hu, including 'instruction queue', 'reorder buffer', 'Register renaming unit' (and a whole slew of other similar sounding names performing similar duties), but not to the utmost satisfaction of our normally easygoing Hu.

He hinted, poked, cajoled, and lured, without getting the right answer from us for a good 10 minutes, by when most of the amusement was wearing off. Mitch, the usual brain of the class, was exhausted from guessing in futileness.

Almost giving up, Hu gave his ultimatum. That it started with the letter 'R'. Now this was not the ultimatum that one would normally expect in lieu of the exact answer, but we gave him another chance at it, for he was normally such a nice guy. Unfortunately, no one was mugger enough to remember the term still, and it ended off with Hu talking more and more about what it does, and forgetting to tell us what the term was, after keeping us in what seemed like hours of suspense. Mitch saved us from dying in our own curiosity by blurting out (after giving Hu some time to remember that he has not told us the term yet) 'So tell us the name already...'

'Reservation Station' was the answer, and it still seemed a jargon lost in the vast sea to us.

If he doesn't seem interesting to you, that may be because I'm not giving a good description about him. Try going to his website here to find out more. He's really a nice guy to boot, and neat and fuss-free.

His usual pet phrases:
~'...gobs and gobs of money'
~'Anyone have any questions? I have no shame, you have no shame...'
~'Let's vote on this'

His usual punchlines:
~involves making fun of the whole Wintel union as 2 associates ready to stab each other in the back, should the opportunity arise. It usual dallies around Intel giving support to Linux and other OSes, and Windows giving support to AMD...
~involve periods of silence, with much question marks flying about everyone's head.

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