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Subject: Re: WMCCC - may the best man at getting the fastest hardware win :(

Author: Bruce Moreland

Date: 11:44:55 10/18/97

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I posted this twice, the first time it didn't take, because I pressed
"back" too soon.

On October 18, 1997 at 05:06:23, Chris Whittington wrote:

>c) If you don't approve of the idea of these manufacturers getting an
>edge over a basically 'uniform' rest of field (as was the case in those
>days), then why are you doing exactly the thing you list you disapprove
>of then, now ? Because, without these very fast alphas, this Paris WMCCC
>would be, to all intents and purposes, a level playing field.

There will be at least three PII/300's, including two title holders.

>That it is not a level playing field now is pretty much a Bob/Bruce
>issue. I guess we can live with the odd K6 at 266 or 300. 300 to 233 is
>not the advantage the raw numbers imply (because of memory bandwidth). I
>can live with a tournament where 'effective' speeds vary by 20, 30 % or
>so. Its when you can get 2x or 3x by running oin these alphas that I cry
>foul.

So it's OK to spend five or six thousand dollars to get a 30% speed
increase, but it is not OK to spend five or six thousand dollars to get
a 70% speed increase (all of these numbers are guesses, including yours
I think)?  Sounds like a great argument for comparison shopping.

I will bring my x86 executable to Paris, and I will test on the K6/233
(I am not sure how I am going to do this, since I can't leave my
software in the hall overnight or someone will steal it), and I will
test on the 767 if I have access to one, and I will have already tested
for the 533, and I will post accurate numbers (for my program).

>You're just going outside the spirit in order to get an advantage. And
>no mean advantage either. Look, Bob, I want to see, and I suspect others
>want to see, a tournament where the software gets judged; not one where
>some people have manoeuvred or bought themselves a massive hardware
>advantage.

Tough luck.

>So you guys want to win at all costs. Makes much of the optimisation and
>work of all the other guys running on K6's seem a little futile, doesn't
>it ?

Actually I want to win at the same cost.  That there will be a cost of
some sort is a constant, because if you don't bring your own hardware
you will end up competing against those who do.

I don't have a K6, so I can't do *any* optimization for that, and I
don't have any information about it.  I would have either had to lug my
P6 over there (the box is getting kind of worn out) and done a speed
comparison and chosen the faster one, or bought a similar system (this
makes no sense at all).

>Come on. Its a universtity research machine. The market for selling
>chess programs onto it is precisely zero. Its just a way to get a
>massive advantage by spending several thousand dollars, and,
>incedentally claiming to be an 'amateur' programmer. 'Amateur'
>programmers don't work like this, IMO.

It is a PC.  They run NT.  They are not tremendously expensive.  You can
get native versions of Microsoft Office.  I plan to use mine as my main
development machine for the next year.

I don't care if its market is precisely zero.  By the time I am ready to
sell my program, the Alpha market will be more than zero, I expect.

I am very serious, and I have financial resources (I have never claimed
otherwise), but I have not sold my program.  If this makes me something
other than an amateur, fine with me, I don't care.

>You and Bruce were never affected by overclocking Mephistos or anything
>else, because you WEREN'T at those tournaments. This is a criminal
>argument to bad propose actions now on the basis of bad actions in the
>past.
>
>That was then. Now is now.

I've seen a lot of interesting hardware, some of it over-clocked.  I've
also heard discussions that lead me to believe that people do exactly
what they do here -- they try every hardware combination and choose the
fastest one.

There was a reason that Fritz was on a Pentium 200 last year rather than
a Pentium Pro 200.

>So two of you are going into an overkill on machine speed to try and
>win.
>
>Either by spending resources (not exactly amateurish), or by using
>contacts (also not exactly amateurish).

Who gives you the right to say I can't buy a computer this year?  My
budget was six grand (the amount that will safely fit on my credit
card).  My budget last year was six grand.  Both times I bought the best
machine I could buy for six grand.

And who says that finding someone to loan you a computer is not an
amateur thing to do?

bruce



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