OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

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OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
OFF TOPIC (sort of):

Here's some fun(?) for the weekend!  Am I the only one that engages in "overlapped processing" in real life or do others engage in it too?  Is it just an occupational hazard of those who work with computers or do people in other occupations also periodically engage in it?

What I mean my overlapped processing is performing another task while another previously started task is still running.  An example would be heating a cup of coffee in the microwave and then walking down the hall to use the bathroom while the water was heating.

Years ago when I first started out in mainframes I read an IBM manual (I think) that explained the advantages of overlapped processing in the context of running two batch jobs at the same time (each one in a different partition of course).  Even though you only had one CPU and it could only execute the instructions for one program (partition) at a time, you could nevertheless complete both tasks (both jobs) faster by running them at the same time (asynchronously) rather than serially one after the other.

It explained that when one partition (the higher priority partition) reached the point where it needed to do an I/O, the system, after starting that I/O and waiting for it to complete, could switch to running the program in the second partition, thus completing a portion of its processing at the same time as the first, higher priority task (job).  The end result being you could complete both tasks in less time even though each one took longer to complete than they normally would if they were run by themselves (with no interference from some other task).

I find myself engaging in this type of "overlapped processing" in real life all the time!  The previously mentioned coffee and bathroom example is the one I engage in most frequently throughout the day, but I find myself doing similar type things all the time.

Am I weird?  Or do others do it too?  Is it limited (or most prevalent) to those who work with computers?  Or do you know of others in other occupations who also periodically engage in such silliness?

Enquiring minds want to know!  :)

--
"Fish" (David B. Trout)
Software Development Laboratories
http://www.softdevlabs.com
mail: [hidden email]



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Re: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
Hi Fish,
Weird, NOT. Just an example from the NOW more or less.
While
-    replying to your nice (late Friday) OT issue,
-    I listen to the news on the radio (no real news)
-    I drink an aperitif as (my wife is cooking a nice pasta) dinner is
almost due. (and poured her one too, sure)
-    in my mind thinking "should I discard the LEGO building
instructions or try to make someone happy with them?"
-    and thinking: is it important to have floor covering that is not
building up a statical voltage (do not know the term for [Dutch]
anti-statisch)

So yes, I think I do ;-)

Have a nice day,
Bert


Op 2017-03-18 om 17:39 schreef ''Fish' (David B. Trout)'
[hidden email] [hercules-390]:

> OFF TOPIC (sort of):
>
> Here's some fun(?) for the weekend!  Am I the only one that engages in "overlapped processing" in real life or do others engage in it too?  Is it just an occupational hazard of those who work with computers or do people in other occupations also periodically engage in it?
>
> What I mean my overlapped processing is performing another task while another previously started task is still running.  An example would be heating a cup of coffee in the microwave and then walking down the hall to use the bathroom while the water was heating.
>
> Years ago when I first started out in mainframes I read an IBM manual (I think) that explained the advantages of overlapped processing in the context of running two batch jobs at the same time (each one in a different partition of course).  Even though you only had one CPU and it could only execute the instructions for one program (partition) at a time, you could nevertheless complete both tasks (both jobs) faster by running them at the same time (asynchronously) rather than serially one after the other.
>
> It explained that when one partition (the higher priority partition) reached the point where it needed to do an I/O, the system, after starting that I/O and waiting for it to complete, could switch to running the program in the second partition, thus completing a portion of its processing at the same time as the first, higher priority task (job).  The end result being you could complete both tasks in less time even though each one took longer to complete than they normally would if they were run by themselves (with no interference from some other task).
>
> I find myself engaging in this type of "overlapped processing" in real life all the time!  The previously mentioned coffee and bathroom example is the one I engage in most frequently throughout the day, but I find myself doing similar type things all the time.
>
> Am I weird?  Or do others do it too?  Is it limited (or most prevalent) to those who work with computers?  Or do you know of others in other occupations who also periodically engage in such silliness?
>
> Enquiring minds want to know!  :)
>

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Re: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
In reply to this post by Hercules390 - General mailing list
On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 09:39:52AM -0700, ''Fish' (David B. Trout)' [hidden email] [hercules-390] wrote:
 
> Am I weird?  Or do others do it too?  Is it limited (or most prevalent) to
> those who work with computers?  Or do you know of others in other
> occupations who also periodically engage in such silliness?

It's not limited to those who work with computers.  I think most people
would call it multitasking.  For the last couple of decades I've worked as
an operator.  In December the last systems programmer where I work retired,
and recently the operations manager retired.  I've been handing some of
their duties since then, so have definitely be doing some multitasking.
But, long before I got into the computer field I worked in food service and
retail, specifically at Burger King, Pizza Hut and Service Merchandise.  I
did way more multitasking in those jobs than anywhere else I've been.  And
technology is making things worse instead of better.  Several times I've
been in a fast food establishments, like Taco Bell, for example, and seen an
employee with a wireless headset taking a drive through order while cleaning
a table in the dining room.  I'm thankful that back when I worked at Burger
King in the '80s there were no wireless headsets.  The speaker used to take
drive through orders was attached to the counter next to the drive through
register back then.



--

Kevin
http://www.RawFedDogs.net
http://www.Lassie.xyz
http://www.WacoAgilityGroup.org
Bruceville, TX

What's the definition of a legacy system? One that works!
Errare humanum est, ignoscere caninum.
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Re: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
In reply to this post by Hercules390 - General mailing list
Hi,


Well now that were off-topic anyway, something slightly (?) related:

Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but related to ICT: Didn't we used to
think that 'parallel' (printers, SCSI, etc.) was faster than serial, only
to find out that the effort and cost going into doing things in parallel
(syncing tasks up ?) far outweighed doing things serial (SATA, etc.) which
achieved greater speeds ?


- Maarten
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Re: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
Oh.


Reading back this post, I can now see I may have worded things wrong: I
meant to say I thought serial is faster than parallel.

(crap ! were's the undo button when you need it ? ;) )


- Maarten


On Sat, Mar 18, 2017 at 7:42 PM, Maarten Hoes <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi,
>
>
> Well now that were off-topic anyway, something slightly (?) related:
>
> Please correct me if I'm wrong here, but related to ICT: Didn't we used to
> think that 'parallel' (printers, SCSI, etc.) was faster than serial, only
> to find out that the effort and cost going into doing things in parallel
> (syncing tasks up ?) far outweighed doing things serial (SATA, etc.) which
> achieved greater speeds ?
>
>
> - Maarten
>
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RE: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
In reply to this post by Hercules390 - General mailing list
Kevin Monceaux wrote:

[...]
> so have definitely be doing some multitasking.
[...]
> an employee with a wireless headset taking a drive through
> order while cleaning a table in the dining room.

Multitasking is not overlapped processing.  What you're referring to is trying to do two things at the same time, both requiring your attention (taking an order and cleaning a table), like trying to talk on the phone while driving.  NOT good.

What I'm talking about is overlapped processing: the first task is proceeding without your attention (heating coffee in microwave) while you're doing something else which *does* require your attention (using the facilities).

There *is* a difference.  It's subtle, but it's there.

--
"Fish" (David B. Trout)
Software Development Laboratories
http://www.softdevlabs.com
mail: [hidden email]




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RE: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
In reply to this post by Hercules390 - General mailing list
Fish wrote:

[...]
> What I'm talking about is overlapped processing: the first
> task is proceeding without your attention (heating coffee
> in microwave) while you're doing something else which *does*
> require your attention (using the facilities).

Think of it like this: the act of putting to cup of coffee in the microwave and pressing the start button is much like starting an I/O.  Then, once the I/O has been started (microwave takes over and begins heating the coffee) you're essentially in a "Waiting for I/O completion" state.

So instead of standing there idle (not executing any instructions (executing instructions == something that requires your attention)) you instead begin executing the instructions for the other task (i.e. using the facilities).

What you were referring to in your previous reply was closer to multi-threading: having two CPUs running at the same time, each executing a different thread (set of instructions), each requiring your attention (i.e. each requiring their own CPU).

What I'm talking about is simply switching the one and *only* CPU that you have (i.e. your attention) to some other task while the first task proceeds on its own *without* requiring your attention (i.e. *without* requiring use of the "CPU" (your attention)).

See the difference?

--
"Fish" (David B. Trout)
Software Development Laboratories
http://www.softdevlabs.com
mail: [hidden email]




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Re: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
Fish:

I understand. Years ago, I was working for IBM as the technical team
lead for the first release of MVS. My components were the real and
virtual storage manageers. At the same time, I was engaged in a
do-it-yourself at home undergraduate program at Syracuse University (a
very early mode of remote learning), this was in the early 1970's
(1971-1974).

My studies were heavily involved in different college math courses, such
as differential equations, vector spaces, algorithms, etc. My homework
assignments were to solve problems in the text and send a paper to the
prof. at Syracuse for grading. I had the good fortune of having my own
separate office, a chalk board and a door I could close. I would start
the day by writing a problem down on the chalk board and then begin
working on coding or debugging whatever I was working on at the time, be
it FREEMAIN or some paging services module in the "foreground". From
time to time, I would get an insight (interrupt?) which would provide me
with a stage in the math problem solution. I would stop and write the
step on the board and return to coding/debugging. After several of these
"interrupts", I would have the completed math problem on the board, at
which point I would copy the solution to paper, erase the board, write
down the next problem and continue with work. After a few hours. or
sometimes days, I would have both a completed paper and a completed
module or macro.

I have alway attributed this to the mind's ability to process things in
the "background" which I think is readily present in all of us. How many
times in a conversation have you said something like: "I remember that
guy, his name was ... (blank)". Then minutes later in the conversation
would blurt out "Charlie Schmutz", while never losing your place in the
conversation? To me, that illustrates the process.

I still frequently practice the method today, developing course material
or presentations while working on completely different matters on
entirely different topics. Works for me.

Mike Myers
Senior Systems Programmer
Mentor Services Corporation
(919) 341-5210

On 03/18/2017 04:50 PM, ''Fish' (David B. Trout)'
[hidden email] [hercules-390] wrote:

>
> Fish wrote:
>
> [...]
> > What I'm talking about is overlapped processing: the first
> > task is proceeding without your attention (heating coffee
> > in microwave) while you're doing something else which *does*
> > require your attention (using the facilities).
>
> Think of it like this: the act of putting to cup of coffee in the
> microwave and pressing the start button is much like starting an I/O.
> Then, once the I/O has been started (microwave takes over and begins
> heating the coffee) you're essentially in a "Waiting for I/O
> completion" state.
>
> So instead of standing there idle (not executing any instructions
> (executing instructions == something that requires your attention))
> you instead begin executing the instructions for the other task (i.e.
> using the facilities).
>
> What you were referring to in your previous reply was closer to
> multi-threading: having two CPUs running at the same time, each
> executing a different thread (set of instructions), each requiring
> your attention (i.e. each requiring their own CPU).
>
> What I'm talking about is simply switching the one and *only* CPU that
> you have (i.e. your attention) to some other task while the first task
> proceeds on its own *without* requiring your attention (i.e. *without*
> requiring use of the "CPU" (your attention)).
>
> See the difference?
>
> --
> "Fish" (David B. Trout)
> Software Development Laboratories
> http://www.softdevlabs.com
> mail: [hidden email]
>
>


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RE: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
In reply to this post by Hercules390 - General mailing list

 You need more channels. First you put the toast in and start it, then you put the mug in the microwave and start that, and then you go take care of business.

---In [hidden email], <david.b.trout@...> wrote :

 Fish wrote:
 
 [...]
 > What I'm talking about is overlapped processing: the first
 > task is proceeding without your attention (heating coffee
 > in microwave) while you're doing something else which *does*
 > require your attention (using the facilities).
 
 Think of it like this: the act of putting to cup of coffee in the microwave and pressing the start button is much like starting an I/O. Then, once the I/O has been started (microwave takes over and begins heating the coffee) you're essentially in a "Waiting for I/O completion" state.
 
 So instead of standing there idle (not executing any instructions (executing instructions == something that requires your attention)) you instead begin executing the instructions for the other task (i.e. using the facilities).
 
 What you were referring to in your previous reply was closer to multi-threading: having two CPUs running at the same time, each executing a different thread (set of instructions), each requiring your attention (i.e. each requiring their own CPU).
 
 What I'm talking about is simply switching the one and *only* CPU that you have (i.e. your attention) to some other task while the first task proceeds on its own *without* requiring your attention (i.e. *without* requiring use of the "CPU" (your attention)).
 
 See the difference?
 
 --
 "Fish" (David B. Trout)
 Software Development Laboratories
 http://www.softdevlabs.com http://www.softdevlabs.com
 mail: fish@... mailto:fish@...

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RE: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
[hidden email] wrote:

> You need more channels. First you put the toast in and start it,
> then you put the mug in the microwave and start that, and then
> you go take care of business.

(LOL!)  Yep!  You definitely understand what I'm talking about.  :)

--
"Fish" (David B. Trout)
Software Development Laboratories
http://www.softdevlabs.com
mail: [hidden email]




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RE: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
In reply to this post by Hercules390 - General mailing list
Mike Myers wrote:

> Fish:
>
> I understand.
[...]

> From time to time, I would get an insight (interrupt?)
> which would provide me with a stage in the math problem
> solution. I would stop and write the step on the board
> and return to coding/debugging. After several of these
> "interrupts", I would have the completed math problem
> on the board, at which point I would copy the solution
> to paper, erase the board, write down the next problem
> and continue with work. After a few hours. or sometimes
> days, I would have both a completed paper and a completed
> module or macro.

(heh!) I too have experienced such "interrupts" from my "background task" (subconscious) on *many* different occasions over the years (too many to count in fact).


> I have alway attributed this to the mind's ability to
> process things in the "background" which I think is
> readily present in all of us.

Yep.  Where "background" == "at the subconscious level".


<snip; Charlie Schmutz!>

For me the count is very close to zero.  I'm terrible with names.

But I have definitely experienced "background task interrupts" on more occasions than I can remember.  I can't tell you how many times I've left work and on the drive home had the "Ah HA!" interrupt moment occur, causing me to immediately turn the car around and head straight back to work.  :)

And even though having your subconscious work on a problem while your conscious attention is focused on some other task is *not* quite what I meant by "Overlapped Processing", I will admit it is a form of it and thus IMO qualifies.  :)

What I find most interesting about this subconscious background task phenomenon is the mind's ability to somehow magically *start* (and actively work on once started!) such background tasks in the first place.  As for myself, I can't explain how I do it.  I certainly don't *consciously* start my subconscious working on some background task.  It just somehow magically occurs on its own (just as the "interrupts" do whenever the task completes).  <shrug>

The human mind in weird like that.  Glad I'm not the only one that experiences such things.  That makes me feel a bit better about myself knowing I'm not alone regarding this phenomenon.

Thanks for such an interesting response, Mike!

--
"Fish" (David B. Trout)
Software Development Laboratories
http://www.softdevlabs.com
mail: [hidden email]




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Re: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
Fish:

You're very welcome. I'll bet there are many many others out there who
have had similar "interrupt" experiences. I also don't know how it
works, but I have managed to make good use of it over the years.

Yes. the name thing was one of my more frequently occurring experiences,
I remember names a lot, but often slo...oly. Your "AH HA" moment is
definitely representative of the experience.

Interestingly, in response to your "not knowing how to start" the
background task, I seem to have been able to work that into the mix by
just setting a question in my mind and then going on to doing something
entirely different. Seems that it is something one can master
eventually. maybe by just doing it often enough.

You know, I have often wondered if our design for computer's
foreground/background processing hasn't always been based on the way our
brains actually work. I'll admit that I have not seen much of that in
the literature, but the similarity had always seemed to be evidence
enough for me. My design experience has been limited to software, so I
may not be a good spokesperson for hardware design, but just as an
experienced observer.

Mike

On 03/19/2017 05:31 PM, ''Fish' (David B. Trout)'
[hidden email] [hercules-390] wrote:

>
> Mike Myers wrote:
>
> > Fish:
> >
> > I understand.
> [...]
> > From time to time, I would get an insight (interrupt?)
> > which would provide me with a stage in the math problem
> > solution. I would stop and write the step on the board
> > and return to coding/debugging. After several of these
> > "interrupts", I would have the completed math problem
> > on the board, at which point I would copy the solution
> > to paper, erase the board, write down the next problem
> > and continue with work. After a few hours. or sometimes
> > days, I would have both a completed paper and a completed
> > module or macro.
>
> (heh!) I too have experienced such "interrupts" from my "background
> task" (subconscious) on *many* different occasions over the years (too
> many to count in fact).
>
> > I have alway attributed this to the mind's ability to
> > process things in the "background" which I think is
> > readily present in all of us.
>
> Yep. Where "background" == "at the subconscious level".
>
> <snip; Charlie Schmutz!>
>
> For me the count is very close to zero. I'm terrible with names.
>
> But I have definitely experienced "background task interrupts" on more
> occasions than I can remember. I can't tell you how many times I've
> left work and on the drive home had the "Ah HA!" interrupt moment
> occur, causing me to immediately turn the car around and head straight
> back to work. :)
>
> And even though having your subconscious work on a problem while your
> conscious attention is focused on some other task is *not* quite what
> I meant by "Overlapped Processing", I will admit it is a form of it
> and thus IMO qualifies. :)
>
> What I find most interesting about this subconscious background task
> phenomenon is the mind's ability to somehow magically *start* (and
> actively work on once started!) such background tasks in the first
> place. As for myself, I can't explain how I do it. I certainly don't
> *consciously* start my subconscious working on some background task.
> It just somehow magically occurs on its own (just as the "interrupts"
> do whenever the task completes). <shrug>
>
> The human mind in weird like that. Glad I'm not the only one that
> experiences such things. That makes me feel a bit better about myself
> knowing I'm not alone regarding this phenomenon.
>
> Thanks for such an interesting response, Mike!
>
> --
> "Fish" (David B. Trout)
> Software Development Laboratories
> http://www.softdevlabs.com
> mail: [hidden email]
>
>


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RE: OT: Overlapped Processing in Real Life

Hercules390 - General mailing list
In reply to this post by Hercules390 - General mailing list
The problem is while you're standing immobile in front of the microwave waiting for device end to present, She Who Must Be Obeyed tends to appear, wanting to know why you haven't done anything yet.
 

---In [hidden email], <david.b.trout@...> wrote :

 Mike Myers wrote:
 
 > Fish:
 >
 > I understand.
 [...]

 The human mind in weird like that. Glad I'm not the only one that experiences such things. That makes me feel a bit better about myself knowing I'm not alone regarding this phenomenon.
 
 Thanks for such an interesting response, Mike!
 
 --
 "Fish" (David B. Trout)
 Software Development Laboratories
 http://www.softdevlabs.com http://www.softdevlabs.com
 mail: fish@... mailto:fish@...