Gregory V. Tarsy

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Dear Mr. Murphy, We appreciate the high estimation in which you hold Sun Microsystems, as expressed in your LinuxWorld article of 1/29/03. We would like to address a small part of the article in which you call attention to what you see as a problem with SPARC and scientific computing, quoted below; in fact, although there is something to be learned from your square-root summation example, it is not what you conclude. More follows the quotation: The actual problem is that SPARC, like other RISC CPUs, defaults to the IEEE 754 64-bit floating-point specification. Therefore, it doesn't get the right answers in cases requiring extensive iterative computation. If, for example, you get it to sum the square roots of the first billion positive integers using the GCC compiler and default libraries, the result is off by 0.18. Although completely meaningless in business processi... (more)