Processors > Alpha

See also: Software | Programming | Developer

  1. Stage in software development
  2. Type of processor/architecture

1. Stage in software development:

Early in the The Software Cycle of a developing program, applied to the post-planning stage. This is software which is understood to have many bugs.
Programmers are contending with defining and prioritising required tasks. A the project grows more people may be needed to contribute.
Until recently, Alpha software was usually not available to the general public. Software developers have feared the possible detriment in user trust in releasing software with so many bugs. With the development of the Internet and because of the public’s gradual awareness of the ‘alpha’ term and what it means for software, alpha software has been increasingly released to aid in the development of a project. The release of alpha software has become a tool to help track down bugs and to enlist mass user support for project ideas. Of note, Open-Source projects are often open from beginning to end, spearheading the public’s interaction with live development projects.

2. Type of processor/architecture:

Aka: Alpha AXP
A type of processor first developed by Digital, then purchased by Compaq. Compaq has been purchased by HP in 2001. Advantages included server-readiness and faster integer speeds than comparable Intel chips of the time. RISC-based like Apple processors and considered in some way superior to x86. Commonly used in server operating systems and a specialized version of Windows NT. No longer very common.
See also: Wikipedia: DEC Alpha for an in-depth history and tech-related details.

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