Merced: is it sunrise or sunset?
Mugshot claims it's rising
Debate over whether Intel's Merced processor is late, has now entered the realm of mediaeval theology, with the argument resembling the old chestnut about how many angels can sit on the point of a needle. And Intel itself has taken the stance that mid-1999 can mean anything from June to September, thus raising a debate over whether the chip giant is using the Gregorian or Julian calendar. A local tourist blurb describes Merced thus: "Beginning in the high country of Yosemite National Park, the Merced River makes a headlong rush through glacially-carved canyons, rugged mountains and foothills to the San Joaquin Valley. Ample access points allow you to punch rapids at your own pace. Hook a trout and plunk it in a pan over an open fire." The mountains in the background of the mugshot are in Yosemite, so meaning the Merced sun is rising. This picture, comes from a mug given to us by Stephen Smith, who runs the Merced programme for Intel. Members of the team use to to drink their tea or coffee during the late nights they're forced to work on the platform. The blue wavy line at the bottom is the Merced spume, and the orange squiggle on the left of the picture, next to the mountains, is the sun. As the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, that means that it's not yet midday for Merced. If a day is like a year, then midday in Santa Clara could be two, three or even four o'clock in the afternoon, while mid-year could be July, August or September. The world can only wait, and watch, as the Merced sun climbs further above the mountains, and the silky, silicon sands of time slip through the muddy waters... ®
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