On a local departmental newsgroup the students and I are currently reminiscing about my idiosyncratic lecturing style and some of my most memorable lectures over the years. One student thinks I am unnaturally pre-occupied with sign extension and the way I try and get the students to remember the 16-bit to 32-bit sign extension that takes place in, for example, the MIPS architecture. Of course, my all-time favourite processor was the M6809 and not just because it had a SEX
The Motorola 6809, used in the UK's "Dragon 32" personal computer, actually had an official "SEX" instruction; the 6502 in the Apple II with which it competed did not. British hackers thought this made perfect mythic sense; after all, it was commonly observed, you could (on some theoretical level) have sex with a dragon, but you can't have sex with an apple.
There are quite a few other memorable quotes and events that pepper my lectures. Some of which have cropped up in the undergraduate lifetime of the current cohort of students but many others that only past students know about! Hopefully, none of them are reading this now!!
Personal favourites of mine - i.e. the ones I can remember - include:
- Shades of the Dr Strangelove Syndrome from my 'hand-in-pocket' lecturing delivery
- The 'woolly hat' diatribe about plagiarism
- The "I've never met anyone like you in the real world!" heckle
- The 'loss of tooth' lecture
- The 'floods of tears' and the 'low-tech animation' lecture
- The many, many lectures where I go off on a tangent - mainly about Ambrosia and/or the company that advertises its processors using the Blue Man Group
- The 'dance to the mobile phone ringing tone' lecture
- The 'beach wear' lecture
- The 'chin-heads' lecture
- The 'DMA' lecture. Unfortunately DMA in its full form has a very unfortunate spoonerism. You might like to check out The history of spoonerisms to find out how/why.
- and lots more... ;-)
In fact, it's a wonder that my students learn anything at all.