[plt-scheme] still confused about 32/64 bit

From: Amit Saha (lists.amitsaha at gmail.com)
Date: Thu Sep 24 05:34:37 EDT 2009

Hello Sigrid!

keydana at gmx.de wrote:
> Hi all,
> please excuse the off-topic question, but having started trying to 
> understand this I would like to get it right now :-;
> After reading some articles on Wikipedia, my main question is now:  
> Does  "architecture" refer to the hardware or to the software (the OS)?
> Because first I thought it referred to the hardware, like in "Intel x86 
> architecture". In that case, as my processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo, I 
> guess I should have an x86_64 architecture.
> On the other hand, when I type
> $ arch
> I get "i386" which stands for 32 bit intel.
> So "architecture" perhaps refers to how the OS uses the processor (I'm 
> still running Leopard, where the kernel runs in 32bit  mode)?

Even though your hardware (processor) is 64-bit, if you are running a 
32-bit OS, "arch" will always report you as i386/686. So, if you run a 
32-bit OS, you will always be in 32-bit "mode", irrespective of the 
underlying "real" architecture.
> Also, I wonder is "platform" just a synonym for "architecture", or does 
> it mean something different?

"platform" in the parlance of programming would mean the architecture 
(Hardware) + OS + your compiler collection. That is its more than often 
like "my platform for development is Ubuntu Linux on a 32-bit and 
gcc-4.4" or something similar.

> Thanks a lot for any explanation!

My 2-cents.


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