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Interpreted Languages

What is it?

An Interpreted language is a language which has most of it’s implementations execute instructions directly and freely, without the need to compile the program into machine-language instructions. The way it works is that the interpreter executes the program directly, and translates each statement into a sequence of one or more subroutines into another language, such as machine code.

Advantages

  • Platform Independence – Interpreted languages can be executed on many platforms as they are not compiled in a particular way. This means they can be easily implemented into different platforms.
  • Reflection
  • Dynamic Typing
  • Smaller executable size – Since the program is interpreted live, it doesn’t require as much space as a compiler which would put the program into a single file would.
  • Dynamic Scoping

Disadvantages

  • Less reliability – There is no type-checking as there usually would be with a compiler, which means that there is lower reliability as type checking would normally eliminate a class of programming errors.
  • Susceptible to attacks – Interpreters are often susceptible to code injection attacks as they read the code line by line, meaning that if someone were to inject malicious code it will also be read.
  • Slower execution – Compared to a compiled program which uses the systems processing power to execute the code, it is much slower. A technique used to improve performance is just-in-time compilation which converts frequently executed sequences of interpreted instruction to host machine code
  • Source code can be seen – The source code can be read and copied, for example JavaScript in a website. Or it can be quite easily reverse engineered through the use of reflection in applications.

Examples

Sound – Mono, Stereo, and Surround

Mono

Monophonic (Mono) is a system in which all audio signals are mixed together and directed through a single audio channel. Mono systems can have multiple loudspeakers, and even multiple widely separated loudspeakers. The key is that the signal contains no level and arrival time/phase information that would replicate or simulate directional cues. Common types of mono systems include single channel center clusters, mono split cluster systems, and distributed loudspeaker systems with and without architectural delays. Mono systems can still be full-bandwidth and full-fidelity and are able to reinforce both voice and music effectively. The big advantage to mono is that everyone hears the very same signal, and, in properly designed systems, all listeners would hear the system at essentially the same sound level. This makes well-designed mono systems very well suited for speech reinforcement as they can provide excellent speech intelligibility.

Stereo

True stereophonic sound systems have two independent audio signal channels, and the signals that are reproduced have a specific level and phase relationship to each other so that when played back through a suitable reproduction system, there will be an apparent image of the original sound source. Stereo would be a requirement if there is a need to replicate the aural perspective and localization of instruments on a stage or platform, a very common requirement in performing arts centers.

This also means that a mono signal that is panned somewhere between the two channels does not have the requisite phase information to be a true stereophonic signal, although there can be a level difference between the two channels that simulates a position difference, this is a simulation only. That’s a discussion that could warrant a couple of web pages all by itself.

An additional requirement of the stereo playback system is that the entire listening area must have equal coverage of both the left and right channels, at essentially equal levels. This is why your home stereo system has a “sweet spot” between the two loudspeakers, where the level differences and arrival time differences are small enough that the stereo image and localization are both maintained. This sweet spot is limited to a fairly small area between the two loudspeakers and when a listener is outside that area, the image collapses and only one or the other channel is heard. Living with this sweet spot in your living room may be OK, since you can put your couch there, but in a larger venue, like a church sanctuary or theatre auditorium, that sweet spot might only include 1/3 the audience, leaving 2/3 of the audience wondering why they only hear half the program.

In addition a stereo playback system must have the correct absolute phase response input to output for both channels. This means that a signal with a positive pressure waveform at the input to the system must have the same positive pressure waveform at the output of the system. So a drum, for instance, when struck produces a positive pressure waveform at the microphone and should produce a positive pressure waveform in the listening room. If you don’t believe that this makes a tremendous difference, try reversing the polarity of both your hifi loudspeakers some day and listening to a source that has a strong centre sound image like a solo voice. When the absolute polarity is flipped the wrong way, you won’t find a stable centre channel image, it will wander around away from the centre, localizing out at both the loudspeakers.

Surround

 

PC – Limitations

Hardware

A limitation of PC gaming is the hardware, every few years games become more demanding and hardware becomes outdated.  This means that there is a need to purchase new hardware every few years if you wish to stay up-to-date with the best hardware available.

A lot of the time games are built for consoles and then ported onto PC, this means that console players don’t have to worry about their consoles being able to run games. On the other hand, PC gamers have to purchase hardware powerful enough to run the games, which means that if a new games comes out and your system is not powerful enough, you won’t be able to play it optimally.

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Drivers

In order for PC gamers to use their graphics card optimally, they must keep up-to-date with their drivers. However, with drivers sometimes comes unexpected problems which can impact the player’s experience.  For example, there can be driver crashes with some driver iterations and certain graphics cards. Another problem could be bad performance with certain drivers on games. This means that some people cannot play certain games due to limitations from drivers.

Cost

Cost can be a major limitation to PC gaming, some computer systems can cost upwards of £2000 in order to have all the top-end hardware in them. This would be a lot more powerful than consoles, but this might be the price to pay in order to future proof the computer system for future games, the same way consoles run games until a new console comes out.

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