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By R. A. Reynolds

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Critical Phenomena in Loop Models

Whilst on the subject of a continuing section transition, many actual structures can usefully be mapped to ensembles of fluctuating loops, which would signify for instance polymer earrings, or line defects in a lattice magnet, or worldlines of quantum debris. 'Loop types' supply a unifying geometric language for difficulties of this sort.

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Having separated the wheat from the chaff, there is the additional problem that programs, even those written in high-level languages, are usually not easily transportable between different machines. Therefore, unless a version o f the program required is available for the computer in use, a long and expensive conversion process must be undertaken. Purpose-written programs T h e obvious solution to these problems is for each user to write his own program. This seems a good idea, because the exact requirements can be specified and the programs written for any computer.

T h e same comments apply as to teleprinters used as time-sharing terminals, which were described earlier. In some installations the teleprinter will also be considered adequate for the output of results. Most architectural practices, however, will need to print quite large volumes o f production documentation and similar results and in these circumstances a Office organisation 27 higher-speed printer is necessary. A line-printer as used with mainframe computers is usually too fast and expensive for a minicomputer, so a fast character-by-character printer is normally chosen.

What happens then is that both sides decide to leave each other alone; the architect continues with his manual procedures and the programmer goes away and writes a succession of experimental programs that he occasionally tests on small j o b s . These programs are rarely of any use. Often the computer section will come to think in terms o f rivalry with the architects instead o f regarding themselves as providing a service. This has happened to a number o f practices; they support a computer section so as to feel that they are keeping up with the times, but these sections are perpetually in the process of research and development and d o not impinge on the work o f the office at all.

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