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/moh'bee/ (From MIT, seems to have been in use among model railroad fans years ago. Derived from Melville's "Moby Dick", some say from "Moby Pickle") 1. Large, immense, complex, impressive. "A Saturn V rocket is a truly moby frob." "Some MIT undergrads pulled off a moby hack at the Harvard-Yale game."

2. (Obsolete) The maximum address space of a computer (see below). For a 680[234]0 or VAX or most modern 32-bit architectures, it is 4,294,967,296 8-bit bytes (four gigabytes).

3. A title of address (never of third-person reference), usually used to show admiration, respect, and/or friendliness to a competent hacker. "Greetings, moby Dave. How's that address-book thing for the Mac going?"

4. In backgammon, doubles on the dice, as in "moby sixes", "moby ones", etc. Compare this with bignum: double sixes are both bignums and moby sixes, but moby ones are not bignums (the use of "moby" to describe double ones is sarcastic).

5. The largest available unit of something which is available in discrete increments. Thus a "moby Coke" is not just large, it's the largest size on sale.

This term entered hackerdom with the Fabritek 256K memory added to the MIT AI PDP-6 machine, which was considered unimaginably huge when it was installed in the 1960s (at a time when a more typical memory size for a time-sharing system was 72 kilobytes). Thus, a moby is classically 256K 36-bit words, the size of a PDP-6 or PDP-10 moby. Back when address registers were narrow the term was more generally useful, because when a computer had virtual memory mapping, it might actually have more physical memory attached to it than any one program could access directly. One could then say "This computer has six mobies" meaning that the ratio of physical memory to address space is six, without having to say specifically how much memory there actually is. That in turn implied that the computer could timeshare six "full-sized" programs without having to swap programs between memory and disk.

Nowadays the low cost of processor logic means that address spaces are usually larger than the most physical memory you can cram onto a machine, so most systems have much *less* than one theoretical "native" moby of core. Also, more modern memory-management techniques (especially paging) make the "moby count" less significant. However, there is one series of widely-used chips for which the term could stand to be revived --- the Intel 8088 and 80286 with their incredibly brain-damaged segmented-memory designs. On these, a "moby" would be the 1-megabyte address span of a segment/offset pair (by coincidence, a PDP-10 moby was exactly one megabyte of nine-bit bytes).
References in periodicals archive ?
In his 2016 memoir Porcelain, Moby recounted an extraordinary life journey from poverty to popularity, through a series of mismatched relationships.
It loses some momentum amid moments of self-indulgence, like when Moby sounds more like Enya with "The Last of Goodbyes" or when his overinvolved monologues veer into him resembling a bad hypnotist in "The Middle is Gone.
I want Moby Grape to be a gathering place for people looking for great food, wine and music in a relaxed atmosphere.
Over the years Vice has worked with Moby in Afghani- stan, Iran and beyond.
Previously, Moby and News Corp launched two Farsi language channels through their joint venture BME.
News Corporation will contribute its 50% shareholding in Broadcast Middle East (BME), its Farsi-language TV joint venture with MOBY, in exchange for a minority shareholding in MOBY and will also provide growth capital to MOBY for its expansion plans.
As a result of the transaction, Moby will take full ownership of BME, which operates the Farsi-language channels, FARSI1 and Zemzemeh.
Moby has come a long way since the release of his first single "Go" in the early '90s, though his road to fame hasn't been easy, and the rollercoaster of styles with which he experimented had its detractors.
Considered one of the most important influences in dance music, Moby has sold millions of records worldwide and has produced and remixed for artists including David Bowie, Metallica, The Beastie Boys and Public Enemy.
Moby lo fotografio cuando solo aparecia la palabra que titula, sugerentemente, el disco: Destroyed.
Excited playmates Sasha and Moby were being walked at a seaside beauty spot when they spotted the rabbit.