Which preposition should be used in the following sentence?
All of my programs are running in/on a 16-core machine.
Google shows both options.
Programs run on, and not in, a computer or machine.
Consider these sentences, though:
Generally, software to hardware takes on, while software to software takes in.
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On. Programs running on a computer is more common (though both are used), and sounds more natural to my ear. The ratio seems to be about 4:1 in favor of on, according to Google, and even greater in favor of on, according to Ngrams.
Actually my first reaction is that of on as opposed to in. However taking this into a more general purpose arena.
Machines (both software and hardware) are models of abstract processes or functions. A simple machine encodes a simple function (look at a broom for example). Where are computer enocdes many complex functions.
So looking at it from this perspective, would the execution of these processes (programs) not be embodied within the model as opposed to on the model?
Therefore I must say that both are equally valid unless deeper specificity is required.