"An arithmetic logic unit of 32 bits or wider"
Which rules out 386 either... I've some floppies with 16 bit and 8 bit applications they may like... if they are not under sanctions too...
Taiwan's government has enacted a strict ban on the export of computer chips and chip-making equipment to Russia and Belarus, a move that will make it even harder for the two countries to access modern processors following export bans from other countries. The island nation is the world's largest advanced chip manufacturing …
Lower spec Arduinos only. There are plenty that are too fast. All Raspberry Pi's are banned, including the Pico.
10Mb/s networking is allowed in half duplex mode but full duplex hits the sanctioned speed. Dial-up and ISDN internet are in but broad band would require a wide interpretation of "up to" to be slow enough. (Starlink is way too fast)
Floppy disks are OK but all hard disks with an IDE interface or better are out. ST-506 and ST-412 hard disks are slow enough. Forget PCIe, PCI and ISA cards. CD-ROMs are theoretically OK up to x16 speed as are x1 speed DVDs but I do not remember any with a slow enough interface.
There is no need to go back to PS/2 keyboards. USB1 is slow enough even at full speed. Video is a problem: 640x480@60Hz black and white looks OK at first sight (18.432Mb/s) but the extra bandwidth required for overscan would take that over the 20Mb/s limit. Colour or grey scale really cut into the resolution or frame rate. ZX Spectrum graphics might just fit under the limit even when you include the "4bits/pixel" output rate.
Looking back at history, when the wall finally came down, we learnt what Russian computer scientists had been up to, given the export restrictions on western technology.
One of the surprising things discovered was that because they didn't have massive computer power they focused on algorithms, so in many cases their algorithms were far superior to the solutions adopted by those who had simply thrown computing power at it.
So, yes perhaps the Russians will build massively distributed computing platforms (of which a neutral net is just one example...), whilst the platforms might not be very performant, expect their algorithms to manage the platform to be top-notch...
the difference now is that there has been a huge brain drain in Russia which only accelerated with putin's latest idiocy. Russia was already doomed to decline due to demographics and he has made it much worse. The people they need the most, the young and well educated, are leaving in huge numbers.
I think Pis are made in China, not Taiwan (political arguments about whether Taiwan is part of China aside; I'm not going to agree with the PRC on that one). I stand to be corrected, the finished products are put together in Pen Y Coed which is definitely in neither. Somehow I can't see them as being eager to start exporting them to Russia.
The requirement for faster hardware and more RAM comes from the inefficiency of the code that's written.
I've seen heavy (at the time) appiications that were only modifiying and reformatting clear-text data.
The (Java) application was using 8GBs of RAM.
The same could have been done with an AWK script of just a few kB. Probably would have performed a lot better too.
The requirement for faster hardware and more RAM comes from the inefficiency of the code that's written.
Amen, brother. My most hated bloatware is a local application that is essentially a search-and-replace that can handle a bunch of files, including ones in zip, gz etc archives. Somehow the implementers had managed to make it require both Java and Python scripts, and deliver it in a container that naturally contains a particular version of both run-times. And of course it is slow and pretty hard to use. It probably could be reimplemented as fairly straight-forward Perl script. But it is not in my department.
But it must be said most problems do become far easier it you can assume at least 32-bit address space, so even though I like efficient, non-bloated solutions, I do not pine for the 16-bit days. Been there, good riddance.
Our support department had a number of Python scripts that did Network wide scanning/scraping and automation of 1000s of CPEs. The logs showed the server was often hitting 6GB RAM usage.
We re-wrote them in C and max usage came down to 112MB.
To be fair, it wasn't just Python's fault. The people that coded the original scripts were the type that think they can code in Python because they've skimmed through a few chapters of "Learning Python".
Requirements for faster hardware and more RAM don't necessarily come from inefficient code. Sometimes people's needs do change, and sometimes those changes do require more hardware resources.
That said, unless you are dealing with a *lot* of text (and I'm talking tens of millions of pages here, so way beyond the needs of 99% of people) and absolutely need it to be in RAM and not streamed from disk, 8GB of RAM is excessive .
As for Java, while I use it if I need to, I am not a fan. I think Java can be massively inefficient, as you point out. It's always felt like it's a nice idea, but it feels a bit like something you might design if you wanted to copy C++ but not really. I also don't like the idea of having to include hundreds of meg of runtime for a small app that should be a few hundred K.
they announced, today, a NEW! RUSSIAN! laptop, yeah baby!!! I only caught the end of the news, something about 1.5Ghz processor ('Baikal', if I caught it right), up to 16Gb ram (presumably Russian-grown), 512Gb hdd (Russian-built). Presumably with all-Russian linuxky OS. To be released in autumn. This year.
p.s. yes, I'm pretty sure it _will_ come with a screen and keyboard (both Russian-made).
sAll IBM mainframes including s360 and later had 32 bit ALUs, so you're really looking at systems going back into the 1960's.
But Russia once had home-grown reverse engineered s360 and s370 clones, as well as VAX-11/750 and VAX-11/780 clones.
From this description of the banned processors, I would also want to ban bit-slice processors, that can be ganged to produce wider word length systems.
While all your points are absolutely logical and valid, well... none of this really matters - at least in Russia. Their problem (well, one of many problems, in fact) is that they take themselves extremely, no - _extremely_, no, trying again, _EXTREMELY!_ seriously, and do their best (and then some!) to match and outdo the cliche image of Russia and Russians which is held around the world. And they go for it, as if their whole life depended on it, totally oblivious that the world started for a moment, blinked, shrugged and moved on. And then, 3534646 years later, the Russians emerge from the ruins, triumphant: THERE! SEE?! WE DID IT!!!!!!
I really feel sorry for them, because all the time I see they have a really great potential, they _could_ achieve great things. Instead... '1s place in the world-championship of city-levelling'...
"and when what's actually delivered is a box with a brick in it - who are they going to complain to ?"
The domestic Russian shipping companies are often run by family organizations so the bricks in those boxes will often be domestically produced and the computers that were there available through cousin Vladimir's back alley computer store.
Most export controls already control final destination expert via intermediaries. Very difficult to control for consumer goods like these where Russia can just go to Currys in India.
Would the US bother to sanction a Chinese company? Depends on that days political climate (and who is lobbying with the most $$$)
For tech. sourced in the US, intermediaries are also banned from selling to Russia, because as soon as they do, it becomes illegal for US companies to sell to them. And this extends to financial services, so any company that flouts the ban by acting as an intermediary risks not being able to use US and European banking services.
Not so sure about tech originated in Taiwan.
And while the US has an effective stranglehold on on international financial transactions through things like Swift, it is quite possible for them to enforce these things.
Probably easier to hoover up all the secondhand computers the west dumps on the developing world.
Given the games played with arms exports, it would not surprise me if a shipment of decent kit simply gets relabelled as e-waste that can be shipped to Russia for 'recycling'...
Back in the good old days of the cold war we used to use USSR knock-off Hasselblad lenses on certain of Her Majesty's bombing ranges where we expected the optic to have a hard time and didn't want to catastrophically-dissasemble anything genuinely expensive.
IIRC when they worked they were optically quite good, just that the consistency of quality fell short of what Marxism-Leninism was aiming for.
Zenit-Leica digital camera made in Russia! Somebody must have rebooted the Matrix.
Although I'm guessing a few Leica sales guys are drowning their sorrows right now.
And ORWO, the former E German maker of weird cheap slide film, is launching a new range of B&W 35mm film. At this rate my flares will be back in fashion !
The Americans went to the Moon and back on less.
But they didn't have entertainment systems, water-features, exercise machines and assorted electronic gizmos - just critical systems life-support and navigation, and most importantly, some clever hardware and software engineers who built those systems.
During WW1, UK and France put a blockade on Germany imports. A direct consequence was that importation from Netherlands and Sweden exploded, because these neutral countries sold the imports back to Germany. It stopped when the US entered war and restricted its exportation to these two countries.
What would stop a country to buy chips from Taiwan and then sell it back to Russia?
That they will be sanctioned as well. China itself is trying to keep on business as usual while trying not to incur in the effects of secondary sanctions.
Smuggling some Prada bags in is easy, millions of chips is not. Oligarchs will keep on getting their iPhone, iPad and Macs - but their companies won't be able to source thousands of PCs and other devices.
That they will be sanctioned as well
Sanctioning a country because some private companies do smuggling? It doesn't seem very legal.
Smuggling some Prada bags in is easy, millions of chips is not
I doubt that. Millions of chips would fill only a handful of containers. North Korea is subject to sanctions for decades, but everybody knows smuggling of goods to NK is common.
I bet this embargo will mostly affect Russian citizens, but neither the military nor the apparatchiks. I'm not against the embargo, far from it. But I doubt it will reach the intended target.
"Oligarchs will keep on getting their iPhone, iPad and Macs - but their companies won't be able to source thousands of PCs and other devices."
Sure they will, it will just cost more money.
They can buy used machines being scrapped for pennies. Dave at the EEVblog finds all sorts of perfectly good PC's at his office's trash room. Last year's model, but fine for most business tasks. My long suffering PC on the other desk still does all of my CAD/CAM work just fine and operates on W7. I don't let it go on line so it stays healthy and doesn't need the latest vaccine booster.
Sweden and Switzerland both dealt with (traded with) Germany during WWII, and were and are accepted as being neutral during the war. They also dealt with /traded with the Allies.
Which side of a conflict is the aggressor can be (emphasise on 'can') subjective (what one side thinks is reasonable, the other side considers an act of aggression justifying an aggressive response). Third parties may agree with either point of view (or have entirely their own view), so different third parties may have differing views as to which of the countries at war is the aggressor.
Moreover, it is generally useful for both sides in a war to have one or more intermediaries that both sides trust as 'neutral', to aid in ceasefire negotiations/peace making, prisoner swaps, etc, etc.
So in fact, it is normal for a neutral to deal with an aggressor.
However, it is generally accepted that neutrals should not supply arms to either party in a war if they wish to preserve neutrality. Hence, for example, the current issue that Switzerland will not allow Swiss-made 35mm cannon ammo (for the Gepard Flakpanzers that Germany has said it will transfer to Ukraine, assuming it ever actually does) to be sent to Ukraine.
However, the line is not always that clear as to what is 'war material': Sweden provided high quality ball bearings to Germany in WW2 - but also to the UK (high-speed Mosquito runs passed the German air defences).
Blockading a neutral country, just because they don't choose your side is an act of aggression.
Very certain that they would not have done that to a country if it would have the capability to actually do something about those ships blockading the ports.
If you think this is a 'normal' thing to do you're the same type of person as GW Bush with his 'if you're not with us, you're against us'.
The Moscovites have the ELBRUS CPU, which is a 64 bit, 1.5MHz VLIW processor. It is completely homegrown, including the C++ compiler. Its the brain of the high SAMs they have. Other applications I can only guess, such as aerospace, marine and the T14 tank, which needs powerful sensor processors.
I benchmarked it and found it as fast as a RPI4, without using the parallel processing.
They have a fab in Zelenograd which apparently can do 65nm chips.
Can it be used for banking ? Surely, if they get rid of the Java Bloat and apply their brains to the problem instead of the Intel-SUN Fat.
How will this work out economically and militarily ?
Surely it will degrade their high end processing and AI* capabilities as compared to those who have access to TSMC and Samsung.
Now is the time for Russian intelligence to show what they can. So far we have seen mostly corruption, incompetence and hybris. Compensated by wasting soldiers and officers. They would be very wise to end this war and recognize their grave mistake.
* a very real thing, as the HAROP drone proved in Armenia recently.
I do think you do not know the Russian soul and their patriotism. The average russian is not a globalist and they will stay loyal to Russia even if the current ruler is a bit nutterish.
The backbone of Russia are KGB and army officers who know how to motivate, improvise and organise. They also know how to bring the brightest people at one place to develop something great. They are also realists who would call off a costly war, because they are also students of history, economics, hard science and social sciences.
The current problem is the corruption and mediocrity at the top. The BMW-iphone-superyacht set.
It must be said that wasting soldiers and officers is not new to the Russians. They did this 41-45 in enormous numbers. Stalin also murdered virtually his entire general officer corps, which certainly aided Germany to a great degree. But they had America on their side, plus the spirit of defending the rodina. Now they have none of this, just a notorious professional liar without principles at the helm.
Professional lying, deceiving and br4infucking seems to be their core competence (their leader comes from this sector of intel work), while everything else is on soviet or even much worse levels. For example, communications security is at 1910, battle of Tannenberg level. Plain text between general officers. No money for even primitive ciphers, because they need to show off the 150m yachts.
Russia is more powerful than Bangla Desh because they have some outstanding well educated and experienced officers(of all branches of service), engineers, scientists, artists, musicians.
For example, General Kusnetzov, who designed and built a large rocket engine in the 60s, which is top notch even by todays standards. Americans chose to buy and use this engine. Or Mr Kotelnikov, who apparently did the same theoretical work as Mr Shannon in signal sampling theory.
Nevertheless, they have too few babies and a problem with corruption and (I assume) their national soul. But this can be said about almost all european nations.
We should really heal the soul instead of burning the youth in wars...
(According to wiki the RD180 was not directly designed by Kusnetzov, but strongly influenced)
Now imagine how we could work with them to make Airbus even better, if only we could find a way to go along without shooting and the little KGB antics...
Yes, but if you look at the Soviet Union, around half the population is now in countries that are Not Russia, such as Ukraine. Also, there were Soviet-aligned countries such as Poland and Czechoslovakia which collectively had about half the population of the Soviet Union.
The population has also fallen due to low birth rate and migration.
In those days, the population of the Soviet Union + Soviet aligned countries made it the 3rd largest "country" in the world after China and India. Now it is the 9th largest, between Bangladesh and Mexico.
 It is not called Czechoslovakia any more, but it was at the time.
Europe/America/Japan (Japan is in the same boat) have relatively high standards of living and accessible birth control. The time required for education and career cut into childbearing years, not so much16-and-pregnant any more. It may be that many women are finding other things they'd rather be doing than breed.
But you are then supposed to get the 'Scandinavian rebound'.
First generation of women that can get contraception/jobs/university have fewer kids, birth rate drops. Then a generation (or two) later women are a valued part of the workforce/politics and the employers and state offer excellent child care options - they all start having children again and the reproduction rate goes back up.
It's just that bits of the Eu/UK/America/Japan seem to have not reached stage 2 for some reason
Bangladesh at 165m is bigger than Russia, and people don't think of it as a big country.
It depends wholly on what metric you are defining "big". Russia is VERY big in terms of land mass (and variety of land types). Bangladesh is a relatively small country, and large parts of it are made up of muddy river delta.
Russia may not have the population, but it has a lot of natural resources, especially mineral wealth, and it has a lot of power projection, by the dint of having most of the world's nukes. Last time I checked, Bangladesh wasn't a nuclear power, despite being surrounded by other nuke-wielding maniacs.
This may be unwise in the long run. China has been trying to develope their own x86 and x64 processors and to find a market for them. That's now Russia.
Admittedly, the Chinese ones aren't at the 5-7nm level yet and their CPUs are no where near as efficient as Intel & AMDs, but they'll get there eventually.. This is aimed at cutting out the west and the U.S. specifically from their markets so that they become self sufficient and then to out compete. The embargos, whether you agree with them or not, is re-enforcing this message to not only the Chinese but also elsewhere.
It's the economic equivalent of dropping a couple of nukes. Now everybody knows they've got to have "nukes". And the game is stopping proliferation.
But until people are self-sufficient, it's a deterrent. If China had plans for Taiwan they are paused. So that's delayed a conflict. And who knows what the situation will be if they can get there - or whether they can get there. Because they've got a demographic timebomb of their own. They have an economy full of bubbles. They've not figured out a way out of covid. And they're sliding into a dictatorship - which never ends well.
And the alternative was what - sitting on our hands and letting Russia slowly take over the old Soviet block? All in all, the pros outweigh any cons.
With the need of Russian Federations raw materials to actually make the chips, they might not be actually creating the chips in the first place if the Russians start to ban certain chipmaking requirements. Talk about ill thought out, it'll bite them on their proverbial asses. Sad world.
With the need of Russian Federations raw materials to actually make the chips,
There is really no resource in Russia that cannot also be found elsewhere. And chips do not require large amounts of raw materials anyway, they are a rather extreme example of a product where all the value is created in the design and manufacturing.
Am I missing something: why would a government bother to go to the trouble of saying "chips slower than X are not sanctioned" instead of simply sanctioning all chips?
If you don't also sanction the really slow ones, you open up a potential loophole of fast chips being falsely labelled as slow to get them past customs. What makes it worth taking that risk?
I wonder what effect this war will have on post-war society in Ukraine.
It is no big secret that homophobia runs rampant in former east-block countries.
My wife has been helping out as a translator and just casually mentioned that our local pastor is married to a man. The woman's reaction was priceless "he is ...? Oh well, welcome to '2022'!".
If we can help evict Putin and restore peace, then it is my belief that Ukraine is lined up for a great many positive changes.
This is just going to help the Chinese build better product which they can in-turn sell to the Russians.
In a time of war, China will side with Russia and the West, which is extremely reliant on China for manufacturing, will be in a worse place than the EU is now without Russian oil.
The Chinese stuff may not be the best, but it will be good enough and with the increased market share will hopefully, in time, create new markets and opportunities for software developers. We as the end users only stand to benefit from competition. Intel and NVidia weren't doing us any favors when they were clearly in the lead with no close 2nd place. I don't know why we praise them for their price gouging.
Competition is good for us end users.