* Posts by Proton Wrangler

24 posts • joined 16 Dec 2006

17 years since release, iMac G5 finally gets an upgrade after tinkerer shoves M1 Mac Mini inside

Proton Wrangler

you've slipped, luv

The PowerPc G5 -is- the 970 in a couple of sometimes die shrunk or dual-corr versions. The G4 was variations on the 7400, and the G3 was the 750 in Motorola/Freescale naming.

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

Proton Wrangler

feed me dead beef

My recollection from 80's and 90's work with Unix and embedded stuff is that many libraries would write 0xDEADBEEF to free'd memory blocks and that the other was 0xFEEDFACE in newly allocated regions, and padding between data elements (at the end of an array or stack frame).

I don't remember if the C library malloc() routine was spec'd to deliver zero-filled regions or not. Certainly the underlying Unix brk() call did not.

Proton Wrangler

feed me dead beef

My recollection from 80's and 90's work with Unix and embedded stuff is that in many libraries free'd memory blocks had 0xDEADBEEF written to them and that the other was 0xFEEDFACE in newly allocated regions, and padding between data elements (at the end of an array or stack frame).

I don't remember if the C library malloc() routine was spec'd to deliver zero-filled regions or not. Certainly the underlying Unix brk() call did not.

Tablet computer zoom error saw plane fly 13 hours with 46cm hole

Proton Wrangler

Re: @ RIBrsiq @Turtle Typo Or Not?

Why yes, and it was a prototype project called Microsoft Surface. (cue dramatic music)

A friend was hired into the Surface group at MS and worked on this in his first assignment, which didn't last too long as I recall. 2009 may have been the approximate year? I can't find any hits on it with a quick web search because everything returned is about the latter-day Surface.

Broadband powered by home gateways? Whose bright idea was THIS?

Proton Wrangler

Re: Correction

Pedantic very often Mr. Bloggs? :-) Anyway the poster you're responding to was giving the simultaneity of coming on as evidence for RF control and not photocell control.

Ouch! Microsoft sues recycling firm over 70K stolen Office licenses

Proton Wrangler

Company hired to destroy excess inventory, probably after a new release. I've seen it in the software industry though not at the 70,000 copy level (I think it was ~20 cases with 52 units each going to the shredding firm)

So yes, It had to be pretty much outright theft. The customers could in some legal sense be liable for infringing copies, but I suspect there's no way to determine which customers (it's not like they keep a record of every 25 character key generated) and no halfway sane company) would go after users like that in any case

Elon Musk pours more Kool-Aid into Powerwall

Proton Wrangler

Output voltage

Neither of those: the in - and out- are high voltage DC (~350V ?), presumably just at the battery string voltage. You have to have an inverter to get AC of any flavor.

Most solar inverters will work with that current from the batteries, but combining it with solar PV is more difficult because the panel string voltage varies by nearly 50% depending on irradiance.

SolarEdge is the company that has products best suited to integrating PowerWall, and they say a software upgrade for the inverter will make their products installed in the last 2 years compatible.

pv-tech.org is an industry website that's pleasingly devoid of hype.


Apple's Windows XP moment: OS X Snow Leopard left to DIE

Proton Wrangler

PPC applications

10.6 was the last version to offer PowerPC emulation on x86. I've got OS X apps for PowerPC that were never available for Intel.

Games, mostly, but MS Office 2004 lets me eschew the ribbon interface overhaul.

Intel bags $120m patent hoard from RealNetworks

Proton Wrangler

On the contrary, I've installed Real Player on Mac and Win7 this year and there's no nagging. It also has a nice Flash video downloader built in.

I find real Player to be a better player than Windows Media Player.

Intel's future Sandy Bridge Xeons exposed

Proton Wrangler


The just-launched E7 xeons (westmere-ex) are Sandy Bridge, I believe, or the newest microarchitecture, in any case. (I can't always keep track of codenames for architectures vs. implementations). Or am I wrong?

I was strictly keeping things on a per-socket basis, to avoid complete madness. But AMD will give you 32 cores in a mainstream 2-socket system and it looks like Intel will give you 16 or 20 cores which are faster by some as-yet unknown fraction.

In terms of FP, which is what I care about most about it looks like Bulldozer cores are equal, clock for clock, with the newest Xeon cores on SSE2 code and somewhere closer to half as fast with AVX, when that becomes important.

Proton Wrangler

No, not so much.

I understand they hand out press releases but there's no need to smoke them up and inhale so deeply, while washing it down with Intel Kool-Aid.

I don't see Intel's slicing up of the chipset family as a benefit to anyone but Intel - OEMs can build systems with varying storage options without needing multiple silicon parts. It's Intel's attempt to grab a larger chunk of the price of higher cost servers. Nice to see as many as 8 x 6Gbps SAS ports, I believe AMD offers 6 x 3Gbps SATA at present, requiring additional chippery many times.

C32 only seems to make sense in low-end single socket, but with Bulldozer it offers 8 cores against the 4 Intel offers in the E3 Xeons. AMD looks to be equal/ahead in memory bandwidth per socket with G34 vs Intel (4 channels vs 3 or 4) and a bit behind in ultimate capacity (8 DIMMS vs 9 or 12) The AMD chipsets have as many or more PCIe lanes.

Intel will give you 8 cores in an E5 or 10 in a pricey E7, AMD offers 16. Who can say about performance until things are released, but AMD's CPU prices are relative bargins.

Apple preempts Win 7 with fresh iMacs, Macbooks

Proton Wrangler
Jobs Halo

Apple feels your pain

Andrew Johnson complains: "I bought a brand new Mac Mini at an iStore 2 days ago. Today they released a faster better machine for less than I paid!! Thanks Apple!"

Apple Stores have a 14 day return policy (at least in the USA) and in the past they've been happy to refund your purchase price if you want the new machine OR they've given people a small sum as compensation to folks who complain if they'd rather keep the first machine.

Remarkably decent, really.

Sun tripling RAID protection

Proton Wrangler

and so it begins...

> I would like to see triple parity from ZFS and an option to bypass hardware error correction.

Self. Foot. Shoot.

Enjoy the extra 20% capacity while you can.

Tablet MacBook launched... again

Proton Wrangler
Dead Vulture

plastic macbooks only, for the moment

To be clear, a close perusal of the axiotron.com site confirms that they presently offer this only for the original macbooks, but they hope to have a revised shell casting available in "mid-2009" to serve the new ones. El Reg has had a bit of a cock-up on the press release comprehension front.

So far as Apple is concerned, for OS X licensing this _is_ an Apple-labeled product, just resold in a modified case. Axiotron sells through distributors in the US and Canada, with each responsible for warrenty service.

Reading their forums, I see the Axiotron CEO was an Apple engineer on the Newton and some other products, and the company is an Apple Premier Developer, though I'm not sure if that signfies more than dropping a few grand on ADC membership.

Proton Wrangler
Thumb Up

A pretty slick conversion

A friend has had one of these since August. It keeps the bottom shell of the MacBook intact, with the motherboard and peripherals. The top shell/keyboard and display are lopped off and replaced with a digitizer and display similar to the Wacom Cintiq digitizer/LCDs.

I believe they get some kind of accomodation from Apple to buy the base shells sans display which probably lets them offer the new units so inexpensively (relative to the conversion)

Axiotron does not have much software of their own on the beast, relying on Apple's Ink system and Wacom's tablet driver software. My friend does illustration work on hers, and I expect that's what most of them are used for, rather than a specialized vertical application

Intel delays quad-core Penryns to pummel Phenom?

Proton Wrangler

It's the money, honey

With production of 45nm chips being limited, they're selling them as more expensive Xeons and QX (extreme) packages.

Intel has always been very canny at making the most money they can.

When production ramps up significantly and the demand for upgraded servers moderates, they will release the lower cost desktop chips.

Leopard on a PC?

Proton Wrangler
Jobs Horns

Not without genius engineering skills

Steve Jobs is, in fact the Devil.

Macs use a completely different pre-boot system called EFI, rather than the traditional BIOS which loads a known boot block address from disk and starts executing it. So there'd be a big software effort to write an EFI environment for your chipset.

Then, I believe Apple Intel Macs also have a "Trusted Platform Module" which gives some kind of secure way to verify the the identity of the machine and who manufactured it.

I'e seen photos on the web of someone's machine supposedly booting MacOS in a virtualized EFI environment, but it was supposed to take over an hour to boot.

Hey car thief! Gonna shut you down

Proton Wrangler

Don't stop the fuel pump

I don't imagine GM means to actually shut off the fuel supply bang-full stop. There's safety issues as CBarn notes, and some fuel injection systems would be trashed running dry like that.

Many (most?) vehicles have "throttle by wire" nowadays, so a progressive limiting of the throttle plate opening would do the job gradually.

Failing throttle-by-wire, some manipulation of fuel injector pulse width or ignition timing would bring you to a crawl safely.

UK plans surveillance for Earth-menacing asteroid

Proton Wrangler

Reg is consistant

Should have know there couldn't be a science article without the "B"-word.

Keep it out of the title but work in into the first sentence. Sigh.

Boeing touts feeble Hummer-mounted raygun

Proton Wrangler

pulsed power

A 500KW radar is not particularly huge. The power rating is the peak amplitude of a rather short pulse - average power over time is probably a few 10's of KWs.

Dinner party guest makes gruesome discovery

Proton Wrangler

Erm, wrong

The dinner guest was not the same person as the neighbor. If you're going to write a long rant you might check the facts in the story? Or maybe not.

AMD readies HyperFlash cache tech

Proton Wrangler

This cache is managed differently

To Oliver, the first commentator:

This is a non-volatile cache, so it's ready after being shut-off. The transfer rate from flash is not really better than a hard drive, but access is so much faster that by putting the most used bit of start-up libraries and favorite applications in flash the overall performance feels much snappier at the times when the waits are most annoying.

It's different from a traditional most-recently used cache scheme (CPU cache and filesystem RAM cache) in that once you shown a pattern of commonly used files, they'll live in flash with relatively little turn over.

Intel vs AMD - integrated graphics shoot-out

Proton Wrangler

rational comments

The 6100/6150 _are_ Nvidia's current integrated parts, though they've been out at least a year. The clock rate for the 6150 is ~10% faster than the 6100. The 6150 does much better at scaling video for full screen playback, that's the real difference, not 3D performance.

The G965 is the only Intel integrated solution that supports Shader Model 3.0 in DirectX, and that's the critical feature. Anything with a Q965 or GMA-xxx (G945, etc) will not have the same appearance with Vista. AMD is not incorrect to make their claims - there are lots of mATX boards being sold with 945 chipsets, and driver support for G965 is currently very spotty.

The same image quality difference comes up in a game like World of Warcraft, where SM 3.0 chips give you greatly improved views in and around water, because the surface transparancy is enabled. The 6150 manages ~20fps in WoW, but they're really pretty frames...

What about ATI's integrated chipsets? are those available for Intel as well as AMD, and do they support SM 3.0?


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