* Posts by Jim 68

22 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Feb 2017

It's a matter of when, not if, customers move to the cloud, SAP tells investors

Jim 68

Didn't the Hindenburg lift us into the cloud?

Wow, we just bought this VAX 780 and now we can free ourselves from leasing time on that IBM mainframe and control our own culture.

Shift forward a few decades and we're floating toward the Cloud, inhaling its mephistic vapors from the hookah.

Does any of this sound familiar?

White Castle collecting burger slingers' fingerprints looks like a $17B mistake

Jim 68

Culinary experience

I recall the woman describing her experience with White Castle: It tasted a lot better last weekend when I was drunk.

Rate of disruptive tech and science discoveries has slowed over the decades, claims study

Jim 68

Disruptive MBAs

To be serious for a moment, I think the post about the rise in the noise level is relevant. It took Max Perutz 30 years to elucidate the structure of h(a)emoglobin.

Most scientists would be fired by MBAs if they took more than 5 years even to discover the Grand Unified Theory of Everything.

Why would a keyboard pack a GPU and run Unreal Engine? To show animations beneath the clear keys, natch

Jim 68

I was going to categorize this up there with the electric fork until some boffins brought up the porn aspect.

Now you can be working remotely and typing an angry message to your boss while fondling your Internet girlfriend's body.

'It's dead, Jim': Torvalds marks Intel Itanium processors as orphaned in Linux kernel

Jim 68

Re: Itanic industrial mistake

"Although VMS is therefore relevant to the lingering on of Itanium, another significant factor is perhaps the fact that no port of HP-UX to x86 or x86-64 has ever been released."

I suspect the reason for no x86 port of HP-UX goes back to AT&T SVr4. Sun Solaris 2 was developed from scratch and dual endian.

HP decided to incorporate SVr4 into HP-UX without a full rework, so it stayed big endian only.

If you look at the source code there is so much low level bit twiddling that it would be impractical to try to "port" HP-UX to a little endian CPU with anything short of a complete ground up rewrite.

There were a couple perfunctory stabs at it that were cancelled early on.

Since most customers are primarily interested in application environments above the OS, porting HP-UX to x86-64 was less attractive than migrating them to Linux.

IBM researcher suing for age discrimination blames CEO Arvind Krishna for his ousting

Jim 68

This is typical of a corporate environment that places stock buybacks above creativity and innovation. IBM has been engaged for over a decade in deliberate age discrimination mainly to cut the payroll.

And the company's customers have suffered from it.

At this point as a customer I would never do business with IBM, largely because they have nothing to offer.

The Register just found 300-odd Itanium CPUs on eBay

Jim 68

Re: Optimised in compiler

As I recall, the impetus for EPIC was a soon discredited research paper implying that there was a huge amount of unexploited parallelism in existing source code that was missed by compiler peephole optimization and RISC runtime reordering.

I tested this with a DEC Alpha in 1993 running OSF/1. The compilers had the option to do deep/wide optimization across the entire set of source files for an application.

I compiled some large biomedical imaging and genomic applications and found the difference in runtime performance was about 3% or less - not worth the effort.

Given the lack of runtime optimization and the nondeterministic nature of cache misses and memory access, the only way to get Itanium to work was to put the entire working set in cache.

It would have been interesting to see what the highly regarded PA-RISC design team could have done has they not been displaced.

Of course the same goes for Alpha.

IBM still spending its way to cloud relevance with BoxBoat buy

Jim 68

IBM is so far behind Amazon and Microsoft they might as well just punt and put what little is left behind Watson. As if there's much more promise there.

They took one of the best computer companies in the world and turned it into a disaster while destroying the careers of their employees.

We've heard of too big to fail, and IBM used to fall in that category.

Now IBM seems to be exploring "too dumb to fail " as a business model.

Meltdown, Spectre: The password theft bugs at the heart of Intel CPUs

Jim 68
Black Helicopters

Re: Maybe we dodged a bullet?

I think NSA told me to avoid side-channels back in the 1980s.

Itanic was sunk before launch - by Alpha compiler

Jim 68

Itanic was sunk before launch - by Alpha compiler

I had an early DEC 3000 Alpha 400/400S AXP workstation. It had a C compiler that did extremely deep/wide source parallelism analysis across an entire application, what EPIC later promised. I experimented and found that the degree of "hidden" parallelism discovered in no way compensated for the inconvenience and time required to recompile the entire application from source just to edit one module. Yes, I conducted detailed, controlled studies at (then) DCRT at the NIH. Around late 1992 or early 1993. Oh, yes, you could do EPIC on an Alpha in 1992! Just pick the right compiler options and compile the whole source at once.

This whole disaster could have easily been avoided had someone at HP or Intel simply repeated what I did a decade earlier with that Alpha.

Yet IBM decided I didn't deserve to have a job selling HP Itanics to Mickey Mouse (he evidently likes HP-UX better than IBM POWER with the COBOL like AIX OS) so I was RA'd.

Go figure...

Republicans' net neutrality attack written by… you guessed it, the cable lobby

Jim 68

It's Comcastic!

And the winner is...

Fire fighters get grinding on London man’s trapped genitalia

Jim 68

Sounds like another job for...

Angle Grinder Man!

Best be Nimble, best be quick. You're out of a job at HPE – and that's sh*t

Jim 68

Re: I am not a resource!

Hewlett and Packard wanted to make the best quality engineering kit possible. It was costly but generally worth it if you could afford it.

When I visited a large HP facility around 1999 or so I asked about their quality assurance testing. Once the laughter subsided I was told: "If it powers on, it ships!"

I think I also vaguely recall a time when employers saw critical minded, skilled employees as a valuable resource. By the 1990s they were a disposable asset. Now they're just a cost to be cut.

Industrial plant robots frequently connected to the 'net without authentication

Jim 68

I suspect...

...there are a lot of people who simply can't envision anything that's not connected to the Internet.

Come celebrate World Hypocrisy Day

Jim 68

Startup Entrepreneurship

Silicon Valley essentially invented IP theft. The whole idea of startup "entrepreneurship" was essentially joining a firm, learning their kit and then going into competition with them.

It's happening! It's happening! W3C erects DRM as web standard

Jim 68

Fair Use, We Don't Need No Steenkin' Fair Use!

Why can't people ever get over this "copy protection" nonsense? All DRM does is to hobble reasonable use by legal licensees.

Fix crap Internet of Things security, booms Internet daddy Cerf

Jim 68

Re: I hope "the answer" isn't EVEN MORE gummint...

A significant issue is the prevailing social problem of complete lack of ethics that has overtaken nearly everything. When the people in control of doing things have no interest in quality or potential risks, it really doesn't matter. Private sector or public, big or small, if there's no intent to do good to begin with, neither regulations nor market selection pressure will matter.

Microsoft cloud TITSUP: Skype, Outlook, Xbox, OneDrive, Hotmail down

Jim 68

I Just Assumed...

The Internet being what it is these days, I assumed the periodic hiccups in MS cloud svcs were due to a DDoS attack on their authentication servers. Fortunately in my case reloading the page a few times got through and everything I did Tuesday seems to be there today.

Will AI lead to the rise of the love machines?

Jim 68

Big Bang Theory

There was that episode with Wolowitz' robotic hand...

Scott McNealy: Your data is safer with marketers than governments

Jim 68

"...Wait until we see puck."

Most Sun engineers in the '80s and '90s regarded Scooter primarily as a source of entertainment.

Hyper-V guest escape, drive-by PDF pwnage, Office holes, SMB flaws – and more now patched

Jim 68

'...Secure programming is hard, kids'

From reading the descriptions of most Windows related vulnerabilities, the developers would only have needed to type, size, bounds and sanity check inbound data. All incoming data, every time. This is hardly news, and is certainly less difficult than the time some suits at a former unnamed employer decided it would be a nifty idea to mix big and little endian app servers in a n-tier SAP environment. "Well, the marketing rep SAID it would work..."

IBM: Voluntary redundo offer? Ticked. Min stat terms? Ticked

Jim 68
Paris Hilton

Re: But don't we need to import IT skills...

This was always the old selling point when Cisco produced that white paper nearly two decades ago about "at will" employees being able to pick and choose the best compensation. Unfortunately when everyone is going down the H-1B route there aren't many "opportunities" to choose.