* Posts by sw guy

69 posts • joined 9 May 2018


Facebook building 'on-demand executable file format' that self-inflates using homebrew compression

sw guy

Re: I have a better way to save space on phones

I came here to post same comment, but you beat me to it.

Have a (see icon), later in the day, though.

What you need to know about Microsoft Windows 11: It will run Android apps

sw guy

Re: Linux Subsystem - Android?

Oh no.

(letting apart the case of native code)

Java as a source language, yes (though you should have a look at Kotlin).

But Android does not run a standard JVM:

Java bytecode is transformed into something very specific to Android before your phone dares to execute application.

Toyota reveals its work on an honest-to-goodness cloak of invisibility

sw guy

no need for perfection

What matters for me as a driver is to be aware there is something in this direction, as well as how does this something roughly looks like.

As long as there is a big enough surface of really transparent stuff (a.k.a. windscreen and windows), a blur, not invisible, pillar area may be enough

Indian government reverts to manual tax filings as new e-tax portal remains badly borked a week after launch

sw guy

I did see really good SW, coming from India, though I also saw very bad one.

Mind you, the price was not the same.

Seven-year-old make-me-root bug in Linux service polkit patched

sw guy

That's why you should always use sudo -k

Report: World's population of developers expands, JavaScript reigns, C# overtakes PHP

sw guy

Thus JavaScript is twice award winning

Both most used and most hated language

(from a neutral observer, I never used it, I never learned it, …, I just summarize what I eard)

Trail of Bits security peeps emit tool to weaponize Python's insecure pickle files to hopefully now get everyone's attention

sw guy

Re: pwned by default

So, pickles are kinda executable files.

One should trust / un-trust them on the same basis as any executable files.

VS Code acknowledges its elders: Makefile projects get an official extension – and VIM mode is on the backlog

sw guy

Re: Key collisions - forced decisions

I remember reading that when Bill Joy developed vi he was often connected to computer by a 1200 baud modem. This convinced him to find a way to minimize bytes flows in the 2 directions, with curses library as a consequence.

Going underground with Scaleway's Apple M1-as-a-Service: Mac Minis descend into Paris nuclear bunker

sw guy

Why, oh why ?

Why should I request my cloud provider survive a big nuclear bomb, while I am pretty sure this would not be the case for me and my customers ?

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

sw guy

Re: Not the 2nd 64 Windows

Thanks for the clarification, I assumed kernel code was compiled to "preferred" register size of CPU.

Well, I reckon this is ambiguous for MIPS, but in my remembering (which can be wrong) Alpha was kinda 64b only with support for 32b.

I totally agree regarding endianess. Actually, I almost noticed it, but I did not just to stay short.

Anyway, NT kernel was able to run of beast with very different ways of interfacing with peripherals, for instance, and my I never heard my colleagues writing drivers saying they had to take care of this.

sw guy

Not the 2nd 64 Windows

From the ground-up, Windows NT was built as really really portable.

Proof are its 4 initial platforms:

- 32b x86 (nobody had ever though of a 64b x86 at that time

- 64b Alpha

- 64b MIPS (I got one at work!)

- PowerPC (I saw references inside doc., even possible one of my colleagues used one) I do not remember if it was 32b of 64b

Itanium came later.

Microsoft's Extensible Storage Engine (JET Blue) source code arrives on GitHub – sadly comments not included

sw guy

Usage ?

To me "is for use in applications that require fast and/or light structured data storage, where raw file access or the registry does not support the application's indexing or data size requirements." is a good description of sqlite.

Any comment from people working with this kind of tool ?

Severe bug in Libgcrypt – used by GPG and others – is a whole heap of trouble, prompts patch scramble

sw guy

Timing attack ?

I read the whole set of comment and I saw a single reference to timing attack

(of maybe 2 if you assume the sentence about probing generated assembly was, too)

Now, I have a question for people proposing others languages:

Is there a way to make sure a function can be guaranteed to execute in a constant time (that is: same time whatever input on same machine) ?

If one wants to be sure, same question could be asked to C users.

Oracle exhumes ‘Older, Still Useful Content’ penned by Solaris and SPARC veterans

sw guy

Maybe still possible

Given the lengthy life-time of space projects, it is possible some LEON using projects are still alive.

I do not have such feeling for OpenSparc, though.

A new take on programming trends: You know what's not a bunch of JS? Devs learning Python and Java ahead of JavaScript

sw guy

OK, programming. But what is the target ?

I wonder which kind of domain is the one with the most program lines created per year ?

Sure, the web is the most visible (tautology?), but how about all those embedded programs we do not even see , or do not even know they exist ?

(I read one day there are 4K of code within an electric shaver)

Note this is a true question, I do not have any clue.

But what I know, is that JS did nothing for me when writing firmware for various devices. Neither python, nor java, BTW.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community

sw guy

Sorry, but no

Veteran Unix admin are used to the old adage: if it ain't broke, don't fix.

And BTW, Debian did a good job of increasing boot performance by replacing /bin/sh years ago: You can run a search of dash cs. bash

And BTW*2, boot frameworks including parallelism though using shell scripts exist

Barbs exchanged over Linux for M1 Silicon ... lest Apple's lawyers lie in wait

sw guy

Re: Look forward to this coming to fruition

Oh, and there are some not cheap chips involved in running Linux and cited in the TOPxxx of high-performance computers

Linux developers get ready to wield the secateurs against elderly microprocessors

sw guy

Bad metric ?

As long as platform does not get any new specific hardware gadget, is there is need for a change when all CPU/board specific stuff already is there ?

Using already cited example: Does something prevent last kernel version working on powerpc/amigaone ? (assuming of course that involved devices are still operational)

Buggy code, fragile legacy systems, ill-conceived projects cost US businesses $2 trillion in 2020

sw guy

Re: And if you are past a certain age ....

I think you wanted the «sad reality» icon and you did not find it…

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'

sw guy

Re: Prelalal dnceodig

Interesting, your sentence was difficult for me, as english is not my native language (nor is chinese: my native language uses latin alphabet)

Microsoft is designing its own Arm-based data-center server, PC chips – report

sw guy

Re: How many companies have to fail at server-side ARM64 ...

Please, avoid "ad hominem" argument.

What I said is what I can say after several years of working pieces of OS on several CPU architectures.

If you want performance, ISA matters, but at soon as the expected features are present, what matters is implementation and memory access (and I/O, if your data set needs it). Oh, and regarding SIMD, you should have a look at what last ARM ISA offers, you would discover why Fujitsu uses it for HPC beasts.

sw guy

Re: How many companies have to fail at server-side ARM64 ...

You may as well apply your last sentence to yourself, as it looks like you forgot some lesson from history.

That is:

x86 is born as a desktop CPU rather than a server one.

Regarding difference between desktop and server CPU, I already eared that: This is what company sending servers with their own CPUs said to the world when they started to feel the hot from (comparatively) cheap x86 server lines.

BTW, yes, there is a difference between desktop and server CPUs, but the instruction set is moot for that purpose.

Overpriced, underpowered, and over here: Microsoft to bring the Surface Duo to British shores in early 2021

sw guy


Some people put that on the negative side, but others put on the positive one

Seagate says it's designed two of its own RISC-V CPU cores – and they'll do more than just control storage drives

sw guy

Re: "And does that matter to anyone?"

I am not quite sure one can say this is not the job of TSMC at all.

TMSC has hard-cells for CPU available (at cost) for their customer, hasn't it ?

Court orders encrypted email biz Tutanota to build a backdoor in user's mailbox, founder says 'this is absurd'

sw guy

Re: Dear Courts. No. Go away.

You remembered me physics problems in high school where wed could have "please assume pi^2 = 10", or "pi^2 = g (gravity acceleration)"

A 1970s magic trick: Take a card, any card, out of the deck and watch the IBM System/370 plunge into a death spiral

sw guy

Re: Those were the days


You could have:


GOTO LABEL => will GOTO 1000

But then something worst was added:

A way to pass labels as parameter for a subroutine

(that is: a function w/o return value),

with a specific syntax inside subroutine to select a label from parameter list:

Caller jumps there right after the return !

sw guy

RT were a new process in Unix V.4

RT as Real Time, a new class of scheduling

You said new ? Hence I had to test that.

This allowed the whole team to discover that looping on decrementing an unsigned 32b integer from its maximum value to zero can take time (more then than now).

And of course, no way to kill process, as there was only one (single-core) CPU…

sw guy

Re: Those were the days

This makes me remember when I had to write a FORTRAN program for which natural data set was a small bag of stacks, but there was no way to create big array to contain biggest possible data (I know, because I tried and I got a "virtual memory full" error message).

Had to put stacks into files, and use windowing, to operate on stacks and just flushing/reloading when needed,

Apple's privacy pledges: We sent dev checks over plain HTTP, logged IP addresses. We bypass firewall apps

sw guy

Rasberry Pie ?

Thus, beside your Mac you know need a small device running the actual network control, tailored to *your* need.

TBH, this kind of box could please Windows 10 users, too.

H2? Oh! New water-splitting technique pushes progress of green hydrogen

sw guy

Re: Storing hydrogen is an absolute pain


Let me add some more stuff for acceptable result, have one

Linux kernel's Kroah-Hartman: We're not struggling to get new coders, it's code review that's the bottleneck

sw guy

Re: No surprise.

As a famous example, there is the A in RSA…

Ah yes, Sony, that major player in the smartphone space, has a new flagship inbound: The Xperia 5 II

sw guy

Re: How long?

Given the size of image captor on a phone, I assume even plain 16mm focal could be called super-tele.

Also, even if 35mm format totally disappears one day (sigh), I assume it will stay used as reference, so as to allow comparison whatever the year of models. BTW, I also assume there is no point trying to get size of captor on a phone as a reference, as this size is prone to change at high pace.

Google Chrome calculates your autoplay settings so you don't have to - others disagree

sw guy

Re: Google, you suck donkey balls

Oh, I remember times where there was an browser option to load images on demand only

While you lounged about all weekend Samsung fired up its biggest-ever chip factory and started cranking out 16Gb LPDDR5 DRAM

sw guy

Re: Always registered → Clearing RAM

In fact, every sensible OS takes care of clearing any page upon allocation to a process.

Otherwise, fighting against spectre and al. would be useless, because randomly reading old data from RAM by running a bunch of processes massively allocating stack and/or heap would be enough to get all sorts of /interesting/ informations.

Well, what are we waiting for? Three weeks later, Windows Embedded Standard 7 still didn't have the answer

sw guy

Update, really ?

I wonder if Embedded versions of Windows try to update automatically.

Does somebody here know ?

AMD is now following More's Law: More chips, more money, more pressure on Intel, more competition in the x86 space

sw guy

Re: Again seems history repeating itself

Sorry for misunderstanding

From the post I answered to, I assumed you meant Sun participated in designing the chip(s).

Anyway, Sun was not alone to have a compiler and an OS port for Itanium (hint: company I worked for had, too). But CPU not able to reach announced performances, or too late, had a big influence to bad reception by potential customer. Plus price. Plus abysmal performance on legacy binaries. Plus need to recompile when CPU version changed if you wanted maximum performance...

sw guy

Re: Again seems history repeating itself

Trying to replace history by fantasy does not help Intel, you know.

Sun, as a competitor was not involved in Itanium.

Some others competitors believed the Itanium tide would sweep their own CPUs and gave up even before fight. In the end, they no longer had their own CPU, and not a good enough one as a replacement.

BTW, amongst these competitors, there was Alpha, whose demise was a big boost for AMD as some design team went there after there boot was sunk by management.

Nvidia may be mulling lopping Arm off Softbank: GPU goliath said to have shown interest in acquiring CPU design house

sw guy


ARM also has à GPU line.

I stop here, up to you to think of what could happen there...

SoftBank: Oi, we paid $32bn for you, when are you going to strong-Arm some more money out of your customers?

sw guy


Running a PC is not the sole purpose CPUs, you know it.

I have participated in setting specifications of several SoC with various CPUs on they, and then writing firmware while other engineers actually created the chip. In every case, the development platform was a x86 PC either on Windows or Linux.

We've paused Sigfox roof aerial payments, says WND-UK, but we'll make you whole after COVID

sw guy

Re: I don't get it £840k a year for something you could do over LTE

You know, there is low power and low power.

Or, so-called low-power and really low power.

Thus, it all depends what kind of energy source is available the thing (as in IoT).

If juice come from a battery nobody will change during the life span of captor, you need really low power (for which Sigfox is not the only existing option, but it is one, while LTE is not then).

Fujitsu, Japan strong-Arm their way to the top with world's fastest-known super: 415-PFLOPS Fugaku

sw guy

Re: Obligatory

Answer depends on availability of Rosetta2 on it :-)

When open source isn't enough: Fancy a de-Googled Chromium? How about some Microsoft-free VS Code?

sw guy

Re: "Replace many web domains in the source code with non-existent alternatives ending in qjz9zk"


And is there any reason for not using localhost instead ?

Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork's Grendel – systemd

sw guy

Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

Thus I understand that what is needed is a new shell.

OK, I will take my coat and look for that beast outside.

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

sw guy

Another unknown feature...

was the magic key-combo which allowed drawing a single card when in 3 cards at a time mode

I tested it, to confirm what I was told, but I soon forget it, because I much preferred free cell as a time sucking click machine

Stuck at home? Need something to keep busy with? Microsoft has 115 ideas – including an awful SMBv3 security hole to worry about

sw guy

Re: Imagine a user...

You are lucky if your user have no idea.

For what I saw, there are indeed such users. But among others, one can find:

- Those who assume it is magic ("Oh, you need time to think before acting ?")

- Those who believe they know. <= ALERT Call for troubles

Note this is not specific to computer science, BTW

Microsoft uses its expertise in malware to help with fileless attack detection on Linux

sw guy

Re: detection feature scans the memory of all processes

I cannot, but I do not want any not controlled by me program to perform such a scan

sw guy

detection feature scans the memory of all processes

Once that said, I have enough for my answer.

Which is : «No» (or, «No, thanks», let us be polite after all)

How the US-China trade war is felt stateside: Xilinx trims workforce after lucrative Huawei sales pipe blocked

sw guy

Re: Isn't It Ironic?

I propose a vote for best comment of month

The BlackBerry in your junk drawer is now a collectors' item: TCL says no more new keyboard-clad phones

sw guy

No comment...

...from neither TCL nor BB, thus I will propose mine as a question.

Regarding decision, how much weighted price of license itself ?

Microsoft boffin inadvertently highlights .NET image woes by running C# on Windows 3.11

sw guy

Re: 32 bit processors were common from 1985

What about using RAMdisk(s) ?



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