* Posts by James

27 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Aug 2007

Acer sued for shipping Vista-book with GB of memory


Mac OS

Mac OS is the only real solution to windows problems. Unlike another chappy on here, I've had no problems in running xcode with a fairly large codebase (around 300 obj-c and c++ files) in 1GB or RAM. My little Mac mini with it's Intel mobile graphics runs admirably well, even when you take into account my not being used to the Apple keyboard layout.

Anyhow...I thought it was the job of the OS to run my computer, not the other way around. This is the main reason I won't be going near Windows until they sort out the "minimum system requirements".

Game designers deconstruct their 'art'


not so sure about it being "art"

As a game developer, I've always felt uncomfortable saying that what the games industry produces is "art". I always have this little Rik Mayal in the back of my head saying things like "Art? Arty farty farty! How far up your backside is your head!?" It just sounds too pretentious trying to make out that what we do, is to be taken seriously and has something more to say than "play me and have fun".

It doesn't help that a great many designers are usually failed film makers in some way or form. As much as I admire the work that Kojima has produced, especially the Metal Gear series, you can't ignore the fact that his overly developed cut-scenes and trashy dialog are the product of somebody who would rather be making movies.

If you take the individual elements of a video game, some of them can rightly be considered art in their own right, especially the graphics and overall visual style. But the gameplay isn't art, I'm sorry. It's something completely different, more directly related to great board games than it is to any sort of "art form" in my opinion.

The sooner the games industry stops trying to validate itself by comparing what it does to the music or film industry, by trying to aim for some sort of "high brow" validation by saying that it is art, the better. Given the amount of money the industry generates as a whole, and it's pretty small size, I would say that this is all the validation that we need. We make games, things that people enjoy. Isn't that enough?

Ofcom rules on Clarkson strumpet gag

Thumb Up

Common sense prevails!

Quick, somebody check to see if it's the 1st of April.

Battlestar Galactica prequel shuns space, spaceships

Thumb Down

Sounds good to me

So I'm the only person who's looking forward to this then? Because y'know....it doesn't need space ships zooming around to be sci-fi you narrow minded bunch of 40 year old virgins.

Finaly...some sci-fi that does away with the Star Trek fan base and it's requirement for non-sensical jargon for its success. Can't wait.

Ubuntu 8.10 - All Hail new Network Manager


Sticking with 8.04.1

I'll stick with Hardy Heron for now, there's too much hassle being on the "bleeding edge". Part of that hassle involves manually removing my 3d drivers (ATI) and praying that the re-install will make it all work again.

I'll wait until next year before moving from Hardy I think, no matter how nice some of these features sound. I like to be productive, not earning my "linux configuration and problem shooting" badge.

Did the width move for you, darling?


bollocks...I need an amusing title

I was more than mildly surprised when the reg suddenly changed its clothes! Can't say I'm bothered by it though. New looks, same old hacks writing the stories. And that's why I come here.

Not because you look pretty,. but because you're a bitter, twisted booze filled journo with all the inegtrity of a wannabe actress offering hand jobs in LA. That's what I love about you el Reg.

Next Visual Studio going multi-screen?

Jobs Horns

Another confused developer

Like other people, I'm a bit confused about this too. VS already is able to be "spread" over more than one monitor. In fact, looking at my home setup right now, I have the main window on one monitor with the solution explorer, output, and find windows open on the other.

Maybe they mean a simple expansion on VS so that you can have multiple documents open on different monitors? That\s the only think it seems to be missing (or I can't find that feature).

But please Microsft....concentrate on making thinks like intellisense work properly with classes derived from templates first, eh? This would make me a much happier programmer.

Fellow from AMD ridicules Cell as accelerator weakling


RE:The cell has it's problems...

I can see how people see that 256k of local-store (LS) would be a problem, or some sort of "limiting" factor. But the truth is, if done in the right way, there's very little the programmer has to do in making the best use of the LS.

You're not limited to loading in big chunks of data to operate on at a given time, and even if that's what what you want to do; you can also load in chunks of data from different areas of memory in one go.

Sure; you have to split up your operations a little more, but that's about it. It's no biggie.

And, you can run straight c-code on the SPE without any issues. There's a group that's working on a sort of software caching system for big chunks of code that wouldn't fit in only 256k. After all, as far as the PSE is concerned code is just data too, and so can be streamed in as needed.


Opinions are like imaginary friends...not everbody sees them

"You have to get going first on the PowerPC chip (inside Cell), and the PowerPC core is too weak to act as the central controller."

Okay...everybody is entitled to their opinion, but they should atleast have the courtesy to back it up with their reasoning. Why is it so weak to act as a controler? Why is an x86, or more specifically, an AMD x86 core better at task management?

Having written Cell code, and thus my own task management, I haven't had ANY problem with the PowerPC core. It runs pretty well, it's light weight and very little of what needs to be done is impacted by the lack out-of-order execution or major branch prediction.

The whole "number of viable cores limited by the OS" thing is a complete falacy as far as I'm concerned. The OS should not be responsible for managing the cores mainly because of the exact problem being mentioned....OS code is slow, and cumbersom because of all the features it has to support, and thefor not adept at handling core management.

When I write Cell code under Linux, I don't use OS functionality to send code/data to a SPU. Anybdy who thinks it should be done via some form IOCTL needs to be beaten with a wet kipper, Instead, I use the Cell SDK which accesses the Cell functionality directly, with the OS sitting on top of all that. The OS doesn't need to manage core functionality....that's just silly as far as I can tell, and leaves the system more vulnerable to attack (please, somebody correct me if they think I'm wrong).

It's no surprise that an AMD employee is giving negative press about the x86 markets biggest threat. After all, he's hardly going to say "yeah, this x86 stuff is a big pink elephant that we're stuck with but Cell rocks", is he?

Flames because this will degenerate into a flame war with all of the coder stuck in traditional development realising that they need to adapt beyond their comfort zone for the future.

Sony: world PS3 sales pass 12.8m consoles


@Mark H.

A free repair service is generaly a replacement 360 with the appropriate air-card and hard disk swapped out, because there isn't a lot you can do with a console that has pretty much melted away the solder from most of its components.

I'm willing to bet that Microsoft count every repair (which is really a new unit) as a sale too.


RRoD adjusted?

I wonder if MS's figures are adjusted for the RRoD plague. If not, then that puts the global 360 sales at around 14-15million units, which is shocking given the 12 months lead the console has had over the PS3, as well as the bigger and better games library.

Didn't Aaron Greenberg of Microsoft recently have a whinge about Sony, because they have to compete against "Sony Hype" rather than what Sony has produced? The way I see it, if Microsoft can't compete against it, then it's Microsoft who is doing something wrong, not Sony.

Ubuntu man Shuttleworth dissects Hardy Heron's arrival

Paris Hilton

Get out, now!

To those like Matty B, I'm asking you to get out of the I.T. if you work in the industry. If not, please don't bother to get a job in I.T.

As I.T. profesionals, our job is to solve problems. And for the most part this involves making sure that the end user has access to afforable, reliable and EASY TO USE solutions and software. This is our job, not making the most elite piece of software that you need a comp sci. degree to use.

In short, our job should be as problem solvers, not problem creators!

The I.T. industry doesn't need or want people who think in this way, so if you think an OS must invlove you editing 15 different config files just to rename your drive label, please, leave now. We don't need or want people like you.

Paris, because she probably gets the point of an operating system more than some of the idiots I see posting here.

Sony delays PS3 virtual world Home - again



Not so sure what's wrong with the Match Making side of the PS3 stuff. From my experience, it's actually not so bad and you act like the ONLY way you can play is via Match Making. There are plenty of games out there on the PS3 that let you create matches yourself for people to play.

Match Making seems to be only used when on-line play lets you earn bonuses in the game itself (GT Prologue is a good example of this).

The friends list still has some missing features, like inviting them to a game etc. but that's all that's missing when I come to think of it.

It's nowhere near as bad as you make out, and I seriously doubt you've tried on-line play on a PS3 at all. From what you're describing, you're telling us the bad points of what used to be the old PS2 based network, which was awful.

As for Home....well....I was never really interested in it anyhow. I guess it shows that they're comitted to providing a good experience with it, if they're delaying it.

The flames because this has been a flame war between console nerds thus far, who might want to think about dealing with their personal hygene issues so a woman might allow them to mate (given enough money having sold your precious consoles and games)

CIA demands UK halts interrogation tactics



Oh...it's April 1st, isn't it? Ho ho! Well done lads and lassie's....it was almost a bit too subtle for a thicko like me.

Wikileaks exposes Scientology's zeal to 'clean up rotten spots of society'



There's just been a rather suspicious opening of a little shop called "Ron's Bookstore" which stocks nothing but Hubbard's books here in Vienna. It's well painted and lit, with a flat panel tv showing some video footage and comfy leather chairs.

And it's choc full of Hubbard's books. Should I be scared?

1&1 says sorry to one in ten



I'm with you on this one Nick. The same thing happened with my payment details a year ago, and it took them SIX WEEKS to sort it all out. I gave them the heave ho and bnever looked back since.

Stroustrup and Sutter: C++ to run and run


@Curtis W. Rendon

I suggest you change jobs if you sleep badly when your C++ projects deploy. That's not a sign of a bad language, but an imcompetent programmer.

Intel will flush Xeon line with six-core Dunny


RE:Ken Hagan

Actualyl, yes there are tonnes of ways that Intel can improve their line. They really should just abandon the x86 architecture and expose the RISC cores of their chips. The horrible variable instruction length and execution time required by the Intel chips makes them extremely relient on internal register reordering, out-of-order-execution and what-not.

Removing those complex pieces of nasty would result in a much better execution profile, especially when it comes to branch prediction misses. Not to mention making it easier for compilers to optimize for the seperate execution pips.

Thumb Down

the same old cow dung

So Intel are still releasing poorly designed cores, relying on the old "just add more cores/cache/MHz" trick to get some decent performance. Nothing new there then.

Boffin stacks 16 PS3s to simulate black hole collisions


RE:But this is what the PS3 is designed for, not games.

I have to wonder Mr Anonymous Coward, do you actually have any experience in programming games? Because if you did, and had experience in programming the PS3 you would know that the problem you've desribed just doesn't happen.

The PPU is what is used to shcedule jobs on the SPU's, and it's this bit that it a little more suited to overly complex descision making. In fact, the SPU's themselves can also decided what piece of data to process and HOW to process it, since SPU code is really just data too. It's not like the PS2 where you could only feed data to VU0 and VU1 with no real logic control beyond basic loop-branching.

Just because they don't have a deep and costly branch prediction scheme, doesn't mean that they're inneficient at conditional code.

A branch miss on a SPU only cost around 6-cyles. Compare this to something like the oh-so-wonderful general purpose processors such as modern day Pentium class where misses can range from just a few cycles to a hundred.

Right...I have a bug in my SPU code to fix.


oh dear....

David Corbett...it was only a matter of time before the mindless fanboys came out.

@Sarah Baucom - It's true that the doublt performance is an order of magnitude slower, but it's still cheaper to buy a blade rack or several PS3 to match the performance than it is to buy a super-performing cluster.

And memory isn't such an issue. The whole purpose idea behind parallel computing is to break one big task into smaller sub-tasks. This is also means, breaking up the memory used into smaller fragments. Ideally, you should be loading only the data you need at a certain point before kicking out the results over the network to free up the memory before continuing.

Or, you could use more that 256Mb of memory space, but it would be paged to disk anyhow under Linux. Of course, if you're school has had a ps3-cluster for a year now, you'd know all about that stuff.

Missing: 80GB PS3. Last seen: Sony's website



Not sure what the big deal is about the different HDD sizes is anyhow. I mean, you can just pop down the street and buy a standard drive and swap it with the old one in minutes.

Does anyody really care if they release base units with bigger drives?

(The penguin because I installed Linux on my PS3 last night after plugging it into my new HDMI monitor)

Sony sells 1m PS3s in UK


let the fan boy wars commence!

Cue the console fan-boys slagging every console apart from the one that they own. Personaly, I'm quite pleased that the console business isn't a one horse race this time around.

It's also reasuring to know that the console I bought last year isn't going to go the way of the Gamecube.

A heart because it's Valentines Day and I just feel so much love for you guys ;)

Big Blue talks up 45nm PlayStation 3 processor possibilities

Thumb Up

No more burns!

A cooler running PS3 would be a good thing, as I'm always surprised just how hot the air blasting from the vents are! It has to be said, it's a VERY quiet machine despite the monster coooling when the BR drive isn't clunking around (just listen to that thing while you're playing Uncharted).

Reduced power consumption is going to be the big win too, this is the one thing that stops me from running Folding and using it as a media center. The PS3 is such a power hungry beast, and anything that makes it a greener machine is a good thing. Errr...although I'll have to buy a new PS3 with the smaller Cell to reap any benefits from it. I wonder how I can convince my wife that I need another PS3.

A thumbs up for the Cell in general as it's such a sexy piece of silicon [/geek]

Academics slam Java

Jobs Horns

another programming holy war!

Anybody who spouts off about language a being better than language b, needs a bit of a reality check. It's really all about the best tool for the job, and there are times were C++ wins over a managed language like Java and vice versa.

After all, you wouldn't write a real-time rigid-body simulation to u on specialist hardware in Java, would you? And at the same time, you would probably not want to write a web app, or multi-threaded server code in C++.

And as for those of you claiming that a certain programming language makes it easier to make mistakes, I suggest you find another career outside of IT. Nobody's interested in your excuses for your incompetence, least of all me.

Wii grasses up cheating wife


Marriage Vows

Vladimir Plouzhnikov - Having gotten married fairly recently, I remember my wedding vows quite cleary. There was this VERY important part which goes along the lines of "forsaking all others".

You know...do not snog, bunk off with or any other sort of monkey business with somebody else.

Anyhow...once more, technology causes more unhapiness. Well..if you can really call the sorry little excuse for a games console "technology" that is. I await the flaming in eanrest :)

Pesky hack divulges Intel's 'Project Copy Hypertransport'


Computing power for more than just physicsits!

I would think anybody who needs image processing, audio processing and such like things would make good use of the computational power. This goes for people working in marketing, CAD, music production, sound design, and all those horrible "home design" apps people buy in places like Asda,