* Posts by dharmOS

46 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Oct 2018

iPhone 15 is too hot to handle – and not in any good way


Re: "It’s expected that Apple will address this through software updates"

Would a standard Aluminum alloy case (as Apple have used to date) meant that this would have had better thermal dissipation? Then truly a dumb decision to make something sound "flash" that is inferior to what came before.

Linux on the Arm-based Thinkpad X13S: It's getting there


Re: Still lots to do

Hi Liam

Running a sometimes sluggish Qualcomm 7c ARM64 PC (Apcsilmic Dot 1), and the Win 11 task manager does tell you which code path is running. I cannot paste screenshots inline images but on the "Details" tab, you need to select , or show the Architecture column and it will tell you x86, x64 or Arm64 or even for MS Office, Foobar 2000, ARM64 EC [as Arm64 (x64 compatible)].

IBM sets Watson chips on the AI case as price war kicks off


AIU code compatible with Telum accelerator?

Is this AIU code compatible with the Telum ISA used in the z16 Mainframe CPU? Does this mean that the same acceleration coding can run on zOS and X64 platforms?

Windows driver woes trip AMD GPU owners, blind Arm-powered cameras


Re: which OEM to blame?

Microsoft is the OEM for the Surface Pro X. Who do they blame now? The CPU supplier (Qualcomm) or the integrator (MS)?

UK emergency services take DIY approach amid 12-year wait for comms upgrade


Dodgy contracting

Maybe the delays are due to the UK government stipulating in the contract that the device had to be manufactured in the UK, using UK sourced semiconductors and the case made of adamantium, vibranium and unobtainium.


Microsoft is busy rewriting core Windows code in memory-safe Rust


Re: far memory

A minor correction. 286 had 24-bit addressing with 16MB memory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_80286). But thank you for the reminder.

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish ended with Windows Mobile/Phone, and I think having had the trauma of that, MS have moved on with the departure of Steve Ballmer, who must have been around the OS/2, Win NT transition, and departed with the Nokia merger.

Had OS/2 2.1 and 3

Also Windows Phone 7, 8 and 10 so equally backed the wrong horse every time.

What does an ex-Pharma Bro do next? If it's Shkreli, it's an AI Dr bot


AI and formulary

Is the only drug on Dr Gupta’s prescribing formulary Daraprim? Is there a Trump-supporter variant that only does IV bleach, chloroquine etc?

Sony Semiconductor sinks Simoleans into Raspberry Pi to advance edge AI


What does this Sony co-processor do?

Will the AI be for training or inference? Is it like the Google Coral USB TPU that 2TFlops of INT8 maths for inference on already trained models, or will it do more?


Oracle reportedly making job cuts at health IT arm Cerner


Sadly it is very difficult for a hospital to migrate off an electronic healthcare record (EHR) to a rival product. The main alternative is EPIC, and that would be a “frying pan to fire” alternative. I have used Cerner in the past, and still use EPIC now.

The data is locked away in a proprietary format (done somewhat deliberately) and changing product often involves running both EHRs in parallel with new data entered in the new EHR and the old one run to access previous data for a patient.

An Integration Engine can decrease some of the human user burden (for doctor, nurse etc) to have to load both products to look at a patient’s health record for old and new information. Either way, costs increase over sticking with just the one product.

Lenovo Thinkpad X13s: The stealth Arm-powered laptop


Re: Requires Office

Office for ARM64 is not sold as the standalone 2016,-19 etc but only as the M365 subscription.

Only X64 versions are available as standalone and running Office for Intel/AMD would suck on this Arm cpu.


MS Store x86 x64 ARM ARM64 ?? - how to tell

Hi Liam

In the MS Store app, if you scroll down to the "System Requirements" drop down arrow, it will tell you which ISA it is natively compiled in.

e.g. Amazon Prime Video for Windows

OS: Windows 10 or greater

Architecture: x86, x64, Arm, Arm64

Ubuntu 22.04.2 LTS

Architecture: x64, Arm64

etc etc


Re: long-term Windows users are used to this and will barely notice

I use a Snapdragon 7c Win 11 PC as my main driver at work. Definitely not a machine that you would consider for all computing duties, but does work well enough if you stick to Win ARM64 software religiously.

www.apcsilmic.com/products/dot-mini-pc (about the size of a Mac Mini or NUC, no screen, keyboard, mouse etc)

To find ARM64 software, you often have to download beta versions tucked away on the developer's website rather than the MS Store (which often delivers the x86/X64 version!). I have managed to find Win ARM64 versions of Spotify, Signal Desktop, 7-Zip, DOSBox-X, Office 365 (obviously), MS OpenJDK 11, MS Keyboard and Mouse Center, MS Teams, Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio 17, Firefox, Notepad ++, OpenVPN and Wireguard, Powertoys, VLC, Winmerge and from the MS Store: Debian for WSL, and Pengwin for WSL, fedora Remix for WSL, WSL itself and WSLg, Xbox app with integrated xCloud streaming, Minecraft, Leonardo, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and Disney+. Sadly this list is probably comprehensive for ARM64 versions.

For the rest of software need, it involves using the x86 or X64 versions, which run noticeably slower (e.g. screen/GUI interactions sluggish, slow to load, slow to perform in application processing).

For the cost of ~£300, the DOT 1 Mini PC is fine, runs silently (passive heatsink case). Sadly £1300 for the ThinkPad is just a bit too pricey...

Inadequate IT partly to blame for NHS doctors losing 13.5 million working hours


Re: it...

Because the NHS Clinicians have had to curate it into an accurate data set as part of their clinical job to record medical, nursing notes for patients, i.e. we give them high quality human-curated supervised data sets without any of the reward.

Palantir have to clean it up a bit, but not as much as they would have to do otherwise.


Re: another closed system with no upgrade path

I think part of the problem is that the ancient software (Cerner in your case, EMIS for mine) was designed in an era when everyone had to use a ethernet-attached |Windows OS desktop with a horrid native exe designed to Win 95 era GUI/UX. Any NHS smartcard-based logins meant that for that one session, you had the machine to yourself and could tolerate a 5-7min from login screen to working desktop as it was a once-only occurrence.

So designed by someone who does not have a clue how health care workers actually work! Computer-on-wheels connected via Wi-Fi are an update too far for the software. Having the chance to look at the backend, the database (Oracle, MS SQL, GTM Mumps) where the data is recorded could be driven by an HTML5 web app run on a wi-fi connected tablet. But the big companies making the software (Cerner, EPIC, EMIS, TPP) do not seem interested enough to do this.

It's 2022 and there are still malware-laden PDFs in emails exploiting bugs from 2017


PDFs to blame, or Adobe Reader (for unnecessary functionality)?

Do the inbuilt PDF viewer in Chrome and Edge (or equivalents on MacOS, ChromeOS and iOS) execute JavaScript and thus be vulnerable? Or is this an "Adobe Special", avoided by not using their PDF viewer?

MIPS discloses first RISC-V chips coming in Q4 2022


Re: another closed system with no upgrade path

John Hennessy founded MIPS.

David Patterson created the Berkely RISC processor that became SPARC, (RAID) and now the RISC-V CPU.

As long-term collaborators, they have the seminal textbook on CPUs: Computer Organization and Design MIPS Edition: The Hardware/Software Interface.

Perhaps Hennessy's creation has realised that its own v2 is the RISC-V, hence dumping the v1 stuff.

UK competition watchdog closes the comment book on Microsoft's Nuance merger


Actually a medical land grab

The aim here is not to own the consumer market but to grab the clinical (and possibly legal) dictation market. These have corporations/hospitals who will fund the monthly cloud subscriptions and potentially saves the cost of medical transcription secretary (woefully underpaid in the NHS ~£20K for the work they do).

Dragon’s products for medical dictation is fantastic from experience and every big IT player is trying to grab a chunk of healthcare (e.g. Oracle and Cerner, IBM’s Watson etc). It may also to buy into the raw voice data used to train the AI to lock others out of the market.

Bullseye! Debian-based Raspberry Pi OS scores an update with 'less closed-source proprietary code'


Re: another closed system with no upgrade path

I don't use Mathematica or Minecraft Pi, but anyway of getting VNC Server to run on the 64 bit version of the Rasp Pi OS (the killer app I need for 64-bit space).

Truck, sweet truck: Volvo's Chinese owner unveils methanol/electric truck with bathroom and kitchen


Methanol as a store of energy for a fuel cell

This is because methanol CH3-OH is a very dense carrier of hydrogen, better than 700bar compressed H2 gas or even cryogenic liquid hydrogen. Slight downside of course is the carbon atom that is disposed off as CO2.

Raspberry Pi's trading arm snags £33m investment as flotation rumours sink


Re: I got worried...

That was for the ARM version of Visual Studio Code (VSCode), which is an excellent choice of IDE. Certainly wish I had learnt to program on something like this rather than IDLE etc

Google is designing its own Arm-based processors for 2023 Chromebooks – report


Don’t forget the OP1

I have an ASUS ChromeBook that uses the OP1 ARM CPU. Specific part authorised by Google for CBs for a laptop type format rather than smartphone (but based on a rebadged Rockchip RK3399). Still surprisingly capable after its purchase in 2017.

So hopefully an in-house Google custom design might/will be better than existing ARM designs from QC, Mediatek, Rockchip etc.


Malaysian Police crush crypto-mining kit to punish electricity thieves


Re: Why not...

Perhaps because the criminals that fund the purchase of the mining rigs and would just take the computers back at gun point from the school later and leave some school kids traumatised…

Apple accused of unfairly banishing Watch keyboard app for the visually impaired from its software souk


Re: Big assumptions?

Imagination Technology?

Company not acquired, but all their key staff in the UK were hired by Apple. Licence fees for the ImgTech patents now being paid again. And the “Apple-developed” GPU shares a lot of DNA with its ImgTech predecessors (like Tile rendering tech).

Want your broadband fixed? Best write to your MP, UK's Zen Internet tells customer


EE 4G faster than BT VDSL

We are on a BT VDSL connection in a rural area. When our broadband died in the village for two weeks in the middle of last year’s lockdown and home schooling, BT sent us a mobile router. Taking the SIM out of this and putting it into my ASUS VDSL modem&router demonstrated speeds of 50Mb down /50Mb uplink. Faster than the VDSL at 30/8. It was almost a pity to go back to VDSL when they switched it back on, particularly on the upload part.

Microsoft updates Dev Channel Windows 10, breaks Arm x64 emulation


What level of x64 support?

Any news as to what level of x86-64 is supported, just the core spec SSE2 or more recent stuff like SSE4 and AVX? I can guess AVX-512 is not, but how far down the pecking order does the Microsoft emulator support (compared with Rosetta 2 which excludes all AVX instructions)?


The three or so people who run Windows 10 on Arm might be glad to know that x64 emulation is in preview


x64 instruction set patent expires this year

I think AMD patented the x86-64 bit extensions back in 2000, so along with the Intel SSE, SSE2 etc extensions, only expire this year. So till now, MS could only have a x86-32 bit emulator to run legacy Windows programs. Rosetta2 released in 2020 neatly steps around this limitation by precisely only being released this year. Note that Rosetta2 does not support any of the newer Intel extensions such as AVX etc. I guess MS x86-64 bit emulator will follow Apple’s lead in which instructions are emulated.

Arm at 30: From Cambridge to the world, one plucky British startup changed everything


Re: Who killed MIPS?

MIPS is still around. It was owned briefly by Imagination Technologies before they had their near-death experience by Apple dumping their GPUs and forcing the divestment of this company.

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


Re: Hydrogen is a problem

Thank you for these. Instead of ammonia (NH3), what about the Sabatier reaction and methane (CH4) or even methanol (CH3OH). I am sure burning ammonia produces nitrogen oxides. Methanol has the decency to be a liquid at room temp and pressure. Probably as hazardous to humans as drinking petrol (or sniffing petrol) which we aware not to do.

Microsoft takes another shot at the Windows-on-Arm thing with a revamped Surface Pro X powered by new SQ2 silicon


x86-64 emulation on ARM

With the newly available x86-64bit instruction set to emulate, has it come off patent now. Will emulation on Apple and Win ARM also include additional instruction sets like SSE2, AES-NI, AVX etc?

Vinyl sales top CDs for the first time in decades in America, streaming rules


CDs also deteriorate with time...

Some of my early CDs from the last 90s and early 2000s have already oxidised their Aluminium layer (visible blackness from the outer rim) and when I tried to re-rip them recently to FLAC/ALAC using dBPoweramp, failed on the later tracks that are arranged on the outer parts of the disc. These discs were always kept pristine in their cases in a centrally heated place, so no obvious causes for physical deterioration apart from the lacquer failed to keep atmospheric oxygen out.

So CDs don't last forever, and ripping them to a hard drive (and cloud upload or multiple backups) is the only way to keep them going. At least USB DACs that sound fantastic (and better than any Marantz CD player I had) and have dropped in price.

Four years after swallowing Arm Holdings, SoftBank said to be mulling Brit chip biz sale


Here’s a thought - UK.gov to purchase

How about UK Gov renationalising ARM in the security, military and national interest? Same “national interest” stuff like excluding Huawei from 5G.

Was joking but bet you BAe etc would never have been sold off!

China’s preferred Linux distro trumpets Arm benchmark results


Re: another closed system with no upgrade path

Some industries have restrictions as to who can buy controlling shares etc placed by the UK Government. These are often Defence companies and are not primarily owned by the Govt either (British Aerospace, Chobham, Rolls-Royce). The pity is that ARM and Imagination Technologies should also have been on that strategic list.

Instead ARM went to Softbank in Japan and IMGtec went to a Chinese-owned consortium. Even European supercomputer efforts hinged on ARM as the European CPU ISA of choice, which may now pivot to RISC-V. Now ARM is "Japanese" and the fastest supercomputer is the Fugaku A64FX.

We have no industrial strategy. As this pandemic demonstrates, services-based economy only gets you so far...

Last chance to grab a Pixel 3A off Google's UK store with 4A successor around the corner


Re: Apple product support

Obsoleting an Ivy Bridge Core laptop for no real reason, if that means not updatIng to MacOS Big Sur and no back ports of security updates to the current OS is a crime against the environment.

I have an Ivy Bridge Alienware laptop (probably similar price at the time) that still works perfectly well and is updated by the Microsoft Win 10 updates (originally came with Win 7). I know why Apple does this planned obsolescence but treating expensive electronics as junk should not be tolerated.

Any reason why it has been obsoleted? Does it not run some fancy Intel SSE or AVX extension that is now “essential” to Big Sur? Bearing in mind that Mac ARMs will only emulate x86-64 up to SSE2...

Purism's quest against Intel's Management Engine black box CPU now comes in 14 inches


Who performs the evil maid attack

Are the laptops assembled in China, USA or somewhere neutral where the OS, SATA firmware etc have not been tampered with?

Yubikeys are manufactured in the USA and Sweden, presumably for a reason like this.

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps


Re: Intel's x86 patents are long expired

AMD owns its own AMD-64 bit instruction set (x86-64) obviously, with MMX, SSE, SSE2, SSE3 etc owned by Intel. I remember those things from the Opteron and P4 days, so may well be that patents are expiring. The x86-32 bit stuff from i386,486 and Pentium must definitely be out of patent protection, which probably explains why the Windows on Arm emulator is 32-bit only at present.

However which new instructions still have patents protecting them: AVX, AVX-2, DLNB etc?

Electronic health records firm Epic Bristol bags £454m in UK deals as creaking care sector chases digital transformation


Re: another closed system with no upgrade path

However, in the UK, Epic has been implemented at University College London Hospital, Great Ormond Street and Addenbrookes, Cambridge. All university teaching hospitals, and one is a major trauma centre. There were lessons to be learnt (and indeed Addenbrookes was put in special measures by CQC, in part due to its EHR).

However, those bugs seem to have been worked out, and as an occasional user of the UCLH Epic, it is miles better than the rubbish they had before. I think Manchester and NI will pay handsomely, but it will be something that works.

If you want something that does not work and costs a fortune, try L*renzo by DXC. Developement funded by the UK taxpayer and then sold back to the NHS to use.

By all means, have a secondary care EHR developed that uses OpenEHR standards throughout (https://openehr.org/), but then you have to go to small vendors with fragile company stability.


The company is Epic, the largest electronic health record company in the US, not “Epic Bristol”. That is just the UK office.

Their HQ address is brilliant:

Intergalactic Headquarters

1979 Milky Way

Verona, Wisconsin 53593

Microsoft unshackles WSL2 Linux kernel from Windows 10 image for future fettling via Windows Update


Re: It's not an OS

Dave Cutler was lead on VMS/VAX when at DEC, lead on Win NT kernel after moving to MS, and now leads development on the hypervisor on Xbox One.


Fanboy comments about Linux (or OS/2 etc, which I was a zealot for in former days) are just that.

British Army adopts WhatsApp for formal orders as coronavirus isolation kicks in


Signal plus VPN for US SF

By all accounts, US Special Forces are using Signal and VPN app on their military issued phones.


The most useful app to communicate is the one the most employees have already installed on their personal phones.

Microsoft's Bill Gates defrag is finally virtually complete: Billionaire quits board to double down on philanthropy


Netscape is dead, long live Chrome

Well Google Chrome showed them

And the humiliation that was the original Edge

(posted from Chromium Edge)

Oh good. They're looking for an NHSX CTO. Hopefully they'll see off 'snake oil' pushers, says GP


Re: "it still takes me 17 minutes to log on"

My work "NHS" computer with 6th gen Core i5, Win 7 Enterprise, 8GB RAM and SSD takes 15min on a bad day to get a working EMIS screen where I can review patient notes or record what they say.

Security software takes the fastest machine and slows it down interminably. Plus most GP SoC software data is remote hosted with a Win32 fat client (or RDP in my case) connecting to it rather than run locally. So no point comparing it to your overclocked games machines without centrally installed and controlled locked down "security" software.

I am saddened that the President of the GP Royal College takes even longer than I do to get a working desktop! The issue is so bad that you dare not log out and move rooms for the time it will take to get up and running again.

China remains in pole position for electric vehicle uptake despite cuts to subsidies


Re: Common Sense by the Chinese.

Liquid or compressed hydrogen is extremely explosive...


Re: Common Sense by the Chinese.

Methanol has more grams of hydrogen per litre than even liquid hydrogen (100g per litre compared with 71g/l according to www.methanol.org). It is more stable at room temperature and easily handled in current fuel pumping and storing teach. So direct methanol fuel cells would be a more promising R&D approach than H2 fuel cells that need massive pressures to compress or cryogenic tanks. H2 also slowly leaks out of metals with embrittlement etc.

Might explain why the the only H2 fuel cell cars such as the Mirai are leased rather than owned.

Silent Merc, holy e-car... Mflllwhmmmp! What is that terrible sound?


Formula e racing cars sound like TIE fighters, albeit when they are at top speed.

Tens to be disappointed as Windows 10 Mobile death date set: Doomed phone OS won't see 2020


Windows 10 with telephony stack

Devices like the Surface GO with LTE seem to be the future. Why does Microsoft just not add the W10M telephony stack to regular x86-64 Win 10 and let the future Win x86/ARM laptops with 4G make phone calls?

Not convenient to carry in your pocket but with voice calls less and less these days, would be the evolution of MS telephone aspirations. It might even be successful.

Chrome 70 flips switch on Progressive Web Apps in Windows 10 – with janky results


Re: Probably won't work when Windows is done with it

Microsoft is one of the biggest fans of PWA. Mainly to make up for the lack of native apps on Windows 10 and its now dead W10 Mobile. UWP is dying or dead, and programmers never really bothered with it.

I have tried some of the PWAs downloaded from the Win10 store and they were underwhelming with ads that could not be blocked.