* Posts by Gary Stewart

67 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jul 2020


Study: AI can predict pancreatic cancer three years ahead of human doctors

Gary Stewart

Re: Similar announcement

As someone who is currently undergoing treatment for inoperable pancreatic cancer I don't know why it took so long for the diagnosis. I found out the same day I visited a gastro-intestinal specialist after a high contrast CT scan. The CT scan also showed that it had spread to two lymph nodes making it inoperable with a 2% chance of survival after 5 years. A biopsy later confirmed the original diagnosis.

Richard: As to treatment i know that it affects people differently but my original chemo treatment using two different aggressive drugs every other week was not devastating. It was debilitating, mainly serious fatigue and immune system suppression but that was just about it. No nausea or other serious side effects. It included a couple of side effect suppression drugs administered before the chemo which were effective. I also had a couple of anti-nausea/vomiting drugs prescribed for home use that I never needed. The treatment itself was effective and brought my cancer under control. I am now on a different treatment with a study drug that uses a gene mutation I have (PALB2) to attack the cancer. It is currently used for other types of cancer and has the advantage of being an oral medication that I can take at home instead of having to go to the hospital twice a month for blood tests and intravenous chemo. I do still have to go for blood tests once a month with a CT scan once every two months for the study. So far the new treatment has also proved to be effective. This should add some (many, I hope) years to my life.

What I am trying to say is that people should at least try the currently available treatments. Over the years the treatments and treating the side effects has gotten much better. Unfortunately it will not always be effective or cause severe side effects but not trying them first leads to the ultimate devastating.

US watchdog grounds SpaceX Starship after that explosion

Gary Stewart

Re: They may call it a success...

A giant water cooled steel patch. Last I heard steel is much more resistant to heat damage than concrete. Even concrete especially designed to resist heat damage. And i seriously doubt even if it did fail that it would not generate anywhere near the derbies the concrete did. There are other serious problems with the amount of dust generated and widely dispersed throughout the environmentally sensitive area. If most of that was concrete then the giant steel water cooled "patch" should solve most of that problem and kill two (hopefully not endangered) birds with one stone. If a large amount of the dust was from the surrounding area other fixes will be needed. Perhaps a plume tunnel that Elon for some reason does not want to use.

Every single building will have to be inspected and some of them will have to be repaired.

This was the first fully operational (well mostly) TEST vehicle launch! JFC, it was expected to have problems, some serious and some not so serious..The Falcon Nine, a much "simpler" rocket took several tries to get it right and now it is one of the most reliable launch vehicles available. And to top it off the boosters are reusable. At least two boosters have been reused 15 times with several more in double digits. So SpaceX does know how to do reliability. Sometimes it took tweaks, and sometimes it took serious re-engineering but they managed to get it right eventually. As long as the money holds out, and I have no idea if that is really a problem or not although I am sure that infinite does not accurately describe the amount needed, I fully expect them to be able to do the same with the Starship. Given the complexity, it will certainly take longer to do this time.

As for the rockets flips and flops described below, as explained the rocket was supposed to do a single flip to position it for a landing back burn while at the same time imparting the momentum needed to separate the second stage from the booster. A complicated maneuver that I have doubts about, we will see. Since this separation did not occur it is not surprising that things got dodgy after that. I suspect that the added mass and momentum of the second stage caused the loss of control when the flight computers could not properly compensate for it. At that point it was time to destroy the rocket which the on board computer or ground flight control did.

Gary Stewart

Re: They may call it a success...

They destroyed the launch pad, not the launch site. Other than having some of ts support pillars exposed the launch tower survived relatively unscathed. I am very curious to see if the giant steel water cooler that was not ready for this test will work as expected. It, along with other changes should end the derbies problem. With 31 rocket engines I fully expected some engine failures on the first try at running all of them at close to full power on a test launch vehicle. There were more non-working engines than I would have liked to see but please note that most of them did work. I also wonder if any of them were damaged by the copious amounts of derbies generated when they destroyed the launch pad. I expect this problem to be fixed although it may take a few more tries along with a major upgrade to the launch pad. I don't believe that there was any expectation to launch StarLink V2 satellites using the Starship this year. As explained many times by Elon and SpaceX this will be a work in progress for at least the rest of this year and probably some of next year too.

The promise of lower mass to orbit obviously depends on a fully operational Starship and as most know that is still more than a few test launches away. Given SpaceX's record so far I hope/expect that it will become fully operational sometime (late?) next year.

China sticks national security probe into America's Micron

Gary Stewart

Re: Indeed

And capitalism fails when the oligarchs have most of the money (and the power it buys.)

Gary Stewart

Re: Finally, Well Done, Japan

The Japanese are also finally coming out of their post WWII isolationist cocoon and starting to talk about building up their own defensive capabilities. This is good news to the US and all the other Asian Pacific nations that appose China's ongoing expansion in the South China Sea.

SpaceX tries to de-orbit Amazon's request for a satellite broadband shortcut

Gary Stewart

Re: Oooh handbags at dawn...

They are now using SpaceX to launch their satellites. The latest SpaceX launch put 40 OneWeb satellites in orbit on Mar. 9.

Enter Tinker: Asus pulls out RISC-V board it hopes trumps Raspberry PI

Gary Stewart

Re: Look up StarFive 2

I don't know, it's not anything I have a need for at the present time. The data sheet for the processor is available for download. As an interesting aside, I understand it the Raspberry Pi can do 16 bit transfers into and out of a 100 MiB RAM buffer using DMA and the GPIO pins. It is not well documented but how to do it is out there on the web. From what I read it also requires the use of most the GPIO pins. I assume that is how a GPIO based VGA interface is done. I looked for the links I have for it and tried a Google search but haven't found the ones I have yet.

Gary Stewart

Re: Look up StarFive 2

I didn't say it was. I said it was close. Last time I looked the retail price of the 8 GiB Raspberry Pi 4 was around $80 and I haven't seen one below $100 for over a year (?) now. I did read that they were supposed to be increasing production after they got some supply chain issues fixed but they are still not available in the US from the normal retailers. It is still well below the price of the Tinker 5 and has 4 times the number (and faster) cores and 8 times the amount of RAM.

Gary Stewart

Re: Look up StarFive 2

I don't see how a single core 1 GHz CPU can get close to 80% of the 4 core 1.5 GHz Raspberry Pi 4 CPU. Can you expand on how this is done?

Gary Stewart

Look up StarFive 2

With a 1 Ghz single core processor this does not come close to the Raspberry Pi 4 (or 3 or 3+). I have included a quick overview of its specs and add that it is priced close enough to the Raspberry Pi 4 to considered a real competitor. I recently bought one but have not yet begun to work with it as I have a long backlog of projects. I do plan to move it up on the project list and start using it soon.

Specifications listed for the VisionFive 2 SBC include:

Processor System:

StarFive JH7110 4 core 64-bit SoC w/ RV64GC (up to 1.5GHz)


Up to 8GB LPDDR4

eMMC storage socket

1x M.2 M-Key for SSD

QSPI Flash

1x Micro SD card slot


2x GbE RJ45 ports

Bluetooth V4.2 BR/EDR, Bluetooth LE


1x HDMI 2.0

1x 4-lane MIPI-DSI port (up to 2K@30fps)

1x 2-lane MIPI-DSI port


MIPI CSI (up to 4K@30fps)


2x USB 2.0

2x USB 3.0

I/O Interfaces:

40-pin GPIO header

Other Features:

1x Reset button

Debug pin headers


5V (via USB Type-C with PD, up to 30W)

5V (via GPIO Power in)

PoE (supports Power over Ethernet)


100 x 72mm

The US would sooner see TSMC fabs burn than let China have them

Gary Stewart

Re: Isn't that their plan?

TSMC is currently building new fabs and expanding old ones in the US. At this time it will not be their leading edge process but I see no

reason why this could not quickly change if needed. Ditto with Samsung.

As for China obtaining by the TSMC fab in Taiwan, running and getting spare parts for any of the leading edge manufacturing equipment,

especially the ASML DUV lithography machines, would be extremely difficult although probably not impossible.

ASML says Chinese employee stole data as US sanctions bite

Gary Stewart

Re: Punch

China has changed. They have and continue to grow their military to the point where it has become a serious threat to all their surrounding neighbors several of which have direct ties to the US. They have used this new military power to threaten their neighbors and increase "their" territorial waters by constructing islands out of existing reefs well outside of their recognized territorial waters and turned them into military bases even though they said they wouldn't do that. Now they have the power to attempt to take Taiwan, for all practical purposes the chip manufacturer for the world, and have repeatedly threatened to do so. This clearly makes them a new threat to the rest of the world.

When I started my career at Mostek in 1976 I worked in Fab 2 as an engineering technician which was just beginning to ramp up production of the MK4116 the first 16 Kib (2 KiB!) dynamic RAM. The R&D lab was right next to Fab 2 and was run by a man of Chinese heritage. At the time I noticed that at least one other major chip manufacturer's R&D, I think it was Intel but I don't know for sure, was run by a Chinese man and wondered about the coincidence, I now suspect that spying by the Chinese on semiconductor manufacturers and military contractors has been going on for much longer than has been acknowledged and was instrumental to getting the Chinese military to be the threat it is today.

Chinese surveillance balloon over US causes fearful gasbagging

Gary Stewart

Re: Difficult

Use tracer rounds?

After roasting Nvidia for overheating issues AMD now has its own

Gary Stewart

Re: der8auer

I watched the derBauer video and was impressed by the thoroughness of his investigation. I found it on the EXTREME TECH web site which included this: "Interestingly, fellow overclocking YouTuber Igor from Igor’s Lab has also chimed in according to Videocardz. He said he spoke with an AMD partner that agrees with De8auer, it’s the vapor chamber. This partner reportedly said a batch was made with an insufficient volume of liquid in the chamber." And this statement from AMD: We are working to determine the root cause of the unexpected throttling experienced by some while using the AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics cards made by AMD. Based on our observations to-date, we believe the issue relates to the thermal solution used in the AMD reference design and appears to be present in a limited number of the cards sold. We are committed to solving this issue for impacted cards. Customers experiencing this unexpected throttling should contact AMD Support.

NASA to live-stream SLS rocket fuel leak repair test

Gary Stewart

Re: Quick fix

The pressure spike was supposedly due to problems with manual control by ground personnel. They have

automated more of the process and given additional training to the ground personnel to prevent this from happening again.

Chances good for NASA Artemis SLS Moon launch on Saturday

Gary Stewart

Re: "Flight-Critical Data"

So, launch critical? If it does "bad things" like a crack or burn a hole through the nozzle at launch causing a RUD it would still be a big setback. One that I would think they would like to avoid at all costs. The statement from the NASA chief engineer reminds me too much of previous statements made about well known problems with the Space Shuttle. Like I said in a previous post I am very conflicted about the usefulness of the SLS for the proposed space missions for it, SpaceX's approach is much, much better in every way. But I still want it to succeed mainly to get some value for the money we spent on it. I was lucky enough to watch the first time we landed on the Moon and I would like to see us go back to establish a more permanent presence around and on the Moon. Then, Elon willing, on to Mars. Unfortunately I will probably not be around to watch that.

Goodbye, humans: Call centers 'could save $80b' switching to AI

Gary Stewart

Re: But they already do...

If they are using a voice system I have found that when it asks for a menu entry reply saying representative usually gets you to a real person.

AMD refreshes desktop CPUs with 5nm Ryzen 7000s that can reach 5.7GHz with 16 cores

Gary Stewart

Re: ECC....yes!

Quick note 3 - it has to be enabled in BIOS.

Gary Stewart

Re: ECC....yes!

The motherboard and the SDRAM modules must also support ECC. It requires extra data lines on both and extra SDRAM chips on the memory modules for the ECC bits. I have noticed that quite a few of the MSI AM4 motherboards do not support ECC. As far as I know all ASRock AM4 motherboards do. However check first!

Gary Stewart

Re: Energy crunch

Sorry, but the laws of physics pretty much require more power with higher frequencies. Smaller device geometry can help but at some point you just can't fully compensate for it. The overall TDP increase is really not that bad, especially considering that my old 4 core 3.2 GHz Phenom II 955 had a TDP of 125W. And don't even talk to me about current generation Intel TDP. Toast anyone?

Gary Stewart

Re: ECC....yes!

I don't understand the finally part. I have a Ryzen 5 1500X on an ASRock AB350 Pro motherboard that I use as a NFS server that uses ECC memory. The edac-util command confirms that it is fully operational. The first generation Ryzen 7 1700X supports ECC as long as the motherboard, such as the previously mentioned ASRock, also supports it.

NASA scrubs Artemis SLS Moon rocket launch

Gary Stewart

Re: One of the things not tested

According to space.com live updates there was a hydrogen leak detected (4:15 AM EDT). It was determined that it was not serious enough (?) to stop the launch.

As for 200% confidence in NASA I wonder why everybody seems to have forgotten about the Space Shuttle Columbia? A well known problem with bits of insulating foam falling off the external fuel tank and colliding with thermal tiles on the space shuttle wings during launch was determined to not be serious enough to stop launches. I live in Dallas and heard it explode. And I remember what happened when NASA determined that a 100% oxygen atmosphere and a inward opening hatch (couldn't be opened when the capsule was pressurized) in the Apollo 1 space craft was safe. Both of these engineering failures produced easily predictable disasters, no hindsight needed.

I am very conflicted about the usefulness of SLS. Especially with it's complete failures as far as cost, time, and technology goes but I still want to see it complete it's mission. At least we will get some bang for our bucks (wrong phrase?).

NASA wants a hundredfold upgrade for space computers

Gary Stewart

Re: They're still around?

Although what you said is correct, going that far back makes it difficult (impossible?) to get the 100X performance improvement they want. To go to smaller device features they are going to need to integrate processor error detection/correction at the chip level. Depending on the device size they decide on for the

needed performance they might be able to integrate a three (or more) way redundant voting system on a single chip. Along with the required improved radiation hardening made more difficult by the decreased device size this may be the only way to get the performance they want. I am very surprised they chose Microchip Technology as I was not aware that they had much prior experience with radiation hardening.

DiDi in deep doo-doo over 64 billion illegal acts of data collection

Gary Stewart

Re: "It has apologised for its actions, accepted the fine, [..]"

Not sure why this got a down vote as it seems to be completely factual to me. Two of the things I deeply resent in the US justice system is "companies/people(?)" constantly getting settlements where they get fined with explit we didn't do it written in them and the string puller CEOs never being held responsible for their actions. And here's an up vote on me.

Congressional pressure mounts to pass $52b CHIPS Act

Gary Stewart

Next generation semiconductors aren't the only thing that needs help

There was an excellent news article and one comment in particular on the EE times web page "US Electronics Reshoring Plan Risks Missing the Boat" that points out that the US has also fallen well behind in current and future Printed Circuit Board manufacturing and technology. Most of the advances in IC's also need new and innovative ways to manufacture PCB's that connect them together. The US has lost most of its PCB R&D and manufacturing capability to overseas providers, mainly China. This is as great an economic and national security risk as relying on overseas for the bulk of the ICs we use here in the US. I applaud Intel, Micron Technology and Analog Devices for advocating that government funding needs to be handled in a way that best serves the interests of the US and not just a few mega companies (see "This may seem weird but don't give us all the chip funding, say Intel and friends", The Register). I just think we need to make sure that we cover more areas of concern than this funding is aimed at.

C: Everyone's favourite programming language isn't a programming language

Gary Stewart

Re: Oh, boy ...

The DJGPP compiler was a godsend as a free DOS 386 and above protected mode C compiler. After it came out I never used a segmentation mode compiler again. It is still available in a C/C++ version. Thank you DJ Delorie!

I also had occasion to use the Phar Lap protected mode DOS compiler while writing SCSI drivers for a telephone call center data base server. Both of the SCSI interface boards we used had first party DMA on the ISA bus which allowed them to supply the address/data/control for reads and writes to memory. This of course required getting the right address to use. The original code I wrote used the segmented Microsoft C compiler which had a particularly nasty and not well documented bug that would select the wrong segment pointer which resulted in the inevitable DOS crash. There was a work around that luckily for me another programmer in the company knew about so it did get fixed once he was told about it. This was not a problem with Phar Lap although there were a couple of well documented hoops to jump through to make it work.

Gary Stewart

Re: Umm

I've used goto on many occasions to reprint the text prompt when there are input errors in CLI programs. It is by far the easiest and fastest way to do it. As a (very) long time assembly language programmer the jump and relative jump instructions which are the assembly equivalents to goto are irreplaceable.

Amazon hasn't launched one internet satellite yet, but it's now planning a fleet of 7,774

Gary Stewart

Orbit mechanics doesn't allow you to pick and choose which countries a satellite passes over.

UK's competition regulator fires red flare over Nvidia's $40bn Arm takeover deal

Gary Stewart

Re: Far to late

We GAVE hundreds of billions of dollars worth of military training and equipment to the Afhgan Army so that they could protect themselves from the Taliban. This was after giving them billions of dollars in military equipment and support with more than a little American blood in a half-hearted attempt to rid them of the Taliban in the first place. Given the history of other attempts to invade Afghanistan I wasn't keen on the idea of helping them in the first place. The fact that they were allowing terrorist that had attacked the US to use their country for training bases and the undeniably evil deeds of their government made me hope that we could help them. I blame the eventual outcome on Bush and his puppet master Cheney. They had the Taliban cornered with their backs against the admittedly porous Pakistan wall when they decided to run off to invade Iraq before the toughest part of the job was finished. And 20 YEARS later when it came time for their army to stand on its own two feet it dropped to its knees and gave up without firing more than a few shots. I don't remember hearing about any battles as each city fell, just that all the cities fell with breathtaking swiftness.

I have a lot of sympathy for the Afghan people, especially the women who must once again live under the boots of a brutally repressive government but it was not the US that betrayed them. It was their own army and government, with their "president" flying off to Russia (Russia?) with car loads of cash unwittingly(?) provided by the US.

Starliner takes off ... back to the factory and not space

Gary Stewart

Re: Tough cookies

To paraphrase a song from the lamentably late Tom Petty:

"The La-an-ding is the hardest part"

Plus you must have missed the last one. To be fair the next one, from orbit, is going to be much harder.

It doesn't even have a drone ship to land on just to make it a bit easier.

International Space Station actually spun one-and-a-half times by errant Russian module's thrusters

Gary Stewart

I commented in the original El Reg article why I thought that the 45 degree rotation declaration was probably wrong. I had no idea how wrong it was until I read earlier today at space.com about the actual 540 degree rotation. There is something else of interest that was also in the comments to the first article that I read about at space.come today. It said that the Russians could not send the shut down command until it was over Russia and that they were still an hour away when it started. The thrusters did shut down after about 15 minutes (?) which lends credence to the idea that the only reason they shut down was because they ran out of fuel. And yet they are still trying to down play the danger to the astronauts/cosmonauts and the ISS. Is there anything else they aren't telling us? My guess is absolutely!

Russia says software malfunction caused Nauka module to unexpectedly fire thrusters, tilt space station

Gary Stewart

Re: Those comments from Roscosmos are the biggest load of weasel-word flim-flam

I consider "started to gain control" as to when they finally got the rate of roll caused by the module's thrusters to start slowing down. It would then follow that "got it under control" would be when they got the rate of roll caused by the module's thrusters to stop and then reverse. So they were BS'ing because the ISS would continue to roll from - started to gain control until - they got it under control. In fact there are several other questions that clearly need full, OPEN investigation, such as what really caused the modules thrusters to shut down. No BS allowed.

Biden order calls for net neutrality, antitrust action, ISP competition – and right to repair your own damn phone

Gary Stewart

Re: Other side of the coin

Produced almost certainly, invented, I don't think so.

Gary Stewart

Street races of course. Which are as far as I know illegal everywhere in the US.

Wanna feel old? It is 10 years since the Space Shuttle left the launchpad for the last time

Gary Stewart

Pffft, I watched the first moon walk (actually I go all the way back to Mercury). Now, get off my

lunar lander.

Hyundai takes 80 per cent stake in terrifying Black Mirror robo-hound firm Boston Dynamics

Gary Stewart

Re: Random

Personally I prefer pineapples and pointed sticks.

Kiss goodbye to privacy forever when brain-implanted comms gear becomes the norm – guru Whit Diffie

Gary Stewart

Anybody remember "The Presidents Analyst" and TPC (The Phone Company)?

Another week, another issue: Virgin Galactic mulls test flight restart as VSS Unity fixed – but VMS Eve might be borked

Gary Stewart

Re: Sending the wealthy to space

I think when we are confronted with moral dilemmas like this we should always remember the wisdom of the late great Douglas Adams:

"Well not, not, not so much land in fact, I think as far as I can remember we're programmed to, er crash on it."

Well played sir, well played.

Someone defeated the anti-crypto-coin-mining protection for Nvidia's 'gamers only' RTX 3060 ... It was Nvidia

Gary Stewart

Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

I'd really like to see a double blind test to see if any gamer can really tell the difference between 120fps and any higher fps rating. My money is on that most if not all can't.

Gary Stewart

Re: Gamers also have to contend with bots and scalpers looking to make a profit

Off topic:

I just watched a very nicely restored version of Jabberwocky a couple of days ago for the first time in many years, otherwise the "half the kingdom and his daughters hand" would have gone right past me. Not my favorite "part Python" movie by a long shot but definitely worth a view every now and then.

On topic:

I'm I the only one that wonders about the accidental part?

Beijing pressures Alibaba to offload media assets, including Hong Kong's top newspaper

Gary Stewart

Re: China has to be bigger than one man

Yes, but in the USA we can also vote in a slightly older, much less senile, mostly coherent, and much less intransigent leader 4 years later. I'm certain this can no longer be done in China now. I do wish we would vote for people that are younger and more mentally agile than the last two, like the one we had before them. Unfortunately he spent most of his time fighting the "old, senile, incoherent, and intransigent" people in another branch of our government.

Asahi's plan for Linux on Apple's new silicon shows Cupertino has gone back to basics with iOS booting

Gary Stewart

Re: This is the one negative side of M1

"Documenting the M1 and verifying the documentation against the actual chip would require a significant amount of effort"

Please correct me if I'm wrong but don't they do that when they design the chip?

Twitter sues Texas AG to halt 'retaliatory' demand for internal content-moderation rulebook in wake of Trump ban

Gary Stewart

Re: Have their cake and eat it too

If you're under the impression that one side does not lie a lot more than the other, you're not paying attention either. And I don't like either side lying unless there is a valid reason like real national security (not political national security which in itself a lie) to do it.

Gary Stewart

I've lived in Texas all my life and I have heard and read it several times. It was supposedly a condition to joining the union when Texas became a state. I have no idea if it really exists or not, or is legally enforceble if it does. Either way I think secession is a dumb idea that seems to fit in nicely with the times.

Linus Torvalds issues early Linux Kernel update to fix swapfile SNAFU

Gary Stewart

Re: fragmentation

Whenever I run e2fsck on hard drive partitions (ext4) it usually shows fragmentation at less that 1%. For some reason SD cards and USB drives always seem to be around 14%. So at least as far as ext4 is concerned the original poster is correct.

Mobile spyware fan Saudi Crown Prince accused by US intel of Khashoggi death

Gary Stewart

Re: Mobile spyware

Last I heard those sentences were commuted to 20 years in prison. It's nice to have friends in high places.

Bezos denied: New Glenn launch pushed into 2022 after Space Force says no

Gary Stewart

Re: in the absence of those sweet, sweet taxpayer dollars

"I have an idea! Let's abolish governments and let private companies run the country."

You load 16 tons, what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in debt

St. Peter don't you call me, 'cause I can't go

I owe my soul to the company store

Linux Mint users in hot water for being slow with security updates, running old versions

Gary Stewart

Been using Debian (now Devuan) since 2005 and I have had a few video driver problems, some caused by using older video hardware. However I don't remember ever having a kernel panic after any update and only very, very rarely in normal use.

I've also been using Linux Mint since version 17, now running 19.3, and have few if any video driver problems and NO kernel panics so far. I do keep up it updated regularly, usually on a one to two week interval. I have no problem with automatic updates, but only if I can disable them.

House Republicans introduce legislation for outright ban on municipal broadband in the US

Gary Stewart

Re: AT&T breakup

All but two (if I remember correctly) of those regional operators were bought by another regional operator, Southwestern Bell. Which then, with enough irony to rebuild civilization as we know it, renamed themselves to AT&T.

Gary Stewart

Re: House Republicans

You forgot the real biggie, "take our guns"!