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Dell, HP, Lenovo Announce New Display Protocol 188

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the forward-progress dept.
An anonymous reader writes "If HDMI, DVI and UDI weren't enough for you, several major PC manufacturers have announced a joint alliance to come up with another display adapter, creatively named Displayport. The new method is backwards compatible with DVI, but offers double the bandwidth."
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Dell, HP, Lenovo Announce New Display Protocol

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  • uh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rushmeat (972949) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:31PM (#15279231)
    Another toy, Will help destroy, The elder race of man. Thank you Geddy. So, now the average consumer is even more confused when they go to the store?
  • DRM aspects (Score:5, Interesting)

    by l2718 (514756) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:32PM (#15279236)
    The real question for many of us is: will this protocol enforce anti-user controls? Perhaps someone knows more about these standards.
    • Re:DRM aspects (Score:3, Informative)

      by bhtooefr (649901)
      DisplayPort is, as I understand, a direct competitor to HDMI.

      Last I heard, it was flopping horribly. Wonder what happened.
      • Re:DRM aspects (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Zeinfeld (263942)
        DisplayPort is, as I understand, a direct competitor to HDMI.

        Not quite, its more of a sidegrade. DisplayPort is a direct competitor to UDI which is an Intel scheme to do the same thing.

        Both have 'content protection'. I don't know why folk get so up tight about it. There is no way it can possibly work. Copy protection is break once run anywhere. The copyright pirates are going to quickly take apart a display and extract the keys, once they do thay they can do anything they like.

        What I am more anoyed ab

    • Re:DRM aspects (Score:5, Informative)

      by poopdeville (841677) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:35PM (#15279245)
      From TFA:
      The DisplayPort specification also addresses the industry need for a ubiquitous digital interface standard with a compact connector, as well as optional content protection, that can be deployed widely at low cost. A protected digital interface that can be easily deployed on a PC enables broad access to premium content sources such as high-definition movies.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Isn't DRM on a monitor like water wings on a fish?
        • Re:Pointless aspects (Score:3, Informative)

          by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
          Isn't DRM on a monitor like water wings on a fish?

          Probably. It may be necessary to have it for certain "protected" media in Windows Vista, but the easy solution is to not buy that protected media. And not buy Vista as well, assuming it comes out.
          • It will be impossible not to buy vista because it will be shoved down everybodies throats. once you are using vista if half or it doesn't work because your monitor is not compliant then you will get a new monitor.

            These guys may be evil but they are not stupid. If you think they are going to leave you with a choice not to use their stuff you have another thing coming.
        • Not pointless at all.

          The output channel is the last place where people who want to break DRM can still manage to do so. No matter what DRM is in place on the computer to prevent copying/duplication/modification, once it's gone through all that, it goes so some sort of output device (speakers for sound, monitor for video). At that point, the DRM protecting the content is nullified, and whatever you wanted to do with the signal at that point you can.

          DRM on the output channel prevents all of the "analog" (

          • DRM on the output channel prevents all of the "analog" (I know, most new video outputs are digital, but the same methods apply) hacks from extracting the content from the DRM.
            Not all of them, just all the high-quality ones. You can still stick a video camera on a tripod in front of the damn thing.
          • DRM on the output channel prevents all of the "analog" (I know, most new video outputs are digital, but the same methods apply) hacks from extracting the content from the DRM.

            Of course, this only affects hobbyists and Linux users (and people who build their boxes). Real counterfeiters just copy the whole enchilada, often at the same factory. DRM has nothing to do with piracy.

          • by ultranova (717540)

            DRM on the output channel prevents all of the "analog" (I know, most new video outputs are digital, but the same methods apply) hacks from extracting the content from the DRM.

            No it doesn't. Open up your nice LCD screen and intercept the signal in the cables / rails / whatever that lead to the liquid crystal dots.

            Too much work for Joe Sixpack, you say. But Joe doesn't need to do it. It's enough that someone, anyone, does it, and then all the Joes in the world can download it from the friendly neighborh

            • I would have thought so... but iTunes 6 remains uncracked.

              Cheers.
        • Maybe, depends what the hell a "water wing" is.

          • Waterwings [wikipedia.org] are those little inflatable plastic arm bands little kids sometimes wear to help them float while swimming. I'm guessing you live somewhere in Europe (UK? I peeked at your posting history), so you might know them as something else, perhaps "floaties" or "swimmies". I dunno exactly what they're called in other parts of the world, but you should be able to Google Image for Waterwings if you need a visual reference.
      • Re:DRM aspects (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rolfwind (528248)

        A protected digital interface that can be easily deployed on a PC enables broad access to premium content sources such as high-definition movies.

        That's funny, my computers can access premium content now..... without phoning home to see if it's okay.

        Why are computer manufacturers so ready to jump in bed with the RIAA/MPAA? If they don't cooperate, will the RIAA/MPAA suddenly decide not to play in the computer arena anymore? I'd like to see that happening. The most I see happening is the RIAA/MPAA bitching

        • Why are computer manufacturers so ready to jump in bed with the RIAA/MPAA?

          Sony is a giant in both the entertainment industry and electronics.

          Fully half of Apple's revenues come from the iPod and iTunes. There are strategic alliances between all the major players in these industries, including, of course, retailers like Walmart.

        • Because unlike the NRA, computer manufacturers have absolutely no clout with Congress, and the ??AA does. If guns were subject to controls like those proposed for computing equipment, they'd give up and go out of business.

          As long as you don't actually kill someone, it sure looks to me as if the penalty is less for actually misbehaving with a gun than it is being accused of "illegal downloading" with a computer.

          That's why.

          The real question to ask is why America is perfectly happy and ready to throw away its
      • Yep, anti-consumer. F* 'em.
      • And in a few years that becomes: " content we ( the industry/government) deem acceptable for you to view "
    • What is the negative effect of optionally encrypting the video signal sent to the monitor? Making the (safe) assumption that it will be visually indistinguishable, and as easy to connect and set up, how would this disadvantage a regular consumer? The only "negative" impact of this would be for people who would intend to intercept the signal, convert it into raw video, and encode it (presumably to circumvent the DRM on the HD-DVD disks). Given that the vast majority of people have not bothered with circumven
      • I would be surprised if even 0.1% of consumers would be inconvenienced by this.
        Did you ever switch cellphone and lost all your Java games and applications? That's the kind of inconvenience you'll see on movies on the PC platform. It'll affect a couple of orders of magnitude more than 0.1% of users.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:40PM (#15279255)
    The DisplayPort specification also addresses... as well as optional content protection Optional? I think they made a spelling mistake. Isn't there a s, a t, an a, a n, a d, an a, a r, and a d in the word standard.
  • by doormat (63648) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:49PM (#15279281) Homepage Journal
    The only bright light in this spec. That and it supposedly can support *really* high resolutions.
    • by kfg (145172)
      Kinda like breathing, although there are few who elect not to do it.

      KFG
    • I'm thinking optional is a bad thing. Look at HDCP; graphics card manufacturers aren't including it on their DVI-I cards, so even if you had a HDCP compliant DVI monitor or HDTV you won't be able to play hi-res movies on a PC or pc-based DVR once the down-sample-if-not-HDCP bit gets turned on with HD-DVD and blueray disks - even though they have more than enough capability to do so. Worse, broadcast TV is likely to switch to HDCP as a requirement for HD broadcasts once the switchover is complete, or even b
      • imagine what the shitstorm is going to be like when people realise they're messing with TV!
        i remember sky here in the uk introduced macrovison when they introduced sky digital but there was so much bad press (and remember sky have to compete with cablecos etc) that they turned it off for thier normal channels (they still use it on pay per view i belive).
    • by verbatim_verbose (411803) on Sunday May 07, 2006 @07:31AM (#15280797)
      Unfortunately it's not going to be _your_ option. The fact that it's optional for companies to deploy does us no good.
  • Bandwidth... (Score:5, Informative)

    by setirw (854029) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:53PM (#15279291) Homepage
    I've noticed that a lot of users are stating that extra bandwidth is unnecessary.

    Keep in mind that today's top-of-the-line LCD displays, running at QUXGA (3200x2400) require multiple DVI dual link connections, and comprise multiple discrete panels, each with its individual signal feed. A display by IBM (T221, I believe is the model number) currently does this.

    I believe Lenovo manufactures IBM's flat panel displays. Could the T221 be a potential justification for Lenovo to co-sponsor this technology?
    • Re:Bandwidth... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dreemernj (859414)
      QXGA is actually higher than the res you mention. I think its 3840x2400. Tiny difference but it supports your point even further. These companies are interested in this port and its extra bandwidth because they are already working on the monitors that wouold make use of it.

      Personally I am all for this. 1) backwards compatibility is friendly and 2) I've seen the best HD TV can do and I want better.
    • Re:Bandwidth... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:34PM (#15279424)
      I believe Lenovo manufactures IBM's flat panel displays. Could the T221 be a potential justification for Lenovo to co-sponsor this technology?

      IBM's manufacturing partner for the T22x family was IDTech in Japan.

      IBM stopped selling the monitors almost a year ago, probably right about the time they sold their PC division to Lenovo.

      Furthermore, DisplayPort has only a negligble bandwidth lead over DVI. The total raw capacity of DisplayPort is 10.8 Gbps versus 9.9 Gbps for a dual-link DVI connection (or a "type B" HDMI connection).

      The main reason for DisplayPort's existence is the onerous licensing terms for HDMI - and some technical requirements that make it harder to miniaturize and integrate the DVI/HDMI electronics.
      • Re:Bandwidth... (Score:3, Informative)

        by MojoStan (776183)

        DisplayPort has only a negligble bandwidth lead over DVI. The total raw capacity of DisplayPort is 10.8 Gbps versus 9.9 Gbps for a dual-link DVI connection (or a "type B" HDMI connection).

        But if you believe VESA's hype, DisplayPort's bandwidth is "future extensible" while DVI's badwidth is maxed out at 9.9 Gbps (dual-link) per port. Ars Technica's article on DisplayPort [arstechnica.com] also mentions VESA's claim of higher bandwidth in the future.

        Here's a spec comparison (includes bandwidth) of DisplayPort, LVDS, DVI,

    • The real problem I see is that this isn't enough bandwidth...

      This seems like another band-aid patch to the problem, we are going to have larger than 3200x2400 soon and they are going to require multiple DisplayPort connections. Just doubling the bandwidth isn't going to cut it.
      • I'd guess you're correct, it appears that monitors are running into the same issues as normal networking. Really, to be future-safe, they ought to do an order-of-magnitude increase (eg 100gbps vs DVI-B 10gbps)
    • But where's the content? Replacing NTSC/PAL with HDTV has been a slooooooooooooooooooooooooow process. For normal TV viewing distances (30-40" on at 8-10 feet), 1080p is fairly close to the limits of human perception. The only time you're likely to notice a real difference is if you're sitting at monitor distance, or a video wall giving you a cinema-like experience because it covers much more of your field of vision. I've looked at HDTV projectors, and if 3840x2160 (2x1080p) projectors exist, the price tag

      • I will almost buy in to your idea that quad 1080p would suffice for everything. (And I think 2x 1080p is actually 4x the information).

        I have a 30 inch dell LCD coming, 2560x1600, which is close to your 3840x2160 limit. I will see if it is the ultimate or close to it.

        And they are putting 1080p DLP into high end samsung, so 1080p projectors should be coming down in the next few years. I can't wait. I have put off home HD, just wait a decade or two and they finally get it sorted.
    • by woolio (927141)
      Doubling the bandwidth only allows the display to increase by about sqrt(2) in resolution.

      For larger displays, they just need something much better.. Also, relatively few businesses and home users are going to be using 3200x2400 displays... (I suppose some graphics artists might, but they ain't exactly the majority).

      I suspect DRM is a bigger factor.
  • by notanatheist (581086) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @08:54PM (#15279296) Homepage
    More importantly than being backward compatible with DVI is well it accept a DVI-VGA adapter. You're not taking my kick ass 17" IBM tubes from my workbench any time soon. LCD is just not dependable for working at various resolutions.
  • Isn't double the DVI bandwidth... "dual-link DVI"?

    (I know because I own one of those 30" Apple flatscreens which requires it.)

    Or is it like quad-link DVI?
  • Fiber connections (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mnmn (145599) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:07PM (#15279337) Homepage
    There are no details in the article, but I'm hoping for an optic-based connection. This can remove the length restrictions and electric interference. Not to mention the cable will be much cheaper.
    • the only problem with optical connections.. the bandwidth required for 1600x1200@60Hz, and 32bit color raw data is 3.5Gbps.. A basic Gbic is $75, if you could 4 of those to make a one-way display connection, it'd add $300 to the connection.. copper is used because high bandwidth for short distances is cheap.
      • Funny... I read 1.65Gbps...

        From http://www.bnoack.com/index.html?http&&&www.bnoack .com/data/DVI-conn.html [bnoack.com]

        Data is transmitted by the transition minimized differential signaling (TMDS) protocol. The DVI specification calls for at least one TMDS link which includes three data channels (RGB) and one clock control channel.
        DVI Specification 1.0: a TMDS link may operate at up to 165MHz. A single 10-bit TMDS link offers 1.65Gbps of bandwidth. This bandwidth is sufficient for a 1920 x 1080 screen resolu
        • Did it occur to you that it may use hardware lossless compression? 3.5Gigabits can easily be compressed to 1.65gbps losslessly.

          Compression means an extra step, which means long delays; increased latency, not to mention more expense on the card and screens.

          I sincerely doubt they're using compression of any kind.
        • Did it occur to you that it may use hardware lossless compression?

          There is no compression in the DVI spec. Compression wouldn't be practical at that kind of speed.

          There are typically 3 of those 165MHz channels (R G and B) running at 8 bits per clock. 165 x 8 x 3 = 3960 million bits/s = 3.6Gb/s (in 1024s).
  • by zogger (617870) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:09PM (#15279344) Homepage Journal
    It looks more like they are planning some craptacular (via a scam chip buried someplace in the machine) way to make it impossible to view their (someone "their's") expensive "intellectual property" unless it is in the approved format of the week. Crack one level, you still have to view it, only to meet the new craptacular connection and monitor, tough noogies again. Call it defense of profits in depth, hard wired. Hit 'em in the hardware, hit 'em in the software, double nail them with laws, eventually they have 99% of the people buffaloed into economic submission..

    Of course, that is a real wild guess....I am just a skeptic by nature when it comes to this sort of thing - "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me 7,963 times, shame on me" deal.. "New and Improved" - from big industry sources, most always translates as "a new conjob they have come up with and an improved way to keep sucking dollars out of your wallet"
    • Yes, but is this such a big deal? Corporate product needs passive receivers; real culture invites active participation. When corporate media is controlled end-to-end, it will die because it will never be a part of the culture in any meaningful way. You see it on tv and then it goes away, an endless stream of effectively identical units whose sole purpose is to put eyes in front of commercials. Just tune out. You'll be so much happier.
      • by zogger (617870)
        Pretty much already done did that. I don't get any new media discs,well, a very few, I restrict my purchases now to used primarily or the severely marked down bargain bins, and those are around maybe 4 units per annum I give my GF as cheap gifts (she likes movies way more than I do). I only watch a very few selected shows on TV, and even those most irregularly, primarily I catch the local weather, and watch a few selected olympic sports when they come around and an occassional nature special or news special
    • Crack one level, you still have to view it, only to meet the new craptacular connection and monitor, tough noogies again. Call it defense of profits in depth, hard wired.

      I can crack all levels of the encryption with a little research, the right person, and a blowtorch.

    • by killjoe (766577)
      I think people have got this all wrong. The goal is not to prevent you from watching something, it's to force you to watch something. Just like the DVDs you can't forward through. This is designed so that people can pop up ads and you won't be able to get rid of them. You will be forced to watch ads when you are using office because office will be given away for free. You will be forced to watch adds when you use windows or IE.

      When the hardware manufacturers disallow open source software from running on the
  • by egarland (120202) on Saturday May 06, 2006 @09:44PM (#15279454)
    DVI was braindead from the start. The protocol limited connections to 1600x1200 (1920x1200 if you pushed it). Their solution to higher resolutions is dual link which suffered from a chicken and egg problem. With no monitors supporting it no video cards bothered to add support. With no video cards to drive them, nobody bothered creating monitors that would take advantage of dual link. Most video cards still don't bother to support it.

    LCD technology scales up much more cost effectively than CRT did so with the advent of LCD, the economics of big screen displays were about to get much better. At the time LCDs started becoming popular, I was working on a 21" CRT at 1600x1200. Unfortunately, because of the limitations of single link DVI, while 24, 26 and 28" monitors may have been cost effective to create, interfacing them with a computer was impractical. Instead you see the abomination of people sitting in front of 2 smaller monitors. Apple finally broke the chicken and egg problem with their 30" Apple Cinema display. They built dual link into their entire product line in preparation for it's launch. Dell now sells a 30" LCD for PCs as well and finally the latest generation of ultra-high end video cards now mostly support dual link. With this hurdle overcome, DVI is finally set to become a good digital display standard.

    From what I understand this new standard will be incapable of driving monitors at resolutions above what these 30" displays can do now. That's nice but DVI is there and prepared to surpass that. Why create a new standard that limits display size to a resolution that was reached a year before the standard is even released, especially when dual link support is finally taking hold and the original limitations of DVI are starting to melt away. While I would like to see DVI replaced with something smaller and more capable, this new standard seems even more short sighted as the original DVI standard to me (since they don't even provide a path to higher resolutions).

    Make it support up to 42" displays (20gb/s) and you've got a standard that makes sense. Otherwise.. lets just stick with DVI.
    • If you can afford 42" then you can afford a special 'card' that has that special 'new-standard' thats rare.

      Why bother making a standard support something that only 1% of people willuse when they can just buy that extra $150 card
      that supports the 3000x2000 42" res using some uber custom special dual/tripple dvi hybrid.
      • by egarland (120202)
        Why bother making a standard support something that only 1% of people will use when they can just buy that extra $150 card
        that supports the 3000x2000 42" res using some uber custom special dual/tripple dvi hybrid.


        The problem is if a monitor requires a special custom video card and cable you have the chicken and egg problem again. The barrier to creating monitors bigger than 30" will be so high they won't be created at any price point unless/until there is a huge demand. Also, since such a system wouldn't
      • Don't short-sighted. That sort of thinking is exactly why this sort of problem exists. If they build scalability and support for silly high-end impractical things into the more pedestrian standard, it creates the forces neccesary for those silly high-end things to take hold, become popular, and then finally become affordable for normal people. Being involved in computers enough to be reading /., you should know better than to assume that just because something is expensive and "fringy" today that it will be
    • Apple finally broke the chicken and egg problem with their 30" Apple Cinema display. They built dual link into their entire product line in preparation for it's launch.

      WTF? I remember when the 30" Cinema Display was launched (June 2004) and they certainly did not build dual-link DVI into their entire product line "in preparation for it's launch." MacCentral's coverage of the WWDC 2004 keynote [macworld.com] explains it best:

      Jobs also introduced a new 30-inch display. The $3,299 display sports 2560 x 1600 pixel resol

      • Good response. I was not aware that Apple had released the display with so little support. They have, however, added support dual link to most of their current hardware, correct?

        Gigabyte's GV-RX16P256DE-RH (Radeon X1600 Pro) supports dual-link DVI and costs about $105 at Newegg.

        Correct.. Support for dual link is starting to work it's way into the mainstream. The chicken and egg problem of the original DVI standard is over.

        As I said in another comment, VESA claims that DisplayPort's bandwidth is "future e
    • I notice that you use the terms "DVI" and "Dual-link DVI" interchangably, yet you freely admit that they're diffrerent animals.

      Nevertheless, you seem to be happy with Dual-link DVI, but you want 20gb/s worth of bandwidth.

      How about Dual-link Displayport?
  • it is odd. i used to think this was an important area. however, now with everyone converging towards ansynchronous transaction packets spread over lvds pairs it just doesn't matter any more. peers even discover the best rate and width. you may as well run HT or PCI-E to the monitor at this point, anything else is just arbitrary market segmentation.

    (it use to be that the rates required to draw a screen and the general purpose bus bandwisth were off by 3 magnitues...they are now on parity. machines have chang
    • (it use to be that the rates required to draw a screen and the general purpose bus bandwisth were off by 3 magnitues...they are now on parity. machines have changed, people haven't very much)

      How is that relevant? No PC today can sustain a GB/s stream to the display. The limiting factor is usually the texels/s and, for the high-res stuff, bandwidth to the display, which hasn't been tied to bus bandwidth for 5 or more years.

    • you may as well run HT or PCI-E to the monitor at this point

      Maybe in a laptop, but certainly not in a desktop.

      Implementing a high-speed databus on a motherboard (such as PCI-E), is easy, since the distances are very short and the "wires" are the traces on the motherboard. It is a very controlled environment.

      But you just can't take that same thing and run it down a 3 foot cable to a monitor.. In the GHZ range, the losses in a 3 foot cable would be severe, not to mention the inductive effects of the cable,
  • but... (Score:2, Funny)

    by kahrytan (913147)

    The question is, Will it work with Linux?
  • If it supports double the bandwidth, doesn't that only support 50% larger displays?

    In which case it's already almost obsolete, given I can't even run my 23" at full resolution within legal DVI specs. This would barely run Apple's existing 30" display.

    Guess we know at least one reason Apple didn't sign on.

  • quoth the very tired tagline.. "whoever wins, we lose"

    now you may mod me into oblivion =/
  • by Anonymous Coward
    From everything I have seen, as it stands now
    Displayport is compatible with No prior standard.

    It does carry audio,and no royalties will be due
    to anyone but the Big Deal is Big Business.It supports bidirectional "optional" encryption protection schemes. And No prior standard is supported.

    Simply replace everything you own, from the content to the machine.
    And... Your display will now have to approve of your content.
    Another added level of complexity designed to make things not work, which will likely result in
  • by man_ls (248470) on Sunday May 07, 2006 @01:38AM (#15280167)
    The problem isn't with the display size.

    The problem is the fact that I can only have one display accelerated at a time. I purchased a second graphics card with its own accelerator to run my second display, thinking that this would get around the limitation -- but low and behold, on my P4-820 with 2GB of RAM, and an X800 XL + 9250, I still can't watch a DVD and play a DirectX game at the same time in full-motion. Or really do anything.

    For a lot of people, the path to better computing is to add monitors -- it allows you to logically partition your work area spatially to a greater degree than just one monitor does. But if you can't do accelerated tasks on both monitors, you effectively only have 1 in a lot of situations.

    That just doesn't cut it for me. Software rendering of DVDs, TV, videos, etc. all on my 2ndary display is not acceptable. But there's nothing I can do about it.
    • I hope you find this usefull. Take a look at the Nvidia 7800 series. I have the 7800GS and it does support aceleration on both monitors at the same time.

      Games or programs that will run in a windowed mode work the best, both in windowed and full screen mode. If they wont then they probably wont play nice. Currently I watch a DVD on one while playing a game on the other. It is hot swapable, in other words you can drag you program from one monitor to the other on the fly without it crashing. You do nee

    • That is a Windows thing most likely. (Unless you are using *nix, in which case it is a "magic line in some config file" thing)

      Windows uses a magic color for its hardware accelerated overlay.

      You can actually set this color on the fly, rather fun. :-D WinAmp takes advantage of this, if you ever want the background of a Word file you are working on to be a bit more interesting, set the overlay color to White.

      Any ways.

      Notice that I said "a magic color".

      Singular.

      DOH.

      Some companies (Nvidia, ATI) have developed
  • From what I understand the mayor difference between Displayport and HDMI is money. If you build a HDMI port, then you must shell out some money for royalties, patents, etc. Displayport is a royalty-free solution. This allows its usage even in low-cost devices.

    A second interesting feature is that it is designed to be used also for internal connections between the motherboard/graphics chip of a laptop and the LCD. The internal and external signals look the same. The external port will be identical to the int

  • and twice the DRM.

    Oh, and lets get the consumer to buy more stuff for no reason other then we want the money.

How many Unix hacks does it take to change a light bulb? Let's see, can you use a shell script for that or does it need a C program?

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