Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Depends if you want to support it (Score 4, Informative) 188

That really is the big issue with a self build: If something goes wrong, you have to track it down and handle all the support. If you get a pre-built from a good vendor, they'll handle it all. Say what you want about Dell, but all you have to do is run their diags (baked in to the UEFI) and call them with the code, they'll send a dude with the parts needed.

So that should be the major thing you think about. If you don't want to do support, then buy it from a vendor that will provide you with support to the level you require. I tend to recommend Dell because their hardware is reasonable and they have support available everywhere. They subcontract it, but it all works well. We use it at work all the time.

If you are willing to do support yourself, then building it gets you precisely what you want. I build my system at home because I have very exacting requirements for what I'm after and nobody has that kind of thing for sale. Like I don't want a "good large power supply", I want a Seasonic Platinum 1000, nothing else.

Also you'll find that generally at the higher end of things you save money building a system. For more consumer/office range stuff it usually is a wash: They build the mass market systems around as cheap as you could afford to. However when you start talking higher end gaming stuff, you can pay a large premium for things.

As an example I just built a system for a good friend of mine. He wanted some very, very high end hardware and pretty specific requirements. Origin PC would get him what he wanted... for about $9,000. I put it together for around $6,000. The gamer stuff often commands a hefty premium.

Comment Re:Exaggerated again ... (Score 1) 46

If Data and Lore had been configured with different host keys, a whole lot of anguish could have been avoided.

When a signal transmission is detected from Data's quarters, Wesley Crusher arrives to investigate. He finds Lore, now impersonating Data, who explains that he had to incapacitate his brother after being attacked. Wesley is doubtful, but since Lore and Data were misconfigured with identical host keys, he has little option but to pretend to accept the explanation.

Understanding Secure Shell Host Keys

Comment Re:I'll believe it when I see it (Score 1) 50

And yet for all your misdirected Windows whining DirectX for Windows is the only area that AMD cards perform well. Their Linux drivers blow, as noted by other posts here, and that is because AMD can't write OpenGL drivers to save their life.

nVidia, on the other hand, has extremely fast and solid drivers for Linux.

Comment Well of course, because Linux is OpenGL (Score 1) 50

And AMD can't handle OpenGL. I don't know why, I'm not sure what's so hard, I'm not sure if there's a monster that guards the OpenGL specs in the AMD office or something, but they have sucked at GL for over a decade, and show no signs of getting any better. They can't claim it is because of an API limitation either. For whatever you want to say about the mess that is OpenGL, nVidia makes their GL drivers dead even with their DX drivers. You can use either rendering path and can't tell the difference in features or speed.

That is also why I'm real skeptical that Vulkan is going to do anything for AMD. While they are heavily involved in the development, they are involved with OpenGL's development too (ATi was a voting member on the ARB and is a promoter with Khronos Group). Given that Vulkan is heavily GL based, originally being named glNext, I worry that AMD will suck at performance with it as well.

Comment I'll believe it when I see it (Score 2, Insightful) 50

Not the driver, that's out, but that they are going to change how they do drivers. They've said that numerous times before, and always the situation is the same. They are very slow at getting actual release drivers out (they are forever beta versions) and their OpenGL performance and support is garbage (to the point that HFSS would fail to run on systems with AMD cards).

So AMD: Less talk, more good drivers. I want to support you, I really do, but I've been burned too many times.

Comment And what does that cost for gigabit routing? (Score 1) 111

The problem PFSense has as compared to consumer routers is that running on normal Intel CPUs it needs more CPU power (and thus cost) to be able to forward a given amount of traffic. Plus all the NICs and such are separate silicon. Boradcom makes little all-in-one chips that have a couple of ARM cores that have acceleration for routing and so on. Also they have things like an ethernet switch and ethernet PHYs on the chip so they needn't be added. Have a look at a BCM4709A for an example that is popular in routers.

PFSense is good but it is not the most economical thing if you are talking features matching a consumer router, meaning gig routing, multiple ports, and wifi, you can have your costs go up a fair bit. Particularly if you also then want it to be fairly small and low power. If you hop over to PFSense's site it would cost about $575 for a SG-2440 with WiFi which would give features roughly on par with a consumer router.

While I'd much rather have that over a consumer router, a consumer router is in fact what I have because I didn't want to spend a ton of money for a home router.

Comment Shackleton circus (Score 0) 175

"Somebody has decided to create this cut-down, using only the sections of The Gathering Clouds that discuss the difficulties faced, not the positive ways they were addressed and overcome - which are also covered in this and other featurettes."

When BANA books its annual shindig at a charming convention center catered by the Willy Wonka Chocolate Corporation with an entertainment package featuring a human volleyball act by the Ethiopian Cirque du Soleil, I too would probably look more at the original decision making than the food-oriented heroics induced.

BANA = Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Association

I can see it now.

Some enterprising greeter saves the day by equipping the Shin Dig Hall entrance booth with 300 complimentary pairs of silicone oven mitts (frantically relabelled to read "size 3/4/5" with just minutes to spare) and zap straps snug enough to keep them secured to bony wrists until the evening's festivities run to conclusion.

Forever afterwards, the meeting is recalled as the "Silicone Shackleton Saliva Circus".

Comment This is the only answer that matters (Score 5, Informative) 373

If this is for the kids, then they need to make the choice. Mostly because online play tends to only work in console. So if all their friends have an Xbox one and they have a PS4, then they can't play games together.

If you want any kind of technical considerations or the like the PS4 is faster than the Xbone because of details with hardware design so it will end up rendering things at a higher resolution and so on. Also the controllers feel very different in the hands, and some people have a strong preference. I like the Xbone controllers much better and they are what I use with my PC (I have a PS4 controller as well).

Really though what matters is choosing the one that has the games you want, and that plays with the people you want to play with. The rest is secondary.

Comment Sigh (Score 5, Insightful) 519

Another person who doesn't understand the first amendment. The first amendment says that the government can't mess with your free expression. They can't put you in jail because you say something they don't like, they can't shut down a news paper for reporting on things they don't want, and so on. It does NOT say that people have to listen to whatever you say, like it, and not respond in any way.

This guy didn't have his rights violated at all: He said something extremely stupid, and people then used their first amendment rights to express that he's a jackass. His political party decided that because he'd pissed off lots of voters, they weren't interested in supporting them. They aren't required to support anyone, the choose the candidates they like. He realized he'd fucked up, and had no chance of wining, and so withdrew.

Nothing improper here. You seem to think that the first amendment should mean speech without consequence. Of course that doesn't work without infringing on the rights of others. If you say something I don't like, I have to be free to say I don't like you for it, or my freedom of speech is being infringed upon. I have to be free to refuse to talk to you, do business with you, etc or my freedom of association is being infringed upon.

Comment It's also rather hard to believe it would work (Score 5, Insightful) 223

Ultrasonic response is not something most devices are good at. We, unsurprisingly, tend to design your sound systems around what we can hear. Particularly when you are talking cheaper equipment the high frequency response of speakers and microphones is often not very impressive. There's also the issue that the digital audio compression we use for things, like TV broadcasts, deemphasizes high frequencies.

So for this to work they need:

1) A TV broadcast with sufficient audio bitrate to get their high frequency signal encoded (the AC-3 streams usually used in ATSC broadcasts can be any bitrate from 64kbps to 448kbps).

2) Encoded in such a way by the broadcaster that the high frequencies are preserved to a sufficient amount that their signal isn't distorted.

3) Reproduced by speakers good enough to produce their signal, but to do it at a sufficient level to be picked up (speakers roll off at more extreme frequencies).

4) Picked up by a microphone with sufficient range to be able to receive such a signal and isn't being occluded too much be being in a pocket or something.

5) Processed by a program running on the device, that has control of the microphone at the time the signal is playing.

Ya... While that isn't impossible, that is not likely to work any real amount of time. To have any good chance of working you'd probably have to push the signal down in to the audible range, which would of course piss people off to hear spurious high frequency noise. Likewise for it to be of any use the user would need to have an app on their device that is running. The mic doesn't magically record everything that comes in and store it for anything to access. A program has to be running and take control of the microphone to be able to get any input from it.

This sounds like an advertiser pipe dream, not something that has been tried with real technology in realistic settings.

People seem to think that ultrasonic communication is some kind of magic. It isn't. I mean it can be done, no question, you can encode information in sound, and you can do it in sound frequencies above human hearing. However that doesn't mean you can do it with any arbitrary device, or under arbitrary conditions.

Comment Re:How about NO (Score 1) 125

Intel CPUs fully support 16-bit mode still. Look it up. What they don't support is going to VM86 while in Long Mode which leads to the old WoW system not working for 16-bit support.

There is just no need to sandbox 32-bit support, since it works great how it is. If you are interested, go and read about how WoW64 works and how Compatibility Mode inside Long Mode (on the CPUs) works. It allows for 32-bit software to execute in a 64-bit system with no fuss, and it is something people highly value.

Also again, do more research. You are jerking hard at the knee: Hyper-V -IS- included with Windows. Comes with every copy of pro, you just turn it on. Further if you think something like XP mode is a good solution you are kidding yourself. Now you have a virtual OS which doesn't get updated because it is no longer supported and is an easy vector for attacks. That copy of XP in XP mode is a full OS, and thus has the attack profile of any XP system out there.

Seriously, you really, really need to go and do some research on this topic if you care about it as much as you seem to. It isn't a simple situation of "just virtualize it" nor is a 32-bit compatibility layer the massive problem you make it out to be. You have a bunch of bits and pieces of facts, but a lot of misinformation filling it in.

Comment Re:The difference is starting us in the face, yet (Score 1) 568

OK. So follow this through logically for a moment.

Engineering - Professional Engineers - is a tightly defined field, and is primarily required by government works. There are standards and specifications to which things must be built, based on known material strengths and capabilities.

If it is exploratory work, it's not engineering, it's science. No PE is going to sign off on "clean room" type materials which haven't been subjected to a battery of tests. The materials available for common structural construction are fairly static and change very, very slowly - it's merely in how they're assembled which really changes, but their properties and interactions are largely static.

Consider how that doesn't apply to software, at all. And even if it did, how exactly are you going to scope the exams for being eligible to design a steering servo's control software? Whereas you need a single PE for a bridge design, sometimes a couple depending on the size of the project, the code for that steering servo is going to be reviewed by a team of software people. It's a very different approach.

Comment Here we go again (Score 3, Interesting) 568

Look, 'software developers' are, to a large part, engineering software. They're making a machine, an engine designed for a specific purpose. I don't personally think MOST 'software engineers' qualify as actual engineers, they're neither bright enough nor especially forward thinking enough. But you're not going to hoist a regulatory body on an industry like software... we don't want it, and it won't help the industry. (Though, that's never stopped government before...)

The fact that so, so many software developers are shitty engineers is besides the point. There are many, many shitty "real" engineers out there, too. The difference is that the damage of a single bad software 'engineer' is negligible compared to the damage of a single bad real world engineer.

Knowing quite a few of both, I would say the biggest mindset difference between a software developer and an engineer is whether they're conservative or liberal. Software developers, for whatever reason, almost invariably seem to be very politically liberal, which I feel is the same mindset reflected in a lot of the disastrous "cleverness" so many developers inflict on people, but also in the ability to write extremely useful tools. Licensed engineers almost always seem to be fundamentally conservative (as are most good systems people), if not necessarily culturally or socially. Now, there are definitely exceptions to those rules, but for the most part they seem to be true - desire for pushing their own ideas, versus desires for order.

Now, there are definitely people in the field who should be called "engineers", though they're typically not developers. They're the ones who are finding design, implementation, or use case issues - and those disciplines almost never fall under an 'engineering' title. (Though, Senior Software Engineers or whatever are often doing this, as well.)

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.