Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Comment Re:Behind the times (Score 1) 86

With the right paradigm it can hyperconverged to an SOA that has wearable computing gamification omnichannel crowdsoursing deep web in the globosphere. It can take a selfie with you.

OK, "wearable" handles "mobile" (even better than mobile!), and maybe "hyperconverged" and "SOA" covers "cloud"; does "crowdsourcing" cover "social", or did you miss a buzzword?

Comment Re:Who the FUCK leaves RPC open to the internet! (Score 1) 34

Retarded windows admins.

Actually, this is ONC RPC, originally developed by Sun, not DCE RPC, originally developed by Apollo, adopted by the OSF, and then adopted by Microsoft, but I guess there are Windows boxes offering NFS or some other ONC RPC-based service (or providing clients for those services and, for some unknown reason, running the portmapper even if they're not offering any such services, but I digress).

Comment Re:So what's the point for AIX? (Score 1) 157

IBM mainframes were commonly virtual machines. Unlike their predecessors, which had their instructions hard-wired into them, the System/360 and later boxes usually had some sort of "Initial MicroProgram Load" phase that kitted out the machine's NVRAM with the microcode that made them all run the common S/360 instruction set, regardless of underlying hardware, which could be quite radically different, depending on the make and model.

For System/360, only the Model 85 and Model 25 had microcode in RAM rather than ROM (the Model 75 and Model 91 didn't have any microcode, the instruction set was implemented in hardwired logic). The hardware was, as far as I know, primarily designed to implement the System/3x0 instruction set; different machines may have been friendly towards other instruction sets to different degrees (emulators existed for some 140x and 709x machines, but they only needed to run those instruction sets as well as the original machines, not as well as the S/3x0 instruction set ran). Writable control store became common in System/370.

These days, I think the commonly-used instructions are hardwired (and multi-operation instructions cracked into micro-ops, Pentium-Pro-and-successors-style, in the latest chips), and some of the more-complicated instructions may trap to "millicode", which is native machine code, perhaps with special access to machine-specific hardware. (Yes, it does sound a bit like PALcode.)

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 157

Since "C" generally really is "K" in Latin, but people anyway seem quite happy to talk about stuff like"Sentrums" and "Seramics", I don't quite see your point.

His point is presumably that accenting the "e" at the end of "niche" reveals that the person doing so learned about accents, but didn't learn that "niche" doesn't have an accent over the "e" in French, in French class.

Comment Re:No it hasn't (Score 2) 157

Z has plenty of custom hardware - I think it's fair to say it's predominantly custom - the branch predictor would have to be pretty different, and of course power doesn't have a BCD arithmetic unit.

Actually, it does have IEEE decimal floating-point, as does z/Architecture. z/Architecture has decimal fixed point, but, these days, it might just trap to millicode doing tricks such as excess-6 for carry propagation. (And the PowerPC processors in at least some AS/400 machines added some instructions to assist BCD arithmetic.)

Anyway, I'll argue that they're spiritually and economically related, and there's more than a passing family resemblance. Kind of like power and modern ("advanced server") iSeries,

There is no iSeries any more, there's just the IBM Power Systems, which are the successors to both RS/6000^WpSeries^WSystem p and to AS/400^WiSeries^WSystem i; they can run both AIX and IBM i.

Meanwhile, channel controllers aren't as dumb as they look. A little wikipedia action here (I know, citing wikipedia, but it's monday and I'm still tired): . Turns out the little dickens can do a decent amount of work on its own. I think the wikipedia entry is showing its age... seems like IBM's done a lot more work since this.

Yes, but they're still I/O boxes, not general-purpose computers (well, they might be implemented with z/Architecture or Power ISA processors, but what's exposed to the OS or application programmer is just the ability to run limited channel programs). The z/Architecture Principles of Operation says in "Execution of I/O Operations", in chapter 15 "Basic I/O Functions":

For subchannels operating in command mode, the channel subsystem can execute seven types of commands: write, read, read backward, control, sense, sense ID, and transfer in channel. Each command, except transfer in channel, initiates a corresponding I/O operation.


For subchannels operating in transport mode, the channel subsystem can transport six types of com- mands for execution: write, read, control, sense, sense ID, and interrogate. Each command initiates a corresponding device operation.

Comment Re:locked down hardware ? (Score 1) 157

I guess if MS can do it, IBM can too.

Except this is probably IBM locking out their own operating systems, i.e. they're not "machines that can't run anything other than Linux", they're "machines that can't run z/OS or z/VSE", which IBM has already had for a while. Given that I don't think anybody's has completed a port of any other open-source OSes to z/Architecture, that may amount to "machines that can't run anything other than Linux", but, unless there are bits of z/Architecture Linux that are binary-only and that support undocumented parts of the system (which I think there might be), that's not inherent to those systems.

(This is more like Apple releasing a Mac that doesn't have the right magic to have OS X willing to boot on it; it could still run Linux or Windows or....)

I also noticed the TechCrunch article has a link to the announcement: which produces "Access Denied"!!

Works for me....

So I shortened it: And that page shows no such announcement.

It does now, at the top.

Comment Re:Mainframe runs on Linux (Score 1) 157

mainframe servers that only run on Linux.

Something about that quote seems backwards to me. Can I run that server on a raspberry pi running Linux?

Will Hercules run on an Raspberry Pi? If so, then, yes, you can run that server on a Raspberry Pi running Linux.

(But, yes, it should have said "that only run Linux".)

Comment Re:On AS/400 midranges NT's been there since 1998 (Score 1) 157

Question:"... which IBM server range can run applications written for Windows NT and 2000, Novell NetWare, Aix and OS/2 as well as..."

Answer: "Probably the most important development, however, came in 1998, when the ability to run Windows NT was added (Windows 2000 has become an option now on the latest version)"

* BOTH quotes are from ->

...which is talking about add-on x86 processors running NT (and other x86 operating systems).

Comment Re:So what's the point for AIX? (Score 1) 157

IBM has a software layer called UNIX System Services to provide an AIX environment on most of their Z-mainframes - apparently it won't be supported on this new one though. From my limited experience, I think the Linux implementation was more seamless and better regarded than USS, which had sort of a '90s-compatibility layer feel.

Because it is a compatibility layer atop OS/VS2 Multiple Virtual Storage. a/k/a MVS, or, as it's called these days with its 64-bitification, z/OS - complete with EBCDIC being the native character set (so watch out for those UN\*X programs that assume 'a' through 'z' or 'A' through 'Z' are contiguous!). If the new machines don't support z/OS, they won't support USS, either.

Comment Re:Missed opportunity (Score 1) 167

However, a lot of developers like Linux and BSD, and find a standard Unix-like environment very comfortable. (Mac OSX is Unix, but the environment is very different.)

"Environment" as in "desktop environment", presumably, as the command-line environment is quite Unix-like (and is where I spend most of my time as a developer).

Comment Re:Missed opportunity (Score 1) 167

But few, if any, of them are using it as a development platform. That's what's being discussed here.

It's easy to say that, if you consider the money that is spend by "big (os) companies" to teach innocent but very influence-able children that there is no alternative. Humanity has proven that there are not many people who really can think and decide for themselves, especially when they are pushed in one direction in their childhood. By the time they should be able to decide, they are already crusted with the prepaid choice. That is how it works: "big (os) companies" only pay if they earn much more later.

There is no place for humanitarian values in economics, unless it pays off. Economics is like nature: it's hard, undeveloped and ruthless, the law of the jungle.

BTW, you are aware that "it", in the sentence you're quoting, refers to Android and iOS, not to regular Linux, so you're clearly not speaking here about people being influenced by "the big (os) companies" not to consider Linux as a desktop or development platform OS.

Comment Re:Missed opportunity (Score 1) 167

I guess you never did Linux C++ server side code development.

Because anybody who does Linux C++ server side code development would either 1) use an Android or iOS phone or tablet as their development machine (no, not as a client to test the server, as a development machine running their development environment) or 2) know that few developers in any software field have Linux desktops as their development platforms?

(Otherwise, there's no valid reason to conclude that somebody who says that 1) few people use Android or iOS machines as development platforms or 2) that many people use Linux boxes as development platforms must ipso facto not have done Linux C++ server-side code development.)

Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein