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Comment: PL/M (Score 2) 547

by nateman1352 (#48104595) Attached to: Goodbye, World? 5 Languages That Might Not Be Long For This World

There is actually one language that I can think of used to be popular and significant that is actually now dead: PL/M

CP/M was written in PL/M (the OS that MS-DOS is based on.) Later versions of CP/M had most of the code rewritten in assembly for speed reasons. When Microsoft converted it from the 8080 to the 8086 for PCs after version 1.0 one of the things they focused on was replacing the remaining PL/M code with C code. It didn't take much time before MS-DOS was completely free of PL/M code.

Fast forward to today and there isn't a single modern PL/M compiler out there. Pretty incredible really considering that today all it takes is 1 guy deciding to spend about 6 months writing a LLVM frontend. The last one was PL/M-386, which dates to the 80's, everything newer than that focuses on converting PL/M code to C code. I would be surprised to hear about a single new software project being started today in PL/M, and I expect that the number of programmers actively writing PL/M code is a 2 digit number.

Amazing when you think about it that a language used to implement an OS which the world's most popular OS is descended from is dead now.

Comment: So they can call it Windows X (Score 1) 399

by nateman1352 (#48033869) Attached to: Why did Microsoft skip Windows 9?

Windows X.

Because every marketing guy knows that putting an 'X' in the name of you product makes it sell better. You gotta admit, WinX looks better than Win9 in forum posts.

Seems like Microsoft is Apple's biggest fan boy these days, first they run a big marketing campaign comparing the Surface to the Macbook Air now they are trying to copy Apple's OS branding. How much you want to bet they will even throw a big cat name on there: Windows X "Puma".

You know Microsoft, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Which is ironic since the stratospheric Apple hype _finally_ seems to be winding down. Guess Microsoft is 3 years behind everyone else as usual.

Comment: Re:Windows RT (Score 3, Insightful) 61

by nateman1352 (#47735273) Attached to: Virtual Machine Brings X86 Linux Apps To ARMv7 Devices

...That said Microsoft would have to get the clue that developers have zero interest in Metro/Modern/Whatever apps, the environment is so limited that porting a Win32 app is basically as much work as porting a Win32 app to Android (esp. with stuff like Xarmarin, Qt, and other great cross platform libraries available to help) and nobody wants to pay MS 30% of their revenue and limit their distribution channel so strictly.

Sorry Microsoft management, I know leveraging market position in your core product line to push yourself in to a new market is one of the oldest tricks in your book. In this case, its trying to use regular Windows to push developers in to building software that is compatible with WinPhone so you have the catalog of 3rd party software needed to make WinPhone successful. Thing is in order for it to work this time Windows on tablets would need to be the universally preferred tablet OS. 10 years ago legacy Win32 compatibility would have been all you needed to be the preferred tablet OS, but since you gave the competition 3-4 years to build up a nice back-catalog of touch friendly 3rd party software Windows is NOT the preferred tablet OS, Android and iOS are.

You have nobody to blame except yourselves for giving your competitors that much time (well, maybe your former now retired CEO.) At this point just take a page from your buddies over at Intel, they made it so installing any arbitrary .apk on a x86 Android device just works (even if it has ARM native code.) And look, consumers are buying x86 Android tablets without a second thought since everything just works, hell a lot of the time an x86 Android tablet isn't even labelled Intel vs. ARM its so seamless. Make it so you can install Android .apks on Win8/RT/Phone, that will give you access to the software catalog you need to break in to the market. It would be even better if you could work about a deal to get Google Play on Windows... but I doubt Google will want to "play" with you at all :) The preferred route of making everyone else bend and do things your way its pretty much a non-starter at this point because you waited so long.

Comment: Re:Mobile-only article; snort (Score 1) 96

by nateman1352 (#47653089) Attached to: Intel's 14-nm Broadwell CPU Primed For Slim Tablets

I think what will be interesting and compelling for Broadwell Desktop is the Iris Pro graphics on LGA parts (not just BGA mobile parts like Haswell.) Certainly it won't be capable of competing with high end cards but you can probably expect mid range discrete graphics performance built in to the CPU.

For your standard desktop tower gaming rig it doesn't matter much since you will be likely using discrete graphics there anyway, what excites me more is mid range discrete graphics performance without the added power consumption->heat->large GPU heat sink. Which means a NUC form factor system with mid range discrete graphics performance, which would be a pretty awesome steam box and/or general living room entertainment system.

Also if Haswell history is any lesson, the chips with Iris Pro graphics launch after the chips with the low end integrated graphics. This probably gives Broadwell desktop a few extra months of life with the period in between Skylake desktop launch but before Skylake desktop with Iris Pro.

Comment: Re:I wonder what their reasoning is...? (Score 1) 340

by nateman1352 (#47290521) Attached to: Russia Wants To Replace US Computer Chips With Local Processors

Here is a proper citiation: http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Industry/Manufacturing-output

The issue with US manufacturing isn't the absolute dollar values/volume of goods produced, it is the trend line. US manufacturing isn't growing, its largely flat, that is the problem. We are naturally producing more humans constantly, but you can't hire those new humans in to an industry that isn't growing at the same rate as the population.

Comment: Re:Let's be realistic (Score 1) 131

by nateman1352 (#47088847) Attached to: Quad Lasers Deliver Fast, Earth-Based Internet To the Moon

I don't think anyone at NASA thinks that it will be NASA to benefit from this research. The US government's research projects are generally funded to provide pioneering foreward looking technologies that no private company would invest in developing until 10+ years from now. So that way when private industry does need that technologythey already have something to get started from.

The one exception of course is development of new weapons and military systems.

Comment: Re:Idiot (Score 1) 345

by nateman1352 (#46906831) Attached to: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw

From a pure security standpoint, he is probably doing fine actually. The market share for Win98 Internet connected systems is now lower than Linux. Its such a small target and there are enough API differences between it and WinXP that the only viruses that will infect it are 10+ years old.

Now from a functionality standpoint... Win98 will be so limited on software choices at this point that its really not worth it. No modern browsers support it so you can't even browse the web really. Not to mention the horrible instability that we all have forgetten about.

Comment: Re:SteamBox (Score 1) 107

I mostly agree with you but you have to consider that unfortunately there are a LOT of XBox systems out there and if a game dev wants to target that audience (which is a lot bigger than the PC gaming audience) then DX is required... no OpenGL API support on XBox (big surprise.)

This is why all the major game engines support both DX and OpenGL.

Comment: Re:Precisely how... (Score 1) 147

by nateman1352 (#46517101) Attached to: Shuttleworth Wants To Get Rid of Proprietary Firmware

It is true that the kernel is expected to load and run the ACPI bytecode in a trusted context... but your assumption that the BIOS is gone after the OS bootloader runs is inaccurate. SMM keeps BIOS code code resident forever and running at a higher privilege level than your OS kernel. And its impossible for your kernel to see what SMM is doing unlike ACPI which is pretty easy to inspect,

Your BIOS already owns the platform and getting rid of ACPI won't change that, it will just make it more difficult to firmware engineers (like me) to support all OSes with 1 firmware image.

I agree that ACPI sucks in a lot of ways, but you must admit that there is something to be said for a standard that has enabled WinXP (10+ year old OS) and brand new stuff like Win8.1 and all the countless Linux releases in between to run on practically any PC regardless of it being brand new or 10 years old.

IMO the trend towards having special firmware for each OS is disturbing and limits the universal and reusable PC. A lot of this is being driven by Google and thier insistence that Chrome OS systems be shipped without Legacy BIOS or UEFI support (locked down coreboot that only accepts OSes signed by Google unless run in "developer mode", btw even in developer mode you can't install a new coreboot payload to enable UEFI or legacy BIOS boot).

Comment: Re:Precisely how... (Score 1) 147

by nateman1352 (#46514391) Attached to: Shuttleworth Wants To Get Rid of Proprietary Firmware

What exactly was stupid about my post? Take it you have never heard of ACPI Source Language or the Embedded Controller?

Seriously where should you more worried about NSA exploits1) a de-compilable and OS visible byte code that controls thermal and power management or 2) An invisible micro controller firmware that converts signals from your scan matrix laptop keyboard into P/S 2 signaling?

Seriously dude, I write firmware for a living... I know a thing or two about what it does and the state of Linux's ACPI stack.

Comment: Re:Precisely how... (Score 3, Informative) 147

by nateman1352 (#46510995) Attached to: Shuttleworth Wants To Get Rid of Proprietary Firmware

Honestly Shuttleworth's reasoning "Binary blobs can contain NSA exploits" is completely irrelevant to ACPI since ACPI byte-code can be completely de-compiled back in to the original source language making it very easy for security researchers to detect any funny business.

Honestly the modern PC has several microcontrollers in it that contain code that the primary CPU never even sees. I personally would consider those a much bigger security threat than ACPI.

So lets ask ourselves... why does he really want to get rid of ACPI? The answer is pretty simple, it going to take a lot of coding effort to get the Linux ACPI stack ready to fully support ACPI 5.0 and Connected Standby found on a lot of brand new laptops. This is just a feeble attempt to mask the fact that puring all his resources in dumb projects like Mir and Unity doesn't leave much left to keep up to date on new open PC platform standards.

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