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Comment: Re:What makes it so expensive? (Score 4, Informative) 56

by PhunkySchtuff (#49333945) Attached to: Stanford Breakthrough Could Make Better Chips Cheaper

From what I understand of it (which is very little) it's relatively easy to coax a crucible of pure, molten Si to grow into a single crystal - those long grey sausage-like boules are a single crystal of silicon, so are incredibly pure with a consistent crystalline structure. It's a lot harder to get gallium arsenide to do the same thing.

Comment: Re:Hardware requirements? (Score 4, Informative) 198

by PhunkySchtuff (#49325767) Attached to: Pixar Releases Free Version of RenderMan

Pros use fast workstations for modelling and rough/low-res rendering. Even those machines have lots of cores and RAM and fast storage.

All the heavy-lifting however then gets handed off to a render farm - which is generally a stack of computers, also with lots of cores and ram and fast storage, and they do all the number crunching.

They can be connected in a more traditional cluster style configuration, or they can be largely independent nodes all rendering individual frames.

Rendering like this is embarrassingly parallel - you get close to a linear increase in speed with more cores thrown at the problem - i.e. 256 cores will render a job roughly twice as fast as 128 cores, all other things being equal.

Comment: This is the rendering engine, not a GUI (Score 4, Interesting) 198

by PhunkySchtuff (#49325701) Attached to: Pixar Releases Free Version of RenderMan

For anyone hoping to jump straight in with the same tools that the pros use, note that this RenderMan is just the rendering engine, not a GUI for modelling.
You'll still need something like Maya or Katana to do the modelling in and then you use RenderMan for the final renders of your scene.

Comment: Re:Just give the option to turn it off... (Score 1) 823

by PhunkySchtuff (#48879449) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

...Even these manumatics with paddle shifters or whatever feel terrible when you say... approach a curve and want to preemptively downshift for engine braking and pulling out of the curve. They simply don't know your intent, and don't seem to have the wherewithal to do it smoothly.

I'm not a race car driver, but I am someone who likes their car to be responsive, and M/T is still the only option for me AFAIC.

Sam

I'm not sure what you've driven, but in my car (with a DSG and paddle shifters) coming into a corner and downshifting is as smooth, if not smoother, than in a manual.

In a manual, I would have to heel-toe to rev-match on the downshift, and this is tricky to get spot-on, so there'd be a jerk as the lower gear engaged and the engine was brought up to speed by the car. I'd have to take one hand off the wheel to shift and slide my foot over to in-between the accelerator and brake pedals.

In a DSG, the ECU knows how fast the engine needs to be turning for the road speed in the lower gear. When I hit the paddle, the ECU blips the throttle and gets the engine to exactly the right rpm for my forward speed and then engages the gear. This happens in around half a second, quicker than I could do it myself and I get to leave both hands on the wheel so I'm in full control of the car.

I was a die-hard manual fan until I had a car with DSG and paddle shifters. Now, I get the best of both worlds. I can drive as an auto in city traffic and I'm not rowing on the gear shifter and then with the press of a paddle, I can take control of the gear shifts when I'm on a twisty road, or want to accelerate quickly.
The one thing I miss is launching a manual car - in a manual, when you get it right, an AWD launch with just the right RPMs and just the right amount of slipping the clutch is simply sublime. Even with launch control on a DSG it doesn't quite get there.

Comment: Two types of "faking" it (Score 3, Informative) 823

by PhunkySchtuff (#48879389) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

There are two types of faking it that are currently used, as outlined in the summary.

Noise pipes, that take engine noise through a hollow pipe into the interior of the car are quite different to playing a synthetic soundtrack through the car's speakers. Modern cars have significantly more noise insulation than older vehicles, so cutting through some of this insulation so that the real engine noise can reach the cabin isn't necessarily cheating. You need an engine that sounds good to begin with here and you're hearing the actual sounds that the engine is making.

Having an engine that makes unpleasant sounds, or is too quiet, and supplementing this with a soundtrack played through the car's speakers - well, it may sound really good inside the car, but outside the car, you're not going to be hearing much of note...

Comment: Re:Any actual examples? (Score 1) 598

by PhunkySchtuff (#48743757) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

Whilst I'll be one of the first to step up and say that I've been bitten by bugs in Apple software, some (most?) that Apple know about and stubbornly refuse to fix (their Radar system is broken. You submit a bug, it's closed as a duplicate and they helpfully give you the Radar ID for the dupe - which you have no way of accessing) - you can not complain about bugs, even show-stopping-my-computer-won't-boot bugs in developer preview software. A Developer Preview, by it's very definition, has known bugs, otherwise it'd be GM or Release.

Now, a bug that have annoyed me in 10.9 - Apple broke subscriptions to IMAP public folders in Mail - well, they didn't break subscribing to a public folder, they removed the functionality that allows you to unsubscribe from them. I had a heap of users with small SSDs in their laptops suddenly trying to sync around 1 TB of email from folders they didn't want nor need. This worked perfectly in 10.8, was broken and logged as a bug in the 10.9 betas and as of 10.10 is still broken. Every time a bug is logged, it's closed as a dupe and a useless bug ID provided for the duplicate bug that no-one except for the original submitter can see.

Comment: Re:Forced upgrade path, Re: Nosedive (Score 1) 598

by PhunkySchtuff (#48743731) Attached to: Tumblr Co-Founder: Apple's Software Is In a Nosedive

you can't run a version of Safari on 10.6.x that will actually load content on sites like Youtube).

That's because you are using a version of Safari that hasn't been updated for about 6 years. ...Fortunately, you have several alternatives:

1. Update OS X to Yosemite. It's FREE (as in beer).

Yeah, FREE (as in beer) and UNAVAILABLE (as in roast dodo).
The "forced upgrade policy" means that a generation of
Macintoshes is arbitrarily decared too old for the installer to put a newer OS onto it.
My MacPro, four Xeon cores and 20GB of RAM, with six drive bays,
doesn't have a MacOS upgrade path beyond 10.6.8, won't load any Safari
browser version that came with 10.7+, and most prebuilt browsers
of other pedigree are just as OS-intolerant (TenFourFox being the notable exception).

Apple's OS and app install process discriminates on the basis of last-time-we-got-paid-for-hardware.

Despite your Mac Pro dating from before 2008 or so, it's still a relatively powerful machine - and Xeons are absolutely 64-bit CPUs. It's annoying that Apple didn't update the 32-bit firmware on that machine at some stage of it's lifespan which would have enabled it to run everything up to, and including, Yosemite.

Comment: Re:aggregate all my communication channels (Score 1) 421

by PhunkySchtuff (#48731995) Attached to: What Isn't There an App For?

I would like just one communications app - a decent PHONE app. One that doesn't use a high-pass filter to cut off half of what my deep voice is saying, making people ask me to speak up even though I'm already making people around me look at me because I speak so loud. One that has voicemail on the phone itself, not as a dial-in service, so you can save voicemails for later use. One that has built-in access to public phone books and yellow pages. One that will let you choose whether to roam or not from within the phone app, not going through settings. One that lets you punch the numbers as fast as you can. One I can disable the ringer on without having to (a) unlock my phone, (b) open a different app to (c) turn all sound off.

Cell phones of the 90s were better at making phone calls than today's "smart" phones are. They're smart at everything except being a phone.

So, what you're saying is that you want an iPhone?
I don't know about the settings on the high-pass filter - I have a reasonably deep voice and I haven't had anyone comment that they can't hear me.
Visual Voicemail on the phone is in the phone app - it shows you a list of all your voicemails with their name (if in your address book) or their number and the time of the call. You can play, replay, delete and undelete from within the phone app. There doesn't seem to be a limit on the number of voicemails you can keep. You can also easily change your greeting from within the voicemail part of the phone app.
There's no integrated access to yellow pages or anything like that. Also no access to roaming settings from within the phone app. With a sensible mobile network setup, you leave international roaming off and don't worry about any other roaming as it's not an issue.
I've never had any noticeable delay in keying in numbers manually, it will register the numbers as fast as I can hit the buttons on the screen.
And as for disabling the ringer, all iPhones have a mute switch on the side of the phone that turns the ringer on and off from a physical switch.

Comment: Re:C versus Assembly Language (Score 3, Informative) 226

by PhunkySchtuff (#48721957) Attached to: Red Hat Engineer Improves Math Performance of Glibc

It may, but it's pretty rare that it's worth it and it also increases the cost of maintaining. Though a function in glibc, might be an exception.

There's nothing rare about it. SIMD vectorization is useful in tons of applications.

Yes, and modern compilers are quite good at generating code that takes advantage of extended instruction sets.

Thrashing is just virtual crashing.

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