Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Access time latency (Score 1) 162

by adisakp (#49520489) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives
Until the engine decides to redundantly load the same package again, it won't be cached (ie first time is off disk and latter times off RAM). A good engine limits the number of times redundant loads occur. And unless you have an abundance of RAM, it's typically pointless to cache a very large file that is read at a slower speed than what the disk will actively serve as well.

Comment: Re:Why not? (Score 1) 678

by adisakp (#49520417) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
Ah, the Australian plant has 3X the output. I'm not sure if there is higher efficiency (operation cost) for larger plants, but typically, desalinization is a process which has some efficiency scaling. Anyhow, 7-8% of one very metropolitan/urban county isn't going to put a dent in overall CA water consumption when the vast majority of it is going to agricultural uses.

Comment: Re:Opinion from a game developer (Score 1) 162

by adisakp (#49520185) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives
Game engines are constantly improving on this too... with file read ahead, and multithreading decompression of chunks, as well as other optimizations. Over time, this process has been gradually getting faster and at some point, SSD's will come out ahead. It's just that the current bottleneck is quite often CPU and memory bandwidth, not HD linear read speed.

Comment: Opinion from a game developer (Score 1) 162

by adisakp (#49520155) Attached to: New PCIe SSDs Load Games, Apps As Fast As Old SATA Drives
NOTE: I'm speaking for myself here, and not for my company, but I have been working full time in the games industry for 23 years.

Most games use pack-files (sometimes called packages) that are large binary blobs on disk that are loaded contiguously in a seek-free manner. Additionally, these blobs may have ZIP or other compression applied to them (often in an incremental chunked way). The CPU's can only process the serialization of assets (loading) at a certain speed due to things like allocation of memory from the kernel and graphics drivers (which on secure OS's typically involves remapping and clearing pages). There are additional CPU constraints for the decompression, and for the serialization "linker" phase to associate assets in a package and present them to the game engine.

All this stuff takes time, and in a game with streaming (loading while game-play is going on), there are a limited number of CPU cycles as well as memory bandwidth to process the serialization after running the game engine.

These processing constraints impose a limit on the speed at which data can be loaded and consumed by the engine. And in many game engines on a typically powered PC, that number may be anywhere from 50-200MB/s but probably averaging closer to 100-150MB/s. Since this is in the linear contiguous read speed of many hard drives, as long as the package file is not fragmented on the disk, using an SSD will result in minimal speedup during this type of loading process.

Comment: Re:Why not? (Score 1) 678

by adisakp (#49511929) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

For $30B, you can build a LOT of desalination plants.

Define "a LOT"??? My calculations are that you could build maybe 4-5 plants or actually build and operate 2 plants going on costs from other similar plants in the world.

Australia built a desalination plant with an intial estimated construction cost of $3-4B AUS. Final construction was $6-7B AUS -- however, the total costs including operation of the plant at $1.8M a day over the 27yr contract will be around $19B Australian or roughly $15B US.

Assuming the US could operate as efficiently cost-wise (and we rarely do on large public works projects), we could afford to build and run 2 Desalination plants for $30B US.

Comment: Re:In other news (Score 1) 609

by adisakp (#49233849) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

It specifically is illegal actually.

You forget this pesky "t" variable in the equation that represents TIME.

It is illegal *NOW*. It wasn't illegal when she was in office. The requirement to use government hosted email was passed after Clinton resigned and only became legally effective in November of 2014. Clinton left office in February of 2013.

http://mediamatters.org/resear...

Comment: Re:It's not a "moral dilemma" to a Clinton (Score 5, Informative) 609

by adisakp (#49233699) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

Laws are for the little people, not them.

The Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014 became law on November 26, 2014. Clinton's final day as secretary was February 1, 2013.

The "Law" that everyone keeps claiming that she broke wasn't effective until a year and a half after she left office.

There was absolutely no legal requirement at the time of her tenure to use a government e-mail. Furthermore, she retroactively complied with the records portion of the law by turning over any business related e-mails she had on her home server archive.

Also, previous Secretaries of State, like Colin Powell, used personal email as well. In his case, they didn't even archive it so many of the emails are lost. We'll never have access to his electronic discusssions about, say, the decisions leading for him to give a speech at the United Nations calling for the Invasion of Iraq.

Comment: Re:we ARE different (Score 1) 355

by adisakp (#48506877) Attached to: James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week
IQ doesn't "rise" for an entire population. If all the scores are rising, it means the test is out of date and needs to be restandardized.

By definition, IQ is measured as a standard distribution curve with an IQ of 100 being the average. If everyone on the planet suddenly got twice as smart, we'd still have the same IQ because again, IQ measures you in relation to the rest of the population.

If you develop a new IQ test, then you have to standardize the scoring on it so that average == 100 or you're not actually testing for IQ.

From Wiki: When current IQ tests are developed, the median raw score of the norming sample is defined as IQ 100 and scores each standard deviation (SD) up or down are defined as 15 IQ points greater or less

Comment: Re:It was pretty cool in its day (Score 1) 192

by adisakp (#47503379) Attached to: The Almost Forgotten Story of the Amiga 2000
I wrote a bunch of software for the Amiga back in the day and they all tend to run really well on a emulator on any decent modern PC - actually often better than on the original systems when I designed the game. Sometimes I get nostalgic and play them in an emulator.

The Amiga 500 had 512K of RAM and even expanded to 1MB, it's still less than the cache on a modern PC so you can emulate the entire machine in cached memory - combined with instruction througputs and current clock cycles, a current PC is something like 10,000+ times faster for 32-bit integer operations involving memory.

Comment: Re:HDMI has killed the need (Score 2) 502

Why bother? you cannot dismiss the hardware in the middle that GENERATES the audio... if your integrated hardware is poor -- your quality receiver amplifies poor quality audio.

HDMI can output DIGITAL Audio. MS has very good digital audio software mixing and playback algorithms. And many games use a library like FMOD which does software mixing and a DAC output anyhow.

You really only need to worry about a sound card if your PC is outputting ANALOG audio to HIGH QUALITY Amp & Speakers.

Comment: Re:Metromile Automotive Insurance (Score 1) 353

by adisakp (#47425813) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies
They do things like limit the number of miles per day. So you're charged per mile but the maximum number of miles is capped in a single day. This means if you do a road trip where you do a lot of driving in a single day, your insurance won't suddenly go through the roof. This only works if they collect mileage data per day. But they also collect other info like speed and braking which could determine whether or not you're at fault in an accident (and if you're not at fault, could possibly help you?).

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

Working...