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Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University 123

Posted by timothy
from the congratulations-and-good-wishes dept.
When Linus Torvalds first announced his new operating system project ("just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu"), he aimed the announcement at users of Minix for a good reason: Minix (you can download the latest from the Minix home page) was the kind of OS that tinkerers could afford to look at, and it was intended as an educational tool. Minix's creator, Professor Andrew Stuart "Andy" Tanenbaum, described his academic-oriented microkernel OS as a hobby, too, in the now-famous online discussion with Linus and others. New submitter Thijssss (655388) writes with word that Tanenbaum, whose educational endeavors led indirectly to the birth of Linux, is finally retiring. "He has been at the Vrije Universiteit for 43 years, but everything must eventually end."

Comment: Re:No (Score 1) 177

by DrXym (#47423345) Attached to: Will Google's Dart Language Replace Javascript? (Video)
Well JS sucks as a language to develop in so there is a benefit in developing in something else even if it ends up being machine generated into JS. However... it would be far more useful for browsers to support a low level bitcode (e.g. LLVM) with a set of APIs that tie into the gui, web, threading, local storage etc. than another high level language. Google has something already suitable for the job - PNaCl, but it should be standardized and simplified so any browser can implement it.

Dart could compile to bitcode and then it would execute at near native speeds. Even stuff like asm.js that is an optimized usecase for machine generated js is still a workaround of the fundamental issue - the lack of a lower level alternative.

Comment: The answer is called LLVM (Score 1) 69

by DrXym (#47375235) Attached to: ARM Launches Juno Reference Platform For 64-bit Android Developers
Instead of expecting developers to support some new architecture, Google, Intel and ARM need to knock heads and implement LLVM as an alternative. Then devs largely DON'T CARE what the backend is - they compile their native code to LLVM bitcode and let the system figure out how to convert it to native instructions. Conversion could even happen in the cloud so the user just downloads an apk which just happens to contain the native binary necessary for their specified device.

The weird thing is Google already support this for Renderscript, but not the NDK where it would be most useful. Encourage people to compile to LLVM and new architectures becomes much less of an issue.

Comment: Re:Political/Moral (Score 4, Interesting) 305

by ozmanjusri (#47356811) Attached to: How Often Do Economists Commit Misconduct?

I knew the shit would hit the fan. All those experts are either complete, utter fools - or they were outright lying to all of us!

They were lying.

Like many aspects of the DotCom bubble before it, the housing bubble was thoroughly well understood and predicted by pretty much every observer (and discussed as such by those with integrity). The only people who said otherwise were those who were participating for their own benefit, and who well understood the risk to themselves of prematurely bursting their giant Ponzi scheme.

Similar liars will crawl out of the woodwork to pump up the next bubble too, I'm sure.

Comment: Re:try it in a VM? (Score 1) 176

by ozmanjusri (#47329853) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is It Feasible To Revive an Old Linux PC Setup?

I have a machine of a similar vintage running an age-old copy of RHEL. I keep it, but the chances of me firing it up are slim to none, because I can fire up VMWare Workstation with an older OS release.

I still have an Intergraph TDZ 2000 workstation that I used for 3D/video editing back in the late '90s. It cost around $15,000 new, with dual PII 300MHz CPUs, 256MB RAM and dual 80GB 10,000rpm SCSI drives in RAID 0. It's still set up to dual boot NT4 and Debian 2.2, and I occasionally fire it up (if only to to remind myself what it was like to hear the jet-engine whine as those those drives spool up to speed).

It still feels very responsive with that old OS/software combination, so an old version of Linux on a cheap SBC should perform well enough. It will need to be an x86 based box to run OP's software though, so the (ARM based) Raspberry PI is out. Some of the Vortex86 based kits could be worth trying, though I suspect they'd fall over on driver support. They can be had for less than $40, and can run contemporary Linux so worth trying just for the fun of it. It's hard to say how well it would cope with drivers though

Comment: A waste of time (Score 1) 126

by DrXym (#47329673) Attached to: Google Demos Modular Phone That (Almost) Actually Works
Yeah it's modular and a few years from now they'll upgrade the bus or tweak the dimensions or bump the battery requirements and now that modular phone is as obsolete as all the rest. Or worse, future modules are gimped to conform to the old standard and include circuitry to step down in some way. Either way users get a device which costs more and doesn't deliver something tangibly better.

Comment: wrong (Score 4, Insightful) 250

by tacokill (#47272925) Attached to: TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible
When it comes to security, one must always error on the side of caution. There are very strong signs and signals that there is a problem with Truecrypt. Those that don't heed that warning are placing themselves at risk.

The default position of everything is: insecure until proven otherwise. If there's a good chance something is insecure, then we assume it is. We don't want to error in the other direction because the implications are too great if we are wrong. This is where we are with Truecrypt. Those throwing caution to the wind - at this point - are doing themselves a disservice.

Comment: Dealers could help themselves here (Score 2) 455

by DrXym (#47270707) Attached to: NADA Is Terrified of Tesla
People hate car dealers for a reason. They are generally deceitful, money grubbing scum who conjure all kind of fees and charges, who "negotiate" merely to upsell customers with expensive upgrades, financing and insurance policies. And then when the car needs to be serviced they'll rape the customer again for the time & parts.

That isn't to say Tesla will solve all these problems (I'd be especially worried about the cost of servicing what's essentially a computer on wheels), but at least they charge a price and you know what you're getting. No negotiations. No oily salesman pitching stuff you don't need.

Comment: Re:High dpi isn't necessarily better (Score 1) 186

by DrXym (#47270105) Attached to: 4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon
Yes you could go for a poor man's scaling by bumping up the standard font sizes but that will do nothing for toolbars and other elements in the application. So you'd have big fonts and tiny toobar buttons. That's why 8.1 upscales the whole window surface and in doing so it uses some algorithm that blurs the contents.

Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.