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Comment: Re:Cell (Score 1) 338

That core was basically the Intel Atom of PowerPC architectures.

I agree with all of your sentiment, and most of your statements, but this one I have trouble with. Atom is basically an original Pentium, slightly modernized. To get that out of PowerPC, you'd need to start with a 603 or so, and bring it into a 2005 age. 603 migrated to 750 and 7400. But since the 7400 was essentially a 750 with a vector unit taped to the side, the 750 would suffice as an Atom-esque core. The die size of the 750 class machines in 90nm supports this.

The PowerPC core in the PS3 and 360 was derived from Power4, a server class processor, with bunches of stuff taken out and re-pipelined. The core was made in-order, the pipeline was brought down to allow the frequency to be amped up. The area of the PowerPC core in the Cell is about the same as the entire die (core and cache) of a 750 in the same 90nm technology.

Comment: Re:Honestly, rifles are not the problem (Score 4, Insightful) 651

by chrysrobyn (#48038467) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

Pistols are also the best self-defence weapon

Dogs are the best self-defence weapon. Their barking scares away countless intruders. They're armed even when you're not home. THEY GO AROUND CORNERS. They can be recalled, do not kill instantly, and can quickly recognize friends by smell.

20 years ago, my dad and I came home from a camping trip a day early, but late at night. If my mom had been armed, she would have shot at both of us. Instead, the dog woofed to wake her up and then went to go greet us.

Comment: Re:Movie (Score 1) 295

by chrysrobyn (#45877377) Attached to: CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

First OEM cars DONT BLIND PEOPLE. It's the dipshits that own hondas and pickup trucks that do aftermarket HID retrofits from ebay that blind people. REal stuff doesnt do that.

Consider for a moment a road that's not perfectly straight and flat. Those OEM HID lights that are so bright and so focused on the road ahead of the car as if it were on a freeway with no slope or turn are now going to be pointing in other places. I regularly drive on back roads of New York to and from work, and there's a few places where I can tell the fancy cars because of the lights that are way too bright until I get on the same level or a straight section.

Yes, after market HID installs are a problem, but they're easy to pick out. OEM HID have different problems, and denying it underscores your tight focus on a limited terrain.

Comment: Re:They are still damn overpriced (Score 1) 241

by chrysrobyn (#45268283) Attached to: Apple 27-inch iMac With Intel's Haswell Inside Tested

Let's walk through building a similarly speced Hackintosh and set aside the build quality and all-in-one arguments for the moment.

(Massively cribbed from TonyMacx86.

Let's get as 3.2 GHz i5 for $200 (Core i5-4570).

We need a motherboard to plug it into. A Gigabyte for $142 will get us WiFi and some nice features (GA-Z87N).

8 gigs of RAM for $85 seems reasonable and compares to the target too. (CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9)

A Bitfenix Prodigy is a nice case for $90. Here, you may be able to go cheaper, but you can certainly go more expensive. (BFC-PRO-300-WWXKW-RP)

A Corsair 500W power supply for $55 is pretty reasonable.

Although I'd prefer an SSD, we're comparing to a system with a 7200 RPM spinner. A Seagate Barracuda for $79 seems appropriate. (ST31000524AS)

I'm having trouble matching the GeForce 755M with my Wikipedia-Fu. A modest video card with twice the memory sets us back $100 (ASUS GT640). Hopefully the performance is similar, but I'm open to suggestions.

The barebones system is $751.

You can get a 27" IPS display from Monoprice, which Anandtech said badly needed calibration to be taken seriously ( for $390.

You can get a decent keyboard for $50, and a decent mouse for $50 (here, you can beat both by downgrading, but I use a trackball that's closer to $100).

The reference system excludes an optical drive, so we won't needlessly add one to compare, but includes an SDXC slot, whatever that is. Assembling all those spare parts above gets me to $1241, and excludes software (which is famously "free" now, but really is only free with the purchase of a licensed computer), but I can save $460 over the reference system.

I cheaped out on the screen, but for another $100, I could get a Dell that's got decent factor calibration. I don't have speakers -- $50 may be a good budget for what's in the iMac, I don't have a camera, but a Logitec C920 for $75 seems equivalent. Adding those back in gets me closer to $235 under the reference system.

My hand-built system isn't an all-in-one, which is a value to some. My hand-built system may not be as quiet, which is worth a premium too (I used higher-power desktop components instead of the laptop equivalents in the iMac), and I may use more electricity, increasing the TCO by as much as $0.05-$0.10 per day (wild guess) which adds up over a few years. All of this, the OS, iLife and iWork licenses plus the support of being able to walk into an Apple store is where the $235 goes toward. My iMac is 5.5 years old. I've replaced the hard drive 4 times (one died out of warranty, the replacement was slower than hell but free, replaced that with a faster spinner, replaced that with an SSD), and the number of Torx screws necessary to get to them is significant, but does not make it unserviceable. The memory in my wife's (same age) died at 5 years old, and that was a $40 replacement that took 5 minutes.

It is unfair to say that this is a $12 burger selling for $100 (when I go to the local restaraunt, I pay $9-$10 for a burger, and it comes with fries... Are you overpaying for your hamburger?).

Comment: Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (Score 1) 443

by chrysrobyn (#44551095) Attached to: Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

There would be no need to pirate it if everyone knew that it would be on TV. How many knew that this was the case?

Not everyone has the same motivations as you. "Pirates" often have setups similar to TiVo's "season pass" feature. You type in the name and all the episodes are downloaded automatically, and with higher accuracy than PVRs (ever had a favorite show preempted by a politician or sports program you weren't interested in?). They end up in a uniform location with all the other shows the user is interested in, and with a common interface-- be it XBMC or just VLC.

Fixing one TV show doesn't fix the entire problem. Personally, I was terrified to download anything ... until suddenly there was no legal way to get my TV show of choice. I was in the US, couldn't get cable, my satellite provider wouldn't (or couldn't) provide the local networks -- a problem long since rectified -- and despite my satellite and affiliate's insistence, I was unable to receive that station with any antenna. Once I realized how easy it was, I realized that it was easier and more accurate to download than it was to DVR shows. That spread to even shows I received over the antenna and satellite because of the convenience and accuracy.

I look forward to when the entertainment industry realizes they're not catering to my type and there are a lot of us out there.

Comment: Re:Sensationalist summary at all? (Score 2) 285

by chrysrobyn (#44507603) Attached to: Building a Full-Auto Gauss Gun

Actually the whole gauss gun idea makes no sense.

I think it makes lots of sense. It's pretty clearly functional and simple, and it runs off the definition of a linear motor. In fact, there are some places that will assume "projectile" when you specify "linear motor" instead of slower speed ideas (like a MagLev).

Take an electric motor attach a say 100mm diameter spinning frame put you bullet on one side with a counter balance on the other side spin it up to 2000 revolutions per minute and you achieve 628m/s when you release the bullet.

Did you build one of those yourself to satisfy your own curiosity? If not, then I don't think you have any business stating that a coil gun makes no sense. When someone explores your idea and discovers a 10cm flywheel that's counterbalanced until the moment of release, what kinds of problems are they likely to encounter at the moment of release? 2000 rpms sounds pretty reasonable in terms of my car engine, but I might get nervous about that close to my face. How noisy is a 2000 rpm flywheel that is centripetally loaded? How much energy is involved in that strategy? How long is the initial spin-up?

Personally, I think the coil gun ideas are far more simple to understand and instead of mitigating drawbacks at every step, he's shooting aluminum cans and glass jars and a laptop he apparently has a great deal of animosity toward.

Comment: Mindstorms and Arduino (Score 2) 166

by chrysrobyn (#43898541) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby?

Lego Mindstorms isn't a cheap way to go, and it's even worse if you don't already have lots of Lego lying around.

Head to Radio Shack and take a look at their Arduino kits. It's not any cheaper, but it's the popular way to start these days. That will familiarize you with some stuff that's available these days. Once you're familiar with the terminology of what interests you, head to the Internet and see what they have to offer.

Comment: Re:Drive conservatively! (Score 1) 374

by chrysrobyn (#43645727) Attached to: Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

Uniform Vehicle Code in the US says: "a car driving below the "normal speed of traffic" should be driven in the right-hand lane." though laws vary by state. See attached link for more details on a state by state basis.

Sounds like a car entering or leaving the roadway qualifies as belonging in the right lane.

Let's say I'm driving I-87 in the middle of nowhere, New York. Speed limit is 65. 3 lanes of traffic. The right lane, according to a defensive driver, would be for entering and leaving the roadway, which typically happens at speeds below 65. The center lane is typically for cruising at 70-75 and leaves plenty of room for people who can't plan to merge well. It's in excess of the speed limit, but it's the prevailing speed. The far left lane is for those wishing to pass at 75+. Defensive driving teaches us to stay out of the way by not moving around a lot-- speed differentials cause accidents. A strict adherent to the "left lane is never for traveling, keep furthest to the right and allow all traffic to pass on your left" would end up switching lanes a whole lot. A 75 mph driver would cruise in the right lane, come up behind someone doing 65, switch lanes left and potentially be an obstacle to someone coming up behind him at 85, who instead of navigating a single lane change must now change 2 lanes (he is traveling in the right lane at 85 when he's not passing, right? he's not a hypocrite?). Big lateral movements are where mistakes are made and where the margin for error goes way down. I'm not a strict defensive driving adherent, I will move to the right lane if I'm getting passed by a bunch of traffic and don't feel safe from police if I increase my speed (generally 75mph is my upper end of my practice these days) and I have been known to pass on the right if the left two lanes are matching each others' speed.

I'll freely admit that I've been the guy driving more than 25 mph over the limit (110+ in a 50 on Vermont 22A is my worst/best more than 10 years ago, retrospectively stupid given the livestock and deer I have since seen on that road), I have a bit of a taste for speed. I like to think I even have the skill to do it better than most. But let's not start claiming that it's safe by any measure. Limiting lane changes increases safety.

Heaven forbid you have to turn off your cruise control and pay attention...

That much aggression... Is it safe to say you're a male under 25? It might be a good idea to take a defensive driving class. Many states have regulated the price and you can get a free lunch by some providers.

Comment: Re:Drive conservatively! (Score 1) 374

by chrysrobyn (#43644047) Attached to: Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate


I'll believe my defensive driving instructor over some guy posting on Slashdot. Here's his rationale:

Assume a three lane road and light traffic. The right lane is for entering and leaving the roadway. The left lane is for passing. The middle lane is for travel. The middle lane is the safest lane for travel under most any circumstance (some local conditions, of course, may change the general rule). Animals like deer and moose entering the roadway may do so from either side, even if you really don't expect them coming from the center median on the left. You stay out of the way of the faster traffic and need not excessively lane change for the traffic entering and leaving the roadway.

Comment: Re:computers are terribly inefficient (Score 1) 312

by chrysrobyn (#43293047) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Enterprise Bitcoin Mining For Go-Green Initiatives?

I bet your company ends up with a noticeably higher electricity bill, more so than you'd recover in bitcoins. I ran Seti@Home for a month on a single gaming grade system and my electricity bill jumped a staggering amount. But, I'd love to hear if I was wrong.

Let's say you're turning your screen off, and the delta between your tower sitting in sleep mode vs working balls-to-the-wall is about 400 watts. I think that's a gross overestimate since the GPU is mostly idle, but it's a strawman.

0.4 kW x 20 hours per day (24 hours minus the 4 hours you actually game) x 30 days (per arbitrary billing month) = 240 KWh. At 10 cents per KWh, it sets you back 24 dollars to run SETI for a month. Maybe I shot high for the power delta, maybe you game for 8 hours per night, maybe your heat is helping heat only the room you sleep in so you can turn the thermostat down in the rest of your house (net saving you money) or maybe your air conditioner has to work a little harder to throw that heat outside (half that $24 may be an additional adder to your power bill from the additional air conditioning for a total of $36).

Maybe you enjoy the project and the $20-$40 per month is worthwhile or maybe it's enough of an education that you now sleep your system as fully as possible in the cooling season.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin