Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Submission + - Learn FPGAs with a $25 board and Open Source Tools->

An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday has a 3 part tutorial with videos of using open source tools with a cheap ($25) FPGA board. The board isn't very powerful, but this could be the "gateway drug" to FPGAs for people who don't want to spend hundreds of dollars and install 100s of megabytes of software and license keys just to get their feet wet. The videos are particularly good--like watching them over their shoulder. As far as I know, this is the only totally open source FPGA toolchain out there.
Link to Original Source

Comment Use storage level services. (Score 1) 219

If you want to keep your data on-site, unless your already have a lot of the infrastructure that you can leverage the path of least resistance is to use something like a NetApp Filer.

For backups it can create snapshots on a schedule (hourly/daily/weekly), then either replicate them to a second physical storage unit (hopefully at a different site) or present them to your backup solution.

Using the file services on the NetApp will also provide a solution to your "how do I present it to the storage consumers" question - iSCSI, CIFS with domain integration, NFS, Fibre Channel... You also get storage level de-duplication and compression, if that works for your data.

Of course you will pay what seems like a lot for it, but it does solve a lot of your problems in one unit. How much will it save in servers, backup capacity, a multi-drive tape library, daily visits to the server room to reload tapes and so on.

But if your data center isn't up to providing the level of availability you want then any hardware solution is going to be problematic - large storage systems do not like having the power pulled out from under them. Minimum is dual-redundant UPS power and fault tolerant cooling, or you will most likely have problems.

Comment The ultimate ugly hack? (Score 5, Insightful) 264

Fast inverse square root (sometimes referred to as Fast InvSqrt() or by the hexadecimal constant 0x5f3759df) is a method of calculating x1/2, the reciprocal (or multiplicative inverse) of a square root for a 32-bit floating point number in IEEE 754 floating point format.

Anybody got any better Ugly Hacks to share?

Comment Re:Learning programming through motivation. (Score 1) 315

Gosh, in my day proto-programmers would quibble those facts:

"But I never drink water, only Jolt cola, yet I'm still alive!"

"But I wager that I can go longer than 7 days with water - Soup is a food, so food alone it is for me"

"Is an ice cube food or water - it is after all a solid", quickly followed with "well, I'ld like to see you last longer than 7 days on just steam".

"Can I drink from the dehumidifier i my room? Can I use evaporation to purify my urine?"

"what do you mean 'and' in 'without water in 7 days, and without food in 14 days? Don't you mean or? After all you can only die once"

"Sorry Dad, I've learnt how to pick locks at the geek club - do you want me to show you?"

"But If you eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, you can replace lost moisture from just your food alone, and never need to drink" ....

Comment The obvious answer (Score 4, Insightful) 488

Could I contribute while mountain-biking? Could I contribute by ballroom dancing? Could I contribute while driving miniature steam engines in the park on Sundays? Could I contribute while acting in local Shakespeare plays? Could I contribute while woodworking? Could I contribute by going to the movies?

It is simple, most people have hobbies that they enjoy spending their spare time on.

Just because some people have a passion for Open Source and others find utility in it doesn't impart any sort of onus to assist development. Isn't that the ethos of Open Source - you can use it with no strings attached?

You might as well ask the opposite - Why are there so few FOSS coders just dropping in at rest homes to talk to the elderly? Why are no FOSS coders painting murals in public spaces? Why are no FOSS coders picking up rubbish in the park? Why are no FOSS coders building mountain bike trails in the weekend?

Comment Dragon book. (Score 1) 223

If you only want to carry one slim book, I would recommend "Compilers: Principles, Techniques, and Tools" by Alfred V. Aho, Monica S. Lam, Ravi Sethi, and Jeffrey D. Ullman. It might be old skool, but there is sure to be enough ideas in there to keep you busy on cold nights.

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.