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Comment: Re:Admirable, but why stop there? (Score 1) 245

by unixisc (#47899493) Attached to: City of Turin To Switch From Windows To Linux and Save 6M Euros
As opposed to data on corporate servers. Yeah, a company doesn't have to sink millions into new equipment, but the least they can do is buy storage servers that contain all their data. As opposed to putting it on hardware that they don't own, and which could be accessed by the cloud owner - AWS, Google, whoever...

Comment: Re:Go video go... (Score 1) 210

by unixisc (#47899329) Attached to: SanDisk Releases 512GB SD Card

This would be useful only if phones (Windows Phone 8, I'm looking at you!!!) allowed application data, if not the applications themselves, to be installed on the removable media. That way, not only can one make good use of the flash, but also, in case one wants to switch to a new phone, all the apps that one bought w/ the last phone can be smoothly migrated to the new one. Also, one wouldn't have to buy top end models just to get a jump in the capacity just b'cos the good enough phone came w/ just 8GiB of memory

Also, by SD card, do they nowadays mean the original SD or the MicroSD form factor? The 2 are different enough for one to easily accommodate 4 times the capacity of the other.

Comment: Breaking Russia down... (Score 1) 254

by unixisc (#47803461) Attached to: Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

The United States will start to do to Russian Federation what it did to the Soviets. We will squeeze and wait. And after 30 years of being squeezed... Russia will probably fracture again. Probably in the far east... and then humbled again... we will offer Russia peace, friendship, and a place at the table. We'll see how small Russia needs to get before it is willing to behave itself.

Only problem w/ this theory. To split up Russia, there would need to be a large population which can be broken away from Russia on ethnic, religious or other lines. For the Soviet Union, there were those 14 other 'republics' that automatically gained independence once Boris Yeltsin pulled Russia out of the Soviet Union, making the latter a caricature of itself before it was dissolved.

But today's Russia is more or less a homogenous nation. What you're wishing for would have been possible had the Siberians, say, been a different ethnic people from the Russians. They're not. Granted, there are Mongoloid Shaman people in Krasnoyarsk going Eastwards, but not in the numbers that would constitute a viable nation. Fact remains that Russians are a homogenous majority from the Baltic to the Bering Straits.

Yeah, there are renegade groups like the Chechens & Tatars who would like independence. Guess what - unlike Ukraine, which has borders w/ several other countries, both a Chechnya & a Tatarstan would be landlocked countries within Russia - much like Lesotho - and would be at the mercy of Russia for all of their needs. Also, since Russians from other ex-Soviet republics, be it Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, et al are returning to Russia, it just bolsters Russian numbers even more.

I do think the Russians would do well to populate Siberia (not gulag style) so that they stop leaning heavily on Ukraine or Georgia or other such countries.

Comment: Re:Wait.... what? (Score 1) 254

by unixisc (#47803047) Attached to: Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

...Facebook's Ukrainian office is located in Russia...

Whose brilliant idea was that?

Precisely!!! FaceBook may not want offices in every country in the world, but for something like this, they ought to have offices somewhere like Kyiv, Lyov or somewhere where you don't have renegades trying to secede that portion of real estate from Ukraine.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 67

by unixisc (#47801939) Attached to: Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung

I use OSMAnd on my phone[1], but my girlfriend recently bought a Windows Phone and I've been very impressed with Nokia's mapping app (I actually like a lot of what Microsoft's done with Windows Phone 8, but it's a strange mix of very polished and well-designed UI parts and completely unfinished parts with missing features). It's good to see more competition with Google maps, which is becoming increasingly entrenched in spite of the fact that the UI is pretty poor in many regards and the mapping data is terrible. For example, here they're missing (or have in the wrong places) most of the cycle paths, which ends up with people regularly getting lost if they rely on Google, in spite of the fact that all of this data is in OpenStreetMap.

[1] For me, it's the killer app for Android. Offline maps, offline routing, and open source backed by high-quality mapping data from OpenStreetMap. I use the version from the F-Droid store, which doesn't have the limitations of the free version from Google Play and it's one of the few open source apps that I've donated money to.

I fully agree w/ this. I have an iPhone now, but in another country, I had a Lumia 520 - the entry level phone. There, HERE maps were far superior to either the Google maps on Android, or the Apple maps of that space. Regardless of what one might think of Nokia, they did a good job in that place.

On the Windows Phone itself, it was pretty good. Particularly compelling was the OneNote - the 2013 version completely changes how one can use the phone. But I wouldn't recommend the Lumia now given Microsoft's takeover, and the questionable future of the platform given all their layoffs in the Nokia phone division

Comment: Fragmented: too little vs too much (Score 1) 88

by unixisc (#47801755) Attached to: MIPS Tempts Hackers With Raspbery Pi-like Dev Board

When we had SPARC, MIPS, POWER (w/ all its internal variants - PowerPC/POWER/Power), Motorola's 88K, Intel's i860, Intergraph's Clipper and then DEC went on to add the Alpha to the list, that was too many choices. Instead of a gazillion Linuxes, you had a gazillion Unixes - one for each CPU, such as SunOS, AIX, DG/UX, CLIX, and more for some specific CPUs, such as SCO, Unixware (then separate), Interactive Unix, Dynix for the x86 and Irix/Ultrix/RiscOS for the MIPS II, such a situation was not good. It was tough to standardize any software targeting all these platforms. So initially, Sun, and later Linux, won out. A fewer ISAs would have been better

But all of the above diminishing or going away hasn't been good either - we have a duopoly of just x64 and ARM. I'd like to see MIPS, SPARC and Power return, the latter 2 not b'cos of IBM or Oracle, but rather smaller vendors taking the initiative and creating boards of this. On the software end, I'd like to see not just the various Linuxes, but also Minix, the BSDs and even Windows RT get ported to such platforms, so that people can choose what they want to build.

Comment: Re:lulz (Score 1) 848

by unixisc (#47797713) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine
This isn't something like fireworks rockets where you just light a fuse. If you don't have the codes & access and most importantly, the remotes needed to launch them, they are useless. That's the reason why in 1991, Ukraine had all their nukes removed - they'd not have done that had they had control, but the control remained in the Kremlin. Not too many countries want weapons of other countries situated in their territory, unless they are allies (like say W Germany & US during the Cold war). That's why Ukraine asked to have them removed. Had the Russians handed over controls to them for weapons based in their turf, they'd have been only too happy to accept

Comment: Multiprocessing made the difference (Score 1) 161

by unixisc (#47787931) Attached to: Research Shows RISC vs. CISC Doesn't Matter

i've read the legacy x86 instructions were virtualized in the CPU a long time ago and modern intel processors are effectively RISC that translate to x86 in the CPU

Actually, the biggest change in CPUs was not so much Intel adapting RISC techniques in post Pentium CPUs, but rather, multiprocessing, and therefore, the Core platform taking hold

Remember, one of the things that RISC did better was the multiprocessing support for those who needed it. There were Pentium based multiprocessing systems too from companies like Sequent, but those at the time ran Unix, so the competition was really b/w the likes of Sequent, vs the Suns, HPs, SGIs, and so on. All low volume, and Intel enhancing multiprocessing capabilities of its CPUs would do nothing for its PC platform.

What changed that was when Microsoft decided to merge the win32 code bases and offer XP as their merged OS for both desktops and servers, it opened the window of opportunity for Intel and AMD. Since NT, in addition to supporting RISC CPUs like Alpha or MIPS, also supported SMP, Intel could take advantage of that fact and thrown in more cores at a platform, and Windows i.e. now NT, would be capable of handling it. That couldn't have worked w/ Windows 95-ME, but once NT took over the desktop, it could.

Once this happened, the RISC vs CISC game was over. RISC previously had a performance advantage running its own native software over Pentiums running Wintel software. The struggle to beat Intel in running Wintel software was lost first by MIPS, and then by Alpha. Once Intel could throw more cores at the problem w/o costing more than a SPARC or a Power, it was over. Intel being several generations ahead of Cypress, Ross, Fujitsu and even IBM could easily toss in 4-8 cores and still be cheaper than a SPARC CPU, not to mention the off the shelf motherboards and other peripheral logic. Once that happened, it became more cost effective to use Xeons to run Linux or FBSD than it was to run Solaris or AIX or even HP/UX.

Even in the case of the Itanium, discussed later in this thread, the initial Itaniums were just meant to be uniprocessor CPUs w/ several instructions concatenated together. Today, even Itaniums are multi-core - which solves the compatibility issue b/w generations, but then again throws into question why the Itanium would be needed in the first place, if one can just toss N number of, say, Atoms, and solve the problem.

Intel's process and manufacturing advantages helped, no doubt, but the big difference was multiprocessing becoming mainstream on the desktop due to the NT architecture replacing the Windows 95 architecture in Microsoft's desktop CPUs

Comment: Re:Final nail in the Itanium coffin (Score 1) 161

by unixisc (#47787777) Attached to: Research Shows RISC vs. CISC Doesn't Matter

Itanium was first conceived as a VLIW CPU. As its development progressed, it was found that the real estates savings due to moving everything into the compiler was minimal, while in the meantime, the compiler was a bitch to write. Also, under the original VLIW vision, software would need to be recompiled every time for a new CPU Which could be a dream for the GNU world, which requires the availability of source code, but practically, a bitch for the real world

Today's Itanium, unlike Merced, is now more of a RISC CPU, w/ flags indicating which branches need to be taken, or w/ the same hardware that RISC has for register renaming. In short, Itanium III is really a RISC CPU, much like the i860 and i960 before it. Too bad that it's kept restricted to the ancient foundries, making it both expensive and a power hog.

You know that the CPU is really bad when even Linux drops support for it, and within FreeBSD, the LLVM/Clang project removes its binaries from the package. Wonder whether NetBSD came far in supporting it?

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