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Comment: Re:AGP not working with SMP (Score 1) 160

by TheRaven64 (#49559459) Attached to: Linux 4.1 Bringing Many Changes, But No KDBUS

Multi-core x86 processors only appeared well after PCI-E had taken hold

True, but SMP systems are older. I used a dual P3-700 for years, which I picked up cheaply on eBay because not many people searched for 'duel processor' (I think eBay now does some phonetic matching in their search). Before that, the ABit BP6 (1999) was quite popular. It ran two Celerons, so you could get a dual-processor machine for cheaper than a single-processor one (though you needed to run Windows NT or *NIX to be able to use the second one, as XP was the first SMP-capable consumer OS from MS). The 300MHz Celerons overclocked to 450MHz by bumping the FSB from 66MHz to 100MHz, making it quite competitive with the P2 (the L2 cache in the Celeron was half the size, but twice the speed, and the core was the same).

Comment: Re:edu-babble (Score 1) 283

by TheRaven64 (#49558665) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher
Really? Wikipedia tells me that kindergarten in the USA means up to age 6. By that time, I had been taught to read, write and do arithmetic (though I sucked at long division and found long multiplication hard until I was taught a third method a few years later). My handwriting is not much better now than it was then, though it did improve a bit in the middle as a teenager when I was writing on a regular basis.

Comment: Re:Z80 was in TRS-80 (Score 2) 107

by TheRaven64 (#49558639) Attached to: When Exxon Wanted To Be a Personal Computing Revolutionary

God I miss 80's computing.

I don't, but if you want to get the same fun without all of the old annoyances there are two things I'd recommend:

The first is to get an FPGA dev board. BlueSpec is a nice proprietary high-level HDL that is free for academic use, but if you don't qualify for that then CHISEL from Berkeley is also not bad - they're both a nice step above Verilog / VHDL.

The second is the mbed boards from various ARM partners. Some ARM folks handed me one of these to play with a few months back. These are aimed at getting embedded development to people who don't normally do it. They've got all of the fun I/O stuff from the BBC micro (plus some new stuff like USB and Ethernet) and a nicely put together development environment.

Comment: Re:Ah the Z-80 (Score 3, Insightful) 107

by TheRaven64 (#49558617) Attached to: When Exxon Wanted To Be a Personal Computing Revolutionary
They're increasingly hard to justify though. Cortex-M cores are really, really cheap (M0 and M0+ especially) and a modern 32-bit instruction set can be a significant win. You can't justify a 16-bit microcontroller on cost grounds anymore, let alone an 8-bit one. The main places Z80s are used is in systems designed in the early '80s that would cost too much to change, but which need periodic repairs.

I've seen a few things recently that have taken an amusing middle ground and bought ARM cores and used them to run a Z80 emulator, because it was cheaper to get the associated peripherals to attach to the ARM core.

Comment: Re:Google+ failed becuase it's GOOGLE (Score 1) 281

by TheRaven64 (#49558559) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed
I don't understand why Microsoft wants to go down that path. Their big money comes from businesses. They should be trumpeting private clouds (buy Windows server, install on a rack, run all of the cloudy stuff that you want under control of your company) and privacy to actively differentiate themselves from Google.

Comment: Re:Google Streams (Score 1) 281

by TheRaven64 (#49558545) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed
I've spent a depressing amount of the last couple of weeks looking at hotel web sites to find somewhere to stay for a business trip. About a year ago, almost all of them would have used Google Maps for their location page. Now about half used Bing Maps. I was quite surprised by this, though I vaguely remember Google starting to charge businesses for using GMaps (it could also be that Google highlights all of the competing hotels in the map, which probably isn't something that hotels want...). I didn't find the Bing map any worse than the Google one. Both were annoying in different ways.

Comment: Re:What we are seeing is ... (Score 5, Interesting) 281

by TheRaven64 (#49558537) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

I expect Google to die in the same way that IBM died: it will still be a huge and influential player for a long time, but won't be the company that defines an industry that people care about. The same sort of path as Microsoft.

When I interviewed at Google a few years I was reminded of something that JWZ wrote about Netscape, claiming that it started to decline when it started hiring people who were there because it was a cool place to work, not because they wanted to change the world and believed in the things that the company was doing. Everyone I met at Google told me that I should would there because it was a cool place to work...

Comment: Re:They didn't grab the opportunity (Score 4, Insightful) 281

by vadim_t (#49558305) Attached to: Google Insiders Talk About Why Google+ Failed

Invitations were a mistake in the first place.

It works for email because any email provider interoperates with any other. Having an account on gmail when nobody else does doesn't create any problems for the user.

On the other hand the very point of social media is that everybody you know is there. Being alone on something like Google+ is completely pointless. Such a service should be grown in the completely opposite way of the "have people invite each other" idea, using any excuse possible to get people to sign up.

Comment: Re:Islamic idiocy... (Score 1) 425

by jandrese (#49558131) Attached to: Woman Behind Pakistan's First Hackathon, Sabeen Mahmud, Shot Dead
One could argue that the Islamic world went through an reverse of the Enlightenment. An unenlightenment if you will. People like to blame the British for screwing everything up (they certainly did not help), but really they were exploiting the repressive and regressive systems held in place by petty tribalism that long predated their appearance.

This is going to be a continuing problem until they figure out how to get some separation between church and state. This separation will be difficult to achieve so long as assassination of potential political rivals remains commonplace. The christian world had the advantage of making the separation back when a King could be reasonably protected against assassination by simply living in a castle and keeping a close eye on his advisers and family. Today with high power sniper rifles and small but powerful bombs available to any random stranger it is much harder to avoid being assassinated.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming