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Slashback

Slashback: Hardware, Lexis, Free 130

Slashback tonight has followups and clarifications on glitch-delayed Pentium IV shipments, Free software for chainware operating systems, the real distinction between 3G and 2.5G phone systems and more -- read on below for the details.

More RAM than I can afford. RyanT5000 writes "The article referenced in "Getting Rid of the Disks" incorrectly states that the maximum RAM for a 32-bit Intel compatible system is 4 GB. This was true up to and including the original Pentium processor, and it makes a lot of sense (after all, 2^32 = 4 294 967 296). However, with the Pentium Pro, Intel added 4 pins to the address bus, expanding the maximum physical address space to 64 GB (using paging, since it still uses 32 bit addressing). I would assume AMD has a similar feature. If you're on Windows, you'll need a server version to get above 4 GB, but most major Linux/BSD/etc. OSes support it. This would probably be cheaper (and definitely faster) than SCSI SSDs. If you need more than 64 GB of solid state storage, you probably shouldn't be running on an Intel."

"Free" always makes people suspicious. imevil writes "A while ago slashdotters asked some questions to the GNUWin II team. Well, here are the answers. In the meantime, more people joined the team, and more languages were added (this one looks pretty cool)." There's also a short article about GNUWin running at NewsForge.

On a related note, cos(0) writes "According to this(1), this(2), and other stories, many people are interested in running open source, high-quality software on MS Windows. The author of this site provides an up-to-date CD image of the latest versions of numerous high-quality OSS applications (complete list on the site), updated monthly, downloadable via BitTorrent. (The same site also offers a web-based Code Beautifier.)"

Cool distribution method! (And if you're on dialup, $5 seems like a great bargain -- Are you listening, Cheapbytes?)

Toys are so tempting to the wallet ... OrenWolf writes "Ars Technica Has a review up of BroadQ's QCast Tuner software. Unlike the earlier /. review, this article goes into great detail about the technical capabilities of the software. A must read for PS2 owners looking for a PC-PVR-esque solution."

Yeah, but does this review include any original software? ;) And david_adams writes "Slashdot linked to an article I wrote last month about my experience with a CDMA2000 1x wireless network from SprintPCS. It sparked quite a bit of controversy, but not for the reasons I expected. Because I called Sprint's service 3G in the title, but admitted it was 2.5G in the first paragraph, I heard from people on both sides, chiding me on the one hand for calling it 3G, and on the other for calling it 2.5G. I decided to research and write a new article to get to the bottom of it. What is truly 3G? Where is the line between 2.5G and 3G?"

The time to wait is now! ThunderDawg writes "Intel resumed Canterwood Pentium 4 3 GHz 800FSB shipments yesterday. TAFKAEFKAF (The Anomaly Formerly Known as Errata Formerly Known as Flaw) was corrected with a software patch.

Intel is again shipping its new 3GHz Pentium 4 processor, a week after it halted shipments due to the discovery of an "anomaly," an Intel spokesman said Monday. PC makers that use the chip in their systems have been supplied with a software update to fix the issue, George Alfs, an Intel spokesman said. Vendors including Hewlett-Packard, Dell Computer, and Gateway introduced desktop systems based on the chip when it was released on Monday last week. The issue with the 3GHz Pentium 4 with support for an 800MHz system bus occurs only in rare circumstances and users are unlikely to be affected, according to Alfs."

I'd take google and a strong AI any day. hondo77 writes "A bit of a followup to this article from back in February, LexisNexis has been named the publisher of official reports by the California Supreme Court, according to this press release. "The public will have free access to the official text of the opinions at a Web site hosted by LexisNexis linked to the court's Web site." IANAL but it doesn't sound ominous to me."

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Slashback: Hardware, Lexis, Free

Comments Filter:
  • 64 gigs of solid state storage? I would be happy with four, on my P133...

    Go calculate [webcalc.net] something

  • by jrstewart ( 46866 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:08PM (#5785881) Homepage
    While theoretically you can put up to 64 gigs into a recent IA32 machine, my understanding is that in Linux at least the practical limit is 16 gigabytes. After that the page tables won't fit in kernel space.

    I'd expect that most other OSes have limits like that due to architectures designed when nobody was close to using a full 4 gigs.
    • by coupland ( 160334 ) <dchase@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:22PM (#5785974) Journal
      Well historically maximum memory sizes have always been limited by implementations (how long after OS/2 2.0 before you could buy a server with 4.0 GB RAM?). However demand usually pushes supply. When 32GB of RAM becomes needed by the IA32 architecture it's a sure bet that Linux and eventually Windows will catch up to meet the need. The fact that it isn't realistically possible today is immaterial. There is no demand. (Please spare me the examples of theoretical clients...)
      • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:30PM (#5786010)
        Ummm, large X86 systems from Dell, HP, Unisys and others already support the full 64GB of ram that the architecture allows. Sure not everyone (or even many) who uses Linux needs large PAE support but it would be nice for those who do. Of course most of the people I know who wanted to use large amounts of ram on x86 are waiting for Opteron because generally if you need that much ram you need it all for one or two processes and that doesn't work with PAE. btw if you think no one wants access to large chunks of ram on x86 then you haven't dealt with people with large databases or who route large ASIC's/cpus. It costs shedloads to buy Sun's with lots of ram, an Opteron or Xeon with the same amount of ram will probably cost about 1/3rd as much, which when you are talking about dozens of systems adds up to a lot of money. (My back of the envelope calculation was that for our ASIC group it would save somewhere in the neighborhood of about a quarter million a year =)
    • by JoeBuck ( 7947 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:23PM (#5785981) Homepage

      I understand that the way around that one is to use large pages, to decrease the overhead for each page. Pages can be of variable sizes. I'm not a kernel expert, but there was a talk on this topic at the last Ottawa Linux Symposium [linuxsymposium.org].

      • It's been a while since I've needed to know this for anything, but...

        There are two page sizes on IA32, 4k and 4m. Actually I think there's a mode with 2m pages as well, but we can lump it in with the 4m case for our purposes.

        Windows uses 4m pages for at least some always-resident kernel pages. Linux I believe always uses 4k pages but I'm not certain. There are issues with 4m pages, like they're annoying for copy-on-write or swapping out. Also less convenient for page-on-demand for executables. In fa
        • People who need more than 4Gb on one machine usually want to be able to address it all in one process (in my field, electronic design automation, this is becoming increasingly common for laying out or analyzing a big chip), so they'll want 64 bits. I think Opteron's going to be the winner here if AMD can reliably deliver.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Untrue. Linux can do 32 GB; at work [amd.com] I test and benchmark this stuff (for example see here [amd.com] and here [amd.com]). Linux can also probably do 64 GB, though we haven't tested this because we don't have enough memory slots on our development platforms.

    • by nbvb ( 32836 )
      http://www.sun.com/servers/highend/sunfire15k/ind e x.xml

      Sometimes, you just need the memory.

      I have a pair of E10k's at work that each have 64gb of RAM in them, and could probably stand to use some more ...

      When we replace them with SF 15k's, we'll probably go with 256GB of memory each ...

      Yeah, so really, there are OS's that can not only address, but use (and efficiently too!) that much memory ...

      You don't know the meaning of Super Duper Ultra F'n Cool until you dynamically reconfigure a 10k/15k... It'
      • Yeah, so really, there are OS's that can not only address, but use (and efficiently too!) that much memory ...

        You are comparing Solaris on a 64-bit CPU to Linux on a 32-bit CPU. Handling large memory on 32-bit is difficult. Linus Torvalds once stated that Linux would never support more than 4GB on x86 - I believe he said something to the effect of "Buy an Alpha". 64-bit architectures have been slow in becoming mainstream, so concessions had to be made.

        If you want 64GB in Linux, just run it on a 64-bit

  • I was suspicious about their P1 floating point bug, but what really got me to avoid them forever was their PIII.

    And now P4 is buggy, just like P1....

    Does that mean a horrendous sucking privacy violation is to come on the P6?

    • Interesting that the fix is a software fix. While this sounds like some sort of BIOS patch or the like, apparently the P4 has downloadable microcode so perhaps it's actually reprogramming the chips themselves. Dvorak, of PC Magazine fame, had a conspiratorial article once about the threat that this presents in that information on how to reset the microcode in the hands of a virus writer could be devastating (and achieve the holy pinnacle of computer vandals of actually damaging hardware, and least perceptab
      • by TibbonZero ( 571809 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (nobbiT)> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:27PM (#5786291) Homepage Journal
        Dvorak, of PC Magazine fame, had a conspiratorial article once about the threat that this presents in that information on how to reset the microcode in the hands of a virus writer could be devastating (and achieve the holy pinnacle of computer vandals of actually damaging hardware, and least perceptably).
        Perhaps I shouldn't say this.... because perhaps I am unleashing some evil from my mind on the world that should never be unleashed...

        Ah, what the hell, let's open pandora's box!!!

        What if you wrote a virus that simply overclocked some part on the computer? If the processor was software overclockable (I don't overclock much so I don't know...) you could perhaps have a virus that would simply change the clock multiplier from say... 6x to perhaps 10x. That would fry the chip? I don't know much about CPU overclocking, but I know that video overclocking is easily done.
        Alot of people use either Nvidia or ATI cards, and i know the Nvidia cards share the detonator driver set (on windows), not sure about ATI. What if you had something that just forced the card to it's Max??? And if you have a program that controls fans... turn them off? Just have the virus try for ATI cards, Nvidia cards, and susecptable CPUs, and mobo's with controlable fans- then send them through the roof. Sure your computer would run faster for a few seconds... but i remember a Tom's Hardware where they took the fan off an Athalon, and it burst into flames...

        I hope I never see this virus in my inbox...
        • by Anonymous Coward
          That is why components should protect themselves. Overclocking is not generally a huge problem as long as you have sufficient cooling. But then the same problem occurs whn you place a CPU running at stock speed in a hot environment. That is why major components should take steps to protect themselves. This is the only reason why I currently prefer the P4 CPU over AMD CPUs (Even though for a "platform" it is the opposite).

          Essentially parts should not be damaged by overheating, they should shutdown or wo
        • Just changing the CPU multiplier (usually) wont add to the heat kicked out of the processor. Back in the days, it use to be FSB x CPU multiplier = mhz.... To get the processor to run stable at a higher mhz, you usually had to up the voltage, which had the unfortunate effect of generating even more heat. Most of the time you ended up cranking up the FSB rather than the CPU because Intel had a habit of locking the CPU multiplier. AMD (with a steady hand and pencil) could modify the CPU multiplier as well,
          • Setting the cpu clock higher will definitly lead to more power consumption.
            Most of the power used by a processor is generated by charging/decharching parasitic capacitors. When you double the frequency you will need to charge/decharge them (to the same voltage) twice as often leading to four times as much power consumption (the capacitors don't consume the power and generate heat themself this is done by the wires leading to them).

            Jeroen
        • If the processor was software overclockable (I don't overclock much so I don't know...)

          To change the clock frequency, you have to either set jumpers inside the case, or adjust a setting in the BIOS... If a program can write to your BIOS, the CPU would only be one of your concerns.

          Just have the virus try for ATI cards, Nvidia cards, and susecptable CPUs, and mobo's with controlable fans- then send them through the roof.

          I have yet to see a system with software controllable fans... Any system with a vari

          • Any system with a variable fan is controlled by hardware, not software,

            I dare say you're right.

            otherwise the fan wouldn't come on until you installed the proper driver!

            No, they could switch on at full speed after a reset, but allow the speed to be reduced by software.

      • by Galvatron ( 115029 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @10:31PM (#5786598)
        Sorry if I'm telling you something you already know, but there's a reason that the Pentium was called "Pentium" instead of "586." A court case found that they could not trademark a 3 digit number, so other companies were free to call their chips 486, or 486-compatible. Pentium is a trademarked term.

        As for why they don't come up with a new trademarkable name, I'm really not sure. I suppose they figure that "Sexium" would just get too many giggles and not be taken seriously, so any new name would have to be just pulled out of their ass. After all the time spent getting people who know nothing about computers to learn the term "Pentium," I don't think they want to have to start all over again. For the most part, they'd rather keep the marketing advantage of numbers (so that people know "4 is better than 3") while prefixing it with a trademarked term, so that other people can't copy their naming scheme.

        • A pedant writes: pent- is from the Greek, not the Latin, so it would be Hexium, not Sexium. Doesn't sound a whole lot better, I admit...
        • Sorry if I'm telling you something you already know, but there's a reason that the Pentium was called "Pentium" instead of "586." A court case found that they could not trademark a 3 digit number, so other companies were free to call their chips 486, or 486-compatible. Pentium is a trademarked term.

          Exactly

          As for why they don't come up with a new trademarkable name, I'm really not sure.

          Intel spent millions promoting "Pentium" as a brand. Renaming the ship Sexium/Hexium/SomethingElsium means abandoni

          • Brands are powerful things, Coke, Kleenex, Xerox, Viagra... And now Pentium.

            Agree, but technological items don't carry brand association power than other goods and services do: A long-lasting brand in technology can often be an anchor more than it's a float. When I hear "Pentium" my natural association is with a very old processor line, not something cutting edge. When I hear "USB 2.0" I naturally think "obsolete" simply because I assocate it with USB 1.1, whereas Firewire is free from those brand associa
      • apparently the P4 has downloadable microcode so perhaps it's actually reprogramming the chips themselves

        FWIW, every Intel chip since the Pentium Pro has had downloadable microcode. AFAIK, the instructions that are handled by the microcode are notably slower, so not all of them are handled there. I don't have much information about that, though...

        The microcode (at least with the p3 and before, probably still so with the p4) isn't stored on the CPU permanently--it needs to be uploaded on every system boo

      • It was my understanding that the uploadable microcode mainly consisted of switches to activate/deactivate various parts of the chip. Some advanced optimization feature turns out to be buggy? Just turn it off...
      • Dvorak, of PC Magazine fame, had a conspiratorial article once about the threat that this presents in that information on how to reset the microcode in the hands of a virus writer could be devastating

        AFAIK microcode updates are signed or at least protected by a MAC, so it isn't that trivial to update...

        Additionally, the CPU might only allow one update (remember, the update is volatile) after the CPU is reset which is always done by the BIOS in current systems. So, a malicious program would have to inje

      • Actually, what's even funnier is that when the Pentium first came out, the first couple generations of it were commonly called the P5 and P6, respectively. And now here we are, years later... with the P4.
    • I kinda liked III. Not only did you have Lloyd's Klingon chewing the scenery, but you have the stirring scene when Kirk destroys the Enterprise, watching it tear up in the atmosphere, and he says "My god, Bones... what have I done?"

      I agree with you about I, though. The f00fing V'Ger was decidedly a floating point error.

      --
      Evan

    • Even though the bug in the P1 only affected programs using some instruction of the floating point processer, Intel was responsible enough to disclose the problem and do a recall instead of hiding the problem and quietly repacing "defective" processers on a case by case basis as many companies do.

      If you buy a product with a bug, do you want a free repacement, or be accused of operator/programmer error. (Windows crash/reboot cycle). I'd love MS to recall my WIN 98 CD's and provide a non-crash replacements
      • Intel was responsible enough to disclose the problem and do a recall instead of hiding the problem and quietly repacing "defective" processers on a case by case basis as many companies do.

        Nice history re-write!

        What actually happened was much less forthright and upstanding - you had to prove to Intel that the problem DID - not would or could - affect you before they would replace the defective CPU.

        Intel Corp.'s response to the flap over its Pentium processor bug is turning into a textbook example of ho
  • What if we missed it the first 3 times?!
  • Also (Score:5, Informative)

    by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <thebungi@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:15PM (#5785936) Homepage
    CD image of the latest versions of numerous high-quality OSS applications

    There's also Cygwin [redhat.com], which is a sort of mini-distro for Windows complete with XFree and a few basic window managers (fwm and OpenBox among them). Great package manager, lots of mirrors and great quality overall. It sometimes beats booting into Debian =)

    Note that you'll want to run it in NT4 or better (IMO), but it's a very nice introduction to UNIX-like environments, especially the X server support (since bash is not very flashy). It's actually quite neat to have a full screen X session running on top of the Windows desktop.

    It also ships with the GNU toolchain so you can even write your own little aps (console, GTK or plain X).

    • Re:Also (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) <scott@alfter.us> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:43PM (#5786061) Homepage Journal
      It's actually quite neat to have a full screen X session running on top of the Windows desktop.

      It's useful for cross-platform development...ssh with X tunnelling into a Linux server lets you run emacs, DDD, etc. across the network with reasonable speed for debugging Linux apps from a Win32 desktop. It saves the hassle of rebooting to switch between them when both of your desktop machines are Win32 boxen.

    • There's also some experimental builds of XFree for cygwin that put X applications in Windows' windows (note caps). See "-multiwindow" switch on the server test series. It's not ready for release yet, but worked fairly well the few times I've used it.
    • It's actually quite neat to have a full screen X session running on top of the Windows desktop.

      Now that CygWin supports a "rootless" mode for X (no fullscreen root window), my daily desktop usage has changed dramatically. Now I have migrated back to Windows for my main desktop at home and at work (easier for multimedia editing and games) and just run all of my Linux/FreeBSD apps through ssh directly onto my windows desktop. Works flawlessly!

      [...]complete with XFree and a few basic window managers (fwm a
      • KDE also works pretty well under CygWin. But it takes quite a bit of memory.

        How do ya do that? =) A link would be much appreciated.

        • start XWin -rootless -screen 0 1024 768

          Rootless mode is indeed sweet.

          Also, if you want to entirely replace your windows desktop, just minimize your taskbar and run KDE, you won't even know you are on a windows box (or for that matter, replace your GUI shell with the Cygwin X server in your system.ini!)
  • by Zarquon ( 1778 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:16PM (#5785941)
    ..."The issue with the 3GHz Pentium 4 with support for an 800MHz system bus occurs only in rare circumstances and users are unlikely to be affected, according to Alfs."

    Wasn't that what they said about the floating point bug, too? Well, both of them? :)

    Sounds like they are fixing it with a microcode patch, much as they fixed the PII FIST/FISTP bug, but the article was rather short on details.
    • Which version of Linux will contain the fix .... (or is it a uCode patch from the BIOS) .... inquiring minds want to know
    • by uchi ( 534979 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:49PM (#5786086) Homepage
      A quick thought popped into my head when you said microcode patch: If infact it is patchable with an executable which fixes the microcode, isn't it likewise "patchable" by a virus or something of some sort, rendering the processor completely useless? I would assume that the microcode controlled non-trivial things, since they went all the way of releasing a patch for it. Just a thought - please tell me if its true? Thanks. -Uchi
      • The BIOS controls the writable state of the microcode and it is always off as shipped to the consumer.

        The manufacturers can burn the update on machines where it is enabled then turn the option off or move the chip to a machine where it is disabled.

      • Well, last time I looked at it, it worked like this: There is a default version, probably rom-masked, on chip. Then, at _each_ boot, the bios uploads an updated microcode to volatile memory on chip. And finally, the OS or anything else running at ring-0 can upload a new version.

        Typically, this is fairly black-box (undocumented) binary code you get from your vendor (intel/amd/whatever).

        Basically, if software is already running at Ring 0, you are in trouble anyway. It can wipe the HD, flash the bios, wha
        • Ah yes, some more info on intel microcode:

          1) There is a linux utility to update the microcode.

          2) The microcode is not only undocumented (along with the internal structure it works with) but is encrypted and checked by the processor before it is loaded, but I have no idea how effective the authentication method is.
          • Quick, let's start a distributed cracking effort so we can install Linux microcode inside the processor instead of the proprietary Intel code!

            Seriously, though, there might be some small benefit to adding microcode that's tailored to the OS. Long ago, many IBM processors used to load OS-specific (or even site-specific) microcode to add instructions and thus optimise the size or speed of certain operations.

      • by morcheeba ( 260908 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @11:54PM (#5786972) Journal
        Here's a good (but dated) article [eetimes.com] explaining this feature. The short answer: they used encryption plus security-through-obscurity (no internal documentation!). This would be cool to hack for good, too -- imagine if you ran one major application that could be sped up with one additional specialized instruction!
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous because I'm too lazy to log in.. if you read this, fine.

        1. Microcode patches get flushed every RESET. The virus could do far worse to the system.

        2. You won't get any speed improvements -- microcode patches are __slow__ since a. microcode in general is slow, and b. the patch space is slower than the ROM in general

        3. microcode patches are very _stepping_ dependent -- you'd have to rewrite the patch (prior to encrypting it) for each stepping of each processor.

        4. future processors will probably h
  • "The anomaly was an issue only seen in a lab environment on a small number of units undergoing stress testing" The way software evolves, in a few years daily use will create the same load as stress testing.
  • LexisNexis (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jedi Paramedic ( 587254 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:17PM (#5785946)
    I think it's interesting that California chose Lexis, but perhaps not as ominous as it would seem. As part of their obligation to provide true public access to the law, many (or maybe most) courts have law libraries.

    Yes, it's on paper, yes, it's not searchable from the comfort of your home... but I think that's what you pay for when you get the access through Lexis or Westlaw's online service.

    Many law libraries even have searchable case law on archived CDs, or cheap/free alternatives (like Loislaw [loislaw.com] and Lexis One [lexisone.com].

    Remember, lots of legal treatises (and perhaps some other states' "official publications") are published by LexisNexis, as are any books that used to be published under the Matthew Bender name...

    • There are very few companies anywhere that have the kind of experience with archival and searching of documents (ESPECIALLY legal documents) that Lexis-Nexis does, so it seems to me that they would be the obvious choice for California to award the contract to.

      I'm curious, does anyone here think this news IS ominous, and if so why?
    • Re:LexisNexis (Score:2, Informative)

      by QuessFan ( 621029 )
      I am the county law librarian at one of the California County Law Libraries.

      Before the court unification(Joining the muni court with superior court) We do serve as court library. But with the unification, things are very different. Some county law library still function as court library. While some had became very independent of the court.

      If you live near the county seat of a larger county, then you have access to county law library that is as good as most law firm library. I had compare notes with s
    • Re:LexisNexis (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jred ( 111898 )
      A day late, but better late than never, right? :D

      From what I understand, the big difference is how the individual cases are referenced. IANAL, but my gf is a law student :) Basically, when referencing prior judgements during a case/trial, you'd use something like "volume 3, page 453, paragragh 3". There's only one "standard" reference that anyone will understand what the heck you're talking about. The actual cases are public domain, but the index/ref. #s are copywrited. So whoever wants to can publish
  • by unfortunateson ( 527551 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @08:21PM (#5785971) Journal
    I was just looking into motherboards this afternoon, and most of the newest P4 motherboards only support 4 gig -- and the older ones only support 3 or 2 gig.

    Go check out Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com] if you don't believe me.

    So maybe the chip does support 64GB (I don't have a link for that)... the limit could be the chipset, the motherboard makers, or perhaps its just the max size of RAM available?
  • Why didn't this [cdt.org] get a mention in Slashback as well? I haven't seen any [slashdot.org] sign [slashdot.org] of [slashdot.org] this facinating story on slashdot yet. I'm sure everyone would find it to be of interest.
  • is there even software that can move everything from a disk drive to a ramdrive when it is created? Otherwise...you would install everything to the ram drive...then have the power go off...and loose everything.

    I know this would be easy to do in linux...(just mount things in variouse places)...but in windows, is this even feasible?
    • Re:What's the point? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JJahn ( 657100 )
      The trick is keeping the hard drive up-to-date with the memory. These are called solid-state drives, and have been around for a long time in hardware. (Why I have some 134 mb ones in a linux alphaserver right now) So I would assume the software implementation would just have to do the same thing.

      Of course if the power goes out, you could still lose things that were not yet sync'ed up. Better to have a UPS on your system in that case.

  • by Mundocani ( 99058 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:00PM (#5786142)
    I'd always thought that the boasts about 3G's speed seemed overblown. I bought a Toshiba 2032 3G cellphone/pda last December and it just never seemed to be all that fast at fetching my email or pulling up a map in Yahoo. I never knew that Sprint's (Qualcomm's?) implementation only barely meets 3G speed requirements. I feel sort of ripped off, but as the author of the article points out, $10 a month for unlimited data service is really hard to complain about, even if it is only around 128 kbps. I think I should try to stop buying into this "wonderful" cutting edge technology so early and start assuming that claims are exaggerated.
    • $10/month for unlimited data? Do you have a link to that?
    • Remember, that some of the speed of the connection you enjoy will be based on the processor of the device, that has to process the TCP/IP information. In other words, accessing the web from my phone's browser is slow, because my phone has a very slow processor. But I plug my laptop into the phone and access the web through that, it's much, much faster. My guess is that if your Toshiba had a faster processor, your experience would be better. I mean, the StrongARM 206MHz Processor isn't bad, but it's not
      • Hey, David. Help me out here, if you could. Because I have a Sanyo SCP-5150 (SprintPCS) which I *think* is 2.5G. When I link it to my laptop, I get about a 14.4K connection and I read something that called it a 1xRTT network. Where does all that fit in with the rest of your article and research? Any ideas?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Living in South Korea, I've gotten the chance to use a friend's CDMA2000x1EV-DO phone (mine is still stuck at CDMA2000). It's pretty good here, you can get real-time streaming video even on the subway. Content is decent, and of course as it grows more popular, more content will be developed.
      One of my contacts in SK Telecom last year was mentioning the 4G research, and it looks like it will be amazing (although a long time coming).
  • West Publishing... (Score:3, Informative)

    by akmed ( 33761 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:02PM (#5786152) Homepage
    already publishes a lot of official reporters. I believe Lexis publishes some as well. It's really not a big deal. There are no copyrights in court opinions (or they can't be exploited anyway; there's some case out there saying that). They're free to the public as far as I know. Lexis-Nexis and WestLaw both make their money adding additional content to opinions (e.g. headnotes, their own pagination). But they also do business publishing reporters.
  • by pla ( 258480 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:43PM (#5786374) Journal
    The problem with the 4GB limit (and under more realistic assumptions, 2GB) has little to do with the maximum memory a system can use.

    The problem comes from how much memory a single user-space process can use, which on IA32, as I said above, comes out to only 2GB, reliably.

    As a simple example of why this matters, let's say you have a system that needs tons of memory, like for rendering complex scenes or serving a huge database. Each process will want as much RAM as possible, but on IA32 (well, on any architecture, but the current problem only really applies to cheap-and-popular IA32), can only use up to the addressable limit.

    So you might think that you could use a machine with 64GB for a number of slightly smaller (but still memory-hungry) tasks. The flaw with that idea? Get real. If you need that much memory for one task, you need to dedicate the machine to doing that task. If you need to do rendering on your huge DB server, you need to upgrade BADLY
    • but on IA32 (well, on any architecture, but the current problem only really applies to cheap-and-popular IA32),

      ...or an apple XServe (unless they go to, say, a PowerPC 970 in future models).

      can only use up to the addressable limit.

      ...at any given time. An application could use a memory-mapping API such as mmap() to map pieces of a >4GB object into the address space as needed. Yes, that's rather ugly, but people have done it before, e.g. on PDP-11s back in the old days.

      Another thing you can use lots

  • by danb35 ( 112739 ) on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @09:44PM (#5786376) Homepage
    Quoth Timothy:
    I'd take google and a strong AI any day.
    ...which just goes to show that you don't know much about LexisNexis (or you've got lots better AI than I've ever seen). Google indexes and searches a lot of information, almost certainly more than LexisNexis. However, if you're an attorney (which is one of LN's major markets), LN carries a lot of stuff that you're just not going to find on Google, or anywhere else on the web. Their search engine is also considerably more advanced--it'll allow you to search proximity (x within 5 words of y), caps/lowercase, minimum number of occurrences of a term, etc., which Google doesn't do.

    Now, in this case, LN has gotten the contract to be the official publisher of the Cal. case reports; West had previously had the contract. This isn't really a big deal for the public as such; after all, somebody has to publish them, at least as far as the dead tree version is concerned. The actual text of the opinions will remain in the public domain, of course, and lawyers (and the public) will still be able to get them from LN, Westlaw, the local law library, web sites, or any of a number of other sources.

    It's interesting to note that often, publishers lose money on the things they publish as the "official" publisher. Several states, for example, set insanely low prices for their codes, particularly when you consider that they are heavy-duty, hardbound volumes. Publishers do it, of course, because they expect to sell other things to attorneys in those states, and figure there's money to be made on those items. Whether this is the case with the Cal. reports, I don't know.

    Disclaimer: I do work for LN, but the above are entirely my own opinions.

    • Google indexes and searches a lot of information, almost certainly more than LexisNexis.

      According to Google's website [google.com], Google searches over 3 billion pages. According to Lexis's website [lexisnexis.com], lexis covers 3.3 billion documents. I suspect that converting web pages into documents, Google would cover somewhat less than 3 billion documents. You should know that! Tsk tsk. Tell us about the lexis network infrastructure -- I've heard it's pretty cool.

      Disclaimer: I'm an attorney that greatly prefers lexis.com o
      • by Anonymous Coward
        The network infrastructure is very cool, in some ways. In other ways, it is really painful to do *anything* as this system has been an online and running 24x7 computer system for something like two *decades* now. Because of that, there are a lot of legacy links and layers on layers of stuff that may have made sense once, but now works *just* well enough that it is not yet cost effective to scrap it and rewrite it.

        They also have a very sophisticated OO environment, that permeates the system from top to b
    • Their search engine is also considerably more advanced--it'll allow you to search proximity (x within 5 words of y), caps/lowercase, minimum number of occurrences of a term, etc., which Google doesn't do.

      More significant, perhaps, is that Google's approach to searching is unlikely to work nearly as well for legal documents as it does for the web. The trick to Google is that web documents are frequently updated, so that two sites can each reference each other. That doesn't work for most other kinds of do

      • . That means that Google's whole approach of recursively defining the importance of a document's links according the importance of the links coming to it won't necessarily work.

        Yes it would -- if later documents refer to an earlier one, it means that it is of some inportance, the more references the more important. This metric was used long ago (maybe 20 years, IIRC) to make lists of "important" scientific papers, by simply counting the number of later ones that cited them.

        There are many old, static docu

    • it'll allow you to search proximity (x within 5 words of y)

      You can do this in Google. Its not implemented naturally, so you have to write a front end of some kind (if you include "doing it in your head" as a front end, which is stupid, really)

      "A B" OR "A * B" OR "A * * B" OR "A * * * B" OR "A * * * * B" OR "A * * * * * B"

      Because in quotation marks, you can just type * for "some word." Write a little Javascript or maybe PHP script to automate this, and you've just enhanced your googling.

  • by Ian Peon ( 232360 ) <ian.epperson@com> on Tuesday April 22, 2003 @10:47PM (#5786680)
    Who the hell thought that a guy running a site on his ADSL modem could withstand the slashdot crowd?? Was this some cruel joke - his address is myip.org! Anyway, here's the text of the first page, couldn't get anything else (27% of the .torrent file *sigh*)

    http://pmw.myip.org/oss/
    Open Source Software CD
    Update: 2003-04-20 23:19
    Size: 523M
    1. What is it?
    It is a burnable image for a CD that contains high-quality, Free, open-source software for Microsoft Windows 95 and higher. See the contents. The latest versions of all software is included. Because there is space left over, some non-OSS but free and useful software has been placed on the CD. See section 4 for more info.

    2. Where and how can I get it?
    You have two choices.
    The first and best choice is to use BitTorrent, revolutionary P2P software that allows multiple simultaneous downloads to share bandwidth for an ultimately faster download. Download with BitTorrent.. Please be courteous afterward and leave the client running so that it would serve others. Although BitTorrent ensures download integrity, you may verify the MD5 checksum after having downloaded the image.
    The second choice is to purchase a physical CD from me, the maintainer. The cost is $5, which covers the AirShield envelope, shipping/handling, the CD blank, and the service. This is likely the only way you can get this CD if you are on a dial-up or do not have a CD burner. You may either mail a money order, having requested the street address via e-mail, or transfer funds via PayPal to pwhite at mailhaven dot com.
    A link to the real .iso image is not offered, because in light of the alternative (BT) and my weak Internet connection, that is a selfish way to download it.

    3. How often is it updated?
    The goal is to offer an updated version of the CD image once a month, if enough programs have been updated to warrant it. I could update and remaster it more often (even once a week), but then BitTorrent and other mirrors would get outdated too often and I can't afford to offer a new image solely from my ADSL connection very often -- I would much rather release more rarely but facilitate faster transfers for everyone.
    Tentatively, the next update will be April 30, to set the regular update to the last day of each month. If there haven't been enough updates to warrant an update and repopulation of mirrors, the release date will be set to a month ahead.

    4. Can I suggest another program for bundling?
    Yes, provided that it's under an OSI-approved license. Please e-mail www@pwhite.mailhaven.com to make your suggestion. New programs will replace currently-bundled non-OSS software. If your program is larger than space (700 MB) permits and there is no more non-OSS software to squeeze out, then your suggested software must be either high enough in quality or sufficiently useful to replace another piece of software. This decision will be left solely to me and my hand-picked "committee" of real-life friends, although you're welcome to include persuasive arguments in your e-mail -- they will be definitely considered.

    5. This is incredibly slow. Can I mirror your image to alleviate your bandwidth requirements?
    Definitely -- feel free to mirror it or redistribute it any way you wish. The best way to help is to leave your BitTorrent client running after you download the file. The latter does not require much on your part but contributes to the bandwdith pool and greatly helps EVERYONE else who downloads it. The absolute height of my expectations is for you to set up a script that would automatically download the .torrent on the first day of each month and begin the transfer. :)

    Last update to this webpage: 2003-04-22 21:25. Hit counter: 1512
    • Contents.txt (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ian Peon ( 232360 )
      CONTENTS OF THIS COMPACT DISC

      Package Version(s) License(s) Web site
      Mozilla 1.0.2 / 1.3 / 1.4a MPL/LGPL/GPL http://www.mozilla.org
      A web browser suite designed for standards compliance, performance and
      portability.

      OpenOffice.org 1.0.3 LGPL/SISSL http://www.openoffice.org
      The leading international office suite that will run on all major
      platforms and provide access to all functionality and data through
      open-component ba
  • Windows Open Source (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doppler00 ( 534739 ) on Wednesday April 23, 2003 @05:16AM (#5787956) Homepage Journal
    http://www.theopencd.org/

    It's not the same ISO, but it also seems to include a lot of good open source windows applications.

    * OpenOffice.org 1.0.1
    * DictInstall 0.9.3.2
    * AbiWord 1.0.1
    * Beonex Communicator 0.8.1
    * FileZilla 2.1.1
    * Putty 0.52
    * WinVNC 3.3.3r9
    * XChat 1.8.10a
    * Audacity 1.0
    * CDex 1.40
    * 7-Zip 2.24
    * NetTime 2.0b6
    * Win Privacy Tray 0.5.5
    * Sokoban YASC 1.53
    * Celestia 1.2.4
  • Seems that they didn't answer the mission-crytical question:
    Who's that cute GnuWin chick [gnuwin.epfl.ch]?

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