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Coppermine Bug Prevents... Booting? 167

mircea writes "Apparently, a problem with the wafers resulted in a PIII bug that prevents some machines from booting. ZDNet has the story. Dell has stopped shipping Optiplex GX110. So, what happens when you combine a PIII and a i820 chipset? " Let's be honest, how often do you boot anyway? I mean, its only gotta work once, right? *grin*
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Coppermine Bug Prevents... Booting?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Because after all, if there's one thing you gotta do before shipping a finished product, it's turning it on once or twice.
  • "No good will come of this," I said. "Ruination and doom."
    "We don't need it any more; the system is too sophisticated for that."
    "And when something goes wrong??? How will you boot. "
    "We've solved it. go away."
    "Ruination. Doom."

    And with that, the barbarians removed the front panel and all the switches that came with it, leaving us to the mercy of the machine as to whether or not it would boot.

    hawk, who really wants his front panels back
  • "Other PC makers did not immediately return calls from ZDNN"
  • Off topic, but puzzling:
    There was a story just a few hours ago about Staples filing a civil suit against an unknown cracker. The cracker put an Office Depot ad on the staples site. Where did the story go?! It isn't on the older pages, it isn't on the search engine.

  • It's good to see that booting up is not part of Intel's QA process since I'm sure that would really slow down the marketing and shipment of new, faster tracking devices ... err I mean processors.

    Jeez, how slack can you get?!?
  • I saw it too. Bizzare.
    (confirmation != redundant)
  • We just got five of them in on Tuesday. I am not one of the lucky few to get one of them...

    Me: "No sir, you can;t have your new computer."
    My boss: "Why not?"
    Me: "ZDNet says they might not boot. You may have to push the power button a second time. Dell even stopped shipping the systems."
    My Boss: "Oh, wow! Can we get it fixed?"
    Me: "I'll start working on it right away!"
    Me: Goes and installs Unreal Tournament on brand new 733Mhz desktop! :)
  • Not necessarily. I'm at college and so my computer is in my room. At night the fan keeps me awake and I turn off the computer. No matter what os I use the machine is gonna be booted once a day.

    Seriously guys, it's comments like this that contribute to the belief that /.ers are all rabid zealots.
  • I fear problems like this. That's why I only use hardware that has established a record of reliability, like my 486/66. Gotta watch out for those newfangled processor bugs, like the Pentium Floating Point mantissa handling bug! If you need more speed just overclock your supercooled 486.
  • First of all: yes, it is hilarious/wonderful/odd flaws like these exist in products.

    Now, what's the big problem? You notice this as soon as you try and boot up the machine. It won't work, you return it. I admit that's more trouble than a consumer would have to go through and I know it out of experience because I once had a PC that wouldn't go further than the BIOS more than 9 out of 10 times.

    Face it: I'd much rather have a product that doesn't work from the beginning so I can return it than a product that stops working after a short while. Then you are really in trouble.

    On the other hand.. if this passes quality ensurance labs, what else has and will? Anyone care to speculate? (without naughty remarks about that other OS, please, I'm more interested in hardware flaws on my network and in my house)

  • If you read the story, you'll note that the bug requires pushing the power button twice in some cases. Personally, that's a bug I could deal with (and I wouldn't mind having a 700Mhz Coppermine chip in my machine, so if anyone wants to send me a defective one on the Slot 1 card...).

    On the other hand, it does show that Intel still has some problems, and I'd be leery of paying full price for a defective chip because they won't mention what the root of the problem is.

  • Slashdot crashed and burned. Too bad, as I found it a rather entertaining story.

    To summarize to those who missed it, Staples is filing a lawsuit against an unknown hacker who hacked their site. See an article on it here [].

  • AMD could have some serious fun marketing this.. I'm sure everyone remembers the hoopla surrounding the floating point bug a few years back, and this seems to be a much larger issue than that, depending on the amount of Coppermines that are affected. AMD should .. um .. enlighten the general computer-buying public to this if they have any sense.

  • Pre-Pentium chips had plenty of bugs (oops...errata) as well check them out here [].
  • This problem is not nearly as severe as the fdiv bug. That bug gave you incorrect results. This one means that sometimes you have to push the power button twice. Not a big deal.

  • by jd ( 1658 ) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday December 02, 1999 @04:08AM (#1487912) Homepage Journal was never found was that Intel's engineers are all using Linux and never saw the need for reboots.

    Since then, "Windows Compatibility Enhancements" have been discussed and will be introduced, just as soon as the engineers stop laughing.

  • Well, you workstation user, the big problem is that a lot of these fast boxes will be servers. When the power goes out it is nice to have the server reboot itself when the power comes back on. If the server does not reboot itself then a human has to find out and come touch the machine.
  • I mean, it's been my experience that Windows does indeed have trouble staying up for even a few days at a time. Though it may have been a bit of a joke, I'm sure it's not out of the realm of possibility that you'd need to reboot a Windows box once a day. Hell, we reboot our NT server once a week at work or it does it for us. (The first person that says, "well, you must have set it up wrong then!" gets a boot in the ass.)

    Bottom line: get a sense of humor, please!

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • I think we should be at least glad that the Pentium IIIE CPU/VC820 motherboard reboot issue was caught very early in the production cycle.

    Earlier this year, when Windows 98 Second Edition was released, not a few people complained about the system not shutting down. Microsoft kind of ignored it until Intel told them that the problem existed on the SE440BX-2 motherboard running any Slot 1 CPU. That got Microsoft into action and the problem was cured by 1) Intel revving a new veresion of the flash BIOS for the SE440BX-2 motherboard and 2) Microsoft providing a 520 KB patch file that updated a number of .INF files in Windows 98 SE so it properly worked with the PIIX4E (Intel 82371EB) chipset for ACPI Plug and Play/power management operations.

    Believe me, that Windows 98 SE problem got not a few unhappy folks on the phone (I was working in tech support for a computer company at that time and some of them were literally swearing at ME).
  • Put it back! It was more interesting than another office suite review. It had the proper mix of security holes and legal issues to put the slashdot conspiracy engine into high gear.

  • AMD can put out crap as well. I have several K6-200s that can't compile the kernel without crashing 10-20% of the time. Something about mem management.
  • Let it blow! :)
    I live in the dorms too. Nothing like three computers to drown out the "noises" from next door.

  • by Wakko Warner ( 324 ) on Thursday December 02, 1999 @04:17AM (#1487920) Homepage Journal
    After all the garbage they've done, I'm savoring this year. First the lawsuits against VIA, then the alleged pressure on Asus to cancel their Athlon board... I'm downright happy that they're getting what's coming to them now: the Coppermine chipset showstopper bugs, the fact that AMD not only has the fastest x86 CPU, clock-for-clock on the market, but also the fastest, MHz-wise, and is gaining more and more mindshare and OEM support, and the general lack of faith that I see people displaying on an increasingly regular basis toward them. This latest bug is just icing on the cake, in my opinion. Go AMD, go International Semi, go Transmeta (or so the rumors say)... competition is a *good* thing, and this latest twist in the CPU wars saga has been especially satisfying.

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • I've also found the K6/K7 450's to be unreliable, with the kernel randomly crashing after halfway through (not to mention quake crashing after a minute or two), once we change the chip to a 350 or 400, everything is fine.
  • It doesn't really prevent booting. By their statements it merely requires the power be pushed again. In most cases not that difficult. Really it isn't. Even for servers. (At least here our servers are supposed to be manually inspected after any unforseen power outage anyways.) Plus its never even been seen in the field aparently. So it may take a very bizarre set of circumstances to even occur.

    On the other hand this really is bad PR. IIRC Intel took a bit of a hit for the Pentium bug. This is also gonna hurt probably. It also speaks very poorly of Intel's QA department. Even if it wasn't their fault this kind of thing shouldn't be allowed to get into the public's hands.
  • How about this: There are four Windows NT Terminal Server w/ MetaFrame that have to rebooted nightly, otherwise they slow down to the point of unusability.

  • I've also found the K6/K7 450's to be unreliable, with the kernel randomly crashing after halfway through...

    I doubt you had this experience with the K7 (aka Athlon) considering it does not ship at speeds as low as 450. I do believe the problems with K6 as I had some similar stability with the K6. I have not heard of similar problems with the K7 line however.

  • Of course if people had actually read the story before shouting "Down with Intel, buy AMD they never have problems with their cpu" or "Hur hur dem windowz luzerz have it tough" They'd realize that no customers have so far reported this problem. It cropped up during a lab test and nowhere else (at the moment) Also in the event that this does happen to you, the solution is simple, hit the power button one more time and it will boot.
  • I was unfortunate enough to be working for a high level Intel employee who was always getting us hardware before it's release. And at one point he got me a mother board and a hefty CPU that had on board everything were talking the network card the modem the sound card and yes the i820.. installing and OS on it went with by with no major problems or popping/exploding sounds. When I rebooted (thanks to windows) I had the i820 cause such major problems that I happly went back to my pentium 166 without ever complaining.. it was that bad when I finally did get it back up it was slow as hell and had constant issues of all types.. Intel has recently become to infatuated with defeating AMD that it tries to hop on to every band wagon to try to make more money.. they took a shot at 3D accelerators.. total mess.. Websites.. come one who ever returns to some of those web outfitter sites? and now even a PDA (which will be annouced soon)... If intel stuck to CPUS and network cards they would have far better products..
  • Yeah, I agree that the floating pt bug was a larger technical issue, but
    there was really no way that anyone without a simple knowledge of
    computers could understand it, whereas I think just about everyone can
    understand that it is a problem that you push the power button ... and the
    computer doesnt come on, and it's Intel's fault.

  • You've got it all wrong! You don't bake them!

    Hmm.. perhaps where Intel and AMD are going wrong... they're trying to bake their chips. Everyone knows that they taste better before you bake them.

    Donald Roeber
  • Then again, who is going to have a server with no UPS to back it up? Not I.
  • From the article:

    "The bug has not been found in mobile Pentium III chips, according to Intel."
  • Calling someone a poor "luser" because they are exercising freedom of choice by choosing Windblows is surely a sign is arrogance. No wonder most people don't take Linux seriously.

    Thanks to concerned netizens like you, I contemplated just passin up Linux as an alternative to Microsoft's monument to capitalism at its worst. Thanks for getting the information out that most of the people in the world are losers(short of you blandest, of course;-)).

    And please don't post this as being off topic, tking into account that blandest's post was devoted 75% to articulating how Windows users are "lusers", and he has a rating of 1. He is on topic? What is with this? Maybe we should turn Slashdot form a news center to an anti-Windows propaganda factory? How many people (especially Windows users) will take it seriously after that change? Remember, reach out to the people, don't ostrasize them!

    Question - Do penguins carry automatics?

    -Windows loser slowly, but surely, migrating to Redhat Linux 6.

  • HP put out a couple of really low end, Windows only laser printers a couple of years back that had no off switch.

    A sheetfed Logitech scanner is sitting on my desk without an off switch. As soon as my computer powers up, it's on. If something goes wrong and it can't scan I have to shut down my computer and start it up again. The moral of this little story? The off switch is your friend -- especially if you're stuck with Windows.
  • ...if I can get one of these "flawed" chips at a lower price? *I* wouldn't mind having to hit power twice.

    Or maybe I'm just cheap...

    "God does not play dice with the universe." -Albert Einstein

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, 1999 @04:59AM (#1487939)
    I happen to have some background in the validation of processors. I don't speak for any company -- my opinions are solely my own.

    Every processor sold is generally sent through two layers of testing, with random samples (fulfilling a statistical thing I'd rather not try to recall) going through even longer testing. There is a trade off -- the longer you test, the less processors go out the door. The shorter, the more chance you have off failure.

    The first level would be as soon as you have viable silicon, you'd do your burn-in, and test the parts before breaking them into individual pieces. This filters out the total junk. This process simulates booting several times.

    The second stage involves the finished product in a simulated system environment, running at shipping speeds. This is where they get the ability to 'bin' parts based on how they perform. This is typically done at temperatures beyond anything you'd see in the system level, to give some safety. This part typically involves booting up operating systems.

    A longer test, on statistical sampling, would probably involve many applications, over a multi-hour period. (How many people overclocked their processors only to have something like Quake or Winbench fail -- it's a similar approach, run a lot of varied code.

    While I don't have inside knowledge on this, I would speculate that it would have to (a) very rare, (b) only happens in a certain environment, eg, chipset or motherboard. I wonder if there is some significance to the term "glitch", which does have an engineering meaning.

    It's almost a shame that Rob Collins has appearantly moved on, it would have been interesting to see his speculation on this.

  • ...turn the key one more time and it might. No big deal!" It doesn't really matter, though. The bug itself may just be annoying, but it serves the purpose of further eroding OEM and consumer trust in Intel.

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • solution ?
    Amplify "noises" and broadcast over campus ;-P

  • It probably is a big deal if you are using that computer as a server. I do know that they mentioned that this bug has only revealed itself in portable computers. Yet if such a thing happened to chips found in servers...
  • According to the article, Intel's planning on fixing the bug when the new 750 MHz PIIIs come out (which is supposedly January 10th of next year). This means that any CPUs produced before then will still have the bug.

    - A.P.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • Sorry, I am a Slashdot newbie. I forgot. It just pisses me off!
  • Here's the deal. I was getting an order together today to order 11 of the Optiplex GX110s referenced in the article. I called my Dell representative. He hadn't heard about this, so he called his supervisor. His supervisor had heard about the story, but hadn't received any official word from Dell.

    Man, I'm glad I saw that article. Any delay in shipping would have put my balls in a sling. I'm supposed to get confirmation from Dell shortly about the official answer from Dell. I'll post here when I get it.
  • Into Windows, that is. I get about a 40% chance of Windows locking up (hard, no Ctrl-Alt-Del, no working NumLock even) on the first splash screen when I try to boot.

    But I doubt it's a CPU problem; Linux never seems to encounter it.

    I wouldn't worry so much if Windows failed to boot 100% of the time... but 40%? You'd think success or failure would at least be deterministic.
  • Will likely be an Athlon based PC. Intel is just having a few too many issues, and AMD has proven to me that they are capable of producing very competitive (and even faster) hardware. Intel's adoption of the proprietary Rambus technology is also something I'm not very fond of, in light of the i820 problems. As it is, the bandwidth of Rambus doesn't help as much as you'd think because of the greater latency than SDRAM, and smaller width of the bus (Rambus only 16-bit vs. 64-bit).
  • by technos ( 73414 ) on Thursday December 02, 1999 @05:16AM (#1487951) Homepage Journal
    Not a big deal? These new Coppermine processors are to be installed in servers. What happens when you have a power 'blink' just too long for the UPS, or you're remote administering the machine and force a reboot? THE SERVER DOESN'T COME BACK UP. The system not coming up is FAR more tragic than a non-fatal fdiv bug. Why? I have to get out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, drive an hour, drink lots of coffee on the way, and press the power button again. All because some idiot paid a premium for on Intel's rushed-to-market 2nd place processor instead of buying a Athlon. If the system doesn't reliably power up, I don't want it or any of it's like brethren.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...really blows goats.

    Rambust: 'Might' be faster...costs 5X as much for *maybe* 5% boost LOL!

    CC820: The 'memory translator hub' makes i820 a good margin SLOWER THAN BX when used with sdram. WTF!!! They must have thrown it together at the last second, when they realized no one in a SANE STATE OF MIND would spend $700-1000 for 128mb of Rambust when even DDR266 would cost less.

    Intel sez: "But But But bu bu but use i840 and 2 channels of rambust for a server. Then you'll see how good it is!" Suuuuure. Show me a i840 board I can BUY, even thought officially i840 was introduced 1 month BEFORE i820. At least a $1400 layout for 256mb of freaking ram. The server downstairs has 2gb of Reg ECC PC100 right now on a GX board, and uses every last drop of it. I could probably buy TWO of them for the JUST cost of populating ONE server with rambust to 2gb!!!

    BTW, any idea if it would happen on say...Apollo 133a boards? (VIA PC133 AGP4X)

    I'd love an athlon, but don't feel like soldering very much. I hope someone hurries up and mass produces those cpu attachment cards. That and waiting for KX133 woudl be great...cmon DDRsdram! Hurry up so we can all piss on rambust for real.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday December 02, 1999 @05:21AM (#1487953) Homepage Journal
    If most PC Users would simply never boot their systems, they would be much happier and more productive.

    Intel, feeling the pressure from AMD, releases a shoddy and under-tested product? Tell me it ain't so! And this differs from their previous releases, how? At least this time they can use the AMD excuse. In the past their shoddy and under-tested products had no excuse at all. Between them Microsoft and Intel are responsible for setting PC Users' quality expectations so low that any moron can peddle just about any piss-poor programming on the market indefinitely and expect to get away with it. It'd be nice to see them take a good hard dive.

  • The bug was found in the Optiplex series, Dell's high end desktop machines. The article states that the bug WAS NOT found in the portable chips. Additionally, these processors are also offered in their server line. I hope a few made it out the door, too. Intel needs a spanking for a stupid bug.
  • by weave ( 48069 ) on Thursday December 02, 1999 @05:22AM (#1487955) Journal
    I'm sitting on a budget of $200,000 to buy new servers at work and I've been wrestling which way to go. The 32-bit Pentium seems to be at the end of its useful life and the Itanium is still years away.

    On the other hand, the 64-bit Alpha processor is still young, but old enough to be proven in the field. I'm wondering.

    I'd like to grab a big Alpha-based muti-processor box with at least a gig of RAM and an external RAID unit with several hundred gigs of storage, all running Alpha Linux. I'm still a bit nervous about Compaq's future plans for the chip though.

    Unfortunately, every single vendor and VAR I talk to actually laughs at me and asks me questions like "Can I ask you why you are not considering an industry standard NT/Intel-based solution?" and "Can you really count on Linux to survive the next few years? Those socialist coders are going to get bored and figure out they can make more money in the real world eventually." (actual conversations) :-(

    Amazing, $200,000 and no one wants to help me spend it or at least listen to what I need instead of selling me their NT-based turnkey product. :(

    It's no wonder Intel and Microsoft are #1 in the world. If you are not very thick-skinned, you get beaten into submission. It reminds me of the old days when getting approval to buy anything but a S/370 based IBM mainframe or S/36 box was near impossible.

  • Do you have an AMD K6-2 350 by any chance? There is a known windows 95 patch to prevent intermittent lockups when booting with this processor.

    In the errata Microsoft does say the problem is a bug in windows, and not due to an AMD compatibility problem. I had one of these, and after installing the patch everything was fine.

    Of course, Linux just worked right from the start :)

  • What version of Windows? w95 has some known
    problems with K6 > 300MHz. A patch only exists
    for W95B.
  • 200 grand, and you're even _talking_ to VARs who sell NT? Run away now!

    Seriously, what about some of the other alternatives? RS/6000? HP? Sun? I imagine (read: hope) you're looking at these platforms, if only so you can honestly say to the NT VARs, "Actually we decided Linux was a better solution than HP-UX. In light of that, NT/Intel isn't even an option."

  • Yeah, I am the same way. Them new technologies and stuff...I mean, I love my 386SX! I clocked that bitch up to 600Mhz but I have to get a new shipment of liquid Nitrogen every week to feed the cooling on it. Hell Yeah! I have this 82 Pinto, not too bad with a blower on it! I am not gonna buy none of them silly japanese cars that get like 40+ mpg...

    Sorry about the extreme sarcasm, but sometimes (depending on what you want to do with the computer) you really need more than a 486/66. I am sure it works fine for you, but I have to face reality with a larger cache, faster bus speed, and better processor.
  • by Frac ( 27516 ) on Thursday December 02, 1999 @05:54AM (#1487963)
    I submitted this story yesterday and it got rejected. I was surprised why it got rejected too. I guess someone at Slashdot originally thought a Coppermine Bug is insignificant.

    I think it's time we need another "slashdot" thread just to discuss the growing flaws of the slashdot moderation system and etc. I'll list the ones off the top of my head:

    * Stories get rejected for unknown reasons, only to show up again a day later.

    (maybe rejected stories should be reviewed somewhere, so we can moderate the storie back up to be posted?)

    * On the other hand, there are "new" stories that link to the same article as that other "new" story one month ago. How is linking to an article 9 days ago considered "news"? (IBM porting Linux to S/390, for example)

    (have another queue that shows "approved" stories - members can go in and moderate interesting stories up, and repeated or dull stories down)

    * news guys that are inserting too much of their own biased opinion into the news stories, shifting the opinion of the comments before anything gets posted! For example, I'm am on the verge of ignoring a certain section on slashdot, because one news guy is frequently jumping the gun on My Rights Online, ie. how a game software developer is tracking me down with my video card model. I appreciate the intention of that section (which is why i haven't dropped it yet), but is it really necessary for the article to acuse the developer having "unconvincing explanations", then later give some half-assed retraction with "oh, this isn't a big deal really, I just didn't really think before I gave out my conspiracy theory.

    There are many more problems I (and I presume many of us) have with the current system. We don't want to bitch and moan, we just want a dedicated thread where we can all give out positive criticisms.

    This will probably be moderated down, but I really hope malda/hemos/roblimo and etc. will see this.

  • Did you ever hear about the $150,000 Pentium II []

    -Someone else with a background in validation of (Intel) processors
  • Try using it in an actual server enviroment and set Windows NT to Re-boot when it blue screens (and you know it will) and then wonder why you are getting paged at 3am because 3rd shift can't access a server that contains critical information.

    YOU have to get up, drive in to work, walk in the server room, and power off and power it back on again? Do this a few times and I bet that little problem of pressing the button twice suddenly becomes a major pain in the ass to deal with. Oh sure you could tell someone to do it for you, but what if you have 20 servers in the server room all the same? Are they gonna power off the right one? Shesh.
  • Somewhat off topic, but on the subject of Windows bugs, my favorite is the following:

    1) System crashes hard
    2) You power cycle the POS
    3) 'doze loads up, then (before you do anything at all) you're informed that kernel32.dll has performed an invalid instruction, so you get to reboot again.

    What would really be funny is if this looped. That happened to me maybe half a dozen times... OTOH, I don't remember seeing anything like what you describe (I'm on a P-II, though).

    Hmmm... windows sometimes doesn't load up, Linux always boots: guess your computer is trying to tell you something... :)
  • I mean, it's been my experience that Windows does indeed have trouble staying up for even a few days at a time. Though it may have been a bit of a
    joke, I'm sure it's not out of the realm of possibility that you'd need to reboot a Windows box once a day.

    I have to agree. I was using 98 for a quite a while, and usually after 4 days, things just go sooooo slow that it forced a reboot. And I was forced to do reboots daily (or even every 6 hours at times) if I was doing a lot of devel work. I think I once got a week though... Most NT people I know reboot their machines every two weeks or so. OTOH:

    [lloyd@galaxy lloyd]$ uptime
    11:00am up 270 days, 18:44, 4 users, load average: 1.34, 1.13, 1.10
    [lloyd@galaxy lloyd]$

    I would love to see 98 do that, hehe. :) Course a power or hardware failure will get it at some point... I'm hoping for a year uptime. Note that this machine is somewhat high end (only a P-II 350, but a ton of RAM), and also isn't used by a lot of people (though the people that do use it are doing heavy compuational stuff most of the time) which may help explain it somewhat.
  • called money is a potental problem. of course AMD would love to go nuts with this, but right now I believe the company has roughly -$100 million a year to work with.(or was it per quarter? I don't remember for sute)

  • In other news, superstar car maker Gee Em was caught in its biggest engineering gaffe yet, turning out some of their latest line of automobiles without gas tanks or working steering wheels.

    "I don't know how this happened," remarks one shocked engineer, who wishes to keep his name anonymous, "We tested and retested, ran computer simulations, all to no avail. I'm quite frankly shocked that this didn't come out in our tests with live drivers."

    In Gee Em's official press release, the company's president says laughingly, "Oops. Don't we look stupid?"

    Disclaimer to the stupid: The preceding is a fictional story. Any resemblance to the blunders of any corporate entity living or dead is PURELY coincidental.
  • >Maybe we should turn Slashdot form a news center
    >to an anti-Windows propaganda factory?

    Wait a minute... You mean it isn't already?!?
  • No, you don't market against a competitor's problems. Every company at some point will run into a problem, even AMD. You advertise that your product is better, as you do every day. You might run a few ads to brind AMD into the minds of people. You let the press and the users groups push the problem into the public eye. The company still gains, yet doesn't look petty in the process.
  • Maybe add a feature to 2.3 or 2.5 to replace a kernel without rebooting ?

    You got right to my question for people. I am under the understanding that reboots are necessary even in Linux, if you want to change kernels. Anyone know of a way around this? As a relatively new Linux user, I am enjoying playing around with my kernel and such, but it is such a pain to have to reboot all the time. It almost seems to me from my very limit system knowledge that I am asking the impossible? This would score as an incredibly cool feature in my book.
  • 3 words


    10 minutes after I leave the only thing left running is the processor fan. :)

  • It's really fun when the RA does it, because then, if you have a good microphone you got some bargaining ground the next time you want him/her to disappear from the hall for a few hours.. :)

    Having mp3's of it on the network shared works VERY well.

  • With luck, you get your full-page add placed facing the page carrying the news or an editorial about your competitor's problems. You don't have to mention them; they don't have to mention you.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • Personally I'd like to see more effort put into the I/O dept with machines... The processor speed makes a very little difference anymore...

    That's where athlon gets most of it's speed is from that wonderful 200mhz EV6 bus. :)

    Not to mention on a Unix system CPU speed is even less of a need...

  • My fault for not proofing, what I _meant_ was K62 and K63, (K62/3) how that turned into K6/7 I'll never know :)

    Hopefully most readers know that K7s start at 500Mhz, so they won't be misled by my error.
  • It is mentioned that Linux is so stable, etc., and that people have incredible uptimes and such. I would love to have incredible uptimes and such, but being relatively new to Linux, I love to play with my kernel (doesn't that sound dirty?), which always requires a reboot. Does anyone have a way around this? This would be a really nice thing for me to be able to do, but from my limited system knowledge, it strikes me as an impossible dream....

    Every time there's a media extravaganza about some bug (or "errata", as they like to call it), Intel's sales go up. Hell, after the fdiv debacle Intel practically became a household word.

    Maybe AMD should try the same thing.

    Of course, then I wouldn't buy their products, either.

  • But I have a few DEC Multia's with the Alpha 21066 chip. Not fast. But even they do run Linux, OpenBSD and Compq Tru64 Unix. So you can always point to Tru64 when The Suits get nervous about Free Software.

    My problem with Alphas is their power consumption. No, not just `cuz the 21066 draws 17W and has no powersavings. That's OK. I mean the 700 MHz 21264's draw 109W (yes, thats 47 Amps at 2.35V). Alphas need a shrink in the worst way.

    Now 218W really isn't unmanageable. You need a big powersupply because they're at best 70% efficient. But I have reliability worries: what happens if you lose a CPU fan or one of those heatsink nuts get a little loose? Do you unsolder the CPU? What happens when the AC goes down?

    -- Robert
  • > I'm still a bit nervous about Compaq's future plans for the chip though. ... Unfortunately, every single vendor and VAR I talk to actually laughs at me and asks me questions like..."Can you really count on Linux to survive the next few years?"

    I won't venture a guess for Compaq's plans, and I'm quite sure Linux will be around (whether Red Hat is or not), but really... does it matter? You need a server today. Alpha works today. Linux works today. What do their long-term prospects matter? You're not marrying them. And you don't have to buy their stocks just because you use their products.

    When those VARs start talking "industry standard", it's kind of like saying "Why don't you want to drive the same car / wear the same hairdo / listen to the same music / etc that everyone else we know is doing?"

    You already know you should be different on the basis of price and quality, and if that's not enough I'd urge you to go a step further and be different just to spite the conformity-oriented crowd. At the very least you'd be helping yourself in the long run by keeping the competition alive.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • For $200,000 I'd be happy to hook you up :-)

    Seriously though, pick up any Linux magazine and you'll find several vendors selling alpha based systems and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to set you up.

    If I were you though, I'd take a good long serious look at commercial UNIX boxen. If you don't need the features they provide that are still a bit raw in Linux (Journaling file systems, proven non-beta SQL database systems) or you decide that all your people are very familiar with Linux and you don't want to train them on another UNIX, then by all means go for some nice dual or quad alpha 21264's and tons and tons of RAM.

  • Do you have an AMD K6-2 350 by any chance? There is a known windows 95 patch to prevent intermittent lockups when booting with this processor.

    It's a K6II 300, but with Windows 98.

    Funny thing... with a different motherboard, Win98 wouldn't boot at all until a DOS guru friend had me put "STACKS=12,256" in config.sys; when I switched motherboards (hardware failure) my Windows side freaked and required a reinstall, and it seemed to work without that config.sys hack.

    I never really worried about it; I boot Windows to play Homeworld and Starcraft, and that's not often enough that rebooting two or three times is more than a minor PITA.
  • This happens to me every time I turn on my PC.
    It gets as far as the initial diagnostics,
    and just before it would display the LILO
    prompt etc it hangs. A reboot fixes the problem.

    I have a PIII-450 with a Chaintech BX motherboard
    (I think). If this is a faulty product, perhaps
    I should ask for a refund!
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday December 02, 1999 @06:47AM (#1487990) Homepage Journal
    IIRC some folks in the High Availability working group were actually working on a way to replace the kernel while the system is actually running. That would be pretty damn slick. Check around on the Linux High Availability pages and I'm sure you'll find it.
  • socialist coders??? I think you are mistaken, linux and opensource are so capitalist that it makes me sick. where else is there so much competition? certainly not with M$. If you ask me the current business model for computing (monopolies/oligopolies, market control, product absolutism) is absolutely totalitarian.

    now not all of these things are bad, but when you put them together in such a rancis combination the consumer is the one who gets hurt.

    "The importance of using technology in the right way has never been more clear." []
  • Couldn't you just do what loadlin does? make another runlevel, say 7,
    shutdown to runlevel 7 (Kill's processes)
    switch processor out of protected mode
    load and run kernel image.
    Of course you would have to have someway of saing the uptime :)

  • if the power fails and the server looses power it should come right beck on when the power come back. Someone shouldnt have to go over and hit the power switch a few times to wake it up.
  • >You leave your desktop system on all the time? Why don't you show some consideration for the environment and
    >stop using electricity when you don't need it? They're throwing more coal in the boilers because of people
    >like you.

    Mostly they are throwing more coal and oil to those power plants because of those idiots who claim to be "green" but still prefer coal and other polluting fossil fuels over nuclear power..

    >And no, contributing to is not worth it.

    One PC doesn't take much electricity to run, especially with some kind power management on. Also, these computers with almost no moving parts, are "growing old", more slowly when they are always on, as heat expansion/shrinking at start/stop is affecting to those components.
  • > Iused to work for Office Depot and all internal memos had Staples clearly printed on the top. I was told when I was working there that Staples owns Office Depot. Meaning it seems odd that they got there panties in a wad for something so minor.

    Staples and Office Depot attempted to merge a couple of years ago, but the Federal trade commission stopped it because the combined company would have held some huge percentage of the market in some areas. Also, the proved that prices were lower in areas that had both stores than areas that had only one. But the merger got pretty far before it was killed, so I'm not surprised you saw what you did.

  • Um, where do I volounteer to play Quake on the test processors? I can test 4 at a time that way! ;-)
  • by turg ( 19864 ) <turg&winston,org> on Thursday December 02, 1999 @09:48AM (#1488010) Journal
    Here's a place to discuss this id=slashdot-issues []
    "I am not trying to prove that I am right... I am only trying to find out whether." -Bertolt Brecht
  • Micron is coming out with a Pentium III compatible chipset that supports DDR SDRAM. I submitted an article to Slashdot at []
    which shows DDR smoking RAMBUS. I wouldn't be surprised if Micron also came out with a chipset for the Athlon, which can really take advantage of the higher memory speeds.

    I suspect VIA also is coming out with a DDR compatible chipset.
  • Forget about whether it crashes or not, NT (and 95, 98, et al) needs a reboot for even the most INNOCUOUS of system configuration changes (a small adjustment of the networking configuration for example)

    That is it's BIG flaw, IMO.

    In UNIX, it is usually just /etc/rc.d/init.d/network restart (or equivalent).
  • I wondered what was up with the occassional hangup on boot-up.

    I've never won wanything before...why did I have to start now? :)
  • My 100MHz AMD 486 running Linux works just fine - just don't try using KDE on it unless I have all day!
  • Whoa! Coppermine is a NEW CPU CORE. Katmai (read: Pentium Pro) core based PII's and PIII's have been around a while, and are really good chips. The Coppermine based PIII's are newer then the Athlon, rushed to market! Release wasn't scheduled for almost eight months. Coppermine != Katmai, much in the way K6-III != Athlon.
  • I remember when I was in college and had a friend working in the design team at (an Intel competitor) when the fdiv bug hit. I called him up and said "I bet there are a lot of good Intel jokes, lemme hear some!"

    He told me they weren't really talking about it much. When I asked him why, he said "We're all terrified something like that will happen to us, too."

    Sometimes you get lucky and the thing you're most terrified of happens to your enemies. Sometimes, you're not so lucky...
  • It's a ploy by the EPA since Energy Star didn't work as well as planned...
  • Nope, sorry. Coppermine is a rehashed Pentium Pro with larger caches and an optimized instruction pipeline.
  • That's a good point. In my opinion, the more telling behavior of a company (or individual) is how they respond to reports of a problem. We all make mistakes, especially when pushing the envelope. It's important that they acknowledge it's existence, importance, and urgency; that they move to a rapid resolution and acknowledge their shortcomings; if possible they should learn from it so as to avoid it; etc.

    The absolute worst thing to do is to ignore, deny, or play down the problem, especially by attacking one who raises the complaint. It's also poor in my opinion to attack others for their errors. However, I don't have a problem with criticising their response (or lack of response) to the errors, or an attempt to shift the blame to others.

    If Intel tackles the problem in a "mature" manner, good for them, and no shame in having a little trouble now and them. I don't respect their (or their supporters) former attacks on competing companies in similar situations. Such arrogance is not pretty. I think they are likely to be a bit humbled by their competition now, and hopefully will continue putting their efforts into improvement, rather than arrogant marketing, etc. I do wonder if they might have rushed this product simply to promote an image of being "the leader" and gotten a little burned in the process.

    Incidentally, my preference is AMD, due to price and less obnoxious advertising.

    Woolie Bully, Woolie Bully, Woolie Bully

  • Seems like Intel did the Right Thing about an error this time: Admit and fix. Any product can have errors (and most do), the question is how the company reacts to the errors. Some previous bugs were poorly handled, this one (but maybe only because it's not that expensive) is handled well. Or is there a darker side to this story that we haven't heard (cue ominous music!)?

  • Then tell his boss that you're going with a competitor.

    They're either with you or against you. There are lots of Alpha vendors who are quite happy to sell you a Linux system. Check out the Linux Journal.

  • The 32-bit Pentium seems to be at the end of its useful life and the Itanium is still years away.

    Actually, Intel's Itanium processor is scheduled for mid-2000. You can snag some product information and datasheets here []. I believe Intel plans on releasing and/or supporting 32-bit products into as late as 2002 if not longer, but I haven't checked their CPU roadmap in a while. However, IMHO, 64-bit is a safe investment considering it will soon be the de facto standard. This is definitely something to put into serious consideration, and you should definitely consult your coworkers and review your organization's future plans and needs.

    Unfortunately, every single vendor and VAR I talk to actually laughs at me and asks me questions like "Can I ask you why you are not considering an industry standard NT/Intel-based solution?" and "Can you really count on Linux to survive the next few years? Those socialist coders are going to get bored and figure out they can make more money in the real world eventually." (actual conversations) :-(

    If you're looking for some places which support Linux, I've found VA Linux Systems [] to have excellent customer support and very reasonable pricing. I hear that Penguin Computing [] is excellent as well. And also from my experience, I've found [] to be very helpful and resourceful as well. Though I haven't tapped them for any Linux solutions yet, CDW [] has a rock-solid reputation, and superb customer support.

    In addition, Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Compaq all offer their own solutions, but some of their flagship products contain propietary hardware which increases the price dramatically for everything. However I do not say to avoid them, as they offer excellent products and support (varies), but keep that in consideration.

    And I don't know about you, but I, personally, would never purchase ANYTHING from an organization that mocks my evaluated decision. I would be appalled at said treatment.

    You've made a wise decision to tap the Slashdot community for assistance. I hope I was of help, if not, I'm positive that my peers will be.
  • What did you expect when Intel is finally getting some decent pressure from the folks over at AMD.
    It is amazing what can happen in 2 years in this business.
    Now intel is racing to catch up to the Athlon (AMD) and creating buggy products in their hurry.

    Maybe AMD will be kind enough to license their chip technology to intel so they can create Athlon compatible chips in hopes of keeping up :)

  • Coppermine is not new. Intel won't have a new core until Willamette (sometime, maybe if we're lucky). The Coppermine/Katmai comparisions are closer to K6-II/III. Same meal. Different garnish.

  • I know its probably too late for anyone to read this, but I found this actually in the article:

    "We've implemented a stop ship, which is a due diligence move to screen for the erratum," Dell spokesman Ken Bissell said Wednesday.

    Implemented a stop ship? Give me a break, its called "we've stopped shipping." These PR guys have GOT to start speaking normal english. []
  • I have a win98 machine that cannot stay up for more than 8 hours. The system just stops working, one peice at a time. Stuff like the modem drivers get exponentially more crashy, which is porportional to my frustration (trying to friggan download mp3s!!! stop disconnecting!!!). Occaisonallly the keyboard decides to stop working as well.

"The C Programming Language -- A language which combines the flexibility of assembly language with the power of assembly language."