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Comment Re:Dvorak? (Score 1) 150

FWIW, I think 1 finger (one hand holding the device, the other using a finger), 2 thumbs (both hands holding using thumbs), or 1 thumb (same thumb as holding hand - i.e. 1-hand input) is better than 2 thumbs + 1 finger (which I can't figure out how that would be useful).

Comment Re:Agree! (Score 1) 353

I removed Symantec AV from my computer (since it only protects against exploits nobody uses anymore and slows your PC down more than any virus)

I don't personally use Symantec anything but the word is for the 2009 version, they completely rewrote everything from scratch with an emphasis on speed that seems to have worked according to PCmag.

Comment Re:There is only one keyboard (Score 1) 523

I'm an Omnikey man myself - been using one for about 20 years now. There is a company that makes an Omnikey clone but with windows keys. And when I say clone, I don't mean a cheap knock-off, the Avant Prime is near perfect down to using the same Alps switches. It's not cheap at $150 but I feel that mine was well worth it -- Keep in mind you will need a $15 PS2-to-USB adapter if you do not have a serial-PS2 keyboard input.

If you like the clicky feel, there is also the DAS Keyboard which is slightly cheaper at $129 and has USB (+ hub). They have a silly "Ultimate" version which has all blank keys to thwart anyone else from using your computer (err I mean to improve your typing skils). A friend of mine bought one (with the letters on it - not the blank keys). However, after he tested both his D.K. and my APrime, he was lusting over my APrime.

Comment Re:Aargh, units confusion again. (Score 2, Informative) 275

It was simple enough for me to understand.

When they refer to "megawatts" in a power plant or storage, they're generally referring to the peak output capability. For example, the 20 Megawatts almost instantaneously would mean the batteries can supply a peak power of 20 Megawatts. The "almost instantaneously" means there is no significant time delay between the request for more power and actually getting the power out (which you might have with a coal fired plant for example).

The "megawatt hours" defines the total storage capability of the battery banks rather than the on-demand peak output.

Comment Re:Random read/write? (Score 5, Informative) 256

Actually, most of the SLC SSD drives are fairly immune to the random write stall issue that plagues MLC drives. For example, compare SLC and MLC drives from OCZ. The older OCZ Core SSD drives (SLC) have much faster random write access than newer OCZ Core V2 SSD drives (MLS) even though the Core II have much higher specified/published (sequential) write speeds.

OCZ's official line on the frightening performance problems with random writes on MLC drives (i.e. multi-second system stalls and random write throughput as low as 4 writes/second) is "we encourage potential customers to research this product and insure that it will fill their needs. These MLC based drives have extremely fast reads, and if you need a drive with fast sequential (frequent) writes, please check into our SLC based SATA II drive series."

At least OCZ is somewhat honest up front in acknowledging that their MLC drives are not for everyone. But FWIW, nearly all MLC SSD drives are orders of magnitude for real world performance (that includes writes) than their sequential performance specs would suggest.

Currently, the Intel drives are the only shipping MLC drives with good random write performance out-of-the-box. OCZ has announced (but is not yet shipping) a new "Vertex" series SSD that combines MLC with 64MB of RAM cache that speeds up random writes tremendously.

But in general, right now, it's buyer beware if you need fast random write access for higher system performance (i.e. a Windows user). Make sure you get either one of the Intel drives (MLC or SLC) or a well known SLC drive if you're concerned about anything other than strict read performance. Before you buy a MLC drive, follow OCZ's suggestion and do a lot of research on the drive first.

Comment Re:ibm (Score 1) 211

IBM is probably banking on the existence of people who want Cell processors in systems with more than 256megs of RAM. Other IBM value-adds would presumably include rack mountability, support for netbooting and other convenient management stuff, and so forth.

The newest Cell processors from IBM have two major features that customers wanted:

1) Support for normal DDR2 RAM. The original CELL (PS3 version) only supports RAMBUS XDR Memory. There is support for 16GB of DDR vs 256MB of XDR (PS3).
2) Support for pipelined double-precision operations on the SPU's. The original CELL (PS3 version) stalls the SPU's during all double-precision floating point operations and has no support for vectorized double-precision. The pipelining can increase the throughput of common double-precision operations by a factor of 5-8. There is still no support for vectorized double-precision floats.

Comment Re:Time for vector processing again (Score 1) 251

Cell CPUs also intrigue me a lot....

That's ironic because I have been programming the Cell processor at my job for the last three years. As a professional video game programmer, I do about half my coding on the PS3 Cell Processor :-)

I do most of the rest of my coding on the XBOX 360 which is also multicore but is a bit easier than the Cell to program.

If you want to learn Cell multiprocessor programming though, you can easily pick up a used PS3 for about $250 on Craigslist and set it up to run Linux. You don't get access to the GPU so hardware-accelerated graphics isn't possible but you can do a fair amount of Cell SPU multicore coding without too large an investment. If you plan on remotely targeting the PS3, I suggest setting up a simple VirtualBox VM on your home PC is you run Windows. Also, this site is a pretty good start for PS3 home brew performance optimizing for the Cell processor.

You won't run into any of the false sharing issues (which is a big deal on XBOX 360 performance) since there's only one PPC core and the SPU's are basically "DMA" driven for access to main RAM.


Submission + - Apple launches iPod Touch, revamps Nano, iTMS wifi (

tRSS writes: "Apple just right now launched iPod touch, with similar interface as the iPhone and new iPod nano with video and coverflow. iPod touch start from $299 whereas iPod nano start from $149. They have also revamped the iPod shuffle with new bright colors. Apple has added the capability of buying and downloading music wirelessly from the iTunes Music store on iPod touch and iPhones now as well."

Submission + - Bush names anti-open source lobbyist as counselor (

Citizen Pain writes: "President Bush today appointed as his counselor a man who received $820,000 from Microsoft to lobby during negotiations over its antitrust settlement as well as to oppose the use, especially within the government, of "open source" systems such as Linux. Enron also paid him $700,000 in 2001 alone to lobby on the "California energy crisis" and thwart efforts to re-regulate the Western electricity market through price controls."

Submission + - Supernova Devastates Eagle Nebula

AbsoluteXyro writes: " reports that, thanks to advanced instruments aboard Spitzer, we have now seen that a supernova has wreaked havoc on the Eagle Nebula, and destroyed the famous Pillars of Creation. Interestingly, this all happened before the Eagle Nebula was discovered by Jean-Philippe de Cheseaux in 1746...and we won't actually see it happen here on Earth for another thousand years or so. From the article: "Humans living 1,000 to 2,000 years ago might have noticed the supernova event that destroyed the pillars as an unusually bright star in the sky. We have checked with historical records, and there might be some candidates.""

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