Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Yes and no... (Score 1) 276

We do know that it's a POWER-based CPU, almost definitely POWER7, but it could be single-core for all we know (although the rumors seem to have settled on quad-core, with some level of SMT, with a clock speed in the 3GHz range).

There's no way that IBM is shipping a high-end POWER7 CPU in a consumer console. Not unless the Wii U comes with pre-approval for a new line of credit...

My money's on a high-end PowerPC variant. Maybe it takes some "inspiration" from POWER7, but that's about all I'd be willing to bet on.

Comment Re:Simplicity of design is an important factor (Score 1) 276

Or maybe, the cost of a mis-predicted branch causing a 8000 cycle CPU stall, made worse by the fact there was no branch predictor, which meant every line of existing code had to be re-written without branches?

Ok, this confused me. What do you mean "no branch predictor"? I mean... it's either doing speculative execution or it's not -- and if it's not, how the hell do you have a "mis-predicted branch"? And if it is, how do you do that without branch prediction? Or does it just treat bne as a jump and beq as a nop? (aka. static prediction?)

All of the POWER and PowerPC chips I've heard of definitely have branch prediction (and mostly quite good prediction at that), and while I don't know the first thing about the Cell and how dumbed-down it is/isn't, what you described seemed.... odd.

Also, 8000 cycles? A mis-prediction takes out the SPE for 8000 cycles?!? Holy shit. That makes Prescott look downright thrifty...

That platform sounds nightmarish. Best of luck.

Comment Neat troll, here's what's really up (Score 5, Insightful) 289

That was a neat troll! You did a very good job with the BSD is dying, even throwing in references to Netcraft for confirmation.

But I figured that -- you know, since people might otherwise make the mistake of believing you -- that we should clear up a few things:

1) FreeBSD is less widely used in some areas now not because it sucks more, but because Linux sucks less. Linux getting better is a good thing for all of us (BSD and Linux users alike.) And FreeBSD has never (AFAIK) been about a mad dash to get as much marketshare as possible -- so who cares how many machines it's installed on?

2) FreeBSD is workstation/server oriented. Suspend/hibernate support isn't crucial for these machines. Sorry. It's just not a high priority. FreeBSD doesn't prioritize supporting laptops, and AFAIK and as far as I've been using it (10+ years) never has. OSs have their specialties: FreeBSD is good on things like a high-end file server, Linux is a better choice for laptops. That's all there is to it, mate.

3) Interesting theory about Apple. They must be stingy though: I, and others, are still waiting for my MacBook! Perhaps we should e-mail Tim! What you were referencing is that Apple did exactly the sort of thing that RedHat's done: hired developers of a project to improve the aspects of the project that are important to them. Most of Apple's contributions have even made it back into the OSS world, despite the BSD license not forcing them to. (Take a look at Grand Central Dispatch sometime.)

4) We in the FreeBSD world don't see binary blobs as the great Satan that must be destroyed. Sorry. In fact, part of the reason that we spend so much time providing stable interfaces and working on backwards compatibility is it makes it less like that we'll alienate companies that might otherwise help us. NVIDIA's a good example. So they don't provide an open source driver. And? So what? They ship drivers that work, and they support new hardware very quickly.

5) HAL was deprecated in the Linux world because udev, DeviceKit, etc. looked sexier. FreeBSD uses HAL because it works, is well-documented, well-tested, and now well-understood. Sorry that we haven't adopted the API flavor-of-the-week, but the game's not always played that way.

I'm pleased that you like Linux. By all means, use it. Diversity is good. I'll continue to make sure that the software I write is portable to both the BSDs and Linux. But please don't try to spread FUD about other OSs, no matter how satisfying it may be to build yourself up by knocking others down.

Comment Re:Which is why... (Score 0) 499

Appendectomy and cholecystectomy. I'd say both are pretty invasive. Of course in the hospital right after the surgery they gave me dilaudid or something similar (still bad, but highly limited in use).

So in other words, you refused the "bad" opioid oxycodone by instead being given hydromorphone.

Uh... right.

Well just so long as you stand up for your principles I suppose.

Comment Alright, I'll play. (Score 5, Informative) 673

Ok, then; how about "Good luck finding a laptop that you can upgrade anything but the main drive and perhaps the RAM. And even the SSD in the MBPwRD is theoretically upgradeable, since it is on a subassembly with a connector.

The T and W-series ThinkPads have socketed CPUs.

And the displays can be upgraded.

And the drive is removable, so you can add Blu-Ray or whatever you'd like.

And Lenovo publishes complete manuals with step-by-step instructions detailing how to disassemble everything and how to replace pretty much any part (along with a list of the FRU numbers for said parts.)

And they let you order individual parts (or you can just get them from any number of third party suppliers.)

And replacing CRUs doesn't void the warranty.

Your turn.

Comment Re:I bought one (Score 3, Funny) 223

All the old stuff is better. They just don't make it like they used to. Why back in $YEAR, they were durable and built to last, now $COMPANY's really gone down the drain...

Or maybe that's just nostalgia... I always get those things confused.

The "did the Model M quality drop" issue has been covered in depth at Geekhack and other places, and apart from a reduction of the metal back plate by (IIRC) a couple hundred grams, there aren't any substantial differences. (There was also a change in plastic makeup, for what people speculated to be regulatory reasons, but that's about it.) The reduction in weight corresponded in some people's minds -- yours included, apparently -- to a "reduction" in durability, but that's psychological. People perceive heavier things as being sturdier; it's the same reason why some audiophile companies add weights to their products.

For me the reason to get a Unicomp board in addition to my used Ms was simple:

Unicomp 0) still makes durable, reliable keyboards 1) actively employs people in the US 2) offers a warranty and repairs any Model M you bring them. None of those things are true if you buy a used Model M.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 948

Given his failure as a representative, why should we pay attention to anything else he says?

Your assertion that he's failed as a representative assumes that the only goal of a representative is to pass as many new laws as possible.

Parts of the whole "checks and balances" thing is that some people need to act as the checks.

Comment Re:Fix? I think you mean, "migrate" (Score 1) 622

Civil, mechanical and electrical engineers need to keep up with new technologies both in the design and the end product sides of the process.

Counterpoint: we now have advanced composite materials that are a hell of a lot better than wood and all sorts of wiring designs that are more efficient, safer, and generally better than what we used in the 70s.

And yet most new houses have at least a wooden frame and still have three-prong good ol' 120VAC outlets throughout.

Why do you think that is?

And before you say that's not a fair comparison, look at it this way: you can't change the electrical system without breaking compatibility and pissing off a lot of homeowners, and wood's usually good enough to get the job done.

Both reasons apply to PHP.

(Conterpoint to counterpoint: wood can easily go up in flames, and 120VAC is dangerous when used by children. Both of these points *also* apply to PHP.)

Comment Re:They also criticized Fedora.. (Score 1) 296

Which is a good start, but since AMD doesn't sell laptops or desktops, it's nowhere near enough.

We need buy-in from the mobo makers at a minimum (so that we at least have the option of going the DIY route), but realistically we're going to want some laptop or desktop vendors to start shipping boxes with CoreBoot... which in turn won't likely happen until said board makers make the option available. We're never gonna get the big guys (Dell, Lenovo, etc.) on board -- but if we get some board makers to ship with CoreBoot than the boutique vendors like Puget Systems might ship CoreBoot boards in some of their products.

Comment Re:iPhone 3GS will support iOS 6 (Score 2) 414

I don't know if you're using "core" to mean "kernel" or "basic OS layout", but either way you'd be wrong. iOS is derived from OSX and shares the Darwin/XNU kernel, BSD subsystem and even the BSD userspace stuff with OSX. Most of the frameworks (Cocoa, etc) are also essentially the same or very similar.

Well he could be mostly right, actually.

Yes, the kernel and BSD userland are very, very similar, but once you move up the stack towards Cocoa there are actually quite a lot of differences. It's not as simple as s/NS/UI/ on the class names, case in point: JWZ's efforts to port Dali Clock.

Comment Re:How about $40 for unlimited (Score 1) 376

Just a jump over the 49th parallel (Canada) we have Wind Mobile (major cities only). $40 for pretty everything unlimited, no contract. You guys in the U.S. are getting screwed up the ass.

Yeah, the US is horrible, etc. Got it.

Of course we have less-abusive providers too. Virgin Mobile provides unlimited everything for 55 USD/month. Boost Mobile offers unlimited everything for 50 USD/month scaling down to 40/month after 18 months. Page Plus Cellular provides unlimited talk and text and 2 GB of data -- on Verizon's network, no less -- for 40 USD/month.

Those are just three random MVNOs -- there's plenty more with similar or better pricing (such as Simple Talk, a T-Mobile MVNO, one of a few pushed by WalMart). There's also Cricket, iWireless, and plenty of other regional carriers (most of which have roaming agreements with at least one of the big three). All with no yearly contract.

The smart of us aren't getting "screwed up the ass". It's the ones silly enough to lock themselves into a contract with one of the big three that get screwed.

Slashdot Top Deals

I judge a religion as being good or bad based on whether its adherents become better people as a result of practicing it. - Joe Mullally, computer salesman