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Comment Re:Why is Windows 10 the benchmark? (Score 1) 199

I should add, the evidence of this is plentiful. Anyone remember the days of IDE PIO ? Before IDE DMA and in particular before command and data blocks could be fully buffered by a hardware FIFO in the control, IDE PIO was a complete disaster. It barely worked (and quite often didn't). And we had to pull out the stops as device driver writers to get it work as well as it did (which wasn't very well).


Comment Re:Why is Windows 10 the benchmark? (Score 5, Informative) 199

Not quite true A.C. The instructions for those old 8-bit CPUs could be synchronized down to a single clock tick (basically crystal accuracy), thus allowing perfect read and write sampling of I/O directly. We could do direct synthesis and A/D sampling, for example, with no cycle error, as well as synchronize data streams and then burst data with no further handshaking. It is impossible to do that with a modern CPU, so anything which requires crystal-accurate output has to be offloaded to (typically an FPGA).

RTOSs only work up to a point, particularly because modern CPUs have supervisory interrupts (well, Intel at least has the SMI) which throw a wrench into the works. But also because it is literally impossible to count cycles for how long something will take. A modern RTOS works at a much higher level than the RTOSs and is unable to provide the same rock solid guarantees that the 8-bit RTOSs could.


Comment Re:model Slashdot response (MS DOS-ickies r.i.p.) (Score 3, Informative) 199

Looks interesting... I've pre-ordered two (both cpu models, 4G) for DragonFlyBSD, we'll get it working on them. Dunno about the SD card, but a PCIe SSD would certainly work. BIOS is usually the sticking point on these types of devices. Our graphics stack isn't quite up to Braswell yet but it might work in frame buffer mode (without accel). We'll see. The rest of it is all standard intel insofar as drivers are concerned.

My network dev says the Gigabit controller is crap :-) (he's very particular). But for a low-end device like this nobody will care.

All the rest of the I/O is basically just pinned out from the Intel cpu. Always fun to remark on specs, but these days specs are mostly just what the cpu chip/chipset supports directly.

I'm amused that some people in other comments are so indignant about the pricing. Back in the day, those of us who hacked on computers (Commodore, Atari, TRS-80, Apple-II, later the Amiga, etc) saved up and spent what would be equivalent to a few thousand dollars (in today's dollars) to purchase our boxes. These days enthusiast devices are *cheap* by comparison. My PET came with 16KB of ram and a tape cassette recorder for storage, and I later expanded it to 32KB and thought it was godly.


Comment Re:Apples and Oranges (Score 3, Interesting) 199

Speaking of getting a free built-in KVM console; has anyone ever built a laptop that can act as a KVM? Have a video-in(probably VGA, since that's the lowest-common-denominator and can usually be relied on to exist when you are crash-carting) and a USB slave port; with a button that toggles between normal laptop operation and displaying the video-in on the internal LCD and exposing the keyboard and trackpad/point as USB HID devices on the USB slave port.

Comment Umm... (Score 4, Insightful) 199

Substantially more expensive computer is faster? You don't say...

Next you'll tell me that I can get larger hard drives just by paying more for them; or shovel more packets by telling my vendor to include 10gigE instead of the default gigE NIC.

Snark aside, it looks like they have a perfectly solid little x86 SBC there; but outperforming something that costs 1/3 to 1/4 as much as you do is 'occupying a different niche' not 'destroying'.

Comment $3 million is just pocket change (Score 2) 83

Given that this case has gone on for six (6) years, a $3 million verdict probably won't even cover MobileMedia's legal fees (which, I suspect, the judge will not grant to them on top of the aware; it's unusual for the plaintiff/patent owner to get legal fees on top of damages in these cases). Patent litigation is very expensive, especially if you go to trial; I remember being staggered at what the cumulative per-hour billing rate must have been for one such trial where I testified as an expert. ..bruce..

Comment Re:No matter how clueless we are ... (Score 1) 257

In the same deeply unhelpful sense that you can argue that all areas of science are in principle reducible to physics there might be such deep connections. It's just that they will probably end up being about as useful. There's a whole genre of nerd-mysticism to be found in areas where claims of fundamental unity can be plausibly advanced; but cannot be made to yield anything of interest or utility. Mystics love transcendent unity that dissolves all mundane apparent complexity; and going a little overboard about the descriptive utility of mathematical models is one way to do that.

Comment Who let the CS kids into the Hubris Reserve? (Score 3, Informative) 257

What could possibly go wrong? After all, it's proven totally trivial to eradicate bugs in software(that's why nobody uses systems that haven't been formally verified; it's such an easy step that you'd be crazy to skip it!); so it should be easy enough to extend our victories in that field to vastly more complex biological systems that lack many of the convenient mathematical properties built into the abstractions we use for computing.

Seriously guys; I'm glad you care about curing cancer and all; but what flavor of insanity drives this level of optimism about your chances?

Comment Re:Unpopular opinion (Score 1) 132

1) Its UI, especially around tab management, is trash. No way to switch tabs in last-used order, no way to see a preview of all open tabs (or even their titles) at once, no way to tell what tab opened another tab, no way to group tabs, can only re-open closed tabs in the reverse order they were closed.
2) Its cookie management is coarse and barely present. It is very much a mobile browser in that way, and this is not a good thing. Ad-blocking extensions make this somewhat more tolerable, but it's still bad.
3) It doesn't provide a way to view the TLS server certificate. It'll give you some basic data about it, but that's it.
4) No RSS reader. That's a deal-breaker for me; I use RSS daily and have no reason to switch to another app when my browser takes care of it for me.
5) Can't re-open a previous browsing session unless set to always do that.

They are steadily improving it, so I suppose there's some hope, but right now it's still a shit browser, especially for a PC. Less shit than it was a few months ago, but still definitely shit.

Comment So... (Score 1, Flamebait) 97

So, if I understand this story correctly, Xiaomi is just doing what those benevolent western tech companies do; except their implementation is absurdly shoddy.

The total lack of package validation or SSL is pretty amateur hour; but the fact that your phone's vendor never really loosens its grip(until the day it gets bored of providing updates and just pretends it never sold the device) isn't something that started with sinister Chinese intrigue. "Google Play Services" can probably afford better software engineers; but it has capabilities at least as expansive.

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