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Comment First a VIC-20 then three C-64s (Score 1) 515

I conned my parents into buying me a VIC-20 with 3.5 KB of RAM, then I saw the wonders of the VIC-20 Super Expander which pushed my mighty computer to 8K of memory and gave me some astonishing graphics which include lines, circles, points and fill. Later I got a C64 and the world was my clam, I got the C-64 Super Expander and was horrified to see that I went from 38K to 30K but the High Res graphics were amazing; imagine 320x200 pixels, amazing.

I stuck with my C-64s until college at which point I got an Amiga 500 which had some motherboard problems, I traded it for an Amiga 2000 with an IBM bridge board which allowed me to run a gigantic 20 MB HDD which I split into three parts, the DOS 3.2 partition which allowed the whole HDD on an Amiga to work, 10 MB for Amiga stuff and finally 5MB for Minix. I spent most of my time in Minix, I had VI, and cc which allowed me to explore lots of stuff although the eye candy of Amiga was compelling.

After college, I got a job at a terrible military contractor and had the pleasure of using SCO Xenix (yes THAT SCO) which was still in the terminal (80x24) setup but was able to run on a 486 with some pathetic amount of memory and a 20MB and a 40MB disk. From there, I started working with SunOS systems and SGI systems and learned to program GUIs with Motif, I got to know the wonders of X11 and graphics under Unix.

I later got a job at a Utility writing Motif GUIs and Unix applications for some fairly interesting scheduling systems on AIX, and eventually Linux.

Fast forward to 2016, those same Motif GUIs and applications are now running on AIX 7.1 and Oracle 12c with all new hardware, the same codebase that started life 20 years ago is now running on all new hardware and third party software. Happily I've never had to deal with any Microsoft stuff during my career: Commodore to Amiga to AIX to Linux.

I doubt many have had a career like mine that had the same code base that began 25 years ago and is almost all still in operation, on modern software and hardware.

Good old VIC-20 and C64, the best way to start.

Comment Stop being negative! (Score 5, Interesting) 155

Putting a positive spin on things, this change isn't about catalyst being so terrible that Ubuntu won't use it, rather the open source driver has come so very very far.

From an AMD and open source perspective, if you want high performance and open source, you have to use AMD, the radeon guys have done an amazing job of bringing along the open source driver, and considering they're now up to OpenGL 4.1, which is truly impressive. The Nouveau driver doesn't suck, rather there is a lot of reclocking magic the Nouveau guys don't have and nVidia won't give them; hell nVidia just released the signed firmware for the 9xx series a couple of weeks ago.

For most folks, the open source driver is good and stable enough, need more, go catalyst or nVidia. I don't know too many people who are hardcore gamers and insist on open source drivers.

Comment The first windows to have a TCP/IP stack. (Score 1) 284

Win-95 was the Next Big Thing, it had a TCP/IP stack, came with quick basic, a telnet and FTP client, a web browser that would eventually crush Mozilla. I even tried it because I bought a 3dFX banshee card assuming it would work with Linux; that support was months out. It even ran decently with only four MB of RAM. I can remember paying $500 for a 16MB SIMM so that Linux would run well.

Despite all that, it had no security, it was still based on a 16-bit architecture on top of DOS, and was a stupid kludgy hack, but it was good enough for most folks and not having to buy Trumpet TCP/IP to get on to AOL was a boon.

Since then everything Linux had, it still has but is better, easier, and does so much more. The use still has to buy all his applications for Windows, and the these privacy issues with 10 are unnerving to those in the know. Still, if Win-95 hadn't been as good as it was, the year of Linux on the desktop could have happened.

Comment AMD support isn't that bad (Score 4, Insightful) 178

It's really not that bad and yes I spent a couple of hours playing BS:I yesterday on my core i7 nVidia 660 Ti gaming system with all settings set to Ultra. My AMD system is a Kaveri APU based system and lo and behold, the only game that requires very low settings is BS:I. As I understand it, BS:I and the other game he mentioned are using some form of emulation, similar to WINE for the game to play, this is true of the Witcher and will probably become more and more common.

So, ONE of my steam games plays better on nVidia than AMD, admitedly, I only have 24 Linux/SteamOS games but I tend to stick with the high profile shooters but one game plays bad and Michael L. makes a big stink. When my Kaveri came out, all the comparisons were against the top of the line i7 and i5 processors and it looked like crap. Using a car analogy, a Camry with a V6 compared to a Hellcat Challenger will look pretty slow but for all other purposes the Camry will have more than enough acceleration to satisfy the average driver.

Hell I'm just happy the games are coming to Linux, whether the run perfectly or not, I'd rather play on Linux in low settings than Windows in high.

Comment Win-devices. (Score 1) 307

Trying to get win-modems, win-wifi-nics, anything that doesn't have kernel support has been the biggest issue for me. The latest thing was the broadcom wifi NIC on an HP laptop that anything other than broadcom blacklisted in the BIOS. Fortunately Broadcom has become much more Linux friendly, thank you Broadcom.

Comment Re:Sigh. (Score 4, Funny) 164

Amen to this, I STUPIDLY bought a REFURBISHED OCZ drive which, coincidentally failed shortly after OCZ announced bankrupcy. The other drive I bought was a Corsair that, like it's OCZ bretheren died three weeks after put into service. The speed is wonderful but the life is pathetic. Despite this, I have a Kingston and a Samsung which are both going strong so I can confidently state that HALF OF ALL SSDs FAIL AFTER THREE WEEKS, THE OTHER RUN FOREVER!

Perhaps I need to work on my sample set and my over-use of capital letters.

Comment A car analogy. (Score 1) 142

Intel is akin to a Toyota Camry as AMD is a Scion FR-S. On the Camry side of things, presuming the Camry has a V-6, it'll utterly smoke the FR-S, in the quarter mile and 0-60, it's much more practical, room for six and a big roomy trunk. The FR-S is less expensive but less practical, sits lower, a much smaller trunk a non-existent back seat and has proven to be much less reliable. Then again, the FR-S is a zooty two-door, rear wheel drive, and an utter hoot to drive, while the Camry is . . . a Camry.

Having just purchased an AMD Kaveri A10-7850, I've been having fun playing with the newness of the chip, yeah, sensors don't work, the Radeon (ATI) drive is butt-slow and Catalyst is in beta. Still I'm pretty sure that Kaveri has more under the hood than is initally obvious. For Radeon cards in the 4000,5000,6000 range, the open-source driver is neck and neck with the proprietary Catalyst driver. The 7000-8000 R7, R8 series has a ways to go for now but if those two drivers can start sharing more, everyone wins.

Just to let everyone know, my new Kavei is about as fast as my Intel Core I7-920 in most things and faster in others. As for gaming, I'm a Linux weenie, how many AAA games that really stress a GPU are even available (yet?) for Linux. Yes my gaming system is an Intel I7 and an nVidia 660 TI video card while my play system is my new Kaveri. I enjoy playing with Linux, trying out the bleeding versions of Mesa and the latest x11-driver-video-ati but if I'm going to waste time playing games in Windows, it had better "just work".

Intel needs AMD to keep from being a monopoly so instead of bashing either company, embrace them both, it is a nerd thing after all.

Comment Nostalgia but relevant. (Score 4, Insightful) 56

Right now, the RP has a rudamentary X-server but a full ssh server and GCC. It's capable of so much more, just like Linux was 15 years ago. There's hints of what it can do, rendering 1920x1080 video and some VERY capable openGL stuff ( Quake3 at respectable rates) but at present, it's a $35 device hiding a lot of Gee Whiz. Sure any Android device can connect and run some really cool apps but RP can do such more, has the same latent capabilities Linux did, the same capabilities that captured the imaginations of so many, the capabilities that have brought Linux to where it is today.

RP is a year old now but it's in a position where it isn't going to get stale, where a 300MHz P2 and a 3DFx Banshee card would be pretty awesome. Sure it won't run Crysis but it's a wholey remarkable piece of hardware and one that does or should capture the curiosity of every Linux afficianado over the last 15 years and the attention of anyone who has gotten excited about Linux in the last 15 years.

Android is as nearly locked up as IOS but RP is as wide open as . . . GNU linux.

Comment Chernobyl didn't melt down. (Score 3, Insightful) 204

Chernobyl was and is still the worst nuclear disaster because it didn't melt down, it blew up. Reactor 4 was supposed to be used for an experiment but was shutdown before the experiment could take place. However to try the experiment, the reactor was started up without letting the Xenon-135 decay to the point were the reactor could be started safely.

Nevertheless the reactor was started in a VERY unstable state, it soon "burned through" the Xenon-135 and the reactor power output rose to ten times it's rated limit and the containment vessel exploded, blowing fuel across the countryside. Following that, the moderator, graphite, burned spewing even more fuel into the atmosphere.

Chernobyl was human error, avoidable but human error. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster

Now if there had been serious fires in the spent fuel pools at Fukushima, Chernobyl would have paled in comparison.

Comment Thanks for the (bad) memories. (Score 0) 260

Oh the time we wasted on those old, hideously expensive machines. The hours I wasted trying to get our application to run on a customers old hardware. The worst was a 386 with 2 Meg of ram and a tiny hard disk. He insisted we use that machine because it was still working and he didn't want to shell out the $1500 for a new 486 with 16 Meg of RAM. I couldn't make it work, the disk had errors and the machine was a POS Packard Bell with some intermittent problems.

He finally paid for the $1500 for the 486 but shortly destroyed everything trying to dual boot win95. Heck even Win95 hated 486 or weaker machines.

Comment Trees! (Score 1) 722

Well, I only got to name two before I was disallowed, the first was Hemlock, the second was rubber. It's funny but "rubber" became a very important server and people were always talking about "rubber". To the uninitiated, it didn't make much sense. They don't let me name servers any more.


UK Authorities Accused of Inciting Illegal Protest 371

jarran writes "Questions are being asked about the tactics being employed by UK authorities to monitor and control protest groups. Schnews reports on evidence that government IP addresses are posting messages to sites like indymedia, attempting to provoke activists into taking illegal direct action. Evidence has emerged recently that the police consider sex to be a legitimate tool for extracting information from targets, and senior police have been accused of lying to parliament about the deployment of undercover agents at protests."

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... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks