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Comment Nope (Score 1) 105

I don't see Philadelphia in the list of future or even potential cities for expansion. Shit, not even a single city within a six-hour drive. Nothing in the Northeast. The closest seems to be Raleigh-Durham. At this rate, it just looks like yet another half-assed Google project ready to go on the chopping block.

Comment Re:Couldn't have happened to a nicer company (Score 1) 47

It depended on smart compilers that just did not work. It's one advantage was a large memory space and AMD took that away. It was one of two big fumbles that Intel made at the time, the other was Netburst.

Intel had already ventured into the depend-on-smart-compilers rabbit hole before IA64 and Netburst with the 432, a ridiculous 32-bit stack-based object-oriented processor released before the 80386. The 432 failed, in part, because none of the compilers available for it could optimize code sufficiently well to work around its many crippling features (16-bit ALU, 16-bit data buses, 16-bit segment offsets, slow clock speeds) and it ended up slower than the 8086.

Of course if Motorla had an inexpensive 68000 available and IBM had used it in the PC we would all have been much better off.


The same is true if Apple, Atari, and Commodore had use the 6809 but the 6502 was also cheaper.

Not quite. Yes, it was cheaper, but the 6502 was by all accounts just as good as the 6809. Nevertheless, Apple, Atari, and Commodore all ended up migrating to the 68000 family in the end with the Lisa/Macintosh*, ST/TT/Falcon, and Amiga.

* the II GS was a dead-end

Comment Re:Wow the car knowledge here is bad (Score 1) 238

If water enters the exhaust and the engine is running, this is usually not a big deal because the air pressure from the engine will push it back out. Also, the exhaust valves don't suck in air so it will take some serious water pressure to get past those.

One only has to look at the wet exhaust systems used in boats for an example of what happens when water enters the exhaust. Hell, they even introduce water in them deliberately.

Comment The unrelenting march of technological progress (Score 5, Interesting) 164

This 1 TB/day threshold rang a bell as I remembered a BSD trumpeting a similar record, albeit in the opposite direction, in the late 1990s... and sure enough, Slashdot covered it back then:

Wcarchive Does 1.39tb In 24 Hours

Back then people had serious discussions about what sort of storage controller, network interface, and upstream connectivity was needed to achieve this result. Nowadays we can stuff that same performance in a trouser pocket. What an age to live in.

Comment A few ideas (Score 4, Insightful) 1839

Just a short list of ideas off the top of my head: * UTF-8. I used to get around it by using HTML entities, but nobody ain't got time for that now, and it's been a source of complaints for over a decade. * Click-bait headlines have no place in a site dedicated to serious technical subjects (or that at least takes technical subjects more or less seriously). * CmdrTaco, Hemos, and the rest of the original crew used to occasionally become involved in the discussions and rarely felt the need to withhold their opinions (iPod, anyone?), which gave the site a more personal feel -- a hybrid between a blog and a news site. This still can be seen in sites like some of the sites run by Gawker Media, and it seems effective in maintaining the readers involved. * If there will be editors, they ought to edit.

Comment Re:Microsoft (Score 4, Insightful) 200

True, Nokia was in trouble well before the WinPho fiasco, but Symbian was just a sympton rather than the disease. Management had allowed the company to branch off into different product lines and encouraged competition between them with apparently little fiscal oversight and paying no attention to the third-party developer community. So, they had S40 engineers working on almost-smartphone handsets to challenge low-end S60/Symbian handsets, S60 engineers trying to widen their product range, and Maemo/MeeGo engineers trying and failing to prove that their otherwise unwanted bastard child was a much better platform. While the managers had their heads firmly esconced in their rectums, Elop took advantage of their indecision and gave them a false sense of hope. Or, maybe not. There's a theory out there that Nokia management knew that they had a shit sandwich on their hands before Elop came along, and sought a way to wipe the slate clean without taking the blame directly if things went wrong. Microsoft and Elop appeared at the right time with an offer that they would happily not refuse: take a large amount of money in exchange for them taking out the trash for you, money that you'll be able to use to restart your phone business from the ground up in a relatively short time frame.

Comment Re:ATI/AMD has had shitty drivers for 20 years (Score 3, Interesting) 160

Because they do have a tendency to improve. Jerry Pournelle used to write regularly about his problems with ATI cards in his column on BYTE. They typically followed the same pattern: install new card; install drivers; see computer crash regularly; upgrade drivers; see computer crash less often; upgrade drivers again; see computer run more or less stably.

Then he'd upgrade to the next shiny ATI card and do it all over again, since the new drivers bore little resemblance to the old ones.

Comment Re:most of you will pretend you understand (Score 3, Informative) 84

I doubt that the mailing list will show any definition of "trampoline". That word has a specific meaning in kernel programming, such that one would already have a good understanding of the subject before poking around in kernel code.

FWIW, "trampoline" refers to generated bits of code containing jumps to arbitrarily different pieces of code, something that ESR called "an incredibly hairy technique" in the Jargon File.

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