Hardware Archive

OS Experiences While Upgrading my PC

I am currently dual booting Windows XP and Fedora Core 1. I recently upgraded my PC, actually, I more or less bought a new PC. New processor, new motherboard, new graphics card, new memory and so on. Basically, only my soundcard, hard drive and DVD-Rom made the cut into the new PC.

How to Kill x86 and Thread-Level Parallelism

Slashdot reports on an interesting article discussing how one might go about 'killing' x86. The article details a number of different technological solutions, from a clean 64-bit replacement (Alpha?), to a radically different VLIW approach (Itanium), and an evolutionary solution (Opteron). Another article by the same author covers hardware multi-threading and exploiting thread level parallelism, like Intel's Hyperthreading or IBM's POWER4 with its dual-cores on a die. These types of implementations can really pay off if the software supports it. In the case of servers, most applications tend to be multi-user, and so are parallel in nature.

Intel P4, IBM Power CPU News

Intel has confirmed that its 'Prescott' processor features a longer instruction pipeline than the current desktop Pentium 4. The announcement lends weight to media claims that the chip will run more slowly than its predecessor. In the meantime, you can see why Apple waited for the 90nm version of the PowerPC 970 before launching a G5-based Xserve 1U rackmount server: the latter's heat dissipation characteristics.

Flaky software could crash your car

Oye Oyediran has taken his car to the repair shop three times for software upgrades since he bought it last year. This is the future of driving. Cars, planes, household appliances and myriad other machines are increasingly relying on software to work. Manufacturers want the flexibility and innovation that programming code can bring. But software can also make machines accidentally stop working, something computer manufacturers know all too well.

Wind Rivers’ VXWorks Works on Mars Too

When your computer resides on another planet, service calls aren't an option. So when BAE Systems North America Inc. needed an extremely reliable operating system for the computational subsystem it was supplying for NASA's Mars rovers, it chose an industrial-strength, real-time operating system from Wind River Systems Inc., Alameda, Calif, VXWorks.

Television and Computer Convergence: Not when but if

At Genesi we do more than just alternative computers, we also have interests in the field of Digital Media and Digital Television, you'll see products targeted to these segments arriving in the future. Most people appear to think that the future of Digital Media is convergence, that it is inevitable that TVs and Computers are going to converge and become a single device. Some people however think that this will not happen, they may have good reason for thinking so.

Phoenix Sounds Death Knell for BIOS

Phoenix Technologies is sounding the death knell for BIOS - the bread and butter of its current operations. While Phoenix is comparatively the "Microsoft" of the BIOS world, it has spent years endeavoring to modernize the aging standard. If all goes according to plan, a new product the company dubs Core System Software (CSS) will serve as the foundation of PC architecture.

Desktop Supercomputing in a PCI Card

Wired has an interesting story on a PCI card from ClearSpeed technologies which contains "a processor capable of performing 25 billion floating-point operations per second, or 25 gigaflops. ordinary desktop PC outfitted with six PCI cards, each containing four of the chips, would perform at about 600 gigaflops (or more than half a teraflop)." Such a PC would qualify as one of the 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world, but only cost about $25,000.

A Chat with the Inventor of the Computer Mouse

Doug Englebart worked on a project for Stanford Research Institute to develop a manual method for manipulating data on a computer screen in 1963, with a grant from NASA. He'd been mulling over the idea since 1951. Bill English, who actually built the mouse (out of wood) based on Englebart's design, later moved to Xerox PARC, and refined the invention. It took a long time to catch on. Most people never heard of a computer mouse until Apple debuted the Macintosh in the 80's. And nobody can remember who first called it a "mouse."

No Great Enthusiasm For the 64 Bit Changeover

Back in the 80's when the PC world made its change from 16 to 32 bit processors, people were excited. They were probably most excited about what the hot new 32 bit OS (IBM/Microsoft's OS/2) promised to do on the new 386 class of processors from Intel. But the jump to 32 bits scratched some real itches, like a need for advanced multitasking and vivid graphics. Now that we're on the cusp of moving to 64 bits, the incentive for making the switch isn't there. A ZDNet article has more.

SkyEye 0.3.2 released; Now Supports XSCALE Simulation

SkyEye is a simulator for typical embedded computer systems. It can simulate Atmel AT91 based on the ARM7TDMI, EP7312 based on ARM720T, StrongARM SA1100/SA1110, and 8019as NIC, etc. Some operating systems, such as ARM Linux, uClinux, and uc/OS-II(ucos-ii), can run and be debugged and analyzed at the source level. This Skyeye snapshot version it can simulate the Xscale PXA 250 Lubbock developboard.