Author Topic: Hardware/OS Geek Thread  (Read 23508 times)

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Online The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #175: September 16, 2009, 10:03:42 AM »

Online PC

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #176: September 16, 2009, 02:45:51 PM »
Quote
AMD eyes Intel, Windows 7 with $99 chip

Advanced Micro Devices will try to inject new life into the lackluster desktop PC market with the first sub-$100 quad-core processor aimed at Windows 7--and Intel.

It's all about mobile computing today. But AMD's Athlon II X4 quad-core processor will give consumers something to consider on the desktop when Windows 7 ships in October. The chip is priced at $99 for "system builders," according to AMD.

"The introduction of the new AMD mainstream desktop platform coupled with Windows 7, allows...a faster, higher performing experience at an attractive price point," said Mike Ybarra, general manager of Windows Product Management at Microsoft, in a statement.

Some reviewers were quick to praise the chip. "It's often hard to get excited about low-end and mainstream hardware," wrote technology Web site Hot Hardware on Wednesday. "However, AMD's new quad-core Athlon II X4 processors are something we can definitely get excited about."

"AMD didn't just deliver on price, they also managed to produce quite a competitive product that was able to keep up with more expensive processors like Intel's Q8200 and AMD's own Phenom IIs," the review said. The closest competing quad-processor from Intel is the Core 2 Quad Q8200, priced at around $150 at resellers.

Other reviews, however, were more Tepid. "The Athlon II X4 620 is just $20 cheaper than the Phenom II X3 (triple core)...in terms of performance the triple-core chip will likely be faster than the Athlon II X4 620 in most cases, as it is also clocked 200MHz higher," TechSpot wrote.

Beyond price, AMD is also claiming energy efficiency, saying that the use of the latest 45-nanometer manufacturing process allows it to draw less power than a standard 75-watt light bulb. Until this year, AMD had been building its processor on a 65-nanometer process. Typically, the smaller the geometries of a chip, the faster and more power efficient it is.

The quad-core processor is used in combination with the 785G chipset, which integrates ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics silicon. The pricing of the chipset is separate from the processor.

Pricing for consumer-ready systems based on the Athlon II X4 processor were not immediately available.

ZT Systems will be selling systems later this month through Sears.com and Buy.com that are expected to be priced around $500, according to AMD spokesman Matt Davis. Other resellers, such as iBuypower and CyberPower, are also expected to bring out systems.


http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-10354637-64.html

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #177: September 16, 2009, 06:07:32 PM »
Isn't Intel already producing chips on the 32nm process?

Online The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #178: September 16, 2009, 06:08:28 PM »
Isn't Intel already producing chips on the 32nm process?

No, that's their next refresh.  Sometime next year, most likely.  Unless you meant engineering sample type of stuff.  AMD has never had the resources to keep up with Intel in that regard, but they usually manage to stay no more than a step behind.

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #179: September 16, 2009, 06:17:07 PM »
No, that's their next refresh.  Sometime next year, most likely.  Unless you meant engineering sample type of stuff.  AMD has never had the resources to keep up with Intel in that regard, but they usually manage to stay no more than a step behind.
Just started production for release before the end of the year.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/14/intel-begins-production-of-32nm-westmere-processors/

Online The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #180: September 16, 2009, 06:26:54 PM »
Just started production for release before the end of the year.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/14/intel-begins-production-of-32nm-westmere-processors/


I hadn't seen that they've begun actual production, but I'll bet you one of those chips that they won't be released before the end of the year, at least not on the consumer side.  Not enough pressure from AMD for them to need to.  45nm Lynnfields just went on sale last week, they don't need to compete against themselves.

The P55 chipset was supposed to be out around the end of '08/beginning of '09, too, and they just came out last with with the aforementioned Lynnfields.

Offline NatsAddict

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #181: September 17, 2009, 10:54:06 AM »
Hey NA, here's a gadget just for you :thumbs:

http://blueonionsoftware.com/blog.aspx?p=246d8367-d452-4aa6-9c3c-b24263987edd


Thanks, Chief.  Below is the financial part of my Vista sidebar.

[ot for the curious]
I don't watch DJIA other than to see what the talking head idiots may be using to mis-inform the public that has no idea how it works.  You know, the morons that psyched the gullible into the DJIA hitting its all time high on October 9, 2007 - 52 days before the recession officially started.  I swear, Maria Bartiromo, perhaps the biggest bimbo to ever disgrace a TV screen, had an on-air orgasm.

The DJIA has two fatal flaws.  Foremost, it is a price index.  The other foremost is that is it only 30 companies.  The other other foremost is that it now has little to do with manufacturing/industry.  In a price index, everything is valued on the price of a share of stock, not market cap (price per share times the number of shares outstanding).  At present, Microsoft has a market cap of about $224 billion, and a share price of $25.  IBM has a market cap of about $160 billion, and a share price of $122.  So, MSFT has a market cap of 40% greater than IBM.  However, since IBMs share price is roughly five times that of MSFT, each change of $1 per share in IBM equates to about a $5 per change in MSFT in the DJIA index.

While most people can understand that 30 companies is not a fair representation, and understand that American Express, Bank of America and such are not industrials, and that Wal-Mart and Home Depot are retailers and not manufactureres, they don't know understand a price index. 

This is slightly, but only very slightly over-simplified:  Assume all other 28 stocks in the DJIA stay unchanged, and MSFT has a huge day, gaining 10%, jumping to $27.50/share.  Also, assume IBM has a weak day, well with its trading range, and drops a little over 2% to 119.4.  What has happened is that at the beginning of the day, the total market cap of MSFT and IBM was $384 (224 + 160).  At the end of the day, the total market cap of the two is $403 (MSFT now at 246.4 and IBM at 156.6) - huge gain of $19 billion, or 4.9% for the day.  But, the DJIA ignores market cap.  Since the total of the prices of individual shares at the beginning of the day was $147 (25+122), and is $146.9 at the end (MSFT at $27.5 and IBM at $119.4), the DJIA would fall.

No economist ever bothers with the DJIA.  It's BS.  It's just a random number that can cause elation and hysteria that creates volatility, making it possible for huge gains by those who understand the workings of the index (and often manipulate them), at the cost the life savings and retirements of those who do not.
[/ot]


Online The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #182: September 17, 2009, 11:07:25 AM »
Just started production for release before the end of the year.

http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/14/intel-begins-production-of-32nm-westmere-processors/


Just another follow-up to this:

"Lynnfield early adopters need not worry, 32nm quad-core processors won't be out for at least a year. "

http://anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3634&p=3

"Bottom" of the page (above all the comments)

Anandtech is pretty tight with Intel, so if they say 32nm chips won't be in retail for a year, I'd believe them.

Offline NatsAddict

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #183: September 17, 2009, 11:07:40 AM »
Anyway, back to what I came here to post in the first place:

Quote
Government Steps Into The Cloud

In its first iteration, Apps.gov consists strictly of software-as-a-service applications or other Internet services.
By Charles Bab****
InformationWeek
September 15, 2009 07:02 PM

The Obama Administration committed itself Tuesday to reducing federal computing costs by pursuing cloud computing, but its first steps appear tentative. The administration launched Apps.gov as a storefront where federal agencies may go to purchase on-demand applications from private vendors.

In its first iteration, federal computing in the cloud consists strictly of software-as-a-service applications or other Internet services.

The applications first available at Apps.gov Tuesday featured known social networking options such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. For customer relationship management, recruitment, and project management, Saleforce.com apps were prominent. Google Docs and other on-line apps were also available under the productivity applications category.

Exactly how cloud computing will evolve with support from the federal government remains up in the air[EDIT: pun intended?], with many candidates still in play. In some forms, offsite cloud resources accept spikes in workloads normally run behind the organization's firewall. Federal CIO Vivek Kundra made it clear Tuesday that curtailing the constant buildout of federal data centers was one of his goals.

Kundra appeared at NASA'S Ames Research Center outside Mountain View, Calif. and acknowledged that initially, the government agency shopping portal is reaching for low hanging fruit. Private software as-a-service providers will eventually flock to Apps.gov and populate it with their products. But Apps.gov "is starting small," he said.

"We are just beginning this undertaking, and it will take time before we can realize the full potential of cloud computing," Jundra said in a blog posted Tuesday on the Whitehouse Web site.

"By consolidating available services, Apps.gov is a one-stop source for cloud services -- an innovation that not only can change how IT operates but also save taxpayer dollars in the process," Kundra said in the blog. In effect, the site is a demonstration that government procurement can proceed more efficiently in the cloud. The applications listed on the site have required -- and received -- General Services Administration approval.

To investigate the way private suppliers of cloud services can be substituted for building more government data centers, the administration will seek funding for pilot cloud projects in next year's budget. It will seek to set standards and policies to be able to begin implementing cloud services by 2011, Kundra said.

The goal of pilot projects will be to define what workloads might be offloaded from federal data center processing to the cloud, and what new services might be built as cloud services. The federal government spends $75 billion a year on IT budgets. In one example Kundra cited, Homeland Security has 23 data centers and needs to find a way to streamline and consolidate their operation.

While there is agreement on the general outline of cloud computing, security in the cloud needs to be better defined and implemented, Kundra said.

[sic]is often cited as a pioneer in cloud computing, where workloads may be sent from a remote location, activated in the cloud by the sender and the results of the processing retrieved. Users are charged on a $.10 per hour basis in its simplest form, with storage and database services also available.

Users who ship data to the cloud will need contractual guarantees that it will be maintained with the same level of security as it was in-house, but neither vendors nor users are sure yet how such guarantees can be made. The owner of the data remains responsible if it is lost or misused and it remains unclear how much of that responsibility, if any, can be shifted to a cloud supplier.

Kundra, however, spent most of his time listing the many potential benefit of cloud computing. Reducing the cost of government computing was at the top of the list, but reducing electricity consumption, gaining flexibility of data center operations, and speeding up government responses to citizen complaints, crises, and disasters, also earned rankings on his list.

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google (NSDQ: GOOG), attended Kundra's briefing and said afterward that Google's search engine products were potential candidates to help in establishing federal cloud services. "Cloud is effective because of the power of the economies of scale," and services that can be used by thousands of federal employees, regardless of which data center usually serves them, will help Kundra achieve his aims, he said in an interview. Google's goal of making information available and useful fits in well with the notion of federal computing in the cloud, he added.

Winston Bumpus, president of a group attempting to set cloud standards, the Distributed Management Task Force, also attended the event. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is taking a role in setting cloud definitions and standards, which may guide the choices being made in pilot projects and initial funding, he noted in an interview.

Salesforce (NYSE: CRM).com already offers software-as-a service to the State Department for project management, the U. S. Army for recruitment, and NASA for customer relationship management in technology transfer. Daniel Burton, Salesforce.com's government watchdog in Washington, called Apps.gov "a tremendous advance in streamlining government procurement," and predicted more such procurement sites were likely to follow.

"If you are a government agency interested in purchasing applications, you find a list approved by the GSA, put in an approved government purchasing card, and check out your shopping cart," he noted. Vivek Kundra and GSA CIO Casey Coleman are changing the federal government's complex methods of procurement faster than he thought possible, he said.

Government Steps Into The Cloud -- Government Computing -- InformationWeek

Offline tomterp

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #184: September 17, 2009, 12:57:32 PM »
  Back in my CPA days, screws TI, Sharp, and the others, only the Monroe calculators for me.


HP12C is still the standard.

Online The Chief

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #185: September 17, 2009, 01:34:35 PM »
Hacker: Apple's Snow Leopard Protections Weaker Than Windows 7's

Memory protections in Snow Leopard are still too weak, though it shows other improvements


Quote
Apple has been bragging about the security of its new operating system, OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard".  Leaping from Leopard to Snow Leopard, Apple gives its users limited antivirus/anti-malware protection (the feature currently only detects two signatures out of a handful of known OS X malware signatures).

Still, security experts aren't so hot on Snow Leopard, criticizing the operating system's default firewall setting of "off", its lack of fully automatic updates, and weak anti-phishing efforts for Safari.  They also weren't impressed that Apple shipped with a vulnerable version of Flash, which downgrade users from the safer current version.

Now one prominent Mac hacker has pointed out a significant difference that makes Snow Leopard less secure than the upcoming Microsoft OS, Windows 7.

Charlie Miller, of Baltimore-based Independent Security Evaluators, the co-author of The Mac Hacker's Handbook, and winner of two consecutive "Pwn2own" hacker contests is about as experienced as OS X hackers come.  He recently criticized Snow Leopard, stating, "Apple didn't change anything.  It's the exact same ASLR as in Leopard, which means it's not very good."

ASLR is address space layout randomization, a security technology that randomly assigns data to memory to make it tougher for attackers to determine the location of critical operating system functions.  According to Mr. Miller, unlike Windows 7, which features robust ASLR, Snow Leopard's ASLR is half-baked. It does not properly randomize the heap, the stack and the dynamic linker, the part of Snow Leopard that links multiple shared libraries for an executable.  This means that it's much easier for hackers to attack Snow Leopard via memory injection than Windows 7.

Still Mr. Miller offered some praise for Apple.  They rewrote QuickTime X, their video player, largely from scratch fixing many holes and insecurities in the process -- including an exploit Mr. Miller had been saving.  He states, "Apple rewrote a bunch of QuickTime, which was really smart, since it's been the source of lots of bugs in the past.  They've shaken out hundreds of bugs in QuickTime over the years, but it was still really smart of them to rewrite it.  [Still] I'd reduce the number of file formats from 200 or so to 50, and reduce the attack surface. I don't think anyone would miss them."

He also praises Apple's relatively effective implementation of DEP (data execution prevention), another memory protection scheme that Windows 7 also has.  DEP is also present in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Windows Vista.  Still without ASLR, DEP is only so good he says.  He states, "Snow Leopard's more secure than Leopard, but it's not as secure as Vista or Windows 7.  When Apple has both [in place], that's when I'll stop complaining about Apple's security."

So why aren't Macs being exploited left and right and why can Apple still air commercials claiming superior security?  Mr. Miller states, "It's harder to write exploits for Windows than the Mac, but all you see are Windows exploits. That's because if [the hacker] can hit 90% of the machines out there, that's all he's gonna do. It's not worth him nearly doubling his work just to get that last 10%."


emphasis mine :stir: :icon_mrgreen:

Offline Nathan

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Online sportsfan882

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #187: September 19, 2009, 05:52:29 PM »
College students can get Windows 7 for $30.

http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2009/09/microsoft-massively-discounts-windows-7-for-students.ars

wow thanks for the info dude. :clap: :clap:

I have a GMU account on MSDN academic alliance software center and am currently downloading Windows 7 Professional (x64) for free. :az:

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #188: September 19, 2009, 06:26:00 PM »
wow thanks for the info dude. :clap: :clap:

I have a GMU account on MSDN academic alliance software center and am currently downloading Windows 7 Professional (x64) for free. :az:
My school doesn't provide an email address so I'm SOL.  To get the $30 deal you have to have a "@whatever.edu" address.

Online sportsfan882

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #189: September 20, 2009, 02:14:04 AM »
took all day to download and install it but it's finally finished. :clap:


Online PC

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #190: September 21, 2009, 05:15:27 PM »
My school doesn't provide an email address so I'm SOL.  To get the $30 deal you have to have a "@whatever.edu" address.


Not true.

Non .edu schools eligible for discount

Online sportsfan882

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #191: September 21, 2009, 05:35:31 PM »
after using it for a few days, i love windows 7.

:clap: :clap:

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #192: September 21, 2009, 05:50:37 PM »
Not true.

Non .edu schools eligible for discount

My school still wasn't on that list.

Turns out that I do have a student address, I just had to set it up by using SSH to log into one of the schools UNIX servers and set it up.  Got them forwarding to my main email address and have signed up for the deal.

Offline Nathan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #193: September 21, 2009, 05:51:29 PM »
after using it for a few days, i love windows 7.

:clap: :clap:
It is a great OS, the best MS has ever made in my mind.  I just wish I could use my freaking 9400m video card on my damn MacBook!!!

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #194: September 23, 2009, 04:26:49 PM »
Can anyone tell me why when I sync up my ipod with my itunes, everything moves over but one Coltraine album? Has this happened to anyone else? Anyone know how to troubleshoot this?

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #195: September 24, 2009, 06:16:34 PM »
Bueller?

Offline GburgNatsFan

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #196: September 24, 2009, 08:01:56 PM »
Is it "new" music to itunes? If so, is the ipod in manual sync mode? That's happened to my kid: new music wouldn't load because his ipod was in manual sync mode.

Offline Frau Mau

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #197: September 25, 2009, 12:16:53 PM »
Is it "new" music to itunes? If so, is the ipod in manual sync mode? That's happened to my kid: new music wouldn't load because his ipod was in manual sync mode.

Not sure, will definitely check. Thanks!

Online blue911

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #198: September 25, 2009, 12:18:01 PM »
Not sure, will definitely check. Thanks!

If it has Alice on it, your iPod may be rejecting it like a bad kidney.

Online PC

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Re: Hardware/OS Geek Thread
« Reply #199: October 06, 2009, 04:54:06 PM »
Does anyone here have a TechNet or MSDN subscription?  It had never occurred to me to get one for my personally.  I've always bought or "acquired" Microsoft products individually.  I never thought about a subscription.

Now I have an "unlimited" amount of keys for every version of 7 (I can't wait to install 7 Starter on something  :icon_mrgreen:)  Plus keys for every version of Vista and XP and Office (XP, 2003, 2007) but not the Office 2010 Technical Preview, which makes no sense.  Why would subscribers not get the Technical Preview now, considering the public beta is supposed to be released before the end of the year?  >:(

I got the TechNet subscription so I'll still have to buy or "acquire" the development products, though.   :|