Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Cinder Mobile OS Lets Users Send More Power To Slow Apps

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the would-like-something-like-that-in-my-laptop dept.

Operating Systems 92

alphadogg writes with this excerpt from Network World: "Stanford University researchers are designing an operating system from the ground up to handle the power and security requirements of mobile devices. The Cinder operating system is already working on an Arm chip, and members of the team are working on making it run on the HTC G1 handset, according to Philip Levis, a Stanford assistant professor. Levis spoke about Cinder at the Stanford Computer Forum on Tuesday. If an application isn't running as fast as the user wants, a Cinder-based phone could include a button to boost the energy allocated to that application, Levis said. Cinder also could allow users to download any code and run it safely on their phones in a 'sandbox' mode."

cancel ×

92 comments

Question for Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591479)

What are your feelings about niggerdicks?

Re:Question for Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591671)

Is that the new rap group that's all over MTV these days?

Re:Question for Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591811)

They are. And you know what? They're gonna be HUGE!

Warning: (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591499)

If you over-amp a sandboxed app too much, you end up with molten glass.

Umm (2, Insightful)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591509)

include a button to boost the energy allocated to that application

I thought the chip gets the power, not the application. Am I reading this right?

Re:Umm (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591535)

include a button to boost the energy allocated to that application

I thought the chip gets the power, not the application. Am I reading this right?

That's what I thought.. And if, by this, they really mean that the process gets a higher priority.. Well, what's special about that? Lots of OSes have had that feature for years.

Re:Umm (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27594845)

Ah, but OS's traditionally don't limit the processing power available to a task if the processor would otherwise be available - I think the difference here is that scheduler stops a process consuming more than (say) 1/10 of the CPU even if that means the CPU is idle 8/10 of the time; because the user would rather keep 8/10 reserved to make the battery last longer.

Enegry consumed by an application really means 'enegry consumed by the system as a whole because it is running that particular application.' Clamping the run-time of an application should clamp the enegry consumption of that application.

Re:Umm (4, Funny)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591571)

Is it like the Turbo button you used to get on ancient desktop computers?

Re:Umm (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591685)

Sounds like it, but it's not a bad idea - the processors used in phones are capable of running at a much higher speed. They don't normally because higher speed == more power, even at idle.

Re:Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27594159)

I'd love a phone that works at good battery life speed when unplugged and then works at laptop processor speed when plugged in.

Make that possible, give me X and VNC (already available on Android), decent storage on the device (4-16G for now) (and in the cloud), and I don't need to carry around a laptop anymore, just some very thin clients that let me VNC into my phone, with a remote display and keyboard.)

Re:Umm (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 5 years ago | (#27594895)

So you're going to carry around a display and a keyboard? You can get those with a computer built in, and it'll probably be more ergonomical and similarly light + portable ;)...

Re:Umm (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27595605)

Now if only someone designed an asynchronous self-clocked tiny CPU that would (by design) use for a computing task the precise amount of energy required, not less, not more...

Re:Umm (2, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27595607)

Uhm, that was supposed to contain a link [forthfreak.net] .

Re:Umm (1)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#27599179)

I worked on an embedded system which did this. It run the CPU at a high frequency initially and measured how much time was spent on the idle task. More time idle meant dropping the clock frequency. Less time idle meant increasing it. Most embedded ARMs have a few PLLs and you can switch between them to get different frequencies. Actually most of them let you power down the CPU almost completely in the idle task too, e.g. a sleep instruction. You can put the RAM into self refresh too.

Actually all desktop OSs support Intel SpeedStep and AMD PowerNow too which can switch processor speed and even disable parts of the cache if the system is not too busy. In the idle task itself you can put most things to sleep with ACPI sleep methods. And Windows boosts the priority of the foreground applicaton.

I don't see the need for a UI button quite frankly, it seems like the OS can switch between high power/ high performance mode and low power/low performance mode automagically.

Re:Umm (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27593819)

Application slow? Pedal faster!

Re:Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27594715)

Used to? to the contrary.. Turbo Buttons have made a comeback. http://blog.toptenreviews.com/?p=2633

Re:Umm (4, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591577)

Those who don't understand the TURBO BUTTON are condemned to reinvent it, poorly.

Re:Umm (2, Insightful)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591603)

I thought the chip gets the power, not the application. Am I reading this right?

Remember that tech "journalists" are usually clueless fools, so reality may be way different than what's in the article.

I'm thinking more that it might be like the Turbo button that PCs had in the semi-old days, when CPU speeds were in the 5-16MHz range. Of course, I haven't RTFA...

Re:Umm (2, Informative)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591693)

I'm thinking more that it might be like the Turbo button that PCs had in the semi-old days, when CPU speeds were in the 5-16MHz range.

The Turbo button slowed the CPU. And it was a good thing, because many applications used CPU speed for timing. You bought a new computer, and suddenly your favorite game ran too fast to be enjoyable.

Re:Umm (2, Informative)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591895)

The Turbo button slowed the CPU.

It was a toggle button, so it would slow or speed the CPU depending on it's state when you pushed the button. Of course, few wanted to run in "normal" speed unless they had to.

Now, it's the opposite. You want to run slowly, a often as you can, to preserve battery charge. But the "turbo button" moniker still applies.

Re:Umm (3, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592193)

Of course, few wanted to run in "normal" speed unless they had to.

But isn't this the problem with this idea? Users will just hit the "turbo" button all the time because non-instantaneous is too slow. This both defeats the purpose (since everything will run at turbo) and will annoy the user (when "turbo" isn't fast enough).

Isn't spending 20k cycles at full power and then dropping back to next-to-no-power during idle sometimes more efficient than spending 20k cycles at 20% power (which has to run 5x as long)?

Wouldn't it simply be better to make a little indicator icon of how much power is being used at a instant (happy battery / busy battery / battery on treadmill / battery playing Sisyphus)? Then users could see which apps use too much power (3D games, audio analysis, lots of stupid animation) and which use little (crossword puzzle) so they could adjust their behavior and/or try to get developers to improve the applications that are needlessly wasteful?

Re:Umm (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592309)

Users will just hit the "turbo" button all the time because non-instantaneous is too slow. This both defeats the purpose (since everything will run at turbo) and will annoy the user (when "turbo" isn't fast enough).

IOW, you think the Stanford researchers are placing too much faith in the intelligence of the Great Unwashed?

Re:Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27593201)

Isn't spending 20k cycles at full power and then dropping back to next-to-no-power during idle sometimes more efficient than spending 20k cycles at 20% power (which has to run 5x as long)?

No, some concrete processors need 900mW at full frequency but only 100mW at 20% of the full frequency, and 100mW is less than 20% of 900mw (180mW). The function of the CPU power/frequency is not lineal.

Re:Umm (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592695)

It was a toggle button, so it would slow or speed the CPU depending on it's state when you pushed the button. Of course, few wanted to run in "normal" speed unless they had to.

Not quite. The one I had had a distinct "on" state, which slowed the CPU, and an "off" state, which let the CPU run normally, i.e. fast.

The users still want to get things done as fast as possible, and they're right, because they're the users. However they can't be bothered to press a battery saver button anymore, and they're right again, because it can be automated.

The last time I bothered to turn my MP3 player off was last summer, I think.

Re:Umm (4, Informative)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591623)

include a button to boost the energy allocated to that application

I thought the chip gets the power, not the application. Am I reading this right?

The application is intangible, non-material information in the form of ones and zeroes. It's not possible to apply electrical power to it. Therefore, "more power to slow apps" or "boost the energy allocated to that application" should be understood as an expression meaning that there is more energy given to the chips/hardware that is running the application in question.

The article is very light on details, but I take it the idea is that more power would translate to higher clock frequencies or higher data throughput and the like. The article also fails to mention whether this mobile OS is capable of multitasking. If it is, then presumably the power settings for a given application would apply to the timeslices during which it is running.

Re:Umm (1)

hdon (1104251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27608285)

The article is very light on details, but I take it the idea is that more power would translate to higher clock frequencies or higher data throughput and the like.

I think an easier approach is for the scheduler to query the battery power before and after each task gets its shot at CPU time. If an application is using more than its power allocation, simply schedule it shorter and/or fewer turns on the CPU.

The article also fails to mention whether this mobile OS is capable of multitasking. If it is, then presumably the power settings for a given application would apply to the timeslices during which it is running.

There are two pages to the article, and it's quite clear that it supports some form of multitasking.

Re:Umm (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591861)

If the CPU clock is under software control then I could see that would be possible create a scheduler that would dynamically alter the clock speed as each process was scheduled.

Re:Umm (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592769)

If the CPU clock is under software control then I could see that would be possible create a scheduler that would dynamically alter the clock speed as each process was scheduled.

And how is that news? Even Vista can do that.

Re:Umm (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27595157)

I never said it was. I was just providing an explanation of the mysterious feature mentioned in the article.

Geek Phone? (4, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591573)

... So you know what people say about academics being out-of-touch? ...

This article is the perfect example of that. The fact that they think any real person will use or understand a "sandbox mode" is just laughable.

The power boost button is just offloading what the OS should be doing behind the scenes onto the user to rarely get used by most of its users.

Security is insanely easy to solve on a phone...
1) Build a Java VM for 3rd party Apps
2) Limit its API scope
3) Win.

Re:Geek Phone? (2, Insightful)

cigawoot (1242378) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591801)

Ain't this the apple approach? Build an OS, limit 3d party access to the API. Of course, minus the app store.

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

Tweenk (1274968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591959)

More like the Android approach...

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592011)

Apple's approach is to limit stuff to people prepared to pay well over the odds for hardware. Sure, iPods are popular, but I don't know any non-nerds with a Mac.

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592757)

Apple's approach is to limit stuff to people prepared to pay well over the odds for hardware. Sure, iPods are popular, but I don't know any non-nerds with a Mac.

The only people I know with a mac are non-nerds ... who got fed up with Windows and wanted something that "just works".

Re:Geek Phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27595055)

and then you still have those madmen with their hackintoshes :D

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

pHus10n (1443071) | more than 5 years ago | (#27595119)

I must be "thinking different" then. I'm very much a nerd (fluent in several computer languages, WoW raider, communications deployment tech, etc) and I'm ecstatic I took the plunge a few months ago and bought an iMac.
It takes very little boot time, requires almost no maintenance on my part (active scanning, AV, defrag), and just works. I won't debate the security of the system --- that'll just start a food fight in here.
Do some people use a Mac because they don't understand anything about computers? Sure! After my wife played with my computer for a few weeks, she wanted a Macbook. I'm pretty happy with it, too. She's dumb as a brick, and I had to constantly show her simple tasks in Windows. Not on the Mac :)

Re:Geek Phone? (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#27595891)

Way to miss the point :-) The GP poster claimed that macs were the exclusive purview of geeks. My point was that non-geeks like them too, not that ONLY non-geeks like them.

After my wife played with my computer for a few weeks, she wanted a Macbook. I'm pretty happy with it, too. She's dumb as a brick,

Oh man, what a set-up line ... please check all that apply ...

[_] My wife is SO dumb, she married ME!
[_] I am SO dumb that I married someone dumb as a brick!
[_] Blow-up dolls ARE as dumb as a brick, you ignorant clod!
[_] In Soviet Russia, dumb wife bricks YOU!
[_] My wife is SO dumb, she's the CowboyNeal option!
[_] My wife is SO dumb, she once burned water.
[_] My wife is SO dumb, she lost the recipe for ice cubes.
[_] My wife is SO dumb, she chases after cars.
[_] My wife is SO dumb, she buried her father in a rented suit, and has been paying $50/month for years
[_] My wife is SO dumb, she complains that when I die, she doesn't know HOW she's going to keep paying my life insurance policy.
[_] My wife is SO dumb, when she won the lottery, she returned the ticket and insisted on another one because it didn't have "her" numbers on it.

The real one ...

[X] My wife is so smart, she conned me into buying her a mac.

Have a nice day :-)

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591849)

The fact that they think any real person will use or understand a "sandbox mode" is just laughable.

Their intended audience may not have been the average Joe Sixpack. Even if Joe Sixpack was their intended audience, maybe they think any real person who can see their online article has Internet access. Further, maybe they think that any real person who has Internet access can use Google or Wikipedia to find out what is meant by "sandbox". I'd really like to know what is so unreasonable about this.

I actually wish that this were more common. There is nothing wrong with challenging a person by presenting easily-researched information with which they may not be familiar. In fact, one could argue that some of our problems as a society come from the distinct (and apparently deliberate) absence of individual intellectual challenges in most mainstream media. Lazy people really don't like this because it means more effort, but I suspect that their real problem with it is the independent, self-directed nature of such research. It conflicts with their passiveness (for lack of a better word, they are "sheeple"); if the same task were handed down by an authority like a boss or a college professor they would have no such objections to it. Either way, I strongly disagree with the idea that the demands of laziness should determine what is acceptable. Some of the best, most informative writings I have read were beneficial not because of the information directly elucidated in the writing itself, but because of the knowledge I acquired in order to understand and appreciate it.

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591873)

The power boost button is just offloading what the OS should be doing behind the scenes onto the user to rarely get used by most of its users.

So is this like the old 386 boxes that had a Turbo button on the front?

I'm trying to imagine any useful scenario at all. If there's work to do, do it at maximum MHZ. If there's nothing to do, stop and wait for an interrupt. What do you need a button for? Maybe they do not grasp the concept of an event-driven system?

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27594341)

I'm trying to imagine any useful scenario at all. If there's work to do, do it at maximum MHZ. If there's nothing to do, stop and wait for an interrupt. What do you need a button for? Maybe they do not grasp the concept of an event-driven system?

Except, you may not want to run it at maximum speed. Modern CPUs do what's called "dynamic frequency & voltage scaling" (aka DVFS). When you slow down the CPU, you undervolt the CPU as well, which saves power. If you're processing something, you want to run the CPU at the slowest possible frequency (keeping voltage down) rather than bump the voltage, CPU speed to max, process, then CPU speed to min, voltage down. Given that a CPU can take a remarkably long time to do this (easily up to 100ms or so), it's a waste of power to keep pushing the voltage when you don't need it.

It gets even more tricky for phones, where you want the CPU to be basically "off" - either main core in a state-retaining mode (sleep), or even non-state retaining mode (suspend), the latter saving even more power. In this case, getting in and out of this mode means you have to power up power rails. It's the only way you can get a week or two out of a phone battery.

A simple act like a program waking up the CPU every second can easily drop that 2 weeks between recharges to 2 days.

Power management on phones is quite tricky. You're dealing with complete system power consumption of around 3 mA, the vast majority of which is consumed by the transmitter when it maintains its connection to the network. Even if you get the CPU up and running in under 20mA or so (unlikely, more like 50-100mA easily), that's 6 times the consumption. If your battery lasted 12 days before, and now your program causes it to consume 20mA average, that's a drop to 2 days. It's a tricky balance trying ot keep everything that needs to poll to a minimum, and if so, to schedule it such as other things that would have to wake periodically also happen at the same time.

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591919)

About the "sandbox mode", you are laughably out of touch. It's all how you sell it, and implement it.
For one, you could make it impossible to run anything external without the sandbox mode.
Second, you sell them a dream where they are free from $fears[] and live in milk and honey because of this thing (that they can't turn off).
And you got something that sells.

Nowadays the product is not important. You sell dreams. Or do you see any other reason why people would buy overpriced devices that are poor on features, when they have a little apple on them?
(Apple is far from the only company that profits from this. Nearly any company does it. Drug companies show happy families running barefoot trough grass. Banks show you on a large sailing boat. Sugar companies show you being full of power, running to the end of the world. And so on.)

But I totally agree, that the power boost button is just plain stupid. The OS should figure that out itself.
And about the Java VM. That is, how I would implement that sandbox mode. But I would allow any language. Which results in virtualization on a limited device with a limited OS api.
Win.

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591921)

... So you know what people say about geeks being arrogant?

That pose is a perfect example of this. The fact that you think if a person understands what a "sandbox mode" is means they aren't a real person, is just laughable.

Seriously. All it takes is one good add campaign and a catch slogan, and presto, user-education problem solved. Name 'sandbox mode something catchy and hip, associate the use of it with your brand, and presto, at once you both differentiate yourself from your competitors, and are able to make use of technology that 'the common people couldn't possibly understand'.

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 5 years ago | (#27594667)

I think the real problem is that users shouldn't have to think about a 'sandbox mode'. If it's more secure and allows the applications they want to run to be run, then it should be the default and everything should be run in the sandbox. If some applications won't work in the sandbox, then most legitimate apps will probably request full rights because the developers can't be bothered working out what access is actually needed, and all the illegitimate apps will request full rights and the user will grant it because otherwise they won't get their smilies or free download or whatever.

P.S. It's "ad campaign", not "add campaign". Ad is short for advertisement, not addvertisement.

Catchy name for "sandbox mode" (1)

FlightlessParrot (1217192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27595005)

Yes, indeed. What we need is a non-threatening name that will take the curse of the tech thing. Something suggesting playfulness. Something with the innocence of childhood. Something that kiddies play in.

I know

The Sandbox

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592319)

Did you mean 3. ??? 4. Profit ?

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592385)

The power boost button is just offloading what the OS should be doing behind the scenes onto the user to rarely get used by most of its users.

Except that you didn't read the article, did you? The article describes this in considerably more detail than the slashdot summary, discussing several scenarios in which user involvement in power management makes sense.

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

skastrik (971221) | more than 5 years ago | (#27594949)

Except that you didn't read the article, did you? The article describes this in considerably more detail than the slashdot summary, discussing several scenarios in which user involvement in power management makes sense.

Exactly.

These Go To Eleven. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d54UU-fPIsY] (1:20)

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

wasabii (693236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27593165)

Or do what the G1 does... use normal OS security between apps. The G1 just uses a different Unix UID per app. You can already run native code on it (with the caveat that you have to distribute said native code wrapped in Java stuff so the phone can be persuaded to run it.) G1 apps can actually spawn bash. That's how Terminal.apk works. The Terminal app actually has it's own UID, and it just forks() a copy of bash. Of course, that bash is limited to the Terminal UID: app_XX or something. The idea of a UID per app should be used on desktops too (though implemented a layer below that)

Re:Geek Phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27593243)

Security is somewhat easy to solve if you don't want communication to occur, and I suspect it's only 'insanely easy' if you're willing to sacrifice computation entirely.

If you want, say, arbitrary code to execute on your personal, perhaps sensitive, data, with a promise that it will not be exfiltrated, then good luck doing it in a general way that is 'insanely easy'. If you solve this problem, people will care very much.

I disagree with your first point as well. People don't need to understand a "sandbox mode" (I don't see that being claimed anywhere, for what it's worth). Android already sandboxes apps in a way that's pretty understandable to the user, though it comes at a significant fidelity trade-off.

Re:Geek Phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27593671)

Well, it's useful to note that the major content of the article (boosting, sandboxing) wasn't actually the content or subject of the talk. They were, for the most part, crazy ideas I suggested when talking with a reporter after speaking. They should, accordingly, be seen as crazy ideas rather than serious proposals.

Energy is a resource like any other, yet perhaps even more challenging, as it is finite. Just as you want to institute disk quotas on users, you might want to institute energy quotas on applications. However, energy quotas are not sufficient, as they give no feedback on lifetime: you'd rather have power quotas.

Anyways, here are the actual slides of the talk [stanford.edu] .

-Phil

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 5 years ago | (#27594009)

Security is insanely easy to solve on a phone...
1) Build a Java VM for 3rd party Apps
2) Limit its API scope
3) Win.

Sure. I wrote a Java VM last week, and it was perfectly secure! Err...

Saying something idiotic like "Just write a secure VM!" is somewhat akin to "Just build a car that goes 200 miles on a gallon of gas!" or "Just build a supersonic space-plane!" - yeah, they can be done, and maybe even done well. But never for cheap, and never easy.

But hey, you know what's even harder than writing a secure VM? Writing a USABLE, secure VM. Especially with a limited API.

Re:Geek Phone? (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 5 years ago | (#27597269)

"This article is the perfect example of that. The fact that they think any real person will use or understand a "sandbox mode" is just laughable."

I both understand and welcome a sandbox mode in phones, and I marvel at the technology they use to produce tiny buckets and spades.

Soo.... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591575)

Correct me if I'm wrong but, they just reinvented 'nice'?

Re:Soo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591767)

No, I think they reinvented renice ^^

Re:Soo.... (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592035)

Correct me if I'm wrong but, they just reinvented 'nice'?

If I understand this correctly, it differs from "nice" (and its variants like "renice") in one important way. On a *nix system, you can use nice to run a process at a very low priority. However, if no other processes are contending for CPU time, that low-priority process can still use 100% CPU. Thus, nice is a method of resource allocation but it is not a way to conserve that resource.

Now, if you could use nice to prevent a process from ever consuming more than X% CPU, then it would be an analogy.

Re:Soo.... (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592561)

I think you are looking for the kill command.

Only from the classroom (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591593)

Lol sounds they are trying to recreate the gimmick boost buttons used on PCs ages ago.

Re:Only from the classroom (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591819)

btw: the 'gimmick' turbo button was not actually a gimmick. Some games programmed for early systems depended on the processor maintaining a particular speed (lets call it 'x') in order for it to run at the correct pace.

So when new computers came out that were faster than 'x' they added a turbo button. No turbo button pressed and the computer goes 'x' speed. With it pressed it can then go full speed.

Good job!

Re:Only from the classroom (1)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591901)

Still a gimmick no matter how you want to paint it... a combination of marketing koolade and running a processor at less than its capable of. Minus the overclocking.

Re:Only from the classroom (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591977)

I'm not sure you understand his post. Without the turbo button a great many games (and other types of applications) would run so fast as to be completely unusable. Imagine Pacman at 100x the speed for example. By pressing the turbo button and effectively underclocking the CPU you could run those applications much closer to their correct speed.

Re:Only from the classroom (1)

onkelonkel (560274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592045)

You're saying that people wrote software with event timing based on the fact that the computer it ran on would never be any faster? How sad. I hope they were put down humanely.

Re:Only from the classroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27592109)

It seemed reasonable at the time...

Re:Only from the classroom (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592475)

Yes, it's really sad when early game programmers maximized performance by using careful timing. Most game developers who didn't do this could be sure their game would run fine in turbo mode - even if it ran significantly slower than the precise timing games in non-turbo mode.

Re:Only from the classroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591913)

Even more importantly, you could change the CPU speed display to spell "ASS".

download any code and run it safely (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591713)

suuuuure.

TURBO MODE IS BACK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27591725)

I've been waiting for YEARS for this.

Battery life? (3, Insightful)

jason4567 (1531635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591781)

It seems to me that running anything at a higher speed will kill the battery life. There are almost no reasons to do this anyway, since things are already fast enough on an iPhone or Android based systems already.

Re:Battery life? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592059)

Actually, everything that's 'slow' on my G1 (AndroidPhone to you ACs) is about the network. The phone itself can handle 3G data fine. It renders as fast as my old PIII, which si good enough for something I carry in my shirt pocket.

And I would give this a whirl for the fun of it...

Nice! (0, Redundant)

rfreedman (987798) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591785)

Nice!

Is it just me? (0, Redundant)

Shonufftheshogun (620824) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591809)

Is it just me or does this seem like a revival of the turbo button on my old 386?

see renice(1) manpage (2, Informative)

bughouse26 (975570) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591891)

RENICE(1) BSD General Commands Manual RENICE(1)

NAME
          renice - alter priority of running processes ...
DESCRIPTION
          Renice alters the scheduling priority of one or more running processes. The following who parameters are interpreted as process ID's, process
          group ID's, or user names. Renice'ing a process group causes all processes in the process group to have their scheduling priority altered.
          Renice'ing a user causes all processes owned by the user to have their scheduling priority altered. By default, the processes to be affected
          are specified by their process ID's. ...

nice java (2, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27591973)

I don't see why these "cinder" features can't be delivered by realtime UI to nice [netadmintools.com] and with a Java sandbox. In other words, Android or any other Linux phoneOS, with a little tweak wiring top [netadmintools.com] to nice, and a Java VM. App running slow, crank out the "nice" level, and it will suck more juice as it runs faster than the other apps left out of the juice rotation. Put the UI in terms of power instead of CPU, and you're groovy.

Re:nice java (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 5 years ago | (#27593523)

The article didn't contain much info, but there could be much more to it than that. One avenue is analogous to the "imprecise results" that were fashionable in realtime papers in the early 90s. The idea is that some classes of tasks could operate in a degraded mode, typically less accurate or of lower quality than desired. If the system load was high, and the value of the accuracy of a given task was low, it could be told to lower its quality to reduce system load. In the power variant, the application might bid for a given power budget, and reduce its quality of service to match what it is allocated. Note that this is very much different from nice - the task itself has to know that it is in degraded mode, thus produce more timely and less accurate results. Your calculator might decide that sqrt(10) = 3.1 is good enough.

Seasoned programmers may scratch their heads at this - how can I be expected to know my programs power requirements; I'm not even sure it works. The OS, however, could model various applications by accurately monitoring the battery over time while varying quality provisions. The OS couldn't go it alone, it would like to know that the movie is been paused, for example.

spong+e (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27592031)

i"s wiped off and declined in market

you fail i_7 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27592129)

Don't they mean GNU/Cinder? (0, Troll)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592209)

The GNU/Cinder system, based on GNU/HiStar, right?

Aren't we supposed to add "GNU/" to the beginning of all OS project names that use gcc to compile or release under the GPL?

Re:Don't they mean GNU/Cinder? (1)

Wierdy1024 (902573) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592459)

No - the GNU/ refers to the fact the suite of applications that come with the operating system are from the GNU project - that includes all the "standard" applications like a bash shell etc.

Re:Don't they mean GNU/Cinder? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27592523)

Actually, it's referring to the use of the GNU flavours of the standard Unix apps (on BSD systems, there are BSD implementations, although I find them to be worse than the GNU version)

Re:Don't they mean GNU/Cinder? (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27594407)

I think (not certain) that the reason you should prefix GNU to Linux is that Linux typically includes the entire GNU toolset to form an OS. The Linux kernel by itself is just a kernel. The Linux kernel with the GNU toolset is an actual OS, which is what most people are talking about. A program compiled with GCC though is just a program compiled with GCC.

Instead of the energy boost button... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592217)

...one could implement the same feature by detecting violent shake or hitting against the wall using accelerometer.

Re:Instead of the energy boost button... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27592553)

I'd prefer one that detects wall-collision shock to activate internal combustion leading to self-immolation. Up a notch or two in satisfaction metric. It's all about how it makes you FEEL.

Same as nice+g1(android)? (1)

eternalelegy (1279022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592245)

I've never used the G1 or android.

But I know that android is linux based, which makes me wonder, could someone just write an app that would renice processes on a G1?

Just wondering.

Just what we need... another mobile OS (1)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592397)

Clearly Windows Mobile, Palm's WebOS, Symbian, Blackberry OS, iPhone OS, Android, Qutopia, Access Linux Platform, BREW and the numerous proprietary and semi-proprietary OS's are not cutting it, right? Lets make another one thereby making it even more difficult for developers to optimize their stuff for all the different systems.

Re:Just what we need... another mobile OS (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 5 years ago | (#27593297)

Someone took their cynical grumpy pills. :( Yes, the university department saw some niche to explore that was lacking in existing systems.

1. It's a Research OS. Universities often design new platforms to explore ideas outside the box, without the baggage of a traditional environment. In this case, power management.
2. There's no mention in the article what software stack would run on top of the OS. What if they ported Android but with a 15% power reduction on what Google shipped?
3. There's no hint a phone provider would factory install the OS, so anyone running it would be aware it's the unsupported nature.
4. As a research platform, the *ideas* may be incorporated into existing OSes. e.g. Linux adopts a low power scheduler.

Full speed (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 5 years ago | (#27592669)

I thought it was usually worthwhile to run the CPU at full speed if there's work to do: it uses more power, but computations go faster, too. Conversely, a low clock works with a lower voltage, but will take much longer. I guess it depends on how power usage scales with computational speed. On the one there certainly is a lot of power overhead when running a CPU at low speed vs having it sleeping. On the other hand I dimly remember that the required voltage raises quadratically with the CPU clock. Come to think of it, the whole thing might also depend on whether a process is CPU limited or IO limited.

renice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27594299)

its called renice

I predict (1)

Pesticidal (1148911) | more than 5 years ago | (#27594977)

the unofficial name for a phone based on this OS will be the 'cinderblock'.

TURBO BOOST (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 5 years ago | (#27596557)

What would really be great is if they would add this idea to desktop computers. Most of my DOS applications on my 80286 run just fine at the XT-compatible 4.77MHz CPU clock speed, but once in a while I think I'd really benefit if I could crank that up to 12 (or dare I dream, 16?) MHz...

Yawn (1)

adrianbaugh (696007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27598317)

So they've included a widget to set the nice level, and it runs java (or similar) apps. News at 11....

moisture vaporators. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27600183)

But what we really need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...