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!

cancel ×

153 comments

You young whippersnappers (5, Funny)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460462)

Why in my day Oracle had to support my UNIVAC for fifteen miles in the snow barefoot uphill both ways!

Re:You young whippersnappers (4, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460740)

You had FEET?

Re:You young whippersnappers (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460928)

You had SNOW. What I would have given for some lovely cooling snow. We had nowt but hot ash raining down upon us morning noon n' night. Blotted out the sky it did.

Closed the airports too.

Re:You young whippersnappers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461118)

LUXURY.

Re:You young whippersnappers (1)

BrokenBeta (1007449) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463100)

You had HOT ASH? We would have killed for that. We just had loads of freezing snow everywhere.

MAKES SENSE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460472)

It's in the contract. I give it three years and then we all will know: THE ITANIUM IS DEAD !!

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460786)

I think the bigger question is this....why is Intel continuing to beat the obviously VERY dead horse that is Itanic? Its a giant flop, YOU know this, I know this, and Oracle knows this as well, so why continue to waste R&D for a chip that barely has even a teeny tiny niche and is being phased out by almost everyone?

The problem with Itanium is that Intel bet they could not only get everyone to abandon literally billions of lines of already paid for X86 code, but that they could build a compiler able to keep it fed and do all the heavy lifting and in the end they just weren't able to deliver compared to X86-64. Like it or not for many jobs X86 will be here to stay for a long time and Itanium was never a real contender.

So why are they wasting their money? It isn't like they don't have a very valuable product line to replace it, where money is no object Xeon rules the roost in performance by a pretty big margin in servers, just as in the desktop for sheer power the i series owns the top end (for the rest of us Opteron and Phenom work just fine, thanks) so what is the point? it isn't like they are gonna magically get everyone to suddenly drop X86-64, POWER, and Sparc, all of which are beating the Itanic, and just the fact that I can say itanic and everyone knows what I mean just shows the chip has a bad rep. Let it die already Intel, throw HP a sweetheart deal to say you're sorry for the oopsie and just let the thing die already.

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (2, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460958)

I doubt they are doing too much R&D on it, they are mainly just manufacturing the CPUs(in small quantities I'm sure) so they don't anger existing customers. They only stopped making 486s in 2007(those most of those were for embedded applications)

Also, just my 2 cents, Itanium didn't fail because compilers couldn't effectively utilize it, it failed because VLIW was an academic experiment that got waaaaaaaaaay out of hand. While compilers certainly could have utilized it better, they cannot violate the fundamental constraint of ensuring at COMPILE TIME that no 2 instructions being executed simultaneously have any data or execution dependencies. Compare that with the superscalar design used by most CPUs today: they can use runtime behavior to predict jumps, data dependencies etc. While backing out an instruction that was partially executed is costly, modern superscalar designs have to do it so rarely that the little bit of performance penalty for such instructions pales in comparison with the gains you get when you execute multiple instructions simultaneously that *might* have a dependency, something VLIW simply cannot do.

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462658)

The Itanic failed because it was more expensive than the x86, not faster in "integer" performance and not compatible with the x86 for practical purposes.

Back then (and even now) if you had lots of money to spend, wanted "Itanic" style performance, and didn't need x86 compatibility, you might as well buy an IBM POWER system. At least you know IBM will be happy to keep sucking money out of you for decades ;).

The rest of the world was and is better off using x86 systems for their servers. Most of the stuff the Itanic is good at is easily run in parallel, and so can be run on multiple cheaper x86 machines, or nowadays on multiple GPU cores :).

The x86 on the other hand can do the usual web/DB/"misc app" stuff faster than Itanium. The x86 specint scores were better, while the itanium specfp scores were better. The last I checked, stuff like Oracle, Apache, IIS didn't require much floating point performance. If you're willing to dedicate the chip space and power budget, I'm sure it is possible to make x86 floating point performance much faster, but who will pay more for that?

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36465064)

Also, just my 2 cents, Itanium didn't fail because compilers couldn't effectively utilize it, it failed because VLIW was an academic experiment that got waaaaaaaaaay out of hand.

The irony of Itanium is that while still at Intel, Andy Glew (the Pentium Pro architect) proposed a 64-bit architecture very similar to what AMD eventually did with their AMD64. Obviously Intel rejected the proposal because their heads were so far up their VLIW asses.

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461260)

HP was a partner since the mid 1990's when development started and i bet there was a contract for a minimum life since HP also invested a lot of money. back then it was very different where HP and Intel made low end products and were salivating at the thought of selling a competitor to SPARC and similar products with their insane margins

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461388)

Back then, HP owned PA RISC and Alpha. They weren't 'salivating at the thought of selling a competitor to SPARC,' they owned the chip that was the undisputed performance king. What they wanted was to outsource their chip R&D and production to Intel, without losing their market lead. They stopped developing chips in house, and sent their chip designers over to work with Intel. Now they're stuck with a couple of operating systems that only run on overpriced chips.

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461494)

because itanium reaps 4 billion a year for intel. itanium alone brings more revenue than all AMD products put togheter.

from arstechnica [arstechnica.com]

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461554)

Ergo, AMD IS DEAD.

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461966)

And? What's the opportunity cost of $4b of Itanium sales? If the opportunity cost is $4b of x86 sales, then what's the point of continuing with the Itanium farce?

(I imagine that $4b of revenue from x86 sales is more profitable than $4b of revenue from Itanium sales - because the Itanium-specific fixed expenses are amortised over a tiny number of Itaniums produced per year, leading to high fixed costs per processor, compared to the x86-specific fixed expenses being expensed over the massive amount of x86 processors Intel churns out, leading to low fixed costs per processor).

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463010)

Listen here callij boy we don need yur hifalootin finanshul mumbojumbo to no it be D-E-D ded and we likes it that way

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (2)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462116)

The article is worded incredibly poorly in order to try to force a point that doesn't make sense.

It compares the $4 billion per year Itanium revenue stating it's higher than AMD's combined $1.6 billion for Q1 2011. It makes absolutely no sense to compare one yearly revenue figure with another quarterly one.

If that be the case my corner gas station likely makes more money per year *than all of Microsoft combined* (between 3:01:31AM and 3:01:35AM on August 4).

To compare more accurately, AMD's 2010 revenue was $6.5 billion, which is indeed greater than Intel's Itanium revenue of $4 billion over that same period.

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462808)

If that be the case my corner gas station likely makes more money per year *than all of Microsoft combined* (between 3:01:31AM and 3:01:35AM on August 4).

Except the original statement in the article is probably true, where as there is no way that gas station makes more money in several years than MS does in any given second on interest alone. You seriously underestimate the amount of money they have sitting around.

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (5, Informative)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463182)

Except the original statement in the article is probably true, where as there is no way that gas station makes more money in several years than MS does in any given second on interest alone. You seriously underestimate the amount of money they have sitting around.

Fortunately, this is a simple math problem.

365 days per year * 24 hours per day * 60 minutes per hour * 60 seconds per minute = 31,536,000 seconds per year

Microsoft's yearly revenue is between $65 and $70 billion. We'll take 2010's numbers of $66.7 billion. That equates to only $2,115 per second. The original statement was a 4 second span - we're still talking less than $10,000, which a big gas station can easily take in in a week or less.

Itanium was kinda a success for Intel (1)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465144)

> why is Intel continuing to beat the obviously VERY dead horse that is Itanic? Its a giant flop,

When you look at it from a Marketing point of view, Itanium was perhaps the most successful chip in history -- not because it sold well, but because it bought time for x86 to move into 64-bit computing.

Recall that a few years back there were a number of promising 64-bit architectures that were a lot cleaner than Itanium. HP's PA-RISC and SGI's MIPS were two of them. Yet even before production Itanium chips launched, the CEO of SGI and the Executive VP of computers at HP made the decisions to move away from HPUX-on-PA-RISC and IRIX-on-MIPS in favor of NT on Itanium, pretty much killing their entire computing product lines, and killing R&D on the server versions of both chip families.

Seems the guy (yeah, same guy) who made those decisions was rewarded with a President and COO job at Microsoft a bit later.

Intel may not have won with actual sales of Itanium hardware (and I wonder if it even wanted to - from it's point of view X86 was even better because HP had some joint-ownership-rights in Itanium). But it sure won by killing the competitions 64-bit computing roadmaps from the PR of Itanium alone.

http://quiller8771.blog.com/2011/05/26/double-s-fall-it-technology-in-the-market/ [blog.com]
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/13/sgi_belluzzo/ [theregister.co.uk]

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465274)

How is it a giant flop? It passed SPARC sales years ago. VMS, HP-UX, and NSK all have thousands of customers with no obvious migration path and billions invested in the platform. For these customers, Itanium works fine, and has certain advantages (socket compatibility over multiple generations, for instance) and no obvious reason to dump it.

On the other hand, you totally lost credibility when you said SPARC was "beating the Itanic." (looking up sales or performance figures from the last 3-4 years would be educational.)

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460918)

The question really is, what will Steve Jobs decide. It is he, not some mule at HP or donkey at Oracle, who detemrines the fate of Intel, and the rest of us for that matter.

Re:MAKES SENSE !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461258)

Steve Jobs determines the fate of Intel? Go back to smoking.

What this should tell both HP and Oracle (4, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460488)

and any other company following this issue is that they're essentially at the mercy of the business decisions of a third company, Intel, and that's not a very smart business position to get in in the first place.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460524)

and any other company following this issue is that they're essentially at the mercy of the business decisions of a third company, Intel, and that's not a very smart business position to get in in the first place.

They're at the mercy of the market. Escaping that isn't easy. Itanium failed but that isn't because Intel decided they wanted to be mean to HP and/or Oracle.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (5, Insightful)

stiggle (649614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460560)

Oracle now has their own hardware line, which doesn't involve Intel, on Sparc processors.
HP used to produce their own, PA-Risc, but combined the tech with Intel to make the Itanium.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (2)

Targon (17348) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460736)

Any new architecture is always a huge risk when it comes right down to it, and both HP and Oracle were foolish enough to buy into what Intel was selling at the time. Hell, it took a LONG time before x86-64 aka AMD64 was supported, so the difference is that people listened to Intel when Intel released a bad product while they pretty much ignored AMD when it released a great product. And of course, both HP and Oracle didn't have people who remembered the failed attempts of the Pentium Pro, which was also a huge failure and didn't sell.

Basically, Intel can't be trusted when it comes to a whole new architecture, because it just won't sell without any really significant advantages. The only new architecture that WOULD take off would be a new design that is aimed at the millions upon millions of CONSUMERS, and that is why ARM has been doing well. The days when "start with the stuff only a huge corporation would want and then let it trickle down" would work have been over since 1985. Microchannel failed, which was the last time IBM tried to make a major change in the PC industry, so is it any wonder that you really need something REALLY different and better?

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460776)

Any new architecture is always a huge risk when it comes right down to it, and both HP and Oracle were foolish enough to buy into what Intel was selling at the time.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460804)

It was created by HP, not by Intel.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460836)

The P Pro was actually a decent chip as far as x86 goes and sold well on servers so it's really not a good example. The thing it sucked at was 16 bit performance where Microsoft's entire consumer OS lineup resided at the time.

The Itanium isn't a failure because it was designed for large systems. It is a failure because they started by throwing out everything tried and tested when it comes to architecture design in search of the textbook "perfect" design that offloaded far too much on the compiler and in some cases the needed compiler changes weren't even possible.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (2)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460940)

Actually, the Pentium Pro was a GREAT chip, assuming you were running 32 bit software, and there was no reason to not run 32 bit software if you were going to run the Pentium Pro. Cache on die running at cpu core speeds, true SMP performance up to 4 cpus, Linux ran incredible on these processors, even if NT/2000 didn't. If you used them for what they were designed for, they were amazing.

I had several IBM dual PPro system that we finally trashed the other day. Not because they failed, but because they were from the 90s and can't justify the performance/watt. Itanium was never in the same class as the PPro when it comes to usability and utility, no matter how much faster they were.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461246)

Mostly because the picture [wikimedia.org] is pretty, I'll note that cache was technically on package; but separate die, though it ran at full core speed and had many of the features that later on-die caches would have, making it pretty glaringly superior to the old on-motherboard cache RAM. The 1MB version even had 3 dice embedded in the same package, no wonder it cost so much...

This arrangement also made the PII-based "overdrive" upgrade card look kind of weird(more or less normal PII on the left, cache on the right).

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (3, Informative)

ggeens (53767) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461790)

Actually, the Pentium Pro was a GREAT chip, assuming you were running 32 bit software, and there was no reason to not run 32 bit software if you were going to run the Pentium Pro.

Also, the PPro is the basis for the Pentium II, III processors. It's one of Intel's most successful CPU designs. It was so good that Intel went back when they ran into problems with the Pentium 4. (Creating the Pentium M and Core 1 processors.)

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (2)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461430)

And of course, both HP and Oracle didn't have people who remembered the failed attempts of the Pentium Pro, which was also a huge failure and didn't sell.

You do realize that the Pentium II and Pentium III and hence the whole Core2 series are direct successors of the Pentium Pro, right? The Pentium (I, MXX) has basically nothing to do with the Pentium Pro. For example, the Pentium was the last Intel chip with in-order execution until the Atom came out. Pentium Pro and decendants were out-of-order.

The Pentium Pro was a great chip and I ran a PPro 200 with 256Meg RAM running Windows 2000 until november 2002. It was a heck of a kickass workstation.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461566)

the client i supported in my previous job still had a bunch of PPros running SCO unixware (yeah, i know, SCO is a surso word in /. , but keep in mind those servers were there running for some 12 years) and they run fine.

and it wasn't a flop in the server market. in my whole career (some 16 years of network, wnidows, unix and linux administration) i saw a lot o PPros running as servers. think on it as the the first incarnation of xeon.

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461728)

Yes, "think of the first incantation of Xeon" is the apt comparison. Didn't Slashdot start off on a Pentium Pro running on Maldas bedroom?

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464958)

Uhhh AMD64 was released in late 2003 [wikipedia.org] and XP x64 (aka Server 2K3 X64) was released in Apr 2005 [wikipedia.org] so I'd say a year and a half to jump from 32 to 64 bits really isn't a "long time".

As for TFA Oracle can plainly see that This chip is no more! It has ceased to be! 'Its expired and gone to meet Its maker! Its a stiff! Bereft of life, It rests in peace! If Intel hadn't nailed It to the motherboard 'It'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Its VLIW processes are now 'istory! 'Its off the twig! Its kicked the bucket, Its shuffled off Its central processing coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-PROCESSOR!

Re:What this should tell both HP and Oracle (1)

Dunega (901960) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463032)

Right. So every company should build everything they need themselves. That way we could have multitudes of incompatible hardware and software. Sure would generate a lot of jobs though.

So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460600)

.. this means one of two things - Oracle are lying (believable) or Intel are producing a new core which, albeit with the Itanium name, is different enough that Oracle are excusing themselves from new R&D

Or I'm wrong. Suggest something better, and I may think it the case.

Re:So.. (2)

sphealey (2855) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460750)

> . this means one of two things - Oracle are lying (believable)

Oracle are lying about what? There can't be more than a few hundred Itanium users around the world, and Intel has been signaling for years that the product line is dead and won't be replaced. Maybe HP shouldn't have shut down its own CPU development and sold its designs (along with the designs of the DEC Alpha) to Intel, but they did. Now that product line has failed and Oracle is just making an obvious business decision.

sPh

Re:So.. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460902)

Itanium isn't widely used; but its users would appear to punch well above their weight when it comes to willingness to pay. Apparently [arstechnica.com] , Intel does ~4 billion a year in sales of the thing. Now, I suspect that continued development is costly enough that Intel would be much happier if they could convince everybody that "Xeon; but with the RAS features not lasered out and for 20x the price!!!" is the way to go; but the sort of people who spend huge amounts, per unit performance, on fairly obscure architectures are exactly the sort of people who Do. Not. Want. to switch architectures.

Intel and its remaining Itanium buddies(yeah, HP, that pretty much means you...) are in the unpleasant situation of having a product line that is too big to just drop; but likely much more expensive than they would like to keep remotely near performance parity with x86 and with a customer base that is unlikely to just quietly accept an architecture switch in the near future. HP's situation is, of course, rather worse than Intel's... since whenever the ship finally sinks, so do HP's remaining offerings in the "architecturally better than boring x86" niche. IBM will still have POWER, Oracle will have at least the option of carrying SPARC forward, Dell will still have rock-bottom prices...

Re:So.. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461404)

Intel does ~4 billion a year in sales of the thing

Have you seen the price of Itanium kit? That's about six customers...

Re:So.. (1)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461138)

and Oracle is just making an obvious business decision

But (assuming HP are correct about the contract terms) that decision is in breach of what they have originally agreed.

If HP aren't blowing hot air, then it will cost Oracle. Though they may have planned for this eventuality and calculated that "sum(max(amount_could_sue-for+legal_expenses)) from clients where contract_says_architecture_will_be_supported_longer=1 and likely_to_sue=1" is smaller than the cost of continue support.

Re:So.. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464830)

but the chip being sold as "Itanium" is missing some of the original claimed core capabilities, Oracle could easily prove "this isn't the Itanium we were contracting for"

Re:So.. (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461148)

And where do contractual obligations fit into all of this? Rather than being sued, I wonder if Oracle should not have negotiated out of their contract with HP. It's a funny and hypocritical world of business we see these days. Copyright organizations ignoring copyrights and violating license terms they seek to enforce against others. Companies which famously viciously defend their own trademarks while trampling on those owned by others. Contracts, and other business agreements simply disregarded likely because they think they can get away with it.

I know it's not new to describe corporate behavior as sociopathic, but it is and the problem seems to be getting worse.

We like to say "just business" but there is no "just business." To paint it grey in order to cover up the obvious lack of good faith, ethical and moral character erodes humanity in ways I cannot begin to describe. But taking that route, couldn't we also characterize mass killings and murder in different parts of the world as "just business" too? Or how about mass starvations and death by preventable/curable diseases at the hands of people who control the intellectual property of these things. How about putting people into homes under terms they cannot afford and creating securities with the loans which result in serious financial problems for the planet which result in all sorts of tragedies the world over? Still "just business?"

"Global leadership" is more than government leadership. It is also business leadership. And so far, there are seemingly too few controls against that leadership and the damage they can do to the rest of the world. Ignoring contractual obligations is merely a small sign of a much larger problem. We mere mortals are not allowed to ignore contractual obligations and neither should mega-business.

Re:So.. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461274)

Oh please, powerful people have acted like this for thousands of years, it's not the world of business "these days" nor there's anything to "erode."

Not that it makes it right, but it's nothing new.

Re:So.. (1)

solkimera (1319365) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461708)

not just powerful people. plenty of joe sixpacks do sleazy stuff too. the only difference is the amount of resources involved.

Re:So.. (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465306)

"A few hundred?" Tens of thousands, minimum. NSK and VMS alone have a few thousand users each, and HP-UX is much bigger than either. Learn about the industry before sounding off.

so Apple doesn't care... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460620)

...that iNTEL will discontinue iTanium support? They don't even get a say on either iProduct?

Wow, I must be new here.

Meh ... (1)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460662)

Makes sense. HP probably has several contractual obligations of their own since there are many large corporate clusters which are using HP-UX running on a shitload of Itanium systems.

fuck off, HPaq (5, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460716)

You are the epitome of modern corporate culture. You destroyed the Alpha and are letting VMS rot. You outsource or offshore everything that isn't bolted down, but nothing is improved. Under Fiorina you demonstrated precisely how to run a company down for short term profit while cosying up to the corporation-friendly government. Hell, you've even ruined your reputation for building hardy calculators. Over a decade after this mess started, the only thing you have left to be proud of is the propotion of your profits which come from selling printer ink.

It's a small wonder zombie Hewlett and Packard haven't risen from the grave, given a new lease of life in death by recently shuffled Olsen, to personally escort every HP executive to the lowest region of hell.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460768)

HP now appears to be composed entirely of execs, lawyers, marketeers, and one guy called Mike who runs runs the offshored sweatshops from his basement office in Woodside. How the mighty have fallen.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461398)

Would this Mike be Mike Halloran you're speaking of?

Re:fuck off, HPaq (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460818)

I smell a disgruntled ex-employee. Did you get fired for smoking pot in the copier room???

Re:fuck off, HPaq (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461102)

I believe that you mean:

"HP's the very model of a modern multinational,
their expertise confined to MBAs and quibblers contractual,
the rest's been outsourced from Shenzhen to Hyderabad,
a plan that makes none but investors glad,
seeking strategies for how to make their systems worse,
they gobbled up Compaq with the power of their purse,
and after they had freed themselves of ghastly Fiorina,
she left the private sector to afflict the state of California."

With deepest apologies(not to be construed as admission of wrongdoing) to Gilbert and Sullivan.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461438)

You destroyed the Alpha and are letting VMS rot

I spent a while at the 2007 XenSummit talking to someone from HP's operating systems research group. I mentioned that some of the stuff she was working on was similar to something in VMS. Blank stare. It took me a while to realise that she wasn't joking, and she really hadn't ever heard of VMS.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461938)

How old was she?

Also, I assume she was actually a she, not using it as a generic pronoun.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463216)

Mid to late 40s, at a guess, and I got the impression that she'd been with HP for quite a few years (yes, an actual woman).

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

overlordofmu (1422163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461890)

Oh, Sweet Mother of Fuck, I loved that fucking Alpha microprocessor. A truly beautiful beast if there ever was one. It would have been a dream come true to see that gorgeous hunk of doped silicon gain market share. Imagine where we would be today if it had the R&D and resultant performance gains that the 8086 line did.

You, who cling to your Intel and work-a-likes are to blame. I am talking to you, Microsoft and HP. Shit, fuck, ass! Even Apple uses that fucked instruction set now!

If you know nothing of the Alpha, look up its specs and the specs of the Intel microprocessors at the same time period. Now project its performance if it followed the same performance curve that the 8086 line did (I think you called the x86's "Pentiums" back in the day) and you are not a nerd of you don't weep at what has been lost. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!

You said it, Hazel. I weep with you.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462414)

Get over it. Really same thing happened to the 68K as well. It was so much better than the 8086 and the 80286 at that time but people didn't buy it. Heck you could even buy them in inexpensive computers like the Amiga and Atari ST that had far better and more advanced OSs then MS-DOS at the time. Heck the Amiga had real multi-tasking and stereo sound when PC users where trying to get their software to run with TSRs and got a bleep now and then.
Dude best doesn't really win all that often, marketing does. I would have loved to have access to an inexpensive Alpha in the day. Thing is that never really happened. I have to wonder if Alpha might not have become a great mobile ISA like ARM did. VMS? Yes it still is a great and very secure OS. Too bad that DEC didn't push it down market. But then DEC was always kind of blew that. Imagine if DEC had released a PDP-11 running RSX-11 for the same price as the PC? Then imagine if they had sold single chip PDP-11 CPUs and RSX-11 to other companies so they could have made clones all the while paying DEC money. The PC would have had some trouble and might have even flopped. Thing is DEC didn't want to cut into the sales of it's really expensive professional computers. Over all it didn't really work out well for them.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

Temkin (112574) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463958)

Get over it. Really same thing happened to the 68K as well. It was so much better than the 8086 and the 80286 at that time but people didn't buy it. Heck you could even buy them in inexpensive computers like the Amiga and Atari ST that had far better and more advanced OSs then MS-DOS at the time.

The 68k shipped in vast numbers, but it never got the business desktop uptake that it needed to dominate. It originally shipped in what was then a non-standard DIP package, which demanded a manufacturing price premium. As an architecture it hit a major brick wall after the 68030. This was the RISC / CISC wars of the late 80's that gave birth to things like the Alpha, PA-Risc, SPARC, etc... The 68k isn't dead. It had long had standing in embedded devices, arcade game consoles, and found a home in PLC controllers and embedded systems, some of which will still be in service 20+ years from now. It just got kicked off the desktop.

Imagine if DEC had released a PDP-11 running RSX-11 for the same price as the PC? Then imagine if they had sold single chip PDP-11 CPUs and RSX-11 to other companies so they could have made clones all the while paying DEC money. The PC would have had some trouble and might have even flopped.

I have a Heathkit H11 sitting in a closet, waiting to be donated to a computer museum. It ran the 16 bit LSI-11 4 chip CPU at 2.5Mhz (circa 1975!), which was basically a full PDP-11/40 instruction set. The kit builder assembled the power supply and chassis, it retailed for $1275 in 1977. Keep in mind however that's almost $5000 in 2011 dollars. It was the high end hobby computer of the late 70's. It beat the TRS-80 model 1 by any measure available, except cost.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464602)

And the Alpha found a home in servers, super computers, and so on. The 68k ran into a brick wall because it didn't have the PC money pump to allowed Intel to make the X86 the fast pig that it is now.
Yea I know about the H11 which is why it is so sad. Imagine if DEC had expanded the memory space and built in a display and keyboard interface for the same price as the PC. It would have been a much better system than a PC running MS-DOS.

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

barole (35839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465078)

Not to mention the Zilog Z8000! Imagine where we would be if it had won the 16-bit wars. We'd all be running TRSDOS 64-bit edition and SuperScripsit 2011.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462140)

Does anyone care about anachronisms like OpenVMS anymore? Or the two zombie platforms it's supported on?

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464876)

that's a laugh, OpenVMS is alive and well, supported, and gets new features added with each release. The Alpha was 1990s, plenty of other chips have fallen by the wayside since then, get over it

Re:fuck off, HPaq (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465532)

that's a laugh, OpenVMS is alive and well, supported, and gets new features added...

...at a snail's pace and only for a CPU which has been slowly dying for the past decade, even while x86-64 has been sitting there for the porting.

The Alpha was 1990s, plenty of other chips have fallen by the wayside since then, get over it

Why would I get over a philosophy of excellence in engineering? Will you ask me to embrace mediocrity next?

mySQL rename (5, Funny)

Tuqui (96668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460746)

Oracle should rename mySQL as "Oracle for Itanium" and send it to HP.

Re:mySQL rename (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460782)

Thanks, you just made me remember why I'm reading Slashdot.

Re:mySQL rename (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462376)

http://www.mysql.com/support/eol-notice.html

What about SPARC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460870)

Now Oracle just has to discontinue another death architecture: SPARC

Re:What about SPARC (1)

d3vi1 (710592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461268)

There's nothing wrong with SPARC. Solaris/SPARC is still powerful, innovative, scalable and secure. AIX/Power would of been a good match, but Big Blue doesn't invest in AIX. Solaris had more new features added in the past 5 years than AIX in the past 15. SPARC is still going strong because Sun realized that it's not the GHz but the 6,8,16 cores/die that are the requirements for a server and because Solaris is still going strong. The Sun Fire T1000 is still unbeatable in cost/performance even if it's 5 years old.
All the Linux vendors (HP, Dell, IBM) keep trying to migrate users from Solaris to Linux claiming that it's dead. Yet, they are wrong. HP-UX, Unixware, AIX, Tru64 are however dead or dying.
Think about Solaris the following way: Oracle Exadata 2. Still nothing on the face of earth like it, because of Solaris and Sun hardware. SPARC is going to do even better once Oracle ports it's Linux distribution to it. Since Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle Solaris are eventually going to be the only operating systems certified for Oracle Software, you're going to see a lot of them, especially on SPARC. Oracle, after the acquisition of Sun is slowly changing into an appliance vendor, and I can't blame them for it.

Re:What about SPARC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461950)

/me watches the tumbleweeds rolling around, accompanying the lonely guy trying to convince himself, and quietly leaves.

Re:What about SPARC (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465396)

I'm curious, have you seen any of the SPEC_cpu benchmarks on SPARC64? You know, the ones that put a quad SPARC64 VII+ at performance roughly equivalent to a dual-core Phenom that's ~99% cheaper? How about the ones that show no marginal advantage of a SPARC T3 over a Magny-Cours Opteron, even when continiously saturated with threads, again with a vastly cheaper acquisition cost?

Didn't think so...

http://www.spec.org/cpu2006/results/res2011q2/ [spec.org]

Re:What about SPARC (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464950)

even though down for the last quarter, Oracle's sparc server sales were over 70% of the RISC Unix server market for 2011 thus far. not dead yet.

Re:What about SPARC (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465510)

Er, no they weren't. Oracle's total (x64 and SPARC) sales for Q1 were $798mn. The total RISC-UNIX market for Q1 was about $2.6bn. IBM's POWER sales were $1.2bn. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/26/gartner_q1_2011_server_numbers/ [theregister.co.uk]

I'm curious, are you on the Oracle payroll?

Re:What about SPARC (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465748)

no, not on payroll and I despise Oracle and it's bloated 1980s technology DBMS, and also what Sun had degenerated into since the dot-com bubble when they became careless and just rode out the name. Doesn't change that UltraSparc is still heavily present in datacenter and still purchased even in recession. Gartner is the National Enquirer of the IT world, they don't know fact from marketing fiction. Stats on sales are a function of who's reporting and how they want to count things as bundled ( for example server plus storage plus software if you want to jack up numbers)

Re:What about SPARC (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465760)

It's been widely known for years that IBM Power is on top by quite a bit, with Itanium in distant second and SPARC occasionally catching up. SPARC has been fading for years though, as Oracle's own revenue figures strongly imply.

Can I Help Countersue? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36460890)

If Oracle wants to countersue HP for dropping the Alpha, I'd be happy to testify on their behalf. The idiots at HP killed off one of the best architectures for scientific computations ever.

Re:Can I Help Countersue? (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461062)

In total agreement and it wasn't just scientific performance, Alphas were at one time very big on commercial processing powering most of the world's big exchanges. Alpha was innovative and a very clean architecture. It was also designed for multiprocessing from the very beginning. It had a good toolchain available under Unix (incl. Linux) as well as VMS: However HP and Intel for committed to flogging that dead horse called Itanium.

Re:Can I Help Countersue? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461234)

Science isn't good for business. There is less short-term money to be made in R&D and a lot more in keeping existing and legacy businesses running. Money spent to keep things the same is money well spent.

Re:Can I Help Countersue? (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461520)

Science isn't good for business

Bullshit.

Science is great for business. What do you think the world's most powerful computation clusters are doing? They aren't doing financial transactions, I'll tell you that. The largest computation clusters are doing scientific calculations. There is a lot of money to be made in that realm - hardware sales, configuration, support, upgrades, etc. Hell it is one of the core focuses of IBM since they sold off their PC & laptop division to Lenovo, and they seem to be doing quite well with it.

The idiots who killed off Alpha at HP also killed off a nontrivial amount of revenue. Revenue that IBM, Apple, and Dell were happy to compete for. If you look at the top500 list, you see that Alpha was present there even after HP killed it off.

Money spent to keep things the same is money well spent.

They didn't even do that with Alpha. They could have just made bigger systems with the same CPU and kept it going with essentially zero R&D work, as the processor scaled beautifully in multi-CPU applications. I can tell you that from personal experience as I used to use an AlphaServer with four 667MHz CPUs and 8 GB of RAM, it could beat the pants off of our 32 CPU Intel P4 cluster with each of those CPUs running at 2GHz.

Re:Can I Help Countersue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36462026)

Science is great for business. What do you think the world's most powerful computation clusters are doing? They aren't doing financial transactions, I'll tell you that. The largest computation clusters are doing scientific calculations. There is a lot of money to be made in that realm - hardware sales, configuration, support, upgrades, etc. Hell it is one of the core focuses of IBM since they sold off their PC & laptop division to Lenovo, and they seem to be doing quite well with it.

The largest computational clusters aren't doing science, I can tell you that. They do things that HP, IBM etc cannot talk to you about. One of the astronomy faculty here was heavily involved in the design and purchase of the Itasca supercomputer at MSI. During the "construction" the HP people told him two things 1) they don't make any money selling clusters like Itasca 2) clusters like Itasca are nothing compared to those they cannot talk about.

Re:Can I Help Countersue? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36463820)

32 CPU Intel P4 cluster

The p4 was *KNOWN* to be crap. It is why Intel went back to the 686 cpu and drop kicked p4 to the curb. It was why AMD was eating intels lunch. Same clock speed everyone was beating p4 (including other x86 archs) by a good 15-30% on power, cost, and computation done per cycle. The p4 did one thing very good. It could clock up to high rates.

Let the games ... continue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36460944)

There's a certain amount of FUD in Oracle's comments. Yet, the reason why the FUD could be so successful is that it's so plausible. Taking the figures from Wikipedia as gospel, the four top architectures for enterprise deployment in 2008 were (in order, first to fourth) x86-64, POWER, SPARC, and Itanium (or Itanic, if you prefer - as I do.) That being the case, it's eminently possible that Itanic is (as the nickname suggests) a sinking ship, and that HP and Intel are holding on for as long as they can before they bail, probably to x86-64. Microsoft's bailed - where's the future support for Windows on Itanic? - as has Redhat, leaving HP the only OS vendor supporting Itanic in any significant way (HP-UX, and - to a much lesser extent - VMS and NonStop.)

So HP has no alternative but to try to fight Oracle's decision as hard as they can. If they don't, it adds to the perception that Itanic is dying. But if they do, it draws attention to Oracle's words. They're between a rock and a hard place.

My bet? IBM's going nowhere. Oracle is going to stick it out with SPARC for at least the next couple of years; whether they keep developing it or quietly put a transition system in place for Solaris on x86 remains to be seen. If any of the remaining big Unix vendors are going to abandon their custom platform in the next five to ten years (and probably the market to boot in the process), it'll be HP. Considering that they killed Alpha, I'd say it's nothing more than they deserve.

It seems pretty obvious (1)

Chris453 (1092253) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461072)

IANAL but it seems to me that if you have a contract with someone that says you are going to support their hardware they have already purchased, then it is irrelevant that the hardware vendor *might* be discontinuing the product. Even *IF* Intel discontinues it, Oracle should still be bound by their support contracts.

Re:It seems pretty obvious (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36461160)

This has nothing to do with end-user support contracts, which Oracle will undoubtedly honour. It appears to refer to an as-yet-unpublished contract between HP and Oracle, allegedly stating that Oracle will continue to supply their database on Itanium.

YANAL (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461422)

I confirm, you are not a lawyer. Breaching contracts and having our clients let go off scott free is the basis of our business.

Re:YANAL (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461682)

I confirm, you are not a lawyer. Breaching contracts and having our clients let go off scott free is the basis of our business.

I'm sure the contract will actually say that Oracle definitely might promise unconditionally (subject to conditions) to support itanium (for a given, and very long, definition of "support") except as provided in Annexes II, IV, XVII, XXIVI (and any subsequent annexes) until such time as they cease to support it (which shall not be before such time has elapsed) unless otherwise compelled not to by a reasonable cause to discontinue support (including such reasonable causes as might be deemed unreasonable by the party who is not party to the cause). Except they'll probably do that by listing all the things that they won't support then excluding the ones that they do. Or vice versa.

...which may be hard for a layperson to understand, but is actually a shining example of how precise and unambiguous legal language can be, as evidenced by the fact that none of these expensively-drawn-up contracts ever end up being contested in court.

Re:It seems pretty obvious (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461710)

The problem is that it's not clear that it was a written contract. My reading of the whole situation is that HP says Oracle "agreed" to continue supporting Itanium with Oracle saying it never said that it would. I'm hearing at most verbal agreements and the parties are not in agreement as to what they said.

What about Poulson? (2)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 3 years ago | (#36461802)

If Itanium is dead, then why does Intel have all this [realworldtech.com] architectural investment?

Ha on HP (1)

Sabalon (1684) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462300)

For everytime I had to call for support, or try to use their itrc, or everytime I had to come up with a model number from a device that had 20 different numbers on it, none of them matching the format they expected, for everytime I had to deal with HPUX...serves them right.

Who can get fired that buys Intel? HP? Oracle? (1)

shoppa (464619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462390)

The Mongolian cluster-fuck that the Intel-HP-Oracle triangle centered around Itanium has become, was spotted way way before any of their management drank the Kool-Aid. (And oh man, they were guzzling the Itanium Kool-Aid by the gallon). Google "Itanic".

Itanic updates on WSUS (0)

EXrider (756168) | more than 3 years ago | (#36462574)

I just wish f'ing MS would give me a damn checkbox in WSUS to exclude Itanic updates so I could quit wasting time and bandwidth downloading and excluding updates for a dead platform that nobody uses.

Contract (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#36463374)

So, do they have a contractual obligation to keep the port going or not? Whether it's a dead architecture doesn't matter if they took the money and there's no 'dead architecture' clause in the contract.

Hey, Oracle guys: talk to the Redhat Itanium team. Last I heard they were passing the hat around the office and were going to buy the remaining few Itanium machines left in the world and throw them off the roof at HQ (and then promptly recycle the remains, I'm sure).

Re:Contract (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464980)

we'll have to see the contract, but I suspect Oracle can quite rightly claim that portions of the planned Itanium design never appeared, this chip Intel is making is not an Itanium as defined years ago

If Itanium is an endangered species (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | more than 3 years ago | (#36464672)

The same could easily be said about the sparc architecture.

How Pathetic (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36465262)

HP has to beg a single vendor to continue producing wares for it's dying chip, because that is the only remaining justification for producing servers based on Itanium. Give it up already HP. Oracle has no such contractual obligation.
Load More 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...