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!

Comments

top

Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

Ed Avis Re:very cool (202 comments)

If you cook with a gas hob, which this pot is designed for, there is no thermostat. I don't think the additional surface area on the *outside* imposes an extra cleaning burden.

about a week ago
top

Exploiting Wildcards On Linux/Unix

Ed Avis Re:Question... -- ? (215 comments)

Yes, there is a workaround you can use, if you know about it and remember it every time, to enable the safe behaviour. That does *not* count as 'problem solved'. To solve the problem, the safe behaviour needs to be the default, with the funky and unsafe behaviour of treating filenames as extra switches being the one you have to enable specially. Really - what are the odds that the user or programmer *intends* for a file called --foo to be treated as an option specifier when they expand a wildcard? Conceptually the fix is not hard. Each element in argv gets an associated flag saying whether it is a filename - and if it is marked as a filename, getopt() or whatever does not treat it as an option specifier even if it begins with the - character. Alternatively, filenames beginning - could simply be disallowed.

about three weeks ago
top

4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Ed Avis Re:multiple inputs for 4k? (186 comments)

That's how the later model IBM T221s worked (with additional converter boxes dangling off the monitor). Each half of the screen was seen as a 1920x2400 display. Some newer 4k monitors work similarly using multi-stream transport (MST). The video card sees two 1920x2160 displays. But there is only one DisplayPort cable. Dell's 24" and 32" 4k monitors are like this. Video drivers usually have special support for gluing the two halves back into a single display, but the extra complication can expose bugs in either the driver or the monitor's firmware.

about a month ago
top

Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs

Ed Avis Re:Supported (164 comments)

I think that's what I was saying: a random mixture of disk sizes is not supported by this particular RAID implementation - it will only use the same size across each disk, meaning you are constrained to the size of the smallest disk in the pool. You have to upgrade all of the disks to a larger size before starting to use that size. Btrfs and ZFS sound like they handle it much better.

about a month ago
top

Freecode Freezeup

Ed Avis Re:Not a surprise (62 comments)

Yes that's right, the listing was deleted if you didn't respond. That tended to bite me as I would only check my personal email infrequently. I think that even if the listing owner disappeared completely, it would still be better to have an entry saying 'hey, this program exists, can you help find it?' and listing the last known whereabouts. But I see your point that you didn't just delete them without warning. Thanks for your work maintaining the site over many years.

about a month ago
top

4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Ed Avis Re:Display Port (186 comments)

Thanks for the correction. A pity the Dell 4k monitors have not been refreshed with newer electronics to work as single stream.

about a month ago
top

4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Ed Avis Re:High dpi isn't necessarily better (186 comments)

Try it. Set 200% font scaling and the toolbars, icons, etc double in size. This is with Windows 7 - perhaps in Windows 8 it doesn't work as well, but my guess would be if you turn off Aero and just use the old-fashioned font size scaling it should still be fine.

about a month ago
top

Freecode Freezeup

Ed Avis Re:Not a surprise (62 comments)

The trouble with Freshmeat/Freecode was that they aggressively deleted entries when links broke. So if a project's homepage went down it would soon become unsearchable on the site. This reduced the site's usefulness as an archive of known free software. (Much better to keep the archived information and encourage people to fix the links - as a last resort, somebody who downloaded the tarball before the site went down could re-upload it somewhere.) Is there an alternative site which works as a kind of encylopaedia of free software? Github is great and all, but it is a project hosting site rather than an index of all software (which may be hosted externally and perhaps not even maintained in a public git repository).

about a month ago
top

4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Ed Avis Re:High dpi isn't necessarily better (186 comments)

It depends on how the upscaling is done. If you choose exactly 200% font scaling in Windows, and turn off Aero, then almost all applications scale up crisply. A few such as the command prompt window remain unscaled, but none turn into a blurry mess.

about a month ago
top

4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Ed Avis Re:Display Port (186 comments)

No current DisplayPort standard supports two 4k monitors at 60Hz with a single output. The latest DisplayPort 1.2 will drive a single screen at 3840x2160@60Hz, but current monitors use multi-stream transport (MST) to do so which means the video card sees it as two separate monitors which then must be tiled together - this tends to expose driver bugs. DisplayPort 1.3 will increase the bandwidth but I don't think it has been finalized yet, nor is any hardware available.

about a month ago
top

4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Ed Avis Re:waiting for 8K (186 comments)

The IBM T220 was announced in 2001 and had a 3840x2400 resolution, effectively what marketing now calls "4k" plus a little bit extra vertical space. It was limited to 41Hz refresh, though its replacement the T221 a year or two later increased that to 48Hz (and the last model can be overclocked to 55Hz or so). Sadly there were then the monitor Dark Ages when the T221 was discontinued and the world seemed to regress to crappy resolutions like 1440x900. You're right that 2010 was the time things started to look up again, and 8k has been demonstrated as a prototype. 5 years sounds about right; the difficulty with an 8k monitor is not so much the panel (high-dpi panels exist already, and could be cut to a larger size like 30 inches) but driving it. With the current DisplayPort spec several independent cables would be needed to drive 8k at 60Hz.

about a month ago
top

4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Ed Avis Re:Ow, the ignorance (186 comments)

Yeah, I wish that there were better alternatives to the normal way of scrolling. Even at 60Hz refresh (and with pretty big font sizes on a 180dpi screen) it is not exactly easy on the eyes to read text as it scrolls. I like the old school way of hitting Space (or PgDn) to move down one screenful. But then you can lose track of where you were in the text. I'd like to see a horizontal red line showing the previous start of the screen, which would fade away over a second or two.

about a month ago
top

4K Monitors: Not Now, But Soon

Ed Avis Re:Get a TV (186 comments)

Have you tried 30Hz? It really isn't a big deal for text-based applications like programming and web browsing. Sure 60Hz refresh is nice; it gives you warm fuzzies to know that you're getting a fast refresh rate, and things just generally look cuter and more Apple-commercial-like if the screen refresh is smooth. But it's a hard case to make that it really has an impact on productivity for real work. I'm using Dell UP2414Qs at the moment, and the 60Hz refresh is great (tip: set the colour management to Game mode to eliminate input lag). But before then I used T221s at 24Hz and that was fine too for emacs and web browsing. I've even used a T221 at 12Hz and while I can't say it was the most comfortable setup, it got the job done.

about a month ago
top

Endurance Experiment Writes One Petabyte To Six Consumer SSDs

Ed Avis Re:context (164 comments)

Right, but while you may well need to archive data for 30 years, that doesn't mean you need to store a particular physical tape or disk for that long. It would make more sense to store the volume for five years and then transfer the data to a new one, to take advantage of capacity increases. Your warehouse full of tapes from 30 years ago might fit in a desk drawer now. So if I wanted to back up to hard disks, I'd keep a pool of them and replace the oldest disk every year or so. Admittedly software support for this is not great - RAID implementations don't always support cobbling together a random mixture of disk sizes which change over time.

about a month ago
top

NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

Ed Avis Re:Throw the book... maybe literally at him. (220 comments)

The thing is that mining bitcoins is not really a supercomputer task. It is an "embarassingly parallel" problem - you could get some PCs and connect them over 9600bps serial ports, and it would hardly be any different to using the fastest network to connect them together. There is not that much communication needed between the parts of the cluster. A true supercomputer usually has fast, specialized interlink hardware between the compute nodes so it can work on problems which are somewhat less parallelizable, requiring more communication between the nodes. That is why it is expensive, and expensive to hire computing time on it, and yet it doesn't perform any better at bitcoin mining than a simple-minded farm of commodity hardware. (And for bitcoin mining, either of those will be blown out of the water by specialized ASICs.)

about a month and a half ago
top

Alibaba Confirms Plans To Offer IPO In US

Ed Avis Re:"provides marketplace platforms" (93 comments)

I don't think market cap is a good measure of size. If it were, then during the dotcom boom various online pet food suppliers, etc, which had barely any assets, employees or customers, would have counted as 'bigger' than more boring companies with a much greater footprint in the real world. Similarly, a large company may head towards bankruptcy and as it does so its market cap heads towards zero. But even if it is sold for a nominal price of one dollar, it is still a big company by any reasonable measure.

about 4 months ago
top

4K Is For Programmers

Ed Avis Re:where do I sign? (520 comments)

There's no issue getting 3840x2160 resolution with any even half-recent video card. I drive a T221 (3840x2400) from a five year old Dell laptop; these displays first appeared a decade and a half ago when PCs were much slower than today. Admittedly, if your new monitor takes Displayport you will need a video card capable of outputting that. Now, if you want to play games at 3840x2160 at 60Hz refresh, you're going to need some pretty serious hardware. But that has nothing to do with using the display for programming or office tasks. 30Hz refresh is quite comfortable for that.

about 6 months ago
top

Rise of the Super-High-Res Notebook Display

Ed Avis Re:Work? (333 comments)

In Windows it works better if you stick to an exact multiple of 100%. In other words your choices are 100% or 200%.

about 7 months ago
top

Exponential Algorithm In Windows Update Slowing XP Machines

Ed Avis Re:No Sympathy (413 comments)

Why on earth would you choose to base your product (something that presumably companies will use for many, many years) on something that will have no security support in just 4 months?

You wouldn't. You based it on something that would be supported for several years when you made the decision back in 2006. It's just that schedules being as they are, it has taken that long to develop the product and get it to market.

In the land of dinosaurs, where Big Companies do Stupid Things, it is fairly common for new products to be launched and then the whole platform end-of-lifed soon after. It's nobody's fault in particular, just how decisions get made.

about 7 months ago
top

Intel, Unisys Partner On New Range of Servers

Ed Avis Re:We have the way out! (46 comments)

If you have an Intel server running Linux is that really any different from a SPARC server running Linux or Solaris?

about a year ago

Submissions

Ed Avis hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Ed Avis has no journal entries.

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...