Beta
×

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

Mars One Has 78,000 Applicants

butlerm Math is way off. (355 comments)

Somebody needs a math lesson. 3000 miles * 5280 feet per mile / 78000 = 203 feet. That is a tad more than 40 cm.

about a year and a half ago
top

Rare Docs Show How Apple Created Apple II DOS

butlerm Re:the more things change... (130 comments)

The Apple IIgs was dramatically different from all other Apple II models. It was backward compatible, but came with a 16 bit processor (the 65816), much more RAM (256K or more), greatly improved sound and video, and a GUI shell much like that of the Mac, plus color, which nearly all Macs lacked at the time. It was a little underpowered compared to the 68000 based Mac, Amiga, and Atari ST, but a more than respectable upgrade to the Apple II series nonetheless.

As educational / entertainment devices even the older Apple IIs ran circles around the PC until EGA was widely deployed in the late 1980s. PC games inevitably were designed for CGA graphics, with a fixed set of four unimaginative colors at a time. The Apple II was better than that almost ten years earlier, to say nothing of the much less expensive Commodore 64. The PC was intended primarily for business purposes, and it showed.

about a year and a half ago
top

Rare Docs Show How Apple Created Apple II DOS

butlerm Re:A Computer For The Masses? (130 comments)

The Apple II wouldn't be more than a footnote in history if those prices didn't go way down, which they did. By the mid 1980s virtually every school in the country had a classroom full of them.

about a year and a half ago
top

Rare Docs Show How Apple Created Apple II DOS

butlerm Re:35 Days to write an OS (130 comments)

If you asked the creators, they would probably be embarrassed to call it an operating system at all. Apple DOS didn't handle keyboard support, video support, sound support, or printer support. That was all handled using either the monitor (a BIOS in ROM that was not part of DOS), peripheral card ROMs in some cases, or by direct access to the hardware.

MS-DOS was similar. It handled file I/O and that is it. A disk operating system, not a computer operating system. The BIOS was separate, not controlled by Microsoft, but rather by the PC manufacturer, and in ROM.

about a year and a half ago
top

Rare Docs Show How Apple Created Apple II DOS

butlerm Re:35 Days to write an OS (130 comments)

He didn't write an OS, he wrote a disk operating system, i.e. a system that operated disks. They called it DOS for a reason.

about a year and a half ago
top

A 50 Gbps Connection With Multipath TCP

butlerm Re:what's happening with SCTP? (150 comments)

A stateful firewall doesn't need to block transport layer protocols it doesn't understand in order to provide a meaningful level of security. All it needs to do is block packets from IP addresses that corresponding interior address has not recently communicated with, with a reasonable time out. UDP is handled much the same way today.

If the developers of stateful IPv6 firewalls do not ship devices with such a reasonable configuration by default, they will block the deployment of new transport protocols indefinitely - at least all those that do not resort to the awkward expedient of running on top of UDP.

Blocking new transport protocols developers can reasonably handle with a standard policy is bad for efficiency, power consumption, latency, user experience, and so on in the long run - TCP is far from ideal as a transport protocol goes. In a number of ways it is outright backwards. If you want to impede the long term development of the Internet, degrading the end-to-end principle unnecessarily is a good place to start.

about a year and a half ago
top

A 50 Gbps Connection With Multipath TCP

butlerm Re:what's happening with SCTP? (150 comments)

Work is underway for concurrent multipath transfer for SCTP as well. Also known as CMT-SCTP. There are significant challenges in doing this sort of thing though. SCTP wasn't designed for CMT, and probably needs much more radical changes than the current architects are proposing to do it well.

Changes like subflows with independent sequence numbers and congestion windows, to start with. SCTP is much further ahead in the connection handling and security department, but MPTCP has the odd advantage of resorting to independent subflows to begin with, and if it can handle path failure properly, it might well be ahead in the CMT game, if byte stream semantics are all you need.

about a year and a half ago
top

A 50 Gbps Connection With Multipath TCP

butlerm Re:what's happening with SCTP? (150 comments)

On the contrary, SCTP is a transport protocol just like TCP, except with a large number of added features. The main problem with SCTP has nothing to do with SCTP at all. It is that NAT devices do not support any transport protocol that they haven't been programmed for in advance. This makes SCTP next to impossible to deploy on a broad scale - NAT, that wart upon router-kind, is ubiquitous.

TCP would have exactly the same problem if it were a new protocol. A NAT device requires relatively deep knowledge of TCP to support it at all. It play games with both ports and addresses, keeps track of connection state, and so on. Ordinary routers do no such thing. A NAT device is a transport layer proxy by another name.

about a year and a half ago
top

COBOL Will Outlive Us All

butlerm Re:If it aint broke... (318 comments)

The late 1950s would be more accurate. Computers in the late 1940s predated compilers. If you were extraordinarily lucky, you might have an assembler.

about a year and a half ago
top

Multi-State AT&T U-Verse Outage Enters Third Day

butlerm Re:It worked better with relays (202 comments)

No, he said that the government breaking up the monopoly was "criminal"

I guess that is why one should quote a line or two of the comment he or she is responding to. The one you were actually responding to was hidden.

And when I say "simple engineering", I mean standard engineering practice. No one in his right mind designs a mission critical system for tens of thousands of people without full redundancy and usually automatic failover as well. A system that size that goes down for more than five minutes is more likely to be the result of engineering malpractice than anything else.

I still have a traditional land line, because it is reliable. I can't remember ever picking it the phone up and not having a dial tone. That would most definitely not be the case with any other kind of service available to residences and small businesses. The PSTN was designed to be reliable, and the people who designed readily available Internet access service designed it by the same standards that one might use for toys. Entertainment devices.

No one cares very much if they can't watch I Love Lucy for a couple of hours, although every television station I am aware of is about three orders of magnitude more reliable than the DSL / cable monopolies as well, if not quite as reliable as the PSTN.

about a year and a half ago
top

Multi-State AT&T U-Verse Outage Enters Third Day

butlerm Re:It worked better with relays (202 comments)

That is quite the red herring there. Did the poster say we should restore the AT&T monopoly? No. What he said (in so many words) is that the systems were engineered to such high standards that they never went down.

The suggestion that we would have to return to monopoly pricing in order for Internet access providers to give reliable service is preposterous. It takes some simple engineering is all. Which the current folks at AT&T (formerly Southeastern Bell) are apparently either incapable of or are prevented from doing. The folks at Comcast and CenturyLink are similar.

If these quasi-monopoly providers can't deliver basic service that doesn't take large areas down for hours on end, they are inviting government regulation to make them engineer their systems so they don't. Not price regulation, engineering standards regulation.

Personally, I appreciate it when I cross a bridge and it doesn't collapse under the offered weight. That doesn't seem to be a particularly high priority at most of the monster ISPs these days - quite the opposite. Lets make the most unreliable service we can get away with seems to be the order of the day.

about a year and a half ago
top

Will "Group Hug" Commoditize the Hardware Market?

butlerm Re:pci-e X8 is limmted IO why not at least X16? (72 comments)

This is intended for server use. No video output required. The PCIe part is actually optional. I wouldn't expect to see this in workstations anytime soon, not without a major redesign at any rate. The form factor is designed for small, low power processors. The interface is not designed for SMP or anything like that either.

about 2 years ago
top

Will "Group Hug" Commoditize the Hardware Market?

butlerm Re:Where is the ROI? (72 comments)

It is not a CPU slot specification. It is a micro-server slot specification, which is much more practical. Think small form factor blade server. The PCIe part is actually optional.

about 2 years ago
top

Will "Group Hug" Commoditize the Hardware Market?

butlerm Re:This would be awesome.. (72 comments)

Basically, they are sawing the motherboard in 2, where the CPU and memory are on the daugterboard, and the rest of the components (SATA,USB3, PCIe slots, sound, video outputs) are all that remain on the motherboard

It is actually a micro-server architecture. Think small form-factor blade servers with an optional PCIe interconnect, optional remote SATA devices, and one mandatory ethernet interface, all running through what looks like an ordinary PCIe slot, but isn't.
http://www.opencompute.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Open_Compute_Project_Micro-Server_Card_Specification_v0.5.pdf

about 2 years ago
top

Will "Group Hug" Commoditize the Hardware Market?

butlerm Re:S100 anyone? (72 comments)

More important, it means that elements of memory and processing that now must be fixed closely together can be separated within a rack, and used as needed for different kinds of tasks.

This statement is in reference to Intel's proposal, which is still vaporware. I seriously doubt they are talking about locating main memory away from the processors. That would more or less be suicidal.

Facebook's design certainly does no such thing.
http://www.opencompute.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Open_Compute_Project_Micro-Server_Card_Specification_v0.5.pdf

about 2 years ago
top

Will "Group Hug" Commoditize the Hardware Market?

butlerm Re:Umm, is there an article here? (72 comments)

Here is a link to an actual specification. If you read it, you will see that about half of what has been written about this announcement is wildly off base. We are talking micro-servers here - complete with on board cpu, ram, boot eeprom, flash storage, and ethernet. PCIe and SATA connections to the backplane are optional. Think small form factor blade server.
http://www.opencompute.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Open_Compute_Project_Micro-Server_Card_Specification_v0.5.pdf

about 2 years ago
top

Will "Group Hug" Commoditize the Hardware Market?

butlerm Re:do the cards have room for 4-8 / 6-12 ram slots (72 comments)

The memory is going to stay on the processor cards. It would be somewhere between slow and ridiculously slow (by modern standards) to do anything else. The slot interface is PCIe x8. An I/O interconnect. Not memory, certainly not SMP. More like a tightly coupled cluster.

about 2 years ago
top

French Telecom Claims To Have Forced Google To Pay For Traffic

butlerm Re:Great investigative reporting, there... (207 comments)

Cable companies pay television stations for content, not for delivery. It is not yet quite practical to let users pay for content independently because cable channels occupy a fixed portion of the bandwidth of the entire downstream network. When the fixed allocation of bandwidth required for a real time channel becomes irrelevant, cable channels as we know them will go away, and users will pay for content directly. The cost for delivering the content is another story.

That is what network peering arrangements are about - nothing to do with content, but rather with traffic. Big difference. It makes sense from a traffic engineering point of view for a provider like Netflix to cover part of the cost of delivering the traffic to the end user. The cost of producing the content, on the other hand, is none of the ISPs business. That is between Netflix and the end user. The ISP does not charge for content, the ISP does not pay for content. The ISP deals in traffic.

about 2 years ago
top

The U.S. Careens Over the Fiscal Cliff, Reaching Only Half of a Deal

butlerm Summary is ridiculously misleading (639 comments)

The summary is ridiculously misleading. The Senate didn't vote before midnight either. They have yet to hold a vote, although supposedly one is scheduled for about 4:00 a.m. EST. Sometime tomorrow morning the House will reconvene to consider whatever the Senate passes.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

butlerm hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

butlerm has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?