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Backblaze's 6 TB Hard Drive Face-Off

chrysrobyn Re:Long story short (ad-less) (173 comments)

Those of us behind corporate firewalls thank you.

about a month and a half ago

Tetris Is Hard To Test

chrysrobyn Re:Nonsense -- make your own test suite (169 comments)

Has slashdot really become a means for tech companies to inject free advertisement by a simple blog post made to look like real journalism?

Why, did you not get enough :CueCats and i-Openers? This is hardly the first Slashvertisement, and it's the only one from this company that I've seen.

about 3 months ago

Ubisoft Claims CPU Specs a Limiting Factor In Assassin's Creed Unity On Consoles

chrysrobyn Re:Cell (338 comments)

That core was basically the Intel Atom of PowerPC architectures.

I agree with all of your sentiment, and most of your statements, but this one I have trouble with. Atom is basically an original Pentium, slightly modernized. To get that out of PowerPC, you'd need to start with a 603 or so, and bring it into a 2005 age. 603 migrated to 750 and 7400. But since the 7400 was essentially a 750 with a vector unit taped to the side, the 750 would suffice as an Atom-esque core. The die size of the 750 class machines in 90nm supports this.

The PowerPC core in the PS3 and 360 was derived from Power4, a server class processor, with bunches of stuff taken out and re-pipelined. The core was made in-order, the pipeline was brought down to allow the frequency to be amped up. The area of the PowerPC core in the Cell is about the same as the entire die (core and cache) of a 750 in the same 90nm technology.

about 4 months ago

The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

chrysrobyn Re:Honestly, rifles are not the problem (651 comments)

Pistols are also the best self-defence weapon

Dogs are the best self-defence weapon. Their barking scares away countless intruders. They're armed even when you're not home. THEY GO AROUND CORNERS. They can be recalled, do not kill instantly, and can quickly recognize friends by smell.

20 years ago, my dad and I came home from a camping trip a day early, but late at night. If my mom had been armed, she would have shot at both of us. Instead, the dog woofed to wake her up and then went to go greet us.

about 4 months ago

Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

chrysrobyn Re:9.1 (1009 comments)

4.0 - great
2k - great

I could argue on both sides about 3.5 and 3.51

1 year,19 days

CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

chrysrobyn Re:Movie (295 comments)

First OEM cars DONT BLIND PEOPLE. It's the dipshits that own hondas and pickup trucks that do aftermarket HID retrofits from ebay that blind people. REal stuff doesnt do that.

Consider for a moment a road that's not perfectly straight and flat. Those OEM HID lights that are so bright and so focused on the road ahead of the car as if it were on a freeway with no slope or turn are now going to be pointing in other places. I regularly drive on back roads of New York to and from work, and there's a few places where I can tell the fancy cars because of the lights that are way too bright until I get on the same level or a straight section.

Yes, after market HID installs are a problem, but they're easy to pick out. OEM HID have different problems, and denying it underscores your tight focus on a limited terrain.

1 year,26 days

Apple 27-inch iMac With Intel's Haswell Inside Tested

chrysrobyn Re:They are still damn overpriced (241 comments)

Let's walk through building a similarly speced Hackintosh and set aside the build quality and all-in-one arguments for the moment.

(Massively cribbed from TonyMacx86.

Let's get as 3.2 GHz i5 for $200 (Core i5-4570).

We need a motherboard to plug it into. A Gigabyte for $142 will get us WiFi and some nice features (GA-Z87N).

8 gigs of RAM for $85 seems reasonable and compares to the target too. (CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9)

A Bitfenix Prodigy is a nice case for $90. Here, you may be able to go cheaper, but you can certainly go more expensive. (BFC-PRO-300-WWXKW-RP)

A Corsair 500W power supply for $55 is pretty reasonable.

Although I'd prefer an SSD, we're comparing to a system with a 7200 RPM spinner. A Seagate Barracuda for $79 seems appropriate. (ST31000524AS)

I'm having trouble matching the GeForce 755M with my Wikipedia-Fu. A modest video card with twice the memory sets us back $100 (ASUS GT640). Hopefully the performance is similar, but I'm open to suggestions.

The barebones system is $751.

You can get a 27" IPS display from Monoprice, which Anandtech said badly needed calibration to be taken seriously (http://www.anandtech.com/show/7240/monoprice-zerog-slim-27-ips-monitor-review) for $390.

You can get a decent keyboard for $50, and a decent mouse for $50 (here, you can beat both by downgrading, but I use a trackball that's closer to $100).

The reference system excludes an optical drive, so we won't needlessly add one to compare, but includes an SDXC slot, whatever that is. Assembling all those spare parts above gets me to $1241, and excludes software (which is famously "free" now, but really is only free with the purchase of a licensed computer), but I can save $460 over the reference system.

I cheaped out on the screen, but for another $100, I could get a Dell that's got decent factor calibration. I don't have speakers -- $50 may be a good budget for what's in the iMac, I don't have a camera, but a Logitec C920 for $75 seems equivalent. Adding those back in gets me closer to $235 under the reference system.

My hand-built system isn't an all-in-one, which is a value to some. My hand-built system may not be as quiet, which is worth a premium too (I used higher-power desktop components instead of the laptop equivalents in the iMac), and I may use more electricity, increasing the TCO by as much as $0.05-$0.10 per day (wild guess) which adds up over a few years. All of this, the OS, iLife and iWork licenses plus the support of being able to walk into an Apple store is where the $235 goes toward. My iMac is 5.5 years old. I've replaced the hard drive 4 times (one died out of warranty, the replacement was slower than hell but free, replaced that with a faster spinner, replaced that with an SSD), and the number of Torx screws necessary to get to them is significant, but does not make it unserviceable. The memory in my wife's (same age) died at 5 years old, and that was a $40 replacement that took 5 minutes.

It is unfair to say that this is a $12 burger selling for $100 (when I go to the local restaraunt, I pay $9-$10 for a burger, and it comes with fries... Are you overpaying for your hamburger?).

about a year ago

Despite Global Release, Breaking Bad Heavily Pirated

chrysrobyn Re:How many knew that it was a global release? (443 comments)

There would be no need to pirate it if everyone knew that it would be on TV. How many knew that this was the case?

Not everyone has the same motivations as you. "Pirates" often have setups similar to TiVo's "season pass" feature. You type in the name and all the episodes are downloaded automatically, and with higher accuracy than PVRs (ever had a favorite show preempted by a politician or sports program you weren't interested in?). They end up in a uniform location with all the other shows the user is interested in, and with a common interface-- be it XBMC or just VLC.

Fixing one TV show doesn't fix the entire problem. Personally, I was terrified to download anything ... until suddenly there was no legal way to get my TV show of choice. I was in the US, couldn't get cable, my satellite provider wouldn't (or couldn't) provide the local networks -- a problem long since rectified -- and despite my satellite and affiliate's insistence, I was unable to receive that station with any antenna. Once I realized how easy it was, I realized that it was easier and more accurate to download than it was to DVR shows. That spread to even shows I received over the antenna and satellite because of the convenience and accuracy.

I look forward to when the entertainment industry realizes they're not catering to my type and there are a lot of us out there.

about a year and a half ago

Building a Full-Auto Gauss Gun

chrysrobyn Re:Sensationalist summary at all? (285 comments)

Actually the whole gauss gun idea makes no sense.

I think it makes lots of sense. It's pretty clearly functional and simple, and it runs off the definition of a linear motor. In fact, there are some places that will assume "projectile" when you specify "linear motor" instead of slower speed ideas (like a MagLev).

Take an electric motor attach a say 100mm diameter spinning frame put you bullet on one side with a counter balance on the other side spin it up to 2000 revolutions per minute and you achieve 628m/s when you release the bullet.

Did you build one of those yourself to satisfy your own curiosity? If not, then I don't think you have any business stating that a coil gun makes no sense. When someone explores your idea and discovers a 10cm flywheel that's counterbalanced until the moment of release, what kinds of problems are they likely to encounter at the moment of release? 2000 rpms sounds pretty reasonable in terms of my car engine, but I might get nervous about that close to my face. How noisy is a 2000 rpm flywheel that is centripetally loaded? How much energy is involved in that strategy? How long is the initial spin-up?

Personally, I think the coil gun ideas are far more simple to understand and instead of mitigating drawbacks at every step, he's shooting aluminum cans and glass jars and a laptop he apparently has a great deal of animosity toward.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Begin Simple Robotics As a Hobby?

chrysrobyn Mindstorms and Arduino (166 comments)

Lego Mindstorms isn't a cheap way to go, and it's even worse if you don't already have lots of Lego lying around.

Head to Radio Shack and take a look at their Arduino kits. It's not any cheaper, but it's the popular way to start these days. That will familiarize you with some stuff that's available these days. Once you're familiar with the terminology of what interests you, head to the Internet and see what they have to offer.

about a year and a half ago

Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

chrysrobyn Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)

Uniform Vehicle Code in the US says: "a car driving below the "normal speed of traffic" should be driven in the right-hand lane." though laws vary by state. See attached link for more details on a state by state basis.

Sounds like a car entering or leaving the roadway qualifies as belonging in the right lane.

Let's say I'm driving I-87 in the middle of nowhere, New York. Speed limit is 65. 3 lanes of traffic. The right lane, according to a defensive driver, would be for entering and leaving the roadway, which typically happens at speeds below 65. The center lane is typically for cruising at 70-75 and leaves plenty of room for people who can't plan to merge well. It's in excess of the speed limit, but it's the prevailing speed. The far left lane is for those wishing to pass at 75+. Defensive driving teaches us to stay out of the way by not moving around a lot-- speed differentials cause accidents. A strict adherent to the "left lane is never for traveling, keep furthest to the right and allow all traffic to pass on your left" would end up switching lanes a whole lot. A 75 mph driver would cruise in the right lane, come up behind someone doing 65, switch lanes left and potentially be an obstacle to someone coming up behind him at 85, who instead of navigating a single lane change must now change 2 lanes (he is traveling in the right lane at 85 when he's not passing, right? he's not a hypocrite?). Big lateral movements are where mistakes are made and where the margin for error goes way down. I'm not a strict defensive driving adherent, I will move to the right lane if I'm getting passed by a bunch of traffic and don't feel safe from police if I increase my speed (generally 75mph is my upper end of my practice these days) and I have been known to pass on the right if the left two lanes are matching each others' speed.

I'll freely admit that I've been the guy driving more than 25 mph over the limit (110+ in a 50 on Vermont 22A is my worst/best more than 10 years ago, retrospectively stupid given the livestock and deer I have since seen on that road), I have a bit of a taste for speed. I like to think I even have the skill to do it better than most. But let's not start claiming that it's safe by any measure. Limiting lane changes increases safety.

Heaven forbid you have to turn off your cruise control and pay attention...

That much aggression... Is it safe to say you're a male under 25? It might be a good idea to take a defensive driving class. Many states have regulated the price and you can get a free lunch by some providers.

about a year and a half ago

Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

chrysrobyn Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)

my defensive driving instructor

Full disclosure: I was taking defensive driving because I was radared at 99 in a 75. I was honestly doing a good bit over that before I was caught and was standing on the brake pedal as soon as I saw the sheriff.

about a year and a half ago

Why US Mileage Ratings Are So Inaccurate

chrysrobyn Re:Drive conservatively! (374 comments)


I'll believe my defensive driving instructor over some guy posting on Slashdot. Here's his rationale:

Assume a three lane road and light traffic. The right lane is for entering and leaving the roadway. The left lane is for passing. The middle lane is for travel. The middle lane is the safest lane for travel under most any circumstance (some local conditions, of course, may change the general rule). Animals like deer and moose entering the roadway may do so from either side, even if you really don't expect them coming from the center median on the left. You stay out of the way of the faster traffic and need not excessively lane change for the traffic entering and leaving the roadway.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Enterprise Bitcoin Mining For Go-Green Initiatives?

chrysrobyn Re:computers are terribly inefficient (312 comments)

I bet your company ends up with a noticeably higher electricity bill, more so than you'd recover in bitcoins. I ran Seti@Home for a month on a single gaming grade system and my electricity bill jumped a staggering amount. But, I'd love to hear if I was wrong.

Let's say you're turning your screen off, and the delta between your tower sitting in sleep mode vs working balls-to-the-wall is about 400 watts. I think that's a gross overestimate since the GPU is mostly idle, but it's a strawman.

0.4 kW x 20 hours per day (24 hours minus the 4 hours you actually game) x 30 days (per arbitrary billing month) = 240 KWh. At 10 cents per KWh, it sets you back 24 dollars to run SETI for a month. Maybe I shot high for the power delta, maybe you game for 8 hours per night, maybe your heat is helping heat only the room you sleep in so you can turn the thermostat down in the rest of your house (net saving you money) or maybe your air conditioner has to work a little harder to throw that heat outside (half that $24 may be an additional adder to your power bill from the additional air conditioning for a total of $36).

Maybe you enjoy the project and the $20-$40 per month is worthwhile or maybe it's enough of an education that you now sleep your system as fully as possible in the cooling season.

about 2 years ago

Intel's Pentium Chip Turns 20 Today

chrysrobyn Re:Ahh, Pentium. (197 comments)

It ran on a full TTL +5V. So it sucked down power. Lots of power. I've disassembled first generation Pentium chips, removing the golden cover that protects the die beneath. The die is HUGE! Much bigger than any current production CPU.

It may have run on a TTL +5V, but it was BiCMOS. Weighing in at 300mm2, it's less than a Westmere Xeon's 500mm2 and I think that's a pretty fair comparison of potential customers.

about 2 years ago

Wrong Fuel Chokes Presidential Limo

chrysrobyn Re:Sigh (612 comments)

No longer "News for Nerds" Now "Inaccurate insights for imbeciles".

Your userid doesn't look new, but you talk like you are. It's been a number of years since people came here for the insightful commentary of the "editors", and even then it was pretty sparse. We all know why we come here, and it's not the editor who suggests that a diesel limo is the ideological diametric opposite to a solar powered car.

Honestly, I think /. got burned when they tried to stretch into editorialism and ended up with Katz. That guy could rant, and generally about things nobody agreed with. I think a better choice entrant into that field would have made /. a far more interesting site today, and I still hope they get a good commentator/ editor.

about 2 years ago

NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN Uses 7.1 Billion Transistor GK110 GPU

chrysrobyn Hardly "close", certainly "big". (176 comments)

With a make up of 7.1 billion transistors and a 551 mm^2 die size, GK110 is very close to the reticle limit for current lithography technology!

I believe there are two modern lithography lens manufacturers, one at 32mm x 25mm and the other at 31mm x 26mm, although I'm having trouble seeing publicly available information to confirm that. Either way, 800mm2 is the approximate upper bound of a die size, minus a bit for kerf, which can be very small. Power7 was a bit bigger. Tukwila was nearly 700mm2. Usually chips come in way under this limit and get tiled across the biggest reticle they can. A 6mm x 10mm chip might get tiled 3 across and 4 up, for example.

about 2 years ago

The Scourge of Error Handling

chrysrobyn Re:Lisp (536 comments)

I don't see how Lost In Stupid Parentheses needs to be brought up in a discussion on how to avoid cruft and verbose error handling. Unless you're trying to point out that academics void of any tangible goal ended up in the same place.

more than 2 years ago

Auto-threading Compiler Could Restore Moore's Law Gains

chrysrobyn Re:Not this shit again (404 comments)

Except... the number of transistors in a CPU is irrelevant!

No, it's very relevant.

A CPU doesn't have the transistor density that really benefits much from Moore's Law - because the vast majority of the space on a chip is not taken up by transistors, but by wiring. In fact, the wiring density is what's limiting transistor density (a good thing - larger transistors can give you better performance because they can drive the longer wires quicker).

How much wiring happens on doped silicon? None. The vast majority of the chip is covered in transistors, with 6-10 levels of wires on top of them. There are some designs where the I/O count demands so many pins that's what dictates the size of the chip -- so cache is filled in underneath. Heck, if your power budget allows it, you're already blowing the silicon area anyway, might as well increase your cache size! Consider your recent Core derived designs. Take away half the cache. Do you think the die area would go down? Not hardly.

Most of the transistors used in a CPU actually goes towards the cache - when you're talking about 16+ MB of pure L1/L2/L3 cache, implemented as 6T SRAM cells, that's 100M transistors right there (and that doesn't include the cache line tag logic and CAM).

You did the math right, but the cache line tag logic and coupled CAM are negligible. Sure, they may add a few million or so, but not anywhere near 5% of 100M.

The thing with the highest transistor density (and thus the most benefit of Moore's Law) is actually memory structures - caches, DRAM, SRAM, flash memory, etc. This is where each transistor is vital to memory storage and packing them in close means more storage is available, in which case Moore's law states that RAM etc. will double in capacity or halve in cost every 18 months or so.

I realize it's vogue for people to revisit Moore's Law and rewrite it every few years, but he was not speaking specifically about memory arrays. In fact, the chips Moore had access to at the time had very little memory on them.

Smaller transistors do help CPUs consume a little less power, but double the number of transistors doesn't do a whole lot because there's a lot of empty space that the wiring forces to be transistor-free. (Non-memory parts of the CPU are effectively "random logic" where there's no rhyme or reason to the wiring). It's why the caches have the most transistors yet take the smallest areas.

Wiring never forces silicon area to be transistor-free, unless you're thinking of 1980 era chips. Not even late '80s had wiring on doped silicon. Certainly the kinds of chips Moore was talking about has had no significant wiring on doped silicon in 20 years, the exceptions being only when layout designers are getting lazy. I've done layout design, I've done circuit design, I've audited dozens of chip layouts and seen several technology manuals dating back to the 90s.

That random logic, by the way, is the subject of the most innovation in the field of chip layout and arguably in all of chip design. When your chip's entire goal is to funnel data through different units and do different things to it, you're dominated by buses. Automated tools often do split these buses up, but different algorithms can pull them together and make them more efficient. Caches are the smallest because they can be small. There's an entire periphery to them, including senseamps devoted to reading the baby FETs that can't make full rail to rail swings on the bitlines.

May I guess you're a student? Perhaps one who is learning from a professor who hasn't been in the industry since about 1985?

more than 2 years ago



Advanced PDF management?

chrysrobyn chrysrobyn writes  |  more than 7 years ago

chrysrobyn (106763) writes "I find myself in the situation where I must store hundreds or possibly thousands of pieces of paper for later review and classification. I can't spend the time now to properly organize them (that definition may even change later anyway), or even seperate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I would like to feed it all to a sheet feeding scanner (I see them in Fry's for a few hundred dollars; some even come with free laser scanners), dump to PDF, then be able to reorder pages, drag pages to new PDF files, trash individual pages, etc. Duplicating a page would be a bonus. PDF is appealing because of the storage of the original sheet plus the OCR is generally good enough for searching.

Long story: My father in law passed away a few years ago, and he was the kind of guy who did everything on his own, at his own pace, and to nobody else's rules. Since his passing, my wife and I have wasted hundreds of hours (maybe more), trying to clean up and move on. Lawyers and a CPA have been involved, and without getting into the really long version, there is a whole lot we should really keep for our own purposes in the future (digital copies are okay, originals can be properly disposed of). Papers the professionals didn't require are vastly disorganized, occasionally sorted by year.
I don't do windows. Mac is preferred, but I personally have more experience with Linux. I've looked at DEVONthink, but it doesn't have the ability to trade pages between PDFs. I like Yep's tag feature, and can instantly come up with a dozen uses for that, but again, I can't organize an individual page somewhere. Adobe itself seems very intent on individual documents, not assisting with a database of them, or organizing between them.
Has the Slashdot audience seen anything like this?"


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