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Scaling To a Million Cores and Beyond

teazen Re:Reminds me of Hillis (206 comments)

Exactly! New is the new old. A million processors? Pah! Old hat. There has been done lots of interesting research into parallel processing in the past. Read the Connection Machine book It's a great read.

Feynman was also involved with the machine at a certain point. There's a great writeup on him and it for a quick introduction: '.. It was a complicated device; by comparison, the processors themselves were simple. Connecting a separate communication wire between each pair of processors was impractical since a million processors would require $10^{12]$ wires. Instead, we planned to connect the processors in a 20-dimensional hypercube so that each processor would only need to talk to 20 others directly. ..'

The C-5 looked awesome as well. And I'll just keep quiet about all the cool Lisp stuff they did on it.

more than 4 years ago

The Rise of the Digital Nomad

teazen Re:Workation (273 comments)

If I may swim against the tide of mocking comments: I am actually one of these people. Am typing this from an internet cafe in Kathmandu, Nepal, procrastinating on my work. This discussion frames the possibility as sitting in your local Starbucks, in stead of your office around the block, but if you see it as: "you can do your work from anywhere in an open-source fashion, with severe economic and cultural benefits for you and your boss", it doesn't sound so bad.. right.. A (bit of a narcicist) example: I did some volunteer-work here in Nepal for some time, but money-pressures required me to do some properly paid work again. My old boss had no problem letting me work for him again, but now remotely. Since you can live here like a king for a pittance, I could offer him a very nice deal, while living above my standards in Europe.

We've got another guy working from the Ukraine, and we keep in contact through the standard nerd channels: IRC, email, chat in stead of the bugword ridden communication methods mentioned in the summary (Twitter!!??.. 140 char delimited montly reports?). In some ways these communication channels are preferable to sitting in the office, cause they can be/are recorded and can be referred to by yourself and others later. Follow the #sugar IRC channel (you know, from the Sugarlabs guys) for a public example of how well this kind of remote workflow can work.

I'll admit I'm a bit of a hedonist, but if I get bored of Nepal, I might travel a bit through Asia, with my office in my backpack. Keeps me happy, and me happy keeps the boss happy. And I know a number of guys that have started to live a similar lifestyle in the last years, trotting the globe. Just in the last year the first of a new breed of wifi-cafe's popped up its head: angling for tourists and us expats alike: designed with long rows of little tables to put on your laptop and some drinks, enough power-supplies and relatively fast internet (usually 128kb :)). Of course I didn't read the FA, but I think the story title at least is spot-on.

more than 5 years ago

OLPC Downsizes Half of Its Staff, Cuts Sugar

teazen Re:Thanks Intel/Microsoft (379 comments)

Yes, we in Nepal are. Even here at the office in the capitol we have power outages 16 hours a day at the moment, not to speak of the deployment sites who also lack a proper backup scheme. As is the same for networking/internet, which partly is connected to the power issue of course. The schools and classrooms are very small. Working outside makes sense, and the ruggedness helps with the extreme dustiness around here and the fact that they are handled by kids. We hardly ever get broken laptops to repair. The hardware really is awesome for our situation.

about 6 years ago

Irish Gov't Seeks To Rein In Cyber Bullying

teazen with an iron fist (211 comments)

Ah... my shoddy mastery of the English language made me read the headline as 'Irish government seeks to reign in cyber bullying', which to me seems to be a much more attainable goal.

more than 6 years ago

OLPC's "Give 1 Get 1" Comes To Europe

teazen Re:Hope they get the logistics right this time (134 comments)

That's why they're handing the logistics over to Amazon this time around.

And yes, also for me it was a disaster. XO order was months behind schedule, contact information was wrong, they double billed me. They should have outsourced this the first time, but since they didn't have any experience in this department, they didn't know what they were getting themselves into.

You have to take the good with the bad I guess, when you deal with a non-corporate startup that wants to do stuff differently.

more than 6 years ago

Ioke Tries To Combine the Best of Lisp and Ruby

teazen (eq high-level-language scripting language)=false (255 comments)

There's more out there in high-level land than the current crop of scripting languages.

It's funny you mention that Python isn't QUITE fast enough to write an operating system in. I'd say it's dead-slow to write an operating in. Some guys at OLPC thought it was a good idea to write a window-manager in Python. And that is already dead-slow. Python as of now is still an interpreted scripting language. And I wouldn't exactly set the bar as low as to take PHP as a classic example of a fast, well designed language. I'm sure even the most rabid PHP fanboi (if they even exist), will agree with me.

There are a good number of high-level languages which are a good bit more flexible at a much higher performance rate than Python. Take some of the functional languages like Haskell or ML, Lisps like CL or Scheme, or Forth or Smalltalk. Not that shootouts say everything, but just compare a few benchmarks at http://shootout.alioth.debian.org/

And why are they faster? Because they can be (byte-)compiled quite efficiently. Python however was never designed with compiling in mind. And as such, there still isn't a worthy full-fledged Python compiler for real-live use. And as I understand it, Python is very dynamic in a way that's gonna be quite hard to compile.

Now Python is an elegant scripting language that is easy to pick up, has a nice and big standard library and has it's niche, but people that dare to write ' is vastly superior, both in overall design and performance, to other languages that provide a similar level of abstraction', either blatantly choose to ignore decennia of computer science, or still have a lot of cool stuff to learn.

more than 6 years ago

Peru To Be First To Put Windows On OLPC Laptop

teazen Re:pilot project of Microsoft, not Peru (292 comments)

What also needs clarifying perhaps is that it's not OLPC that's abandoning Linux for Windows. OLPC is basically becoming more and more a hardware vendor. It's not OLPC that does the deployments and it's not OLPC that decides what software will be shipped with the cute green thingies. That would be the governments and grassroots organizations that buy said laptops.

Here in Nepal, where our grassroots organization has started a pilot project, there's as of yet not all to much help from OLPC, except from IRC and mailing-list traffic. Also Sugar for example is now handled by an independent organization called Sugarlabs, even though the developers of OLPC and Sugarlabs still work together.

So there's at least three parties, but usually the playing field is quite a bit more complicated in a deployment zone (rivalling hardware vendors, the relationship between grassroots organizations and governments, elections, etc...), and all players can mix and match with others. We for example can run our educational software on a classmate if we want or need to. And Sugar is on the way to be ported to other platforms. Windows can run on the XO...

Also the headlines about the XO lately make it seem like Windows has already won the race. But the reality atm is that there are 55k Linux/Sugar XO's are being shipped every month and a stable, workable Windows on the XO is still a few months away. Also the new round of Give One Get One will contain Linux, not Windows. And I have yet to hear of a confirmed large scale XO deployment with Windows on in stead of Linux.

more than 6 years ago

Peru To Be First To Put Windows On OLPC Laptop

teazen pilot project of Microsoft, not Peru (292 comments)

Ed McNierney, Vice President of Software Development of OLPC sent a message to the OLPC-devel mailing list today, stating that "Microsoft has previously ordered a number of XO laptops for XP testing and pilot deployment. The usage and distribution of these machines for that effort is up to Microsoft, and that's what they're doing in Peru."

So Microsoft does a tiny-weeny implementation with one pilot school in Peru all by itself, while the main deployment in Peru with about 260.000 laptops will run Sugar on Linux. But no reporter seems to take the time to fud-check Microsoft's press statements. Surprise!

more than 6 years ago


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