That’s a Can-Do attitude. Let’s give them equipment and material and they will do the job.
see Al Jazeera
That’s a Can-Do attitude. Let’s give them equipment and material and they will do the job.
see Al Jazeera
A blogger reports that anti-Gaddafi forces in Benghazi are heading to Tripoli by avoiding the stronghold of Sirte which guards the coast road along the Mediterranean Sea by travelling hundreds of kilometres to the south. This might be the easiest strategy for forward observers or emergency relief supplies but for a lengthy campaign it would be much wiser to follow the coast road and detour around Sirte much closer to the town. Continue reading ‘The Coast Road Past Sirte in Libya’
Al Jazeera reports that “conservatives” in USA are recommending “military intervention”. The concern seems to be that this could be a repeat of Iraq. Continue reading ‘Possible Actions in Libya’
I was reading one of M$’s glowing reports of how the City of Sudbury moved everyone to Office and lived happily ever-after. The city amalgamated and it was natural to consider moving everyone to a single platform to make IT more efficient and flexible. There were several fires that needed extinguishing:
That’s all pretty reasonable. However the result of studies made was to migrate everyone to Office 2007 and “lowering costs”. It turns out that OpenOffice.org did work reasonably well that folks were using it instead of Office to do their document conversions… However, to get stuff/information in and out of the ERP system, Office was chosen as it was well integrated.
The error I see in that logic is that, because their ERP system was locked-in to Office, they chose to lock everything into Office. Did no one consider changing the ERP system to something open??? Want to bet on whether or not someone in HQ, before the amalgamation got to choose what ERP system was going to be used before they chose an office suite? Now, it could be that Office is better integrated into some unnamed ERP system and it could be that changing ERP systems might have been more costly than not changing the ERP system, but did no one count the cost of sending money to M$ (and the ERP system possibly) forever. I think not.
I have seen this time and again where a chain is built linking from some point and arriving at another point with the assumption that if the links were each created with sound decisioins that a strong chain existed. That is false if the supposition that the starting point should not be changed is false. There is no mention of an evaluation of ERP. The whole thing is just an elaborate case of lock-in. Folks were productive with what they had. They will be productive with what they got but it is not good evidence that they would not be more productive if they had considered changing the ERP system.
So, Sudbury chose to remain locked in. So, the taxpayers of Sudbury get to send money to M$ forever.
It turns out that ERP was examined and a roadmap was chosen in the previous two years.
A long term plan – the ERP Roadmap and vision for the end state Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system was developed by Finance, Administrative Services and Human Resources.
It turns out they are using PeopleSoft/Oracle… Of course Oracle charges a lot per user, from a few dollars for HelpDesk to $thousands for Inventory Policy Planning. I guess if I had spent millions on licences for that I might be inclined to keep using it. Those are US commercial licences. No mention of government. Perhaps they charge more…
Of course PeopleSoft began to suport GNU/Linux servers in 2003 and there are lots of ERP systems that work well with OpenOffice.org, too.
So, the decision to go with Office was actually made years earlier when Sudbury locked itself in to PeopleSoft. Ironically, Oracle owns both PeopleSoft, OpenOffice.org and has its own GNU/Linux distro… It could integrate OpenOffice.org better if it wanted but chose to integrate with another ERP system. What M$ touts as a win for Office was just another example of short-sighted decision-making. If Sudbury had actually considered the office suite and ERP system as a unit they might have come to completely different solutions.
One of the things that will help end-users get ARM going on their ordinary personal computers is the love of GNU/Linux or Android/Linux. There are moves to port Android to x86 but now there is IcedRobot which seeks to create a Davik virtual machine on a normal GNU/Linux system. This is all good.
One big advantage of IcedRobot is that it will use OpenJDK on the desktop so Oracle will be toothless. Chuckle…
Either way you slice it, all kinds of Linux-based systems will be running on PCs of all kinds. The lowest cost will be ARM in your PC. The highest performance may still be AMD64 and in the middle x86, none of which require that other OS to slow us down, force reboots or gather malware from the universe. The ability to run all the cool Android apps on desktops will be very attractive for those already in love with their smartphones.
see also icedrobot-fosdem-2011-02-05.pdf
There is chaos in Libya with food shortages imminent. Rather than the sanctions against Libya that some are asking of the UN and countries, consider what Libyans who are getting organized around Benghazi are asking:
A statement from The Network of Free Ulema – Libya:
“To the religious leaders of all faiths, to the political leaders of all countries, to the heads of all international organizations, and to all men and women of good will. As servants of the brave and dignified Libyan people, the Muslim Scholars and Tribal Leaders of Libya are united in informing you of the following: Continue reading ‘What the Libyans Want’
For a few years now I have seen home-grown microprocessors shipping in China. The Register has an update and a roadmap for the Longsoon/Godson family of MIPS processors. These can run GNU/Linux or Irix but not that other OS (except CE…). It seems that these processors are reasonably competitive with x86/amd64 in price/performance and cover the same range of applications. Wintel is completely surrounded now with ARM biting at their heels and Godson going for the jugular…
Here’s one for sale by Lemote for $190 FOB Shanghai. That comes with a 10″ screen, 1gB RAM and an 800 MHz processor. Not quick but adequate for GNU/Linux. Ships with RedFlag or Debian GNU/Linux. They can make 200K units per month… They also ship a miniature PC having a mass of 0.78 kg and an all-in-one PC.
UPDATE Here is a video of Loongson v2 from 2007
Here is a Lemote tiny box from 2006:
Imagine how well version 3 works today.
John Stokes wrote:”It’s also the case that as ARM moves up the performance ladder, it will necessarily start to drop in terms of power efficiency. Again, there is no magic pixie dust here, and the impact of the ISA alone on power consumption in processors that draw many tens of watts is negligible.”
Some people just don’t get it. x86 is taking tens of watts to make a box. I have three in my home running Atom. I know what I have and how much heat they dissipate. ARM can provide the user wonderful performance with less silicon, fewer transistors. “The Cortex-A9 power-optimized hard macro implementation delivers its peak performance of 4000 DMIPS while consuming less than 250mW per CPU when selected from typical silicon.” That was for 40nm. They have 20nm parts scheduled for this year and 14nm is in the pipes.
That’s not magic pixie dust. With a smaller and simpler instruction set, ARM takes fewer transistors to get the job done. ARM cores at the same resolution as Intel Atoms are 4 times smaller in area. x86 has bloated its instruction set over the years and Intel cannot escape it with the huge installed base. ARM does not have that burden. Intel can reduce its power/MIPS ratio with Moore’s Law but ARM is no slouch. It has partners at TSMC and IBM that are headed for 20nm and 14nm production so ARM will always be ahead in that. When both x86 and ARM reach the point of vanishing returns in that power consumption is not an issue, ARM will have a large share of personal computing markets. Further, even when power/MIPS is not an issue, size, price and total power consumption will still matter in data centres which are growing in importance.
Now, this is mostly about mobile computing but that is more than half of all personal computing so ARM has plenty of room to grow. Notebooks are about 60% of unit shipments of non-ARM PCs at the moment and ARMed smartphones and tablets should catch up to the unit shipments of notebooks in a year or so. So, performance per watt does matter and ARM will take a huge share. Some people are used to keeping their notebooks plugged in so x86 won’t suddenly be gone but even the smartphone now meets all computing needs of much of the market for personal computing devices. That will only grow and docks and connectors will take care of more of the need for desktop computing. There will just be no more need for big box/hair-drying PCs in our homes and offices except for content generators and number crunchers. All the heavy work will be done on servers and servers will be far fewer in number than PCs. ARM will take over the computing space just as they have the embedded space.
Did we mention price? With volume production, the price of ARM CPUs will always be less than x86. Less silicon and lower licensing fees means lower prices.
One of the false charges that anti-FLOSS protestors hurl at FLOSS is that FLOSS is run by amateurs. Begging that question, they conclude that FLOSS cannot be as good as their favourite non-free software. Continue reading ‘Amateurism’
Gartner has more numbers for 2011. It looks like a smartphone is the number one item on consumers wishlists. Combined with the numbers from 2010, this means the numbers of users of Linux on client devices likely doubled in 2010 and will do so again in 2011. More people are buying smartphones than PCs of the notebook, and desktop kinds and the trend will only increase as prices come down. Having seen what a smartphone or tablet can do with a large monitor and keyboard, I believe that the larger format devices will peak this year. Growth of notebook sales has slowed considerably and desktop sales have already peaked.
The world of IT will change dramatically in 2011 and the monopoly is near death.
ARM is doing well at 45nm and below. Samsung is expecting 30% power reduction at 20nm compared to 28nm processes with the same level of performance. Its current 45nm Exynos processor is perfectly able to run all kinds of gadgets. Two steps lower in resolution should make for very long battery life. This technology is quite suitable for lower-priced PCs of all kinds.
In a year in which HP and M$ both announced intent to ship personal computing products with ARM processors, IDC still does not count them…
“Looking at processor shipments by form factor, during the year 2010 mobile PC processor unit shipments grew 26.2%, x86 server processor unit shipments grew 28.1%, and desktop processor unit shipments grew 6.2%. Mobile PC processors, which represented 50.2% of all PC processors shipped in 2009, represented 54.1% of processors in 2010.”
Well, IDC, some mobile processors are ARM. Why not count them? What’s holding you back?
IDC’s forecast for year-over-year growth in PC (mobile, desktop, x86 server) microprocessor unit shipments is 10.1% in 2011. “Corporate spending continues to drive spending on server platforms and commercial clients,” added Rau. “However, the affects of emerging devices, like media tablets, and economic concerns in Europe and the U.S., lead us to be conservative in our overall outlook.”
With ARM shipping billions of units annually and approaching 100 million personal computing devices, I should think ARM will be having an impact on personal computing in 2011.
Does anyone doubt that consumers and businesses will find uses for these gadgets? The ability to connect to large screens and keyboards means these devices can do anything most people want from a personal computer.
My first use of GNU/Linux in 2001 was so remarkably better than what I had been using, I feel it is important work to share GNU/Linux with the world. I have been blessed by working in schools where students and school systems have benefited by good, modular software easily installed in most systems.
I have shown GNU/Linux to thousands of students and hundreds of teachers over the years and will continue in some way doing that until I die in spite of the opposition.
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