|Scary Christmas, Foil and
Editor:- December 23, 2004 - In previous years I used to
wait till Christmas Eve before buying the tree and doing the Christmas present
and food shopping.
But last year I nearly came unstuck with this last
minute dot con Christmas shopping plan and had to drive around 30 miles and
visit half a dozen likely shops before I found a tree. The whole Christmas
thing is starting so early nowadays... So this year to save time and fuel I
decided to do the tree shopping a bit earlier. I thought it was early. Hell it
was 5 days earlier than I usually do it. But when I got to my local garden
center on Sunday they only had 5 scrawny bushes left.
standing it against the wall - the fact that the "tree" is lopsided
and only has branches on the lower third of the stalk doesn't matter so much. My
wife has padded out the space with decorations - so it doesn't look quite so
much like a plant from Star Trek .
We booked a slot with our regular
online grocery supplier to deliver the turkey and the next week's worth of food
at 9 o'clock tonight - so we hope it arrives otherwise we'll be joining the mad
rush in the shops tomorrow.
Everyone else I know always got their
tree up and decorated at the start of December and their fridges and freezers
were already bursting with Yuletide fare a week before the deadline. How do
people find the time to get that organised? - I ask myself. December 25th always
comes as a complete surprise to me. Not using a diary or organiser, or any form
of pda and possibly being the only person on the whole planet without a cell
phone - I only worked out that Christmas fell on a Saturday - the week before.
So I was unable to join in the sagacious conversations which discussed the
details of where exactly people were going to be on what day and when they were
going to finish work. Why do people need this kind of information?
you're ready yet or not - I hope it works out for you and you have the best
Christmas you can. For some people death, separation or illness makes this a
very difficult time. For others - the chore of being sociable to relatives
whom you rarely see also presents challenges. I assume there are some people who
actually enjoy Christmas. Humbug! That's just an urban myth created by consumer
Anyway - isn't it about time you stopped working and
checked that list of things you need to pick up on the way home? Baking foil is
the thing I usually forget - because we only use it once a year.
Christmas and New Year to you all.
Zsolt Kerekes Editor/Publisher
- If anyone's interested I've written some new scribbles on
goblinsearch.com this year. The idea
that one day when I retire I may have to earn a living doing fictional scribbles
is even more scary than Christmas.
...Later - Friday Dec 24 AM - I
knew I shouldn't have mentioned the foil. That's the one thing that Ocado forgot
in their Christmas delivery last night. I think the long tubes - which don't
fit in their plastic staging crates - were probably in another part of the van.
We weren't the only ones apparently not to get their foil according to customer
service. So it's a quick trip out to Tesco Express this morning. Ugh! how I hate
doing offline shopping. You get the cold wind and the wet rain unlike the
nice white snow in the online virtual malls. And you get sneezed on by other
shoppers who might give you the flu. (That was last Christmas - 2 weeks wiped
out - so I should be imune now hopefully. Bah humbug. Time to book the summer
SPARC Product Directory - 2004 Review
editor:- December 17,
2004 - published today in the SPARC Product Directory - is a new
article - "Sun, SPARC and Solaris Highlights and Lowlights in 2004."
was a major turning point in the history of the Sun, SPARC and Solaris systems
market. This end of year review summarises all the main market developments,
lists the top news stories and makes some key predictions about 2005.
...read the article
HP Gambles Another $3 Billion on Itanium 2-based Integrity Server
Calif. - December 16, 2004 - HP today announced an investment of more
than $3 billion over the next three years designed to vault Intel
Itanium 2-based HP Integrity servers to the leadership position in the $20
billion market currently served by RISC processors.
Building on strong Integrity server sales momentum, this investment
will span research and development, server and system software design,
partner-led application solutions, and sales and marketing. In related news
today, Intel Corporation reached agreement with HP to hire HP's Intel Itanium
processor design team based in Ft. Collins, Colo., strengthening its investment
in the Itanium architecture and bolstering the development of multi-core,
multi-threaded processors. This agreement is designed to accelerate broader
industry adoption of the Itanium architecture in Intel's target markets of RISC
replacement, high-performance technical computing and mainframe replacement.
comments:- now I'm not a betting person, but this to me looks very much like
a desperate bluff by HP to convince wannabe 64 bit server customers that HP is
prepared to take some heat in getting market share in this business. And that
heat comes from 2 directions:- Sun - with its 8 year established 64 bit SPARC
architecture, and other Linux server makers who use AMD's 64 bit Opteron chip.
Intel failed miserably to establish its Itanium 1 as a 64 bit
standard. The 2 reasons were:- binary code incompatibility with the x86 legacy
software base and lack lustre performance. HP was a prominent supporter of
Intel's original Itanium development. But most commentators agree that Intel
has already lost the battle to establish Itanium as the flagship chip for a
future 64 bit version of Windows.
No one in the Intel camp is going
to admit that for certain until the battle is well and truly lost. Intel's
technology partners will have signed non disclosure agreements and won't want to
piss off a strategic chip partner. Most IT publications will similarly want to
protect themselves from having the Intel Inside advertising cushion pulled away
from under them.
But an experienced Intel watcher and former senior
Intel marketer I spoke to suggested anonymously that although Intel is likely
to pursue Itanium for another generation - Intel will most likely aim to develop
an Opteron killer binary code compatible alternative processor as its real long
Intel has had failed processor architectures in the
past. In 1981 - Intel promoted a 32 bit processor called the Intel iAPX 432 to
woo customers away from Motorola's future 68000 family. I remember as an
experienced digital design engineer at the time being very impressed with all
the documentatin and handbooks Intel sent to people like me who were designing
high end microprocessor based products to manage their low end 8 bit micro
based product lines. The iAPX 432 was a good smoke screen and attention grabber
- and most of us decided at that time to follow the Intel 16 bit path which
started with route 8086.
My gut feel that the Itanium 2 will be a dead
end architecture, and all the money which HP and others say they will invest in
making it a success won't change the fact that the 64 bit Intel Architecture
Linux race has already been won by AMD, while the RISC Unix race will be won
by SPARC / Solaris.
Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing and Critical I/O
Partner to Provide High Performance Gigabit Ethernet Solutions
Canada - December 15, 2004 - Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing
and Critical I/O announced today the culmination of collaborative work
resulting in a range of solutions for embedded system designers needing high
performance Gigabit Ethernet technology in embedded military and aerospace
The work was performed as part of Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded
Computing "EXTENS IONS" Certified Partner Products program. Now
system designers can select Critical I/O's industry-leading XGE line of Gigabit
Ethernet PMC's with the assurance that it will interoperate functionally,
electrically and mechanically with a range of CWCEC products including the
SCP/DCP-122 3U CompactPCI 750FX-based SBC and VME-680 SwitchBlade 6U VME
12/20/24 port Gigabit Ethernet switch.
The Critical I/O XGE line of TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) based PMC's
dramatically reduces CPU loading while maximizing Gigabit Ethernet throughput.
With the SCP/DCP-122, the XGE-4010 achieves a sustained throughput of 108
MByte/s while requiring a CPU load of less than 1% of the 800 MHz 750FX basecard
At maximum throughput, other Gigabit Ethernet solutions
consume 100% of the basecard CPU and are still not able to match the Critical
I/O XGE's data rates. For compute intensive applications that require high data
rates and low CPU overhead, the Critical I/O XGE PMC and a Curtiss-Wright
Controls Embedded Computing basecard is an unbeatable combination.
SBS Technologies Announces New CompactPCI DSP I/O Boards
ALBUQUERQUE, NM - December 15, 2004 -
Today, SBS Technologies introduced a new member of its line of
DSP-based I/O Interface boards for military and defense applications.
6U DIO1-6CP provides a highly versatile interface between a CompactPCI bus and
DSP-based inputs and outputs. The 6U DIO1-6CP is available in commercial,
conformal-coated and conduction-cooled versions.
This 6U CompactPCI DSP-based I/O interface board is based on Texas
Instruments' TMS5402 DSP and Altera's 1K ACEX FPGA devices. The 6U CompactPCI
DSP-based I/O interface board features two PMC Interface slots for added
versatility. Based on SBS core designs, the 6U DIO1-6CP has varying I/O
capabilities that can be added to or modified from an extensive array of
previously designed and verified I/O circuits.
These CompactPCI commercial and conduction-cooled DSP-based I/O
boards can handle a wide variety of signals and perform on-the-fly signal
processing, making them ideal for mission computers and other applications with
harsh environmental demands. DSP program code and FPGA configuration data can
be downloaded and stored in Flash memory via the host processor, allowing the 6U
DIO1-6CP to combine the functionality of several specialty boards while saving
precious backplane slots for other uses. Because this board design is based upon
a programmable architecture, SBS can provide custom features such as Engineering
Unit conversion and precise timing of signals and sample rates. The DIO1-6CP
DSP-based I/O board supports Wind River Systems' VxWorks, Green Hills Software's
Integrity and Microsoft Windows operating systems and comes configured with
built-in testing capability software. List pricing starts at $7,200
SPARC SBCs -
Strategic Technologies are Stars Says Sun
Cary, NC - December 13,
2004 - Strategic Technologies (STI) announced that its Strategic
Customer Care team recently participated in Sun Microsystems' Help Desk
Accreditation Program and met Sun's operational readiness requirements by
receiving a perfect score of 100%.
In order to maintain its
ServiceManager authorization, a company is required to receive a minimum passing
score of 70%. STI's Strategic Customer Care team diagnoses and resolves IT
issues, offering multiple levels of support - from proactive, mission-critical
service to basic, self-service maintenance. Strategic Technologies also offers
support for VERITAS, StorageTek, HP, BMC, Brocade, Cisco, Wintel, and many
Pat Allen, vice president, Strategic Technologies, commented, "Achieving
100% on this test is a huge statement about our Strategic Customer Care team and
the team's education, commitment, and quality of processes used to service our
customers. When you score 100 out of 100 on a very difficult test, you are at
the absolute top of the heap in an extremely competitive industry."
Santa's Sleigh will be Loaded with SPARC Stuff
December 13, 2004 - pageviews in the SPARC Product Directory
shot up by 40% last week compared to the weekly average in the past
In the past 4 years the only time we didn't see this type of
November to December pageviews surge was in 2001 following the terrorist
attacks on 9/11. There are 2 main reasons for it happening now.
- US companies (with annual budgets that end in December) shop around at this
time of year, either to spend what they already have, or to plan for their
purchases in the new year. January is usually another growth month for SPARC
Either way it's good news for SPARC vendors and a market which
- despite being written off by many analysts - will probably grow by as much as
10% in revenue in 2005. SPARC market history
- Savvy Sun customers know that the later they buy within any quarter - the
better the deals they get. That's because in recent years Sun has offered
massive discounts to customers who can book orders close to the end of the
Sun Establishes New Oracle High Volume Order Processing Benchmark
CLARA, Calif., - December 7, 2004 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. announced
today that the combination of the Oracle E-Business Suite 11i9, Oracle
Database 10g running on Sun Fire E4900 systems with the Solaris 10 OS and Sun
StorEdge 6100 series storage arrays achieved a record throughput of 1.27 Million
order lines per hour using the Oracle Applications Standard Batch benchmark.
The batch benchmark includes the High Volume Order Import (HVOP)
program, which is one of the batch components of the Oracle eBusiness Suite
Order Management module. The HVOP benchmark focuses exclusively on meeting the
high order volumes originating from the electronic channels, such as consumer
and business web sites, B2B exchanges, and EDI/XML.
The Oracle OASB HVOP benchmark test was performed on a Sun Fire E4900
server with 12 UltraSPARC-IV processors at 1.2GHz running the Oracle E-Business
Suite 11i9, Oracle Database 10g, the Solaris 10 OS, and two Sun StorEdge 6100
series storage arrays. ...Sun profile
comments:- a few years back, Sun was regularly on its knees and eating dirt in
the server benchmark wars. A new OS (Solaris 10) and faster chips have brought
the wannabe kung foo fighter back out from where it has been hiding.
New Open Standards ORG for IBM's RISC Architecture
BEIJING, CHINA -
December 2, 2004 - In a step sure to spark major innovation in the design of
consumer electronics, networking, automotive, and IT systems, 15 companies today
announced their intention to form Power.org, an open standards community
around chips and systems which use Power Architecture technology.
microprocessors are the heartbeat of products ranging from video gaming systems
and telematics to supercomputers. As one of the industry's leading high
performance customizable microprocessors, it has witnessed tremendous momentum
this year. Coming together to form the Power.org community are AMCC, Bull,
Cadence Design Systems, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Culturecom, IBM,
Jabil Circuit, Novell, Red Hat, Sony Corporation, Shanghai Belling, Synopsys,
Thales, Tundra Semiconductor and Wistron.
More companies are
expected to expand the development community in the weeks ahead to accelerate
open standards collaboration for Power and PowerPC technology leading to a new
generation of applications.
With pooled resources to make specifications readily available to the
technical community, Power.org efforts are expected to facilitate creation of
new devices and components available for Power microprocessor technology. The
development community expects that the next wave of innovation in electronics,
in areas such as consumer devices, will require a highly optimizable
microprocessor technology, one able to be quickly tuned to create entire new
products for growing market segments In addition advances in video gaming,
networking, and consumer electronics are demanding integration of products from
multiple vendors to deliver new functions.
comments:- 15 years ago Sun did something similar for SPARC. With the promise of
an open licensing regime for its processor and Sun's host bus adapter technology
(SBus) - by the mid 1990s Sun had aggregated hundreds of computer
manufacturers in a common cause - to promote the greater awareness and a richer
product base for its SPARC Solaris platform. But in 1996 - most of the SPARC
chip companies failed to make the transition to a 64 bit chip. Left with control
of the operating systems and a weakly competing chip partner (Fujitsu) - Sun
used its business advantages to kill off any uncomfortable competitors and reap
a virtual monopoly in the SPARC systems market. Unlike England's historic King
Henry 8th - who removed troublesome wives by decapitation or divorce, Sun's
serial killer methods were less public and left less forensic evidence - but
were just as successful.
Nowadays, much of the talk coming from Sun
is about its wish to make Solaris an open source standard (so it can kill of
Linux). Unfortunately for Sun - that won't work - because in a couple of years -
extrapolating from current market revenue data - the annual Linux server
business (based on factory shipments) will be bigger than that for Solaris
servers. Nevertheless Solaris will remain a bigger installed base than Linux
for at least 3 years - even if Sun doesn't manage to brainwash new users into
adopting its "open" Solaris plans. My guess is that the Power.org
announcement (hatched and penned by IBM) is perfectly timed to add muddle and
confusion into the crystal ball of users looking for a clear long term non Intel
Architecture server strategy. Add in the fog caused by HP's unsuccessful
transition plan for for its Alpha users and you get what Sherlock Holmes might
have called a real pea souper. The way ahead is far from clear. But I will try
to shed some light in my series of
See also:- Industry
Christmas, Foil and Humbug|
2004 SPARC Market Review
Another $3 Billion on Itanium 2
New High Performance Gigabit Ethernet
New CompactPCI DSP I/O Boards
are Stars Says Sun
Santa's Sleigh will be Loaded with SPARC Stuff
Establishes New Oracle Benchmark
New Open Standards ORG for IBM's
|SSD Data Recovery
Concepts and Methodologies|
|It's hard enough understanding the design
of any single SSD. And there are so many different designs in the market. |
|| If you've ever wondered what it looks like at
the other end of the SSD supply chain - when a user has a damaged SSD which
contains priceless data with no usable backup - this article - written by one
of a rare new breed of
experts will give you some idea. read the article|
Trivia Quiz - Test your knowledge of Sun's technologies and marketing
Sun has had an impressive track record of promoting
innovation and inventing new computer technology, especially in its younger
more creative days. Which of the following statements is true?
- Sun invented the microprocessor.
(b) - Sun invented Unix.
- the first C compiler was written on a Sun-1 workstation.
(d) - Sun
was the co-inventor of Ethernet (along with Xerox and DEC).
(e) - Sun
(f) - Sun invented RISC.
(g) - all of the
(h) - none of the above.
This is just one of many
similar questions you'll find in our entertaining
|the Fastest Solid State
Speed isn't everything, and it comes at a price.
| But if
you do need the speediest
SSD then wading through the web sites of 100 current
SSD oems to find a suitable
candidate slows you down.
And the SSD search problem will get even
| I've done the research for you
to save you time. And this page is updated daily from
storage news and direct
inputs from oems. ...read
the article, |
is Data Recovery? - article by Disklabs|
The first time you
try any new technology service it can be a bit daunting. Who do you choose?
What if it goes wrong? The pressure really turns up when you are in the
situation of having lost your data due to a backup failure, hardware fault,
operator error or physical disaster. That's usually the first time you look at
the data recovery market. and it's when you're in a high state of anxiety and
can't take the risk of anything else going wrong. This article is a simple guide
to how the data recovery industry works and how it can help you in this
frightening situation. ...read the article,...Disklabs profile,
Hard disk drives