* Posts by Mage

3177 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Japan Display cranks up ultra low power colour LCD panels

Mage
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Boffin

Colour vs brightness

Since the colour is by a filter, inherently the better the colour the less light there is. If the filters perfect you'd lose 2/3rds of the light as the Red filter blocks all the green and blue parts of spectrum to get the red colour.

Hence if you have pastel "weak" colour the filter blocks maybe 10%.

So they can't make it much "Better". It's physics. If you are using passive filters and ambient light then maybe 50% to 60% reflection with very pale colours and no better than 28% to 33% with good colour.

Mirasol can achieve the brightest passive colour display as it's mirrors, not pigment/dye filters and LCD.

The LCD polarisers also lose light.. The LCD itself can be pretty clear.

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BBC in secret trial to see if you care about thing you plainly don't

Mage
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Re: DAB should not be more expensive

DAB+ Ha!

They would just use it to have slightly lower quality and twice as many stations to reduce the costs.

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Mage
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Re: Blowing air

Yes, DAB needs about x6 more TX sites and double the number of multiplexs or half the channels. 256K MP2 is fine.

Currently online streaming is higher quality than DAB. Current DAB suits a 2" loudspeaker. With enough TX and Muxs so as to have coverage and Quality DAB could be OK. DAB currently is a waste of spectrum and electricity.

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Mage
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Re: Blowing air

Far more people are always affected and object than the number that complain officially.

Besides will the BBC tell honestly how many complain? Will they have a dedicated freephone number advertised in the local "freeish" papers, A clear link on website with Form. a dedicated email address etc?

Will there be a well publicised consultation.

Or is the procedure and information gathering designed to give the answer they want?

Answers on back of a stamp.

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Mage
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Coat

Re: What about Long Wave?

I heard the BBC had reduced R4 LW power by half.

I know it has been much worse at dawn and dusk than it was and there is interference more often. But is this the season, more chargers or the BBC reducing power?

Also

There is a problem with CE mark and lack of policing:

1) The EMC limits are too high

2) They are not properly tested in terms of radiation from the house wiring

3) Radiation from Lighting wiring is worse as often it's loops, not "Twin and earth"

4) It's self certified, so often the product doesn't really meet CE

5) The capacitors in CFL /LED lamps "dry out" with age and the interference rises due to heat from lamp

6) Powerline/Homeplug adaptors are not realistically tested. All basically would fail CE if "real life" testing used.

7) Individual models of TV or charger can lack filter components (deliberately or accidentally), but neighbour has no idea why the Radio is poor or who to complain to.

8) Ofcom (and Comreg in Ireland) are trying/have offloaded Spectrum protection/complains to others and it's nearly impossible to get them to investigate. Even though it's one of their primary roles and ordinary Domestic reception is protected by Wireless Telegraphy Acts, EMC directives signed into law, EU and International Treaty.

You have no "absolute" right to have a newspaper delivered every day. You do have an Internationally agreed right to receive Broadcast without jamming, even from another country if it's not on a frequency allocated to your more local national transmitter.

Mines the one with a Spectrum Analyser in the pocket

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Mage
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Black Helicopters

Re: Then there is Radio 5: Mobile?

Actually if you are streaming at 100kbps approx (can be more or less) then one mast can reliably manage about 30 to 90 connections at best. It's not actually possible at all as there are only usually 3 sets of 3 channels and so the masts would interfere if more than about 20 (generously). Can't see how you can have more than 2,000 users no matter how much money you throw at Mobile.

FM level of coverage needs about x6 as many DAB TX. AM level of coverage maybe x20 (lots of small fill in due to it being 200MHz Band III)

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Mage
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DAB vs AM/FM

Lots of places need the "Whip" up for FM. The AM is convenient and gives coverage to small number of places not reached by AM.

Battery costs

1) Old AM Valve Portable Radio using replicated battery packs: 60 to 400 hours and 6p to 12p per hour depending on model. The 1953 to 1960 models only used 25mA @ 1.4V per filament and 6.5mA to 9mA HT depending on model

2) Decent 1965 to 2000+ AM/FM portable transistor or IC set: 60 to 250 hours and typically 1p to 8p per hour depending on Model and loudness.

3) DAB sets : 4 hours (4 x AA some current models) to allegedly 120 (latest Roberts using expensive Alkaline D cells) 5p to 75p per hour. (Lower price assuming cheap supermarket Alkaline, not Energizer/Duracell/Panasonic and Roberts are truthful about consumption).

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RISC OS comes to Raspberry Pi

Mage
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Re: Great News

I bought a pair of SD cards in Tesco marked to 1/2 price for this purpose. I must find them

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Mage
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Re: And

RiscOS was ARM Archimedes, not the 6502 based BBC Micro

It just happened to have the similar BASIC.

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Mage
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Linux

Whoo Hooo!

A newer OS than UNIX/Linux :-)

1987 vs 1976?

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Ohio voting machines have 'backdoor', lawsuit claims

Mage
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Pint

Old Country?

Ireland has a load of eVoting machines for sale.

One suggestion was to sell them to Irish Themed pubs abroad.

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EXTREMELY RARE never-seen-alive WHALES found (briefly) alive

Mage
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Shhh!!

Don't wake the Kraken

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Apple iPad Mini 8in tablet review

Mage
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FAIL

Price

You need to be seriously deluded by the Reality Distortion Field to pay what this costs.

It's for people with more money than sense.

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Naughty-step Apple buries court-ordered apology with JavaScript

Mage
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Certainly Contemptible

They are like a naughty Child.

Will the tell the Judge that the Dog ate it?

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Cambridge boffins bag big-time backers for White Space standard

Mage
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A problem

So called "White Space" is a myth and will simply cause interference to other (non-whitespace) users.

However the standard and Protocols may be of use on bands licensed for it.

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Brain boffins: 'Yes, math CAN make your head hurt – LITERALLY'

Mage
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Math?

Maths!

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Apple puts less of its takings into R&D, hires more sales cultists

Mage
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It's not as if they have many products.

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Ailing Comet at last prayers: Cawing of accountants and VCs fills air

Mage
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Next

Will be PCWorld/Currys. Maybe they need to get back to selling bicycles?

Internet competition? Maybe. But also Tesco and Argos.

Harvey Norman still has a big Electrical, AV and computer section here, but I doubt if they make money on it.

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EE 4G LTE review

Mage
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High Speeds?

Only because hardly anyone is using it.

Ten people on a mast sector and you get 1/10th or less speed.

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Dry martini, shaken not stirred: Cracking the physics of Bond's martini

Mage
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Ice?

Ice in any drink is a modern abomination. Certainly for Whiskey, Whisky, beer or Wine.

Maybe OK in vodka served with raw fish above the Arctic Circle?

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Hmm, I think I'll order an iPad Mini on Amazon ... Oh no I won't

Mage
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iFad?

The new iPad mini needs to be either 1/2 the price or twice the spec. It's like the spec of a no-name tablet, made in same country but x3 the price.

Only fans or people doing no research into subject will buy it. Cook better hope that Jobs really is dead and not faking or Forstall won't be the only one looking for a new job.

If you have no intention of buying Amazon content then a Samsung might be better. If it's Amazon content you want (and hardly any is eBooks), then the Fire looks best.. If you only want Amazon eBooks then the "paperwhite" is best.

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Forgetting Microsoft: How Steve Ballmer's Surface could win

Mage
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Re: Confused

They have Matt Asay because he is popular with all the other writers. Many may hate what Andrew Orlowski writes sometimes, but he can write coherently most of the time. When do follow what Matt is saying, is usually seems like nonsense anyway.

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Freesat downs own website after Downton quickie

Mage
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92%

About 92% of TV watched by those with Sky Sports is Free TV. Sky gets only about 1.5% viewing time.

Sky Movies? Better value to buy the BD/DVD films/Box sets if choosy or use Netflix if not. Makes no sense to pay to watch repeats either..

Most of the channels on Sky don't make 0.1% viewing time. When you first get a sub there is a certain novelty to the Clarkson & Hitler channels (History is more than WWII you know). Or Animals. Or Mythbusters.

But a lot of filler and repeats.

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Granny upstages Microsoft, storms stage at Surface launch

Mage
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large screen size

Ah ha!

So they admit it. Win8 is only any use on Tablets.

Al-in-ones don't have particularly high resolution, Monitors surpassed 1920x1080 TV's HD over a decade ago. Physical size is not relevant to SW, only number of pixels. So what about 150dpi & higher Tablets?

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Better luck next time Blofeld! Five Bond plot myths busted

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Russian Military Rod Pentodes

Made till 1991

Google

1j24b

1j37b

1j18b

1j42a

1j29b

1p24b

1j17b

Superior to Germanium transistors

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Inventor sues Google Wallet over NFC loyalty patent

Mage
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Facepalm

Ah Ha!

Where is the "invention", novelty and lack of obviousness in this?

It's just a software implementation of an accounting method?

It's too general too.

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4G: Bad coverage, crap battery life - but at least it's really expensive

Mage
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Realistic

"Realistic speed of the dual-channel HSPA+ flavour 3G will be about 12Mbps, while realistic speeds of LTE range from 13.8Mbps at 10MHz to 30Mbps 20MHz."

Only if no-one else is connecting to those channels.

This report is really old now, but still valid

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iPad Mini vs Nexus 7: inch makes all the difference, says Apple CEO

Mage
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Extremely Compelling

If you browse more than create.

“It is already extremely compelling for many customers to choose a tablet, in particular an iPad, over a PC,” he said. “When you look at the PC market, there is an enormous opportunity for Apple there.”

He means Mac Market converting to iPad, they have almost no growth at all.

They will release 13" & 17" or similar iPads with keyboards and call them Macs. As soon as they are cheaper to make as x86 ones and can be sold for same price as the x86 ones.

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Windows 8 unleashed! Midnight launch for world+dog

Mage
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Re: Boring

yes, this is a bit meh ...

Unless it totally tanks. That would be amusing. But as yet I'll largely ignore it.

RiscOS release for Raspberry Pi is more interesting.

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Why is 4G so expensive? Answer: The Post-Voice Era is coming

Mage
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Boffin

The Data party

The reality is that when you analyse use and traffic there is a about a 100x to 300x difference between voice and data. Voice is over priced. Data is hugely subsidised by voice on existing Mobile. This is why "3" makes little or no money (I think none ever in Ireland) as they don't have enough voice customers.

Mobile data ought to be more expensive. The mystery is why the 4G isn't x5 more expensive, unless in reality the GSM & 3G voice charges are unbelievably excessive.

50 minutes voice at less than 16kbps each way costs the operator how much compared to 1G of data (all of which is is outside their network).

Some voice calls are on their network (no data leaving)

Other Calls:

if you get as many calls as you make, then the outgoing termination costs for operator are similar to incoming Revenue.

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Amazon ships Kindle Fire HD, Paperwhite to Brits

Mage
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Re: Works for me

Ah... Amazon copied that did they?

I see in reviews the Kobo Glo has transreflective LED lamp and 1024 x 768.

I don't much like the idea it reboots when you load a new document.

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Mage
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Datasheets on "Paperwhite"

Hmm,

1024 x 768 (if true) is about possible for A4 PDF filling screen (about 96 dots per original inch). An HD landscape screen is 1920 x 1080, so only 56 pixels longer for document and it nearly works (1200 pixels high works for A4). But since there is no title bar and menu bar, it may be similar to full A4 portrait pdf in a window on a 1600 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200 landscape display.

I tried the existing 800 x 600 Kindle in the house here. No good at all for US letter size or A4 size PDFs

Where can I try one?

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Judge GIVES APPLE THE FINGER in multitouch iDevice patent case

Mage
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Re: PATENTS MUST BE INVENTIVE and NON OBVIOUS!!!!

Actually capacitive screens about same vintage as resistive. But low resolution. People wanted handwriting recognition and stylus operated shrunk desktop GUI.

Capacitive is inherently very low resolution.

The ideal is capacitive AND resistive (or some new tech that has light touch finger and stylus, ideally reporting pressure and angle too). They existed before any Apple iThing but after Apple Newton (which was deliberately resistive for handwriting).

The only change with iPhone was smoother better thought out GUI and less buttons. Otherwise no new technology at all. No Apple developed HW.

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Mage
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Re: Obviously they lack buttons

I agree, the patent unfortunately was not invalidated, but it should be.

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Mage
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Obviously they lack buttons

Didn't Apple ever hear of N-Key Rollover?

Gesture based editing pre 1989?

More Apple patents the USPO needs to invalidate.

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Vaunted Windows 8 RTM updates 'actually featured from Win2000'

Mage
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Hot Fixes

We only had wet string and CDs in the post.

So NT 3.51, NT4.0 had Hot Fixes for bugs and additional drivers before SP releases. Either on the Monthly CDs or via Dialup. We got ISDN, then ADSL during life of NT4.0

It's just more of what they had before, more streamlined due to broadband.

BTW, where is my SP7 for NT4.0? The beta USB driver worked great, though I had to install on the scanner or whatever on Win2000 and copy files as stupid installer checks OS version and not available features (which was the MS recommendation actually).

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The Big Debate: OK gloomsters, how can the music biz be FIXED?

Mage
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In the past all radio stations that played pop music were pirate

Actually they were not. The problem was specifically in the UK and pre-dated the 1960s.

In the 1930s and late 1940s to early 1960s people listened to the "Popular" music in the UK after dark on Foreign stations.

The UK Postmaster General controlled the airwaves. Till the Light Program and then the Third program started after the war any sort of music fan was badly served. UK had ONLY the Home Service during daytime. (And World Service in some area).

208 wasn't a Pirate station and specifically targeted UK after dark. US AFN was popular too in 1940s and 1950s for Popular music.

Ireland only had one station till about 1972!

Other countries had more choice. Pirate radio was actually a quite short lived phenomenon most popular in UK. The Pirate station in Post War Europe that caused so much grief that the BBC asked to roll out VHF,eventually started in 1955 (in US pre war and on current band in 1945 and in Germany from 1949) was a Latvian station the Russians for some reason ignored.

UK VHF stupidly only had copy of Home, Light and Third till about 1971!!!! German VHF had loads of useful stations.

It's actually amazing that UK started ITV in 1955. and having done it, didn't licence commercial Radio on VHF-FM at same time.

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China's Goophone unveils US$99 Android iPad Mini clone

Mage
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Pirate

Re: And why

Of course if you just want to know the time and not show off you might even buy a cheaper watch than a Swatch. But point well made.

I'd wonder about the quality at that price, and for a very portable tablet I'd like a 3:1 or 4:1 aspect ratio to make the screen enormous but width low enough for pocket.

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ESO's nine-gigapixel galactic image has 84 MILLION stars

Mage
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Alien

Great stuff

Now all we need is a Star ship (generation/city in space or warp), or star gate or similar.

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Raspberry Pi SoC drivers now fully open source

Mage
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Re: err -Weeps

Well, I read the article and hadn't looked at the release.

So I'll stick with the recommended Linux distro for now. Raspbian “wheezy”

http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads

So the release here http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2221

is misleading?

"As of right now, all of the VideoCore driver code which runs on the ARM is available under a FOSS license (3-Clause BSD to be precise). The source is available from our new userland repository on GitHub. If you’re not familiar with the status of open source drivers on ARM SoCs this announcement may not seem like such a big deal, but it does actually mean that the BCM2835 used in the Raspberry Pi is the first ARM-based multimedia SoC with fully-functional, vendor-provided (as opposed to partial, reverse engineered) fully open-source drivers, and that Broadcom is the first vendor to open their mobile GPU drivers up in this way. We at the Raspberry Pi Foundation hope to see others follow."

OTH if it's possible now to load and use the GPU binary and call it from your own hand crafted OS off the SD card it's some good.

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Mage
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+1

Absolutely

Now we can experiment with new designs of OS, rather than playing on top of 20 year old RiscOS and Linux.

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New Mac mini: Business in the front, party at the back

Mage
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Afordable?

maybe but you pay twice what it's worth

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Windows 8: An awful lot of change for a single release

Mage
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Windows NT 4.0

Negative:

GDI moved into Kernel: Graphics and Printer drivers able to crash OS for first time.

The next iteration of PCs added more performance than that change. It was a mistake. There was even a perfectly good Explorer shell (preview) just before NT 4.0 that ran on NT3.51

Positive

NT 4 enterprise could access 16G of RAM, breaking 2G limit

NT 4 enterprise supported cluster on standard HW if you had a 2 channel SCSI, SCSI repeaters on both PCs and two external SCSI shelves mirrored across the channels.

NT4 as well as x86 supported Pentium Pro (rubbish running 95), MIPS, Power PC, Alpha and 64 bit Alpha.

CE was based on NT. Only the GUI of CE was stupid for small device. Zune fixed that.

The demise and then dismemberment of DEC by Compaq, then disastrous HP take over (ditching some of the best of both companies) was bad.

DEC ARM designs live on in Marvell though after Intel took them and resold them.

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BBC pulls plug Ceefax ahead of analogue TV's end tonight

Mage
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Irish Compromise

RTE channels will close Teletext and only use Freeview/Freesat style MHEG5 Text

TG4 and TV3 will still use Teletext.

RTE will still provide full teletext to Sky Subscribers (RTE not available to UK addresses outside UK, but the teletext works if you add the channel manually on a UK sky box)

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Mage
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Flame

LTE Mobile Broadband

No, it's not Broadband. It's Mobile Internet.

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Microsoft: Welcome back to PCs, ARM. Sorry about the 1990s

Mage
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Re: Win CE

From a marketing perspective. Yes, CE has run on ARM for years and it has more in common with Windows NT (2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8) family than Win on Dos (3.x, 9x, ME) family.

But CE resource / process limits are static, hard coded for tiny RAM and ROM. Win NT (Win 8) is dynamic allocation more suited to the ARM in Smart phones that has more physical resource than a 2001 x86 Laptop!

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Arduino barebones board upgraded with 32-bit ARM

Mage
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Re: The title is too long!

Assembler is discouraged by ARM. The lowest level official support for ANY ARM CPU is C.

It's a separate flamewar as to if C is a HLL or not :)

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Mage
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Re: assumption that I am missing something importan

Yes, the Pi uses a custom boot that has the binary blob for GPU and other chip specific features.

It's not simple at all to change to a different Linux distro without losing functionality, or indeed to have a completely diifferent OS (though work is happening on porting RiscOS as was on Archimedes, but it's a desktop OS too) .

The Broadcom chip specs are not public. The ARM Chip on the Ardunio is public, you can easily write your own bare metal software or simple OS with Timer tick and "round robin" scheduler.

There is a much similarity between some ARMs as 286, Pentium Pro, Xeon and Itanium have. Good luck on getting ANY OS on Arduino ARM to run on Raspberry Pi! Even with recompiling.

The chip on the Arduino ARM is designed specifically for Industrial / Embedded control. Likely has general purpose timers and and general purpose Analogue I/O.

The Raspberry Pi is a mobile phone chip on a breakout board. So not very suitable for embedded applications. There doesn't seem to even be analogue in (USB stick for Audio in certainly).

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Mage
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Linux

Real time on Pi

No, it's the OS.

Ordinary Linux or Windows or iOS or OSX can't even reliably do 2.4kHz sampling to read 1124 bps RDS data, or 38KHz OOK modulation without jumping through hoops in a Device Driver, directly in software with a GPIO pin. An 8bit Arduino or PIC can do it easily.

The official support for Pi is a customised Debian flavour of Linux. You need a keyboard, 4G SD card, HDMI screen (composite is too awkwardly low resolution) and USB2go plugged 5V PSU (the USB2go connector is just power, no data). It can't be bricked as the OS boots from SD card.

So to use the GPIO on Raspberry Pi you need to figure how to either boot a "Real Time" version of Linux (which isn't very real time), or better is some other non-Linux OS.

The Multitasking model in Linux can't assure that a user task is run when you want it, no matter how fast the CPU unless a new kernel patched in Device Driver is added.

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