* Posts by Snobol4

15 posts • joined 23 Apr 2010

Maplin Electronics sold for £85m to Rutland Partners

Snobol4

They started as predominently mail order

The interesting thing is Maplin started life mainly as a mail order outfit (based in Southend) selling from a catalogue (which used to be interesting reading for the electronics hobbyist back in the 70s).

One would have thought that "online" is simply going back to Maplin's roots - mail order.

Back then it was mainly components, not finished goods. They opened up a few regional "shops" (I remember the one behind Brewers on London Rd, Bromley) that were more like walk-in warehouses, but then they seemed to shrink back to mail order. Not sure what happened to enable them to appear in force on the high street.

I hope they survive - if only for memories sake!

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UK micro pioneer Chris Shelton: The mind behind the Nascom 1

Snobol4

Re: An inspiration for a generation

Edgware Rd - yes, what a memory. Not just Henry's but all the other component shops that opened up within a couple of hundred yards south of Henry's. And Maplin when it first opned up a few stores outside Southend (one in the back streets of Bromley as I remember) when they pretty much just did components. Proops for rumadging around? Those were the days!

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Deep inside Intel's new ARM killer: Silvermont

Snobol4

Re: tri-gate advantage

Already done:-

http://www.arm.com/about/newsroom/arm-and-tsmc-tape-out-first-arm-cortex-a57-processor.php

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AMD pins its server hopes on SeaMicro technology - maybe in APUs

Snobol4

The process technology

Why do you say AMD "can't get ahead on process"? What is being forgotten is that under the new arrangements AMD has the freedom to work with founderies such as TSMC. Now TSMC might not be ahead of Intel, but they are arguably almost on a par. Intel spent $10.8bn on property, plant and equipment in 2011. TSMC is spending $8.5bn in 2012. So, it is not true to say "similar" levels of process technology aren't (or won't be) available to AMD. Yes it's true that Intel spends far more than any other company on manufacturing technology, but then most other large chip companies use fabs that are focused purely on manufacturing.

Do people honestly believe Intel will be the only company in the world capable of manufacturing leading-edge chips? Intel may be rich, but there are a lot of other wealthy and innovative companies (e.g. Qualcomm) needing high-end process technology from the likes of TSMC and others.

I just hate it when people say companies like AMD are "as good as dead" based on a view they will just be incapable of competing based on process tech.

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A million TVs to go dark across London

Snobol4

But when will the Freeview power be increased?

Are we to assume that the power output for Freeview is being increased the following day? Or are we actually going to have to wait longer for that.....?

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HP readies AMD, Intel sub-notebook

Snobol4

Re:- Why, if it has an AMD APU....

This is a mistake in the article. The HP press release uses the standard AMD wording for the E-series APUs - "discrete-class graphics", i.e. the integrated HD6320 DX11 GPU. There is no discrete GPU.

Will be interesting to see benchmarks comparing the AMD and Intel versions of this item - particularly considering the price delta.

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New DVD discs claim 1,000 year life

Snobol4
Happy

Re: Natural Aging → #

Depends on whether you continue to degrade at 1% of your current state each year - then you'll live for ever !

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Beeb rolls out global paid iPlayer app in €urope

Snobol4
FAIL

Re: Make it a volontary subcription → #

What, you mean like how you choose exactly how all your taxes are spent on a "per case" basis? Defence, Olympics, regional regeneration programs, libraries, swimming pools......

What a crass, idiotic statement !!!

Get a life in the real world

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Snobol4
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Re:- so where does the revenue go? → #

Cliff has it right. By chance have just read news of BSkyB latest reported profits:-

"BSkyB increased its customer base by 426,000 in the year to give it a total of 10,294,000 subscribers.

Average revenue per customer grew £31 to £539"

£539 per customer average!!! And guess what - even if you are fool enough to pay these robbers, you STILL have to watch bloody adverts!!!

My only disappointment is that this article seems to be saying only available on iPad. Why not a full annual subscription version of iPlayer so that all the ex-pats (or people who have to spend large amounts of time working outside the UK) can watch most of UK BBC TV? I am sure this would also attract many non-UK viewers who would love to be able to download and watch the broad range of interesting programming that DOES come out of the BBC - without any BLOODY adverts!

As a well travelled person I challenge anyone with a strong anti-Beeb attitude to live in another country and experience what "freedom" brings you - millions of channels of cheap, useless crap, interrupted every few seconds (after just the opening credits in the case of the USA) with mindless adverts!

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AMD targets tablets and cloudbooks in Intel showdown

Snobol4
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What AMD is shipping now:- <6W TDP Dual core HD6000 series DX11 APU

What is missing here is reference to what AMD has shipping now - a dual core 1GHz APU complete with integrated HD6000 series DX11/OpenGL 4.1 graphics and a UVD3 multimedia engine - all for less than 6W TDP!

That's Atom territory for TDP but with far superior graphics and out-of-order execution CPU cores.

Clearly this may still not be a low enough TDP for tablets, but certainly makes for nicely performing products with long battery life for anything bigger.

As usual there seems to be too much talk of what is coming next, not enough about what is actually shipping now - a common fault with us techies?

The fact is the new Bobcat core architecture wedded to latest generation ATI/AMD GPU architecture already makes for a very nice product. The gradual move in emphasis away from raw CPU grunt to GPU hardware acceleration of common parallel processing tasks (which, after all, is where most performance is really needed) is already starting to favour AMD with their superior GPU technology. Anyone who has seen a die shot of the Onatrio/Zacate won't fail to be impressed by the fact that two thirds of the die is actually GPU - and the total die size is less than an Atom. That demonstrates a much better balance of resources in today's world.

As I see it AMD is already on a role with this APU stuff, not something that is vaguely out there in the future.

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Intel does fondleslabs with Atom 'Oak Trail'

Snobol4
FAIL

Re - Choice?

Errrrr - how about the AMD E-series APUs? Single/dual core 64b x86 with integrated HD6310 DX11 graphics? OoO execution. Variants down to 5W including the GPU? Not bad....... and certainly a real alternative to the crippled Atom architecture

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Nvidia flexes Tesla muscles

Snobol4
FAIL

Re: and AMD still working to bring out their entries

Don't understand this comment. AMD has been shipping hardware and software tools to enable GPGPU applications for some considerable time.

Check out http://developer.amd.com/zones/OpenCLZone/pages/default.aspx

In fact there are already apps out that leverage the enormous efficiencies achievable by using GPUs resources rather than CPUs to perform certain applications on AMD GPUs. The future is clearly to enable application programmers to freely choose from the available computing resources, whatever they may be, based on "suitability to task" rather than code just for the CPU as has previously been the case. OpenCL provides this capability. There is even a Java to OpenCL tools (Aparapi).

I notice that even Intel has released an "Alpha" OpenCL tools for its GPUs. A sign for the future?

So, Nvidia is certainly not alone in this territory!

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AMD: Intel still 'scaring customers'

Snobol4
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Webcast available here

For those interested, AMD webcast is available here:-

http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?p=irol-eventDetails&c=74093&eventID=2696265

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UK.gov may cut BBC licence fee in 2012

Snobol4
Thumb Down

What's all the fuss about?

Well, looks like I might be the only one lining up in defence. As someone who enjoys the broad range of interesting programming on BBC2 & BBC4, along with radio and the BBC website I just cannot understand what all the complaining is about. Tell me where else you can get all of this content for £145.

I can tell you that most people in nearly every other country in the world would bite your arm off for that kind of service! Having had to face the crap and endless adverts put out in other countries believe me we are bloody lucky! For example, I spend a lot of time in Italy now. RAI charges a subscription AND shows adverts! Whenever I watch anything interesting on the UK independent channels I am faced with having my viewing interrupted (is it me, or are they becoming more frequent and longer?) by advert breaks. Don't even get me started on Sky...... When Sky launched I lived in Japan. When I came back I was talking to someone about it.

"So, you pay £30/month. Not too bad I guess to avoid watching ads"

Reply - "Well, actually still get ads"

"What - you pay £30/month and still have to watch ads?"

Reply - "Yes, and actually sometimes you have to pay per-view for some content"

"So, let me get this straight. You now have to pay £30/month to receive stuff you used to be able to watch for free before? Are you mad?!!"

BTW - when was the last time you saw a decent drama or factual program actually produced by Sky?

My case rests.....

Like all big corporations, I am sure there is waste in the BBC.However, equating that to the need to cut back on a (modest) license fee - I just don't get it. If you want an example of a group of overpaid media directors who don't know their arse from their elbow, try the current board of Channel4. Remember the interesting programs they used to make? Now.... Big Brother??!!!

Please, please, please - understand properly what you've got and stop trying to destroy it as part of a fad hate relationship. Before passing judgement ask yourself exactly why British television is held in such high regard across the world and how much you would have to pay Mr Murdoch for such a service (with 25% "dead time" every few minutes thrown in to boot).

A satisfied BBC customer, not related in any way to any broadcaster other than by consumption.

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AMD set to release low-cost six-core Phenom IIs

Snobol4

Re: AM2+ compatability?

>> Can anyone tell me if these chips will slot into an AM2+ mobo?

An AM3 CPU should run in an AM2+ specified board. However, the DRAM will be DDR2 instead of DDR3, so performance will be down compared to an AM3 motherboard.

Also depends on the BIOS of course....

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