* Posts by Joe Burmeister

66 posts • joined 11 Mar 2009


The Reg produces exhibit A1: A UK court IT system running Windows XP

Joe Burmeister

Re: Is this as ususal software related?

Win32 rewrite? When do you think that was?

I've seen the Win2000 shell code and compared the dissembler and callstack from Win7.

Mostly, the dissembler is what you expect from the Win2000 source. Key difference can be seen in the callstack, there is a load 'async helper' stuff (undocumented) at the top.

There is a few interfaces (not all documented....) but at least what I looked at was no rewrite. Just a turd polished harder.

Win7 was better on multicore than Vista because they made what they could asynchronous.

The WINE source for same stuff is wwwwaaaayyy cleaner.

Write between Win7 and Win10, I doubt it. Main different was building in spyware and 'modern' theming and desktop.

Stallman's Free Software Foundation says we need a free phone OS

Joe Burmeister

Re: Yes we do, but it'll never happen

> I think before we can talk about a free mobile OS we need a popular free and nearly universal hardware standard for mobiles.

Abso-bloody-lutely. I've been saying this for a long time. But it's not just us FOSS people that need this. Google needs this. It gets shit for Android phones running old insecure versions of Android getting hacked/infected. WHICH IS CORRECT, IT IS THEIR FAULT. They should have mandated an auto discoverable platform and that for a phone to be called "Android" it needs to be able to have standard stock Android installable on it. The only way of doing that is auto discoverable hardware.

The other thing is that there needs to be competition of phone OSs, including Windows Phone. For that, again, you really want standard auto discoverable hardware.

Google don't care because they just blame the vendor for not updating the Android of the old phones. The vendors don't care because they say buy a new phone. Needless E-waste.

This needs a big market to have some sensible regulator come and mandate this. The US or the EU would be the best placed. Pretty quickly that would be come THE standard.

But this isn't just phones. It's basically the whole ARM platform. All these Internet Of Infected Things suffer from the same issue. So maybe ARM are to blame here too.

I'm confident in the long run we will get there, it's just we have to go through all the stupid preventable problems first.

Emulating x86: Microsoft builds granny flat into Windows 10

Joe Burmeister

Re: Been done before...

> PC but still pretty good and IIRC a few apps ran faster on ARM.

I'm glad someone else remembers the Acorn glory days when ARM wasn't low power, but mighty.

UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Joe Burmeister

Re: Is anyone working to overcome this?


Ubuntu Core Snaps door shut on Linux's new Dirty COWs

Joe Burmeister

NOT the solution for internet of infected things

Snaps is basically the same as static linking or Windows manifest. You have lots of copies of the same code floating about. If a lib in that soup has a vulnerability, you must fix all the snaps/apps. IoT devices just don't have the space for such a wasteful system.

The only true solution is for IoT to have auto discoverable standardized hardware, like PCs do, and to be unlocked so peoples/companies other than the neglectful vendor can update it. Think OpenWRT, but without a different binary release for each supported device. But OpenToaster, OpenWashing, OpenCooker, etc etc, with different projects, and even closed IoT OSs people can have if they want.

These things are general purpose computers on the internet and as such they must be properly updated, but they are also small, so how they are updated can't be wasteful. Plus snaps wouldn't solve the kernel/platform/BSP problem.

As a rule, hardware vendors are crap at software. They like to thing their software is cheap differentiation, but in reality no one wants their crap bloatware. What hardware should do is just hardware. They make a hardware to a standard, and then software competes on top of that hardware competition.

At the moment vendors make IoT devices out of a mix or open/close, old/new, then release and forget. Each a unique snowflake no one can update, sometimes including the vendor themselves.

Open APIs for UK banking: It's happening, people

Joe Burmeister

I used to bank with a bank that could export statements as plain csv files.

This was amazing because I could plumb that into GNU Cash and track spending accurately and easily. How was our shopping spending last month? Here's a pie graph! But we switched bank for money reasons and the new one is just web page statements.

I'm hoping an Open API is something I could connect to GNU Crash, even if I had to write the code myself.

Watt the CHIP!? ARM pops out THE most powerful 64-bit Cortex for mobes'n'slabs

Joe Burmeister

Re: The difference


!Draw -> ArtWorks -> Xara Xtreme -> Inkscape

Yeah, !Draw and ArtWorks didn't share code, but ArtWorks was a natural evolution to a !Draw user.

And Inkscape code isn't related to Xara, but the UI is heavily inspired by it.

You might find Inkscape quickly becomes home, filling the whole left by !Draw. I did. :-)


Want a cheap Office-er-riffic tablet? Microsoft Windows takes on Android

Joe Burmeister

That name.... Linx

Surely we are meant to think the missing letter.

I don't know if they are trying to game people or search engines.

Interesting move to do with when doing a loss leader into a market your failing at, name your product one letter off a central part, if not flag ship part, of much of your competition in many markets.

I guess Androd, Andrid, etc, where deemed to risky.

Intel: Grab these platform shoes and dance to OUR Internet of Things standard

Joe Burmeister

Re: Standard hardware and updates.

You should rarely need to upgrade the hardware to update the software. Right now, you have to because each smart device is a throw away device.

What I want is standardized hardware, with open drivers that the vendor supports for an reasonable amount of time. The community can pick it up after that if it's open and there is enough community. Intel is a boat load closer to this world then ARM.

We also need software components to be made with updating in mind.

I'm afraid that is what we need if we are going to have a home full of devices on the internet.

To be honest, I think a lot of things shouldn't be smart, and what is made so, the smart should be separate so can be upgraded without the whole thing needing upgrading.

Sadly, with human nature and our society as it is, we will be exploring all the ways it can go wrong before we even start to take a longer view then throw away devices. As it is, I'm expecting home appliance malware, whole home network infections, buying new cars because of software issues. As well as services smart things use breaking because the vendor wants to change the protocol (looks at BBC).

Joe Burmeister

Standard hardware and updates.

The thing x86/Intel has is a standardized hardware platform. You can already use the same Linux kernel on all x86 devices. The buses are auto discoverable, so you don't need device tree. At the moment loads of the internet of things are made as throw away black boxes, so it doesn't matter that it runs a unique kernel on unique hardware. Only that is really stupid. These things are computers, on our home networks. I don't want computers running out of date software on my network. Much less ones with manufacturer's firmware which has the manufacturer's best interest at heart, not mine. There is already cases of that being abused and we only just started this. No, as these are computers they should be updateable, with options for alternative firmware (like OpenWRT which is the best router firmware I've ever seen). For this to really take off, you need standardized hardware and auto-discoverable devices/buses. But ARM isn't there yet, and lots in that world still don't get why they should be because they are still thinking throw away black boxes and not about updates and a long life.

I grew up on Acorn, so I want to support ARM. But I just can't right now. Intel's x86 platform is just better. Standardized, open drivers, better value for money. ARM is just cheap enough to be throw away, but you don't want throw away devices on your home network.

BBC clamps down on illicit iPlayer watchers

Joe Burmeister

Re: Smart TVs too

And that's assuming the SmartTV has a firmware upgrade. The manufacture may well have moved on to the new shiny.

It would surprise me if this was the first time a service used by SmartTVs has been stopped/changed. It wouldn't surprise me if this wasn't even the first time some SmartTVs did not have updates to a service stopped/changed.

SmartTVs are a dumb idea. We only need a big screen, the smarts and even more so, the software and services for those smarts, change too quickly to be usefully integrated into long lived devices. Same is true of cars, fridges, heating controls and everything else companies are putting smarts into. Just do a damn standard vendor-neutral adaptor and stop building insecure unique snow flakes you are going to abandon at a drop of the hat. I can see why companies do it, consumers buy new long devices for short term smarts issues. But I guess consumers need to learn the hard way why it's dumb. It will take decades for companies to be forced to act sensibly, either by consumers/market or even more slowly, regulators/government. Sigh.

Doubletalk: Geeksphone Revolution dual-OS smartphone

Joe Burmeister


It looks like it's PowerVR from what little I've found. That is a deal breaker for me because of the state of PowerVR drivers. There is no open drivers for PowerVR. Everyone seams to scream and run when they look at starting one. No open drivers means it won't work for long, least not with a modern kernel. Then you get those locked old dependencies spreading out across userspace like some kind of freezing death.

It is my firm hope that one day, every Linux distro with have a selection of phone UIs and apps to choose from, and we can all pick and mix. But only with open drivers is this possible.

Low power WON'T bag ARM the server crown. So here's how to upset Intel

Joe Burmeister

Mmmm not sure I go with this.

The problem with ARM is exactly what is being put forward as it's strength here.

It's not really a single platform.

This is because there is not discoverable buses as standard, and device tree isn't stable and working properly. Things have got better since Linus's "ARM is a mess" rant, but it's still not there compared with x86.

I'm not the only one thinking ARM, or at least Linux on ARM, has a way to go yet.


Custom kernel per device isn't scalable or maintainable. It's only acceptable if you think over the wall products is acceptable. If you think it is, you are missing the point that "over the wall products" end up not "over the wall products" at all and get based on. Ending in a big pile of closed drivers forking poo.

This all makes me really sad because I grew up on ARM desktops! I would love to turn away from x86, but standardization is important.

I KNOW how to SAVE Microsoft. Give Windows 8 away for FREE – analyst

Joe Burmeister

This is against MS's core.

Read Gate's "Open Letter to Hobbyists", this just isn't in the companies nature.

The whole point of the company is to make money selling software and that software is Windows and Office.

I wonder what the world would look like if they had been split, one company selling the OS (Windows), the other software for that OS (Office). I don't think both would have continued to dominate. I think Office would be running on everything and people would use which ever OS ran Office the cheapest/best (so probably Linux). Maybe realising Office is more important than Windows could save MS, and they could give away Windows and still be the MS we all love to hate.

Stallman's GNU at 30: The hippie OS that foresaw the rise of Apple - and is now trying to take it on

Joe Burmeister

Re: ...expect to be running Linux on my phone...

> that these devices rely upon numerous proprietary binary blob drivers that aren't updated or supported by their creators

A lot of this is graphics, and that nut is being cracked open right now. Right now it pretty much only the community, but slowly the phone manufacturers will get that they should push out the docs, or just do a full Intel and do open drivers themselves. It just makes things easier, for them as much as anyone.

Also, sad though it is, getting GNU/Linux working on Android blobs has been getting a lot of love too. Though I'm really not sure that is a good thing, though I guess its better than being stuck with Android.

Joe Burmeister

Phone market, it's still early days.

I think we will end up with lots of different Linux distros for phones. Once the piece start falling into place, they will be reused and respan by other distros. ARM is slowly getting more standardized, open ARM graphics drivers is happening, ophono is still alive and well. The phone will become the pocket PC (x86 if Intel have their way). It will happen, it might just not be quick.

Ubuntu phone might be the first, but later down the line, I expect a lot of distros will have a phone spin. The crazies can have their Slackware/Gentoo/Arch phone and hopefully I'll finally get a Debian phone (chroot on Android isn't enough!).

Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

Joe Burmeister

discoverable buses

A device tree blob in a ROM would be good enough.

As long as that ROM is somewhere standard and easy to determine if present or not!

Lenovo to ship all new PCs with Start Menu replacement

Joe Burmeister

Re: Jesus guys, let it go

> So...what DO you do with your PC...just so we know? CAN you do anything worth the effort?

The normal, TV/movies (XBMC running on TVs), web browsing, spread sheets and word processing, plus nerd stuff. Quite a bit of programming, use to do the odd bit of artwork with Gimp and Inkscape and a tiny bit of Blender. Home server, mostly for media files, but also remote access and website to share photos with friends and family not the world. Plus lots of dicking about just to learn more. ;-)

No distro diva drama here: Penguinista favourite Debian turns 20

Joe Burmeister

Debian Testing is my favourite OS

I started my computing life on RISC OS then moved to Windows 98 (but had run Windows 95 on my RiscPC's PC card). I finally left Windows after years of XP. I switched between distros (mainly OpenSUSE) for a while and then settled on Ubuntu for a few years, and then move on to Debian Testing. I love the rolling updates, I've never had to do a reinstall in the time (3 years now?) I've been running it. Debian packaging is more solid then anything else I've used. Even the build depenencies and source packaging are solid (making development quick and easy to get going). Multi arch is the best 32/64bit resolution I've come across. Debian supports lots of architectures, at home I run x86 and AMD64 and three flavors of ARM at home too (armhf, armel and Raspbian). On top of all the technical excelences, it's political entity is of considerable moral standing. It's like some crazy dream, only it's real.

Intel unzips new Atom phone chip: Low power, fast - is that right, ARM?

Joe Burmeister

Re: What a bunch of drivvel

Good answer and it is clear you know what you are talking about. But what I'd counter is, Mali. It's not open, and not only are they not helping Lima, they are actively hostile to it. ARM should be leading by example and aren't.

Joe Burmeister

Re: Intel is more open then ARM

The source code tree of the Linux kernel. But these guys equally don't push upstream on other projects either, but Linux is the one that is specific for ARM. Intel are very good at getting stuff upstream, especially in the Kernel and XOrg/Mesa. Because of that, Intel hardware just works with Linux.

Joe Burmeister

Re: Intel is more open then ARM

To be clear, I am talking about drivers for things out of ARM. Like Mali. ARM should be leading their ecosystem with openness. At the moment it's a terrible messed, even when there is open stuff, you all to often end up with multiple drivers for the same thing. Sure they may (or may not even!) start out only different because of different i2c addresses and gpio connections, etc, but they diverge, sometimes hacked across multiple generations of products, changed a little more each time. Each product thrown over the wall with little regard for the future. Little or no code making it in tree or even released (all too often ignoring any GPL requirements). That sounds fine to some, but it really isn't. There is mountains of wasted work and security of this is a joke. If a new product is wanted, it would seam sensible (and should be), for it to be based on the old. But as nothing was up streamed, forwards and back porting is done to get the thing out the door.

Intel have the advantage that they are working with a known standard (yer, it's decades of hacks, but that's still better than not having one) and compared with ARM, the x86 open device driver state is much cleaner.

Openness and standardization are separate, but related issues.

I'm a old Acorn user, so I have a soft spot for ARM, but we do no one any favors by not pointing out the holes in this ship. There has been a lot of work on this already, and the state of the ARM platform is getting better, but Intel are way ahead.

Joe Burmeister

Intel is more open then ARM

The thing ARM aren't compeating on is openness.

It's not all performance, price and power use. It's also how easy it is to make the thing into a product. Open drivers just makes it easier. Intel are awake to this, ARM are still asleep, fighting openness even, despite the fact people use ARM to run largely open OSs and code.

Tilera preps many-cored Gx chips for March launch

Joe Burmeister

Hopefully more competition

This is why I think open and free will win. New processor designs come along and we just recompile the repository and use it. Instantly thousands of native applications. The closed world must either get important players to port to try and create critical mass on the platform, or do byte code and take the speed hit compared with native open/free software.

Wintel are pooing their pants about ARM, imagine if it's not just ARM they have to worry about.

Competition is good, and we can just use what's best for the job not worrying about legacy instruction set support.

Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars

Joe Burmeister

Mint is going MATE and Gnome3

Very selective quoting. It is moving to have MATE and Gnome3 and is involved in work to ensure MATE can live along side Gnome3. What I'd like to see is MATE moved to GTK3 because I don't think there is any debate that GTK3 is an improvement. I'm quite interested in trying Gnome3 with MGSE, though I still think Gnome3 needs a slim fast diet. Mint seams to be taking the best approach yet.


World's stealthiest rootkit gets a makeover

Joe Burmeister

a justification for secure boot?

Of course the problem is the attack getting root in the first place. Secure boot just closes one way of keeping it but introduces new problems. Couldn't the root kit removal kit check how the machine is to boot? Couldn't the OS be hardened better to not be compromised in the first place? Secure boot is like saying the OS cann't be secured and root kit removers cann't do thier job either. It is waving the white flag on software and retreating to hardware while not fixing the real problem. Unless it's not about security but locking hardware.......

Hadoop: A Linux even Microsoft likes

Joe Burmeister


Embrace is protected against by copyleft. I see Apple and Sun as exactly the kind of "tragedy of the commons" copyleft is protection against. But Hadoop is Apache. Microsoft can Extend Hapoop and not share. With their history I don't trust not to try and do an Apple/Sun. Give some, but take more.

ISPs end PM's web smut block dream

Joe Burmeister

Good, it wouldn't have worked.

All this would have done is "normalise" proxies.

Few couples are going to agree they want porn, even if both (but it's normally just the man) secretly want it.

If you want your kids not to see porn, don't give them a laptop. Have a desktop (or two (multiseat?)) in the living room where you can see what they are doing. If you give them a machine they can use in private, they will see porn. To be honest, I use to be involved with copying floppy disks of porn like most nerds when I was a kid. Didn't do me any harm but I'm sure what I saw would have horrified my parents. Of far more a concern to me is social networks without parent supervision, but they will probably all grow up fine too. Let's just fight to make sure they can delete or make private at least, their teen history as an adult. Or maybe they will all just have to be much more open about what they did as kids.

Google Chrome beta turns on native code machine

Joe Burmeister

wait I've got an idea

What about native apps targeted directly to the OS, but all in a database on the internet. Packages installed from this db are all kept upto date with the db. Everything is signed and there is a strong trust system for db write access. You can save and restore the selection of packages installed. Oh wait, we've had that for years!

Acer to deliver ARM notebook within nine days

Joe Burmeister

As long as we can replace Android I'm happy.

I don't want Android/Linux I want real Linux i.e. GNU/Linux, more specifically Debian.

Yer you can chroot Debian on Android, but that sucks (but it is better than nothing).

ARM to wrestle quarter of laptop market from Intel

Joe Burmeister

Windows 8?

As long as we can wipe Windows 8 and put on Debian.

Ideally we have nice open graphics drivers too. Then it will be supported forever and a day, but you just know it's going to be binary blobs and problems from that straight away. The state of the ARM graphics driver situation has been holding back Beagle+Pandaboards (and family) for being useful media PCs. At least on PC, Nvidia put work into their horrid closed Linux drivers, and even then, they are still problematic. Yer stable kernel interface, yak yak (like Windows), but that does not give as good results as drivers open and in kernel so things are free to share code and evolve. The WiFi drivers story is the most recent story of this. I wish ARM graphics would get sorted. I want my ARM Linux media PC and laptop!

Without this being sorted, ARM Linux is going to be stunted. Unless you happy with a kernel version stuck at the time of release, or at best, the last date the manufacturer cared about their old product. Or maybe, if your lucky, it's just your X frozen in time.

People keep forgetting about this issue about ARM, but it's really important if you want your ARM Linux to be recent and any good at displaying things (and that's all normal users care about).

Elite coder readies £15 programming gadget for schools

Joe Burmeister

Python is the new BBC BASIC

I grew up on BBC BASIC (with a sprinkling of SWI to speed things up). In my wilderness years after leaving RiscOS, I had nothing quite like BBC BASIC, just C and C++. Perl seamed almost there, but just didn't feel right. Then I found Python. If you are a lost after the loss of BBC BASIC and never found something to fill that whole, try Python. If you are like me, you will feel like you have found a new home. In fact, Python is better than BBC BASIC ever was. It's also got easy C and C++ APIs to extend it. InkScape replaces !Draw. Gimp is better than !Paint ever was. Guake gives me F12 command line goodness. The only thing I now morn from leaving RiscOS is drag/drop saving (don't point me to Rox). The thing I really don't miss from RiscOS is no package management (and yes, you need it). Still fond of RiscOS, but it wasn't a grown up OS, none of the desktop ones where at the time. For some reason that generation wrote new OSs ignoring decades of OS research, using hardware as an excuse when the hardware was miles better than the old hardware the OS research was done on......

Joe Burmeister

Picking up the programming back again?

Python! It fills the whole left by BBC BASIC when I left RiscOS. It's a great scripting language with bindings for nearly everything, cross platform and really useful to knock quick one offs in. To reignite computers in general, Linux and the command line. Get your computer back!

Sanity saver: Fedora 15 answers Ubuntu's Unity

Joe Burmeister

Bloody ivory tower types

What a desktop is has been define. It has been defined for a while. I know it's boring but tough. Try experiments by all means, but don't force them on people. I want to overlap Windows (I often use the "always on top" feature while doing this) for instance when referring to something or playing a movie/tv on the same screen I'm doing something else on. Any desktop I can't multitask on, I'm not even going to try. To me, demanding I do so before you take into account my dismissal is like the creationists demanding you look at their "evidence" before you dismiss them as mad. This is only going to hurt Linux adoption. Stupid ivory tower rubbish I hope fails quickly so we can move on quickly. Friends and family now running Gnome aren't going to learn another desktop, for them learning two was hard (XP then Gnome2).

Nvidia: 'old' tablet development kit won't get Android 3.0

Joe Burmeister

Binary blobs

Binary blobs are as much the problem here. Nvidia have to make fresh binary blobs and Google can ask them not to. If the source code for Tegra drivers was out there, once Google are forced to honor the GPL with Honeycomb, someone could just update the Tegra drivers and release them, regardless of what Google want. It would also aid us using another distro than Android.

GNOME 3: Shocking changes for Linux lovers

Joe Burmeister

if you don't like it, don't use it, that's my plan

It's open source, nothing can be forced on you. If there was only Gnome3, and it didn't work the way people liked, it would be forked and developed in the direction people like, and the original would wither and die. I suspect if Gnome3 causes people to start leaving Gnome on mass, either a fork would pop up, or Gnome3 guys would change course. Either way, at the moment I'm thinking of moving to XFCE as I don't want to learn a "new desktop metaphor" or inflict it on anyone who sits at my computer, they can just about cope with Gnome now when they realise it's much the same as they know. They won't even try when it's not.

Microsoft files monopoly complaint against Google

Joe Burmeister

"they should be brought to book as were MS."

Yer, I remember how MS was found guilty and split into two businesses. A OS business and a software business. It was crazy to allow a company to make a closed OS and closed software for that OS. It's anticompetitive. Wait.....what happened again I fell into a time warp after they lost the case....

Why US antitrust regulators should probe Google search

Joe Burmeister

Start with the worse first

>> The thing about Google's dominance is that it's ephemeral.


> You could have said the same about MS' dominance of the desktop OS

No, you really couldn't. They own and control Win32 (and now .NET) and no other implementation can compete as they are chasing tail lights that are deliberately doing anything they can to shake anyone off.

This isn't like search. There isn't a massive world of things built on Google's search API locking us in. We could all change search engine tomorrow, we can't all change our OS tomorrow because most people use Win32 apps, Wine is amazing, but it can't really do this as it's an impossible task. If you move to Linux/BSD thinking you can continue to use all your Windows apps, you will find you are mistaken, and either go running back to Windows, or learn new cross platform apps.

What makes this much worse is they are allowed to do closed software on their own closed operating system. How the hell is anyone expected to fairly compete? With MS Office it's even worse as they have a doc spec too to use to try and stop competitors.

MS need at very least splitting into a operating system business and a software business. There should be regulation so you can do a OS and open software, or a closed software and a open OS, but both can't be closed.

It's amazing we have freed ourselves as much as we have, but this doesn't mean things aren't broken. I still every now and then, most recently with my wifes SATS marking, hit sites that only work with IE. Who knows how many Windows apps Wine can't run because of undocumented behaviour/bugs that Wine hasn't matched. It was many many years before ".doc" was blown open.

Now if Google use their monoply in search, which I wouldn't argue they don't have, to dominate another market, then there is a problem. But to my knowledge, they haven't done this yet. There isn't Google Halloween like documents with internal emails about how they can use their APIs and formats to lock people in.

A new peer-to-peer search could come from nowhere and overtake Google, or a IBM, or anyone with the money to do it traditionally. Anyway, the hardware need only grow as fast as the userbase. Google could lose their cash cow within a year or so. With MS it will be decades before we are free of their cash cows. Not saying Google don't have evil money men working there too, they do, but it's no MS. They will go down in the monopoly history books as a one of a kind.

UK is a closed source 'stronghold'

Joe Burmeister

Read more, write less

In a closed source world, everyone is use to blackboxes. They don't question how these blackboxes work, because they couldn't find out if they wanted to, and so don't learn. These developer then write their own blackboxes, in ignorance of how the other blackboxes work. This doesn't only make for a unstable system of blackboxes, but they are all writing more than they reading, no one can think this is a good thing. We had a head start in the IT because of the Spectrum and BBC Micro teaching so many to program, but that legacy is going and not being replaced. I think the BBC should do a fresh "teach the UK computers" crusade with *nix and open source to get the nation educated. I'm sorry, but in comparison to *nix and open source, Windows keeps you ignorant. Teach Python instead of BASIC, it's easy, free, powerful and cross platform, what more do you want? Well, may late night advanced episode that teach C..... ;-)

WTF is... cloud gaming?

Joe Burmeister
Thumb Down

mainframe and thin clients, the 50s future, again

The world only needs 5 real computers, maybe even just 1, etc etc.


What if I want to play a old game, deemed not popular enough to maintain?

What if I want to play something not government approved?

What if I want to play something and don't want the outside to know or leave a record? (slightly different than above)

What if a computational intensive game is fantastically popular?

What if I want to buy not rent?

Every 10 years or so we seam to go through this "mainframe and thin client is the future" idea.

FOSS maven says $29 'Freedom Box' will kill Facebook

Joe Burmeister

What the nerds are doing today, everyone else is doing tomorrow.

Many many nerds already run their own home server they can ssh into from outside, often hosting a personal website and maybe more. Some even use a SheevaPlug to do this. Bundle this up so it's easy and it's quite possible it could sell well. Reason being, it doesn't just replace facebook and other cloudy services, it gives you more power then you had before. For instance remote access to home devices. You just have to make this all easy and it really could sell like hot cakes. One related cool tech no one has mentioned that I see related is n2n, the p2p vpn.

Qt sees its future in Microkia

Joe Burmeister

QT will not die, Autodesk use it.

Autodesk have been doing a big QT push in the last few years. Maya is now QT based. I suspect this was for the developers as much as anything. If you looked at the headers previously, there was ifdef all other place for the different platforms they supported. Unifying on QT must have made their life much easier. They came to see us, with some developers, before Maya went QT, and we were complaining about something or other, and the developer come back was the problem with all the different platforms doing things different ways. QT would have gone a long way to solving that issue. I don't know if QT is used on other Autodesk products, but even not, Autodesk are huge and love buying things (they bought the whole 3D market, Max,Maya,XSI), so I'm sure buying QT might interest them. Though I'm not sure more corporate ownership is what QT needs........

TiVo calls time on ageing set-tops

Joe Burmeister


TiVoization bites. Now if more (Linux itself) was GPL3, they won't have been able to lock down, and the users could continue the device as long as they wanted without Tivo's support.

Intel samples 'Medfield' next-gen phone chip

Joe Burmeister

x86 on phone? Why?

We don't need x86 compatibility. No one needs software or hardware legacy of x86 on phones. Hardware legacy for the sake of software legacy on a form factor it won't be any use on....

Chrome 9 debuts with WebGL, app store, instant annoyance

Joe Burmeister

I don't hear any complaints about Linux 3D drivers......

So what's going on? I thought it was the WebGL stuff causing FireFox4 issues on Linux. Does Chrome 9 manage WebGL on Linux without a problem? Maybe Firefox could copy the Chrome code. ;-)

Photo loss blogger to Flickr: You're f*cking kidding

Joe Burmeister

Cloud exports/import

What we really need is a way of exporting and importing between the cloud and local storage. This of course depends on the cloud type, but it's really important! We need to be able to self host too, so we can view/use the data locally. How to enforce this I don't know, but without it, we are asking to get screwed like this. As he said, he had all the photos, but not the cloudy meta data. This would aid moving stuff between clouds too, thus aid competition. It's a terrible system we have now, and one I avoid as much as possible. RMS is so right about all this, as normal.

Intel: Microsoft's ARM-on-Windows deal no threat

Joe Burmeister

Wintel poo themselves. MS try and hedge bets

I think this is really interesting times. We have known this battel was coming for a while, and now it looks like it's about to start proper. Netbooks caught MS with thier pants down and Linux started to come at them from the bottom into their market. Linux had always been at the top, I think MS conceeded big iron and servers. I also think MS conceeded the embedded market, but the netbooks with on MS turf, and they poo'ed themselves. They brought back XP, and reduced the specs of their next OS so it could complete in the market (though does it?). The Linux platform doesn't care about processor type, and ARM's rock, so ARM is coming into MS turf now too, now that the netbooks showed that Linux in that turf isn't completely crazy. Why is Linux so important to this? Well without Linux there would no point on ARM entering this turf as their is no software, it's all x86 locked, as it has been, for years. But with Linux/openness, there is no hardware platform locks. ARM vs x86 when power requirements come into play is a no brainer, ARM win hands down everytime. So with ARM coming in, Linux would start coming into too, again, so MS poo'ed themselves again and start talking about real Windows on ARM. But the thing is, that won't matter because you can't run any Windows software on it. So you either have a Windows ARM machine you can't run any Windows software on, or you have a Linux ARM machine you can't run any Windows software on, but you can run the world of free software on it. Really interesting. Worse for MS, is that ARM starts coming in, again with Linux, from the top too where data centers want to save power. Intel will be watching all this in horror. If you stop caring about Windows, and go open, you stop caring about backwards compatbility with x86. This could all snow ball rather nicely for ARM and free software. Great for consumers to break the Wintel catch 22 we have been stuck in.

How I built a zero energy cost, zero carbon home server

Joe Burmeister

Sheevaplug melt

Sheevaplugs are brilliant..........but their power units aren't.

Here's a picture of the replacement of the power unit sent me 6 months after the original burnt out.


I'm running a external power unit now. Many "usb 1-1: disconnect" or "I/O error" are actually because the power pack is melting. Maybe I was unlucky, but there are melty pictures of the power units all over the place.

I'd buy another if this one was smashed by my daughter or something, but I'd be waiting for the power unit to fail.

Until the power unit issues are solved, it's not ready to be Eben's FreedomBox. ;-)

Firefox 4 beta gets hard on Windows

Joe Burmeister

There is hope

Gallium3D is a big new hope for this. It should break this cycle by making writing graphics drivers easier and mean much more shared code between drivers, meaning better drivers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallium3D

It's also going to help Xorg development as the X server need not be graphics card specific. So it can have all the drivers removed from it, greatly shrinking the code base, making maintenance and development easier.

"Another thing that didn't get a lot of attention is Alan's xf86-video-modesetting driver. It's a dummy X11 driver that uses DRM for modesetting and Gallium3D for graphics acceleration. Because of that it's hardware independent, meaning that all hardware that has a DRM driver and Gallium3D driver automatically works and is accelerated under X11. Very neat stuff."



AMD: 'Bobcat' smaller, faster than Intel's Atom

Joe Burmeister

ARM servers

"AMD is open to the idea, but don't hold your breath. Unless ARM, Tilera, and Intel Atom chips start getting some server sales."

Could be already in motion.




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