* Posts by James Hughes 1

2497 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Amazon's homegrown 2.3GHz 64-bit Graviton processor was very nearly an AMD Arm CPU

James Hughes 1

Most odd

Those performance figures do not add up at all. I would expect a A72 at 2.3G to be at least 3-4 times as fast as the A53 at 1.4G on the Pi3B+. It should be about twice as fast just from the architecture upgrade, then add on the extra clocking.

As as for the website comparison - what utter bollocks. That more related to memory, and networking that the CPU speed.

Reverse Ferret! Forget what we told you – the iPad isn't really for work

James Hughes 1

Re: Horses for courses

What DaveK said. Laptop, docking station, a few extra monitors, keybopard mouse (because laptop trackpads and keyboards are horrid). Sits on desk at work, bring it home every day, but don; tuse it unless I HAVE to, makes it easy to work from home. Runs windows but most of the real work done in Linux in virtual box. Actually at home right now typing this, simply plugged laptop in to monitor, now in exactly the same environment I was yesterday when I left work. Laptops just work (mostly)

I've tried doing work stuff on a tablet, admittedly a small cheap Samsung, horrible. For general net stuff, absolutely fine. Not for work.

A new Raspberry Pi takes a bow with all of the speed but less of the RAM

James Hughes 1

Re: USB-C port

Also, USB-C connectors are still surprisingly expensive.

James Hughes 1

Cost, pure and simple.

As for the other requests, not possible with the current SoC. As the launch article from the boss said, this will be the last with this era silicon - we've reached the limits.

James Hughes 1

Re: the leader becomes the follower

Difficult to see how we can be following something that's based on a form factor we originally produced 6 years ago, and uses two thirds of our naming scheme.

TBH, I'd never head of the Orange Pi Zero+

Brits shun country life over phone not-spot fears

James Hughes 1

Out in the Fens in a pretty small village, but our broadband is pretty good (75Mbits/s download or something ADSL), but the mobile phone reception is non-existent. Whatever provider, so Uswitch are not going to make much money from us.

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

James Hughes 1

Re: Thomas Midgley Jr.

Don't most sane people admit that already?

Raspberry Pi fans up in arms as Mathematica disappears from Raspbian downloads

James Hughes 1

Re: 300 baud!? You were lucky...

To answer the quesions above, it was included in the download becuase that what our agreement with Wolfram said.

As for the percentage of the download taken up by it, over 30% of the compressed file.

James Hughes 1

It's not just the download time. When doing an update it can take ages to install, so much so that people have thought the device had locked up.

If you add up all the extra 700MB over all the Raspbian downloads from the last 5 years, (100 million? Dunno, might be worthwhile finding out) that adds up to, er, quite a lot of wasted bandwidth.

James Hughes 1

TBH, there has't been that much grumbling. Engineering preference is to have it in the repos rather than installed by default, as it's a huge chunk of the image that a large percentage of users don't need. As a user of Raspbian, but non-user of Mathematica, if you don't remove it, then when an update appears its takes a load of time to download and install it.

Having it in the repo means those that want it can download it. Those that don't save 700MB of bandwidth.

Raspberry Pi supremo Eben Upton talks to The Reg about Pi PoE woes

James Hughes 1

Re: Flashback

Unfortunately its not easy to identify the problem boards, the chips don't have much in the way of ID. Keep an eye out on the blog over the next couple of days - more detailed information to be published soon.

Not sure about the channel - certainly the next production run will have the problem fixed, IIRC it's delayed until the fix is finalised.

James Hughes 1

Re: Works on my switch

Power over Wifi is in the Pi4

James Hughes 1

Re: not skookum

The MPG2 thing is a PITA. Unfortunately there are still two regions where the licence is required, and since we do not region encode the Pi we cannot guarantee that any Pi will not be used in those regions. We would dearly love to get rid of the whole thing - it costs us more than we make back, to run the licencing system.

James Hughes 1

Re: Works on my switch

I belevie it was a bit more involved than that, but in future we will be much more thorough. Once bitten etc

James Hughes 1

Re: Any update on otehr problems?

It's not random, it's if you short out certain pins on the GPIO its can kill the PMIC. Its more comon on 3B+ becuase its the only one that uses a PMIC.....

Just dying is extemely rare, but can happen. Just like any other equipment. If it dies under warrantee, get it replaced.

James Hughes 1

Are you talking about something from 6 years ago?

In fact, I'm a bit confused by your timing issues on usb bottlenck statement because that doesn't ring any bells at all.

James Hughes 1

Re: not skookum

Wow. Quite the rant.

Just to inject semblence of truth in, we have never provided full schematics of any of the Pi boards. so to say we are geting less open is an exageration. We have had to change a little due to to becoming more competitive - ie we need to maintain our competitive advantage to remain in business. Easiest way to do that? Keep certain aspected under wraps.

Mising component labels is a cost saving measure, and what we can fit in limited space. Not much more to it that that.

We do not have an elistist atitude. We welcome anyone to contribute to our linux kernel, our documenation, our projects etc. As we do get some really good contributions in all those areas. What we cannot do is open csource the GPU binary blob, because we do not hold the copyright on it - that is held by Broadcom. We release what we can.

We screw up, everyone does. This is a case in point. But we've come clean, which is more than most other companies. Be nice to understand what you mean by your last paragraph, taking in to account this exact example.

James Hughes 1

Re: So what you're saying is...

Actually, not enough....

James Hughes 1

Re: Hats off to 'em...

TBH, we should have spotted this in testing, so there will be changes to help ensure it doesn't happen again!

James Hughes 1

Re: Oh dear, a fan

You can turn the fan off if you wish. Usually it's controlled by the Pi itself, so only turns on when required, and will be sped up/slowed down as necessary. If off, then the Pi will use its normal temperature control system, which may throttle the CPU if it get too warm.

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

James Hughes 1

Re: There sure are a lot of people getting very offended by a rather small change


Get rid of a globally accepted phrase, replace it with loads of different ones that mean the same thing that most people will not know.

So that not going to be confusing at all.....

Amazon, ditch us? But they can't do without us – Oracle

James Hughes 1

Re: What next? Create their own Binary Flag (0/1) scheme?

And Amazon clearly have enough cash to buy in the best DB people in the world...

Given the salaries of some of the Amazon people I know, it won't be difficult to attract top end DB developers.

Tesla fingers former Gigafactory hand as alleged blueprint-leaking sabotage mastermind

James Hughes 1


Anti-Tesla anti-Musk forces are out in force today.

I'm more of a optimist. Tesla will fix production (AFAICT, it's pretty much already fixed), Model 3 will continue to sell shitloads, autopilot will get better, other manufacturers will all release full electric cars in the next 2 years, Tesla shorters will lose their hats (good, shorting stocks and trying to force the stocks down when they won't do it by themselves is a pretty offensive way to make money)

Here's a good read. https://www.dailykos.com/blog/Rei

Cryptography is the Bombe: Britain's Enigma-cracker on display in new home

James Hughes 1

Re: The Poles never get sufficient credit...

What werdsmith said.

Go to BP, and actually see what is on display before complaining.

It's a worthwhile day out.

Welcome to Ubuntu 18.04: Make yourself at GNOME. Cup of data-slurping dispute, anyone?

James Hughes 1

Re: What will they do with the data?

No he doesn't realise.

Also doesn't realise that you don't need to be working on upstream to write drivers. It open source! Everyone can write a driver, and many people do. And then get them upstreamed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares.... SpaceX to send amazing GRACE to spaaaaace

James Hughes 1

Re: I hope Space X aren't deliberately dumping these at sea because it's cheaper to.

Yes, they are dumping them because is cheaper. The cost to recover is the barge to land on, the time to get it back, the cost of craning it off the barge, the cost of storing it until you spend even more money and time to dismantle it. And actually, the environmental cost of that lot is probably higher than just dumping it.

But tbh, dropping a few in the water is still less impact that a couple of containers falling off a ship, and you don't seem to be complaining too much about that.

Tesla forums awash with spam as mods take an unscheduled holiday

James Hughes 1

Bloody hell, there's always one.

Not a ponzi scheme.

NASA's TESS mission in distress, Mars Express restart is a success

James Hughes 1

Ah, the Anti-Elon trolls are out, having a go at the pro-Elon trolls.

Bored now.

No Falcon Way: NASA to stick with SLS, SpaceX more like space ex

James Hughes 1

Re: Little known facts...

Ahh, the old government subsidy attack. It was wrong before and it's wrong now.

Tesla WERE helped in the initial stages by government subsidies. The same subsidies that were available to other businesses. Any business in the same area was able able to take advantage, if they didn't that was not Musk's fault. Subsidies are used by governments all round the world to kick start business and new tech.

Tesla paid back their government loads (not subsidies).

SpaceX were paid to provide a service to NASA (not a subsidy). They have been providing that service cheaper than anyone else, so in fact, NASA have saved money by using SPaceX.

SpaceX performance history is pretty good, checkered is entirely wrong, they have over 50 flights of the F9, with two failures early on, the causes of which have been fixed.

There has been a accident with a ModelX - whoopy doo,. There were 37,461 road deaths in the US in 2016. In the same year 38,658 death by gun. Do you really think that ONE death in a X is statistically significant? Even now I suspect that computer driven cars are safer than human driven ones!

As with any company investment, on the whole the investors know what they are doing. And at the moment they are happy with Tesla. When they start dumping shares, then maybe a cause for concern, but until then Tesla are pretty safe.

James Hughes 1

Re: NASA is a development lab

SpaceX itself was a massive gamble from the very start.

To says that 'all' they have done is evolutionary is probably true. And yet they are the only people to have EVER done it (ie reusability of S1). So whilst what that have done is evolutionary, what they have done to the launch market is revolutionary.

SLS is the same - its an evolution. As are ALL other rocket projects.

BFR will be the real revolution. And will be REAL heavy lift. Heavier than SLS but at a fraction of the cost. If it works, and I see no reason to believe it won't.

James Hughes 1

Re: Some assembly required

@dave126 You need to read rh587's comment again - at no point did (s)he say the FH would be man rated. Just the regular Falcon.

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?

James Hughes 1

Re: All Pi's need USB3!

Getting rid of the USB2.0 requires a new SoC...this is NOT a cheap thing to do. You'll have to wait for Pi4 for a big change in SoC.

James Hughes 1

Some answers to questions above:

New SoC: I reckon about three years work. We need to ensure its robust, performant, certified with a solid SW base that works on day of release.

H265. Not purely in HW, that would require new HW blocks, but we are reusing some H264 blocks, plus NEON to get HEVC 1080p30 working for the majority of the use cases.

James Hughes 1

Re: I use them...

Just too expensive to put on every board, hence the add on board. Image making 5M devices a years, with $0.50 more hardware on that only 10k people use. You've just wasted a shitload of cash on something no-one uses.

James Hughes 1

Re: I hope the Bluetooth works better on this one

We've had problems with the supplier of the BT chip updating their firmware at any sort of reasonable rate. This is a newer chip with newer firmware, although same supplier, so we hope there are some improvements.

BT is just a PITA in general I find.

EDIT to add: BT/Wifi coexistence is the culprit I suspect. A good idea in principle, a PITA in practice.

James Hughes 1

Admittedly I am biased, but I have never had any reliability issues with the Pi3B. Be interesting to know why you think the previous model (9M sold) is unreliable, since we don't get many returns.

James Hughes 1

No fast path in to the SoC. Getting PCIe, USB3 or similar would require a new SoC on a new process, which is more than a B to B+ upgrade.

We have pretty much reach the limit of this SoC on this process. Anything past this point is likely to have a new SoC.

The Ataribox lives, as a prototype, supposedly

James Hughes 1

Pretty sure you could make this with a Pi 0 in a box, and a few small PCB's for joystick interfacing.

Max cost $35, depending on how posh you want the box to be.

A smartphone recession is coming and animated poo emojis can't stop it

James Hughes 1

Wasn't this fairly obvious about 3 years ago?

Boring. The phone business has lost the plot and Google is making it worse

James Hughes 1

Musk isn't stupid.

And only stupid people think they can make money in the mobile phone industry.

(excluding the two major incumbents, and one of those doesn't make huge money)

Waddawewant? Free video codecs! When do we... oh, look, the last MPEG-2 patent expired!

James Hughes 1

Re: I wonder

Not making any changes to licencing until the last two countries lapse since Pi's are sold there.

Fender's 'smart' guitar amp has no Bluetooth pairing controls

James Hughes 1

Re: I will not hear a word said against Fender

Recently found out my '86 Jap made Squire Fender Strat is worth £700! So Yay! for Fender, even the cheaper ones!

On the other hand my Marshall valve amp has never really worked properly. Must buy some new valves.

The phone OS that muggers wouldn't touch is back from the dead

James Hughes 1

Re: "complexity and notification overload of the modern Android experience"

@DougS The problem is that Android is a sprawling mess of millions of lines of code. Stripping out 'unnecessary' stuff is a horrendous job, and there is still no guarantee it will be any more reliable than something written from scratch (albeit based over the Linux kernel which handles all the complex stuff).

James Hughes 1

Re: Javascript will kill it

Or just perhaps developers should stop writing shit Javascript websites, and make things go a bit faster by actually being good at their jobs?

James Hughes 1

Re: That KaiOS thing

What is not straightforward about that statement?

They will adhere to any open source licences. Simples.

If at first you don't succeed, you're likely Intel: Second Spectre microcode fix emitted

James Hughes 1

Re: The real question is why didn't Intel find this bug in development.

It's not that the development process is shit, it is indeed that CPU development is very hard indeed.

Combine that with some very clever people who can figure out utterly obscure exploits such as these, and this sort of thing can happen.

As someone above said, it's taken about 10 years to figure out this exploit. If Intel/ARM/AMD had spent an extra 10 years figuring it out before releasing the chips, well, nobody would be in business.

Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

James Hughes 1

Re: agreed...

Using a Dell laptop, charges fine though the USB-C docking station. Walk in, one plug, off and running with two monitors plus the laptop screen running.

Electric cars to create new peak hour when they all need a charge

James Hughes 1

Re: problem is real but pretty easily solvable

@Jake. Feel free to continue polluting the world until you die coughing, or my children do. Electric is the future, you might not like it, but to get this planet back on the road to long term climate stability, something needs to change. Going electric is one way of doing it, it's going to be a long process, and people like you won't like it. But I guess once the electric vehicles start out performing petrol and diesel across the board, even the most hardened petrol head (and I am one - used to race cars, children race karts) will finally have to admit defeat.

James Hughes 1

Re: I'm not going to be causing this problem

Here's a thought. Don't buy an electric car.

Elon Musk offered no salary, $55bn bonus to run Tesla for a decade

James Hughes 1

Re: Will Tesla be independent for that long?

But who has that amount of money to buy a car company against their wishes?

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018