Saturday, June 30, 2007

Alan Kay: The PC Must Be Revamped!

Alan Kay has won a Turing Prize and (obviously) has spent a lot of time thinking about personal computers. He considers the PC as we know it to not have lived up to it's potential. In this essay from February of this year, he explains how and why.

I find this sort of thing fascinating and hope you do as well.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Name that parallel processing machine 100X faster than current PCs -- seriously

The contest is not the story, nor is the fact that someone tied a boat-load of processors together. The news is the new software that ties it all together. Evidently, real progress has been made.

This is the sort of stuff that excites me (which leads my wife to say I need to get out more). I'm trying to understand the nuts and bolts of the advance, but I have to admit that this really is rocket science and I'm not up to grasping it all. Not by a long shot!

The big deal is that if this advance makes it to "real life" computing on our desktops we could see performance that would have been reserved for mainframes or small clusters a decade ago, or less. Just the thought of that gets me salivating like Pavlov's dogs.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Donations to Help Keep Seti Alive

I know many of us here participate in SETI@HOME. They need money. If you can spare $10 please donate. I have.

Parachute formation video

This is too kewl. An amazing production. [h/t Dvorak for the link]

Sunday, June 24, 2007

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 06-24-07

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 06-24-07. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

Kudos to Dell

Earlier this year, I bought a refurb computer from Dell. The boys needed to be upgraded from 98, not to mention other system updates (those darn games need great video). Its a nice system, Intel Dual Core, 2GB RAM, DVD+R, DVD-R/W, 256MB Video RAM, for less than $600 as I recall. Before we went on vacation,
the power blinked off, during a storm, and when the power came back on the Dell gave me a BSOD. Restarting didn't fix it, and I didn't have time to look at it before vacation. [time lapse music here]
Booted the Dell, to see if the computer elves had done their magic, but alas, no joy. The error message on the BSOD said "Unmountable_boot_volume." Next boot, I hit F12 and selected HD Diagnostics, and once the sector read errors started, all blocks subsequent failed, with an IRQ timeout message. I went to Dell's support site, and selected the chat support option (since I tried to search for the error message and only received BIOS doesn't detect my hard drive fixes). A new window opened and I was connected with a Dell Support Agent (Shirish). I passed on the same info as above, and the Agent told me that the hard drive had failed and they would send another. I told them that I was comfortable installing it myself. I passed on the serial number of the drive, my address was confirmed. Shirish asked if there was anything other issues and I told her that I would like the installation discs shipped also. The reply "No problem." Shirish was very pleasant to chat with, and within 5 minutes of the window opening, I had a very satifactory resolution to my problem. I confirmed I would get email status reports and closed the window. Next day, DHL delivered my hard drive! I expected it after the weekend, at best, but it arrived the next day. Today, I received a follow up call from Dell, and told them how pleased I was at the speedy service.
I myself have blogged about Dell's various forays into an online presence, both their successes and stumbles (often in the same post). Oops, looks like Jack has blogged about Dell more. :)
Kudos to Dell!!

Analysis: DRM may be why Microsoft flip-flopped on Vista virtualization

This ComputerWorld story is plausible enough, though you might have to put on your tinfoil hat to get through it. Still, I have my doubts. Please; tell me what you think;


Links from the Gregg Zone!

1) To start off the week, this is a quick link for a colorgenics test, kind of interesting it gives you a personality reading based on your color preferences. Like a horoscope, not sure where I stand on either of those issues, I had my horoscope done a while ago, and was very impressed with the results.

2) Just in case you missed it I thought I would put up a link to the largest pyramid found on earth in Bosnia? That’s right, check it out, when you get to the link click on the arrow on the right it will take you to the next page where there are a couple of videos, and links. It sure surprised me, I ran across this a while back, if you want more on it just google, there has been quite a lot written on it.

3) This is a link to a blog Jack sent me about colonizing other planets. I have not had a chance to read it as I write this, but will check it out in the morning.