castanyes blaves

Random ramblings about some random stuff, and things; but more stuff than things -- all in a mesmerizing and kaleidoscopic soapbox-like flow of words.


Linux Cell starts "spuffing" up

IBM, Sony, and Toshiba have jointly ported Linux to the Cell processor, and hope to merge their patches into the next major Linux kernel release, 2.6.13. The port includes a 64-bit PowerPC Linux kernel, and a filesystem enabling the kernel to exploit the chip's multiple independent vector processing units.

IBM's developerWorks has published a detailed, technical article about the port.

Spufs: The Cell Synergistic Processing Unit as a virtual file system

The Cell processor is expected to power Sony's Playstation 3, rumored to be slated for worldwide rollout in March of 2006. However, the chip's co-creators said in December of last year, when they first revealed architectural details, that workstations -- not Playstations -- represented the chip's initial target market.

Like so many new chips being introduced these days, the Cell processor has a multi-core design. However, it does not support SMP (symmetric multiprocessing). Instead, it has a primary 64-bit PowerPC core clocked up to 4GHz, and augmented by multiple independent vector processors called Synergistic Processing Units (SPUs).

According to the developerWorks article, Linux ports readily to the Cell, since Linux has long supported 64-bit PowerPC chips such as those used in Apple Power Macintoshes and IBM's pSeries line of 4- to 16-way enterprise servers. However, taking advantage of the SPUs required additional work.

The Cell team has "done the groundwork" for a Linux kernel port, the developerWorks article says, including porting Linux to the Cell's primary PowerPC core. True to the Linux way of looking at everything as a file, the team also created a virtual filesystem called Spufs (Synergistic processing unit filesystem) that abstracts SPU resources, enabling the Linux kernel to load program binaries into an SPU, transfer memory between an SPU program and a Linux userspace application, and synchronize execution.

While most applications do not immediately run better on Cell, there is a lot of potential to port performance-critical applications to use library code running on an SPU for better performance.

The current set of kernel patches is based on the latest 2.6.xx snapshot kernel, and is maintained by the The IBM LTC (Linux Technology Center) team in Böblingen (Germany) hopes to integrate most of this into the 2.6.13 kernel release, so it will become part of upcoming distribution releases.


blog this!



Quote of the day

"Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind...

and when the same thought occurs in another man, it is the key to that era.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson



The formation of the Joint Genome Institute was a logical outgrowth of the involvement of the national laboratories in the Human Genome Project and earlier work on human genetics. Decades ago, the U.S. Congress charged the Department of Energy's predecessor agencies (the Atomic Energy Commission and the Energy Research and Development Agency) with studying and analyzing the consequences of human genetic mutations, especially those caused by radiation and the chemical byproducts of nuclear energy production. A particular focus of research has been the attempt to detect tiny genetic mutations among the survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings and their descendants.

In 1994, DOE expanded its genomic research with the Microbial Genome Initiative to sequence the genomes of bacteria of likely interest in the areas of energy production and use, environmental remediation, and waste reduction. Such microbes live under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure and could be engineered for such practical purposes as waste control and environmental cleanup.

Genomes of Microbes, Too

For the overall genomic effort, sequencing the genomes of microbes has both short-term and long-term benefits. In the short term, researchers such as Jane Lamerdin and her team are studying specific microbes that may be helpful in environmental remediation. Looking to the longer term, we will learn more about the microbial role in the overall "metabolism" of Earth. For an increasing number of microorganisms, microbiologists can proceed from a complete knowledge of an organism's genomic blueprint to its consequent activities and behaviors. "With our information, biologists will have a better understanding of how organisms interact and work together in a given environmental niche," says Lamerdin.


GreaseMonkey Check Box Firefox plugin/script

(1) Install Greasemonkey plugin

(2) Right-click -> Install User Script...

Check Range in:


locking OSXi

Apple could use the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chip to ensure that only Mac computers can run its OS X operating system, according to a news analysis from Gartner.

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment for this story, saying that the company it is not yet ready to reveal product specifications.

stop a job that is running in the background

To stop a job that is running in the background, use the stop command with the job number. To stop the Fortran job, type

jobs -l

stop %2

Nokia uses open-source browser for Series 60 platform

Nokia has announced that it will use open-source web browser code in its Series 60 smartphone platform. "A key component of this development has been Nokia's cooperation with Apple, as the Series 60 browser will use the same open source components, WebCore and JavaScriptCore, that Apple uses in its popular Safari Internet browser. Nokia intends to continue its collaboration with Apple and actively participate in the open source community to further develop and enhance these components, contributing Nokia's expertise in mobility."


Harvard Bussiness School on Linux vs. Microsoft Windows

We find that the presence of strategic buyers together with Linux's sufficiently strong demand-side learning results in Windows being driven out of the market. This may be one main reason why Microsoft has been providing chunks of Windows' source code to governments.

We also look at the effect of piracy and ask whether piracy can ever be beneficial to Microsoft. This extension was motivated by analyzing data on a cross-section of countries on Linux penetration and piracy rates. We found that in countries where piracy is highest, Linux has the lowest penetration rate. The model shows that Microsoft can use piracy as an effective tool to price discriminate, and that piracy may even result in higher profits to Microsoft!


and here also

?!?!?! Playstation 3 hard disk to run Linux !!!!!!!

Like a proper supercomputer, says Sony chief

By Paul Hales: divendres 10 juny 2005, 20:04

SONY COMPUTER Entertainment boss Ken Kutaragi has suggested the upcoming Playstation 3 will come equipped with a hard disk. And the hard disk may come with Linux pre-installed.

Kutaragi is miffed that the likes of Nintendo and Microsoft won't call their consoles computers. Nintendo, he complains to Japanese site Impress PC Watch, "keeps telling the world their consoles are 'toys'," while Microsoft keeps calling the Xbox a "game machine".

"We're positioning the PS3 as a supercomputer", he says, "But people won't recognize it as a computer unless we call it a computer, so we're going to run an OS on it. In fact, the Cell can run multiple OSes. In order to run the OSes, we need a hard disk. So in order to declare that the PS3 is a computer, I think we'll have [the hard disk] preinstalled with Linux as a bonus.

Kutaragi said the PS3 will run operating systems as applications. "The kernel will be running on the Cell, and multiple OSes will be running on top of that as applications. Of course, the PS3 can run Linux. If Linux can run, so can Lindows. Other PC Operating Systems can run too, such as Windows and (Mac OS) Tiger, if the publishers want to do so. Maybe a new OS might come out," he adds.

He says that providing hard disk with the PS3 will permit the, um, console, to be used as a computer - for applications beyond gaming. Video editing and photo retouching are examples of applications that could be run on a Linux-powered PS3, he suggests.

It is not yet clear whether a hard disk will ship with the PS3 as standard or whether it will be and optional extra. "There are still some issues if the machine doesn't come with a hard disk," said Kutaragi. "We've added a 2.5-inch HDD bay so that users can add hard disks, such as 80GB and 120GB," he said.

The Xbox 360 is expected to ship with a 20GB hard drive as standard. It is not expected to be running Linux. µ

I don't think The Inquirer is very reliable, but if this is true, it is going to be fuc**** amazing!!!

multiple alignment programs

Features of T-Coffee:

* Combines signals from heterogeneous sources, such as sequence-alignment programs, structure alignments, threading, manual alignment, motifs, and specific constraints

* Improved accuracy for a modest decrease in speed

* Combines local and global information

Features of Muscle:

* Optimize speed, accuracy, or a compromise between the two

* Quickly and accurately align tens or hundreds of sequences

* Align large numbers (thousands) of sequences, though not as quickly

* Refine existing alignments (whether obtained using Muscle or some other tool)

* Align two profiles

* Quickly cluster similar sequences

Features of ProbCons:

* Uses progressive alignment scheme with consistency-based alignment techniques

* Based on approximation to probabilistic model that can be iterated to account for multiple intermediate sequences when aligning two sequences

info "Finding files"

find /my/dir/ -name "*.jpg" -exec mv '{}' /home/user/images/ ';'

";" for -exec

find /my/dir/ -name *.c | xargs less {} "main"

xargs subtitutes the name that comes from stdin at {}


Apple/Intel switch analysis


Intel hates Microsoft. It hasn't always been that way, but in recent years Microsoft has abused its relationship with Intel and used AMD as a cudgel against Intel. Even worse, from Intel's standpoint Microsoft doesn't work hard enough to challenge its hardware. For Intel to keep growing, people have to replace their PCs more often and Microsoft's bloatware strategy just isn't making that happen, especially if they keep delaying Longhorn.


I can agree with it.


Enter Apple. This isn't a story about Intel gaining another three percent market share at the expense of IBM, it is about Intel taking back control of the desktop from Microsoft.


Desktop? Hummm... Desktop is more about applications than chips. As an example, Apple and Adobe hit the bullet with the "postscript world" as they provided applications, or alternatively, solutions, to SMB in the typesetting and publishing market. The "postscript world" wasn't about Apple alone, but Apple's OS (and hardware) and Adobe providing it.


Intel is fed up with Microsoft. Microsoft has no innovation that drives what Intel must have, which is a use for more processing power. And when they did have one with the Xbox, they went elsewhere.


But yet, Intel is the choice for most of the Microsoft market.


So Intel buys Apple and works with their OEMs to get products out in the market. The OEMs would love to be able to offer a higher margin product with better reliability than Microsoft. Intel/Apple enters the market just as Microsoft announces yet another delay in their next generation OS. By the way, the new Apple OS for the Intel Architecture has a compatibility mode with Windows (I'm just guessing on this one).


Intel buys Apple? Steve Jobs will let Intel buy it's child? Unlikely. "Buying" or "merging" might not be the issue here.

I think that a possible scenario can be the following: Intel needs some countermeasures against Microsoft, so that when MSFT big guys go to Intel's offices to talk bussiness to Intel's big guys, Intel has good cards to put on the table. Intel wants to be a big player in the "media-in-every-room-and-every-pocket" market, or whatever you want to call it. So Intel and Apple "join forces" to provide products that Microsoft hasn't entered yet, and to compete with Microsoft directly in the desktop platform market.


This scenario works well for everyone except Microsoft. If Intel was able to own the Mac OS and make it available to all the OEMs, it could break the back of Microsoft. And if they tuned the OS to take advantage of unique features that only Intel had, they would put AMD back in the box, too. Apple could return Intel to its traditional role of being where all the value was in the PC world. And Apple/Intel could easily extend this to the consumer electronics world. How much would it cost Intel to buy Apple? Not much. And if they paid in stock it would cost nothing at all since investors would drive shares through the roof on a huge swell of user enthusiasm.


OSX for generic Intels? Unlikely. That would mean Apple loses the hardware advantage. Generic Intel with DRM-locked OSX? Very likely. Maybe the whole idea really is to extend the availability of OSX and the "cool-ipod-apple-world" to all the OEMs via the DRM-locking. That is very dangerous if not done in an imposed way, as DRM alone is nothing in itself. DRM _and_ application-locking could to the trick. And that could explain the 1-2 years in advance announcement. The imposition could be made by the HP-Dell-Intel-Apple quartet, for example.

Now, the risky predictions:

The problem with all this is that the Cell processor can easily make all these strategies fail, and wipe away all of them. The problem with the Cell processor is that it takes a lot of effort in the OS side. Maybe that's the reason that Apple sticked with Intel: it's easier to go for Intels roadmap of 64bit+embeddeds. But here is were GNU/Linux could make its entrance. Actually, there already are patches in the kernel for the Cell processor (although only in the arch). If Sony-IBM-Toshiba decide to play the GNU/Linux way with Cell, they can rule them out.


That's the story as I see it unfolding. Steve Jobs finally beats Bill Gates. And with the sale of Apple to Intel, Steve accepts the position of CEO of the Pixar/Disney/Sony Media Company.


Steve Jobs is having a lot of fun with Apple. He won't left it to go play with Pixar.


Pa amb tomàquet i embotits

festival> (SayText "pa aamb tomaa cat ee aamboo teets")

Pa amb tomàquet i pernil

festival> (SayText "pa aamb tomaa cat ee paar neel")


Apple switch

It seems Apple was tired of losing the gigahertz competition to the PC world. Apple had been promising faster computers for some time and had not been able to deliver them. In addition, they were frustrated at IBM's inability to produce a fast low-powered chip for laptops.

---Micheal Robertson (Linspire)

What did you say your research project was about?

Female orgasm is 'down to genes'

A third of women said they never or seldom achieved orgasm

The reason why some women have problems reaching orgasm might be down to their genes, say UK scientists.

The findings also suggest that women who orgasm easily may be satisfied with mates who are less skilled in bed.

A third of the women said they never or seldom achieved orgasm, while more than a tenth said they always had an orgasm during intercourse.

More of the women were able to orgasm during masturbation, with 34% always reaching orgasm.

In comparison, studies have shown that men fail to orgasm only 2% of the time during intercourse.


Java and Star Wars


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