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Messages - cyrano

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1
Others OS / Re: MorphOS
« on: September 22, 2016, 02:41:43 AM »
No chance of that ever happening. I would rather expect the opposite: Macs with an ARM processor.

Intel is dead. Most of their major strategists/designers jumped ship in the last 2 years. They've got no mobile processor. And the future is mobile...

Apple has invested heavily in their own ARM processors. They've been getting faster and better. And the latest incarnation is fast enough to run a laptop with a 5K screen.

And there's a rumor that OSX-on-ARM is already present in Apple's labs. Doesn't seem unlikely, as similar things happened with the transition from PPC to Intel.

2
Suggestions / Re: Hardware Kill Switches
« on: June 08, 2016, 09:11:59 PM »
It is a serious problem for PCI connected devices.

PCI is hot-pluggable and they can be removed. Servers allow for example PCI cards to be replaced during operation, and laptop systems with PCMCIA and PCI Express Card allow insertion and removal.

In theory. In practice, there are only a few cards and motherboards that allow it. And there are not many drivers that still support it, since PCMCIA and external PCI Epxress have gone the way of the Dodo.

Quote
One thing that I would like on this laptop is an actual PCMCIA/ExpressCard slot.

I wouldn't mind that either. If only, to check how many cards I have that are still usable. But there isn't anything new to buy and it would add considerable cost that is beneficial to just a few users.

3
Rebol:

http://www.rebol.com/

Very lightweight Internet oriented powerful scripting language that runs on almost everything.

4
Suggestions / Re: about suggestions
« on: June 01, 2016, 07:06:16 PM »
Bunnie has released a completely open sourced GPU, implemented in an FPGA:

http://gplgpu.com/

However, that seems like an abandoned project and it is fairly low performance anyway. There have been other efforts, like the Open Graphics Project (OGP, gone?), MIAOW (academical), Nyuzi (academical) and freedreno (gone).

The ARM platform has open source drivers for the Lima GPU's, but these aren't available without the ARM processor, as these are all SOC's.

The question in my mind is: "What's IBM putting in it's PPC workstations?"

5
Suggestions / Re: Display?
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:40:27 PM »
HDMI is cheaper because it has a far wider market...

6
Suggestions / Re: WLAN/Wi-Fi
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:39:12 PM »
If you can buy those in smaller quantities, as a startup, it is definitely a candidate.

Intel is a hairy company to deal with, however. I fear that they might be deaf for your calls because there's no Intel processor in this machine.

Broadcom has had a driver for the brcm80211 in the Linux kernel since 2010, and I think the source is open.

There's an overview on Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_open-source_wireless_drivers

I don't know if it is current...

7
Suggestions / Re: Sound/audio card with memory
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:30:22 PM »
One with a good (low) price and low power use. It's only providing basic 2 channel I/O after all.

C-media, perhaps, as this is widely supported on every OS I can think of?

8
Suggestions / Re: about suggestions
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:28:07 PM »
OK, let's start the holy GPU wars  ;D

Personally, I have no real preference between Intel, nVidia or ATI. Are there any other choices? And is it even possible to mate an Intel GPU to a PPC processor?

9
Suggestions / Re: USB Type-C
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:25:56 PM »
USB3 is mostly backwards compatible with USB2. Not with USB 1.1 for audio. It might work, but will break up and/or crackle on most hardware. And the same goes for USB-C. It's backwards compatible with USB3, but further down the line, ymmv.

This is not a problem for harddisks, as copying files isn't a synchronous process. Recording or playing audio is a synchronous process, meaning, you can't delay it for too long, or the sound drops or crackles. And the same goes for video digitizers and USB connected GPU's.

It's also a problem for CD- and DVD-burners, but to a lesser extent.

10
Suggestions / Re: about suggestions
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:10:21 PM »
The type of cards you can use depends on the BIOS (for PC's) or the EFI (for Macs). AFAIK there is no PC that supports all cards. Besides, there are already 3 generations of cards that are mutually incompatible.

All I know is that the 8 iMac models only support a few cards each. And in the PC market, I can't even think of a laptop that uses MXM cards. That doesn't mean there aren't any, just that they probably are the expensive kind (gamer oriented).

11
Suggestions / Re: WLAN/Wi-Fi
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:06:58 PM »
Not really. I'm trying to remember from reading about it on several Linux dev lists, but I can't. The problem is various Wifi chip makers have been bought by the big guys. And I didn't really follow that.

It shouldn't be too hard to find out as there are only three or four manufacturers remaining...

12
PowerPC chips are being used a lot in the embedded market. Things like routers, cable modems, flight controllers and car engine controllers. These are the clients that will make sure the PPC design is still around in 10 years.

These are also the kind of buyers who order quantities that'll make it feasible to get a custom die, made to their specs and unavailable on the open market.

I sincerely hope the team has already sourced the processor. Some of these can be True Unobtanium®...

For instance, the ARM SOC powering the Raspberry Pi can only be bought in minimum quantities of one million. For the defense industry, buying one million PPC chips isn't a problem at all, even if they need only 10.000. A typical dual core VME board will set the army back around 5.000 US$, excluding support. And that's for an SBC, so just a single PCB with a maybe 1 GHz processor and 512 MB ram. Not what we would consider "high end".

13
Suggestions / Re: Hardware Kill Switches
« on: June 01, 2016, 05:34:39 PM »
Hardware switches are (relatively) expensive. And they are hard to support for some software. Most drivers don't like it at all if the device they are driving suddenly vanishes.

That's not a problem for USB connected devices, as hotplugging was built in to the USB standard from the beginning.

It is a serious problem for PCI connected devices. And I would hope the Wifi would not be USB connected, cause that sucks bigtime. I also think there is very little chance of getting into a system over Wifi if that wifi card is off in software, as the device goes to deep sleep to save power. AFAIK there is no mechanism to enable Wifi from the outside if the chip is in deep sleep and not listening to the antenna at all.

So, for audio and video, yes, maybe a kill switch would be a good idea. For Wifi, I don't think it is needed.

14
Suggestions / Re: WLAN/Wi-Fi
« on: June 01, 2016, 05:20:10 PM »
You shouldn't be thinking hardware, but software!

Which supplier has a driver for Linux/BSD, preferably GPL source code. You'll find that there are very few. IIRC, there is just one...

In this case, a mini-PCI wifi card could be a good idea.

15
Suggestions / Re: about suggestions
« on: June 01, 2016, 05:17:59 PM »
Maybe you should read this:

http://mxm-upgrade.com/

Also, supporting every card in the market seems like an impossible job. And supporting a limited number is dangerous, as you cannot guarantee that the cards will be available in the future. Even Apple is struggling atm to supply the right cards.

GPU chips for laptops OTOH are cheaply available from ebay and taobao. You just need a lto find a lab to solder them (unless you're equipped to do BGA yourself).

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