Monday, June 11


Daily News Stuff 11 June 2018

Queen's Birthday long weekend edition.  I got nothing.  Not even fireworks, thanks to the NSW State Government.  So here's a few random bits.
  • E3 is here, but it looks like an off year; no hardware announcements, just an outbreak of sequelitis.  Elder Scrolls LXXVI and such.

  • I'm reminded by that Tyan Ryzen server motherboard that you can get Ryzen servers right now if you look around a bit.  It's good value and I might be tempted if Europe weren't so preoccupied with packing the internet with explosives and lighting the fuse.

  • Someone wants to build the C256 that Commodore designed in the 1980s but never released.

  • Udoo is Kickstarting a Ryzen embedded development board.  For those who need just a little more horsepower than the Raspberry Pi.  (For example, those taking the sensible approach and emulating that C256.)  It's less than 5" square, yet supports up to 32GB of RAM and four 4K displays.  Oh, and it has an Arduino chip in one corner.  Starts at $229 with two CPU cores and Vega 3 graphics, and $309 with four cores and Vega 8.

  • Huawei have released the MediaPad M5.  If you play 3D games on Android, it's a big advance over the M3, with twice the GPU performance.  Otherwise it's basically the same device, except that the headphone socket has vanished.  In a shrinking market for small tablets, though, it's worth a look.


Posted by: Pixy Misa at 03:07 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 I spent half an hour on the Crystal web site trying to figure out why they created it and what it's good for, and came up empty.


Posted by: J Greely at Wednesday, June 13 2018 10:39 AM (tgyIO)

2 Ruby only not painfully slow.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, June 13 2018 02:36 PM (PiXy!)


Reading about Commodore 256 makes me wish the hand-me-down C-128 rig (With a 1541 disk drive from the C-64) had not been tossed.  I still have games for it sitting around.

It also reminds me of how much I wanted to play Reach for the Stars on the C-64 again, because the PC version was merely a crippled version of Roger Fleming's and Ian Trout's masterpiece.

Posted by: cxt217 at Wednesday, June 13 2018 03:15 PM (btoEr)

4 The C128 had a Z80 in it as well as the 8502.  They should add an eZ80 to the 65C816 - it's a little SOC with 100Mb ethernet and runs at 50MHz.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Wednesday, June 13 2018 11:19 PM (PiXy!)

5 When I finally came up with a small project that I could implement in Ruby without running into missing or broken gems, "slow" didn't even make my list of complaints. Actually, it was faster than the Perl version, which I ended up filing a bug about (Rand::Urandom was opening and closing /dev/urandom for every request...).

Of course, I was using it as a scripting language, not deploying a web site with multiple levels of caching to hide the scaling issues in Rails. If Crystal leaves out cruft like poorly-defined !-methods and attracts a community that builds fully-functional, fully-documented libraries, it might be interesting in about five years.

Not wild about the "shards" implementation, though; it's nice to specify dependencies cleanly, but I really don't want to deploy something that insists on pulling them from the internet for each install, rather than a local repo. Been there, done that, hated the cleanup. It looks like they just made it possible to work around this a week ago, adding a global cache and an option to do shallow clones rather than full mirrors of each dependency. So, yeah, five years. :-)


Posted by: J Greely at Thursday, June 14 2018 01:59 AM (tgyIO)

6 Can't possibly be worse than NPM...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Thursday, June 14 2018 09:45 AM (PiXy!)


I remember a mailing list or USENET post (Of another topic entirely.) where the author had described how he had upped his Commodore rig (Not sure if it was a C-64 or 128 - I think I still have the post but I need to dig up my old email program for it, which is just slightly more accessible than trying to find my Office 2010 install discs - except I need the latter.) to serve as a text-based browser and running at a surprising clock speed.

Now after reading about the 65C816, I think I know how they did it.  Pretty impressive for a machine from the 80s.

Posted by: cxt217 at Saturday, June 16 2018 10:30 AM (btoEr)

8 Yep.  The Apple IIgs used the 65C816, though only clocked at 2.8 MHz so as not to compete too much with the more profitable Macintosh.  I think that was the chip's only major design win.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, June 16 2018 12:18 PM (PiXy!)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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