Archive for May 2004


Buddy List’s and the Group Share

Right now I’m working on some improvements to the buddy list. In the past the buddy list couldn’t remember who the members of the group were between invocations of the software. Im fixing that now as well as adding some new features. You’ll be able to have a different identity in each group you join. You will also be able to log in with the same invitation file from multiple locations. With multiple location login you will still only show up in the everyones buddy list once. The join group and create group dialogs will undergo some change so you can specify your desired name and an e-mail address when you join a group.

All of this is being done so I can have a suitable test driver for the Group Share. The Group Share is actually the main focus of this project. To get it working I need to verify that all Group Share operations work on a single computer in simulation before i go sending things across a network. So for testing you will be able to click on a user in the buddy list and ‘become’  them. You can manipulate the Group Share as if you were that person instead of yourself. You’ll get to see how the concept works without the network in the way.

When the Buddy list work is finished ill do a release.  When the Group Share testing has been implemented I’ll do a release for testing. People can shake this stuff down and find all the bugs in the back end before the network is in the way.

And Time Marches On

If you asked me in the past what drove progress in PC hardware I would have said ‘Games’ and I would have been right. Some time back with the Pentium 2 we crossed the line for the amount of power that a simple PC needs. Everything else is for games. The AGP bus (1x, 2x, 4x & 8x), 200+ million transistor graphics cards, 3D surround audio cards, and 3+ GHz processors with 1MB L2 caches all for the Internet? No silly for Games.

In rescent times users have started to do things with their computers and make demands of their equipment that have actually started to drive hardware design in new directions.

  • Rip, Mix, Burn, Encode, Compress, Backup, Share(legally of course)
    Suddenly people started to collect huge amounts of large data files. Audio and Video files. They started editing movies at home, encoding their albums, compressing their DVD’s. Compression uses raw CPU power and now you have another reason to want a fast CPU. This has also caused a quiet revolution in storage. Most PC’s now have more than one hard drive. Moving all this sats around between partitions and disks takes bandwidth and fast spinning drives. So now we have SATA, 8MB caches on the drives, 10,000rpm Raptor drives from Western Digital, 300+GB drives from several vendors. No one has yet told us how we are supposed to backup or protect a 300GB hard drive full of family video and music. I think a quick buck could be made on solving that problem next.
  • When the Internet Attacks
    Someone at AMD took notice of all these systems being compromised by buffer overflow attackes. The NX or No eXecute bit was created and now Intel, Via and Microsoft are getting in on the action. No more can a buffer overflow cause arbitrary code execution. NX capability is a must for your next computer, perhaps more than x86 64.
  • Cool and Quiet Computing
    Cool computers are easier to keep quiet, they require less cooling aparatus and slower spinning fans. Suddenly everyone has become a quiet PC nut. The computer is moving into the living room as the HTPC and it cant make any more noise than the AV hardware the masses are used to. 100 watt heat output isnt going to let this happen, even with water cooling. Both Via and Intel are maving to build ultra low heat/low power chips that can be used in an HTPC or a laptop. For high end chips the tak is now about dual core CPU’s that feature twice the transistors at 1/2 the speed for almost equal performance. Of course all this messing with the CPU’s innards has caused everything you ever understood about Megahertz to become myth and ledgend from a time long past. Intel and AMD will both be using model numbers on their chips from now on. Via is getting away with quoting their CPU power in watts of heat disapated.

These are interesting times indeed.

Cool Stuff on a Monday Night

I’v been listening to “The Cinematic Orchestra – All That You Give”. Ill subscribe to iTunes when they start hosting music I like. I still have yet to find anything from SomaFM on iTunes. Perhaps I should go and research ‘alternative’ online music stores and report back.