Blog Archives

Functional programmers on Twitter

Twitter has become quite the hotbed of chatter about functional programming over the past few months, as a substantial number of pretty well known FP people have either been present all along or have signed up recently and started following

Posted in hardware, slice-o-life

Fedora 7 on a Thinkpad X60: not so hot

I’ve been running test releases of Fedora 7, and lately the final release, for a number of months on my fairly new Lenovo Thinkpad X60. Here’s a brief summary of my experiences. I’ve been using Fedora since 0.92 (Taroon), and
Posted in hardware, linux

A quick programmer’s look at NVIDIA’s CUDA

I spent a while this evening reading through the documentation for the beta release of NVIDIA’s CUDA GPGPU system. My motivation for this was that nvcc, the CUDA compiler, is based on a code drop of the EkoPath compiler, which
Posted in hardware, software

Sony Ericsson Z520a phone review

I’ve had a Sony Ericsson Z520a phone for a little under a year now, and as it’s still widely available through cellular carriers, I thought I’d write up my experiences with it. I’m writing in part as a reaction to
Posted in hardware

Refilling a missed TLB entry, now with special sauce

Jeremy and Muli remind me that x86-class CPUs refill a missed TLB entry in hardware. That’s what I get for rambling at midnight! On these CPUs, the hardware walks the page tables directly when a miss occurs. The operating system
Posted in hardware, software

The translation lookaside buffer

In an earlier post, I briefly discussed the oprofile system profiler. I was going somewhere with that; here’s another step along the path. Modern CPUs that use virtual memory have to be able to turn virtual addresses into physical addresses
Posted in hardware, linux

Make Linux happy with a modern laptop’s CD/DVD drive

If you’re using a fairly modern laptop with an Intel chipset, the chances are that it has an Intel ICH7 I/O controller hub: $ lspci | grep -i ide 00:1f.2 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82801GBM/GHM (ICH7 Family) Serial ATA Storage
Posted in hardware, linux

Linux on the Dell XPS M1210

Since 2003, I’d been using a Thinkpad X31 for much of my work; it was the best laptop I’d ever owned, and was really the only one I used heavily over a long period of time. It had an irresistible
Posted in hardware, software

The $10,000 laptop … almost

I read in Bill Bumgarner’s blog that Dell has released a new model in its XPS line, the M2010. It’s not somethhing one could plausibly refer to as a laptop, due to its weight of 18.3lbs (8.3kg!) and 20“ screen.
Posted in hardware

Hitachi redux

I should have known better, but when I was incarnating the current noisy boat anchor that sits on my desk at home, I put a Hitachi hard disk in it. Not specifically one of the notorious IBM-era eat-your-data models, but
Posted in hardware