Blog: 23 November 2008 - Software Engineering is not Computer Science

When I came to college two years ago, I intended to major in Computer Science. I looked forward to learning and being around people who shared my interest in computers. As I quickly found out, (1) there weren't any people here who shared my interest or even anyone who could speak the same language, and (2) the little bit of learning I would be doing in my computer science classes wasn't interesting to me at all. By the end of my first year, after attempting to discuss my feelings (read: disappointments) about the computer science curriculum and one professor specifically with the head of the department, I realized it wasn't going to change anything. If I wanted a computer science degree, I would sit in boring classes, be treated as if I weren't competent enough to possibly know how to program, and I would have to do my assignments in Ada. After a year searching for a silver lining around the Computer Science department, I switched to Physics -- which may have been the best decision possible if I wanted to do anything interesting with computers.

Read More. Tags: compsci rant school

Blog: 30 July 2008 - Licensing Prevents Old Code From Being Freed

As previously reported, it was possible that Compaq's long dead suite of compilers and libraries optimized for the Alpha processor may be released to the Linux community. With hand written and highly optimized code in hand, Alpha developers could improve integral software such as gcc and glibc. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the release of this code will be possible due to licensing issues.

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Blog: 22 July 2008 - Alpha Linux's New Wiki Unveiled

When I bought a DS20L from eBay, I struggled to find helpful information. I sifted through Google search results, searched HP's website, read hundreds of posts on mailing lists, looked at Linux and BSD release notes, and searched everywhere I could think of. In the process, the one thing I discovered was that there was not a definitive spot for information on Alpha based computers, Alpha/Linux support, SRM versions, Alpha assembly and optimization, or Alpha software. Hopefully this new Alpha Linux Wiki will be that definitive spot.

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Blog: 18 July 2008 - Radeon X1550 in an SGI O2?

In a thread on the SGI Enthusiast site, Nekochan.net, about Linux compatibility with SGI's MIPS based line of workstations, a user, tillin9, suggested the possibility of installing modern, off the shelf graphics cards in the SGI O2 under Linux. The O2 is equipped with a single PCI slot for expansion, so physically installing a new graphics card is no problem. Unfortunately, graphics cards require special initialization code, stored in the card's ROM, to be run at boot time. Since the Radeon's initialization routine has to be able to execute on the processor architecture in the computer in which it's installed, different code is required for x86, PowerPC, PA-RISC, SPARC, and MIPS. Since there weren't any PCI Radeon's made for MIPS powered workstations, surely ten years later, a modern Radeon would never work in an old SGI workstation...

Read More. Tags: kms linux mips radeon sgi xorg

Blog: 16 July 2008 - Open Sourcing Compaq's Alpha Tools for Linux

I'm in the (long and arduous) process of becoming a Gentoo/Alpha developer. This involves, firstly, becoming an Architecture Tester. This in turn, requires that I complete a quiz, mail it to the head of the Alpha team and wait. The developer who manages the alpha arch testers, of which there are none, currently, has been missing in action for 18 days.

Read More. Tags: alpha gentoo linux

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