Archive for the ‘General Hardware’ Category

Recycling old and terrible

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

I find it that identifying a missing something in the fridge, and adding it to a list does not work well for me. It’s either that I take a mental note of the missing groceries, and then, almost immediately, forget them until the unpacking of the just-purchased groceries, back home, several days later, or that I actually move myself into writing it down on a note, placed on the fridge, and then, of course, forget to take the note with me to the supermarket. Not working.

I have had an old tablet I purchased as my first Android device (and I’m not quite sure why I stayed liking Android in general after the experience I have had with the device). This tablet was very weak when purchased (didn’t get better since), and very cheap (that’s why I purchased it). It’s called ‘Eken M001’ and you can read a review of it here.

This tablet was horrible when purchased. You can hardly do anything with it. However, I came up with an idea – why not use it to hold a grocery purchase list on the fridge and sync this list to my Android cell phone? Wow! A silly, and very cool idea, at the same time.

So, today I have (re)installed the device, configured it to support Hebrew (not that simple on Android 1.6, a breeze on Android 4 and above. Guess what version I have there…) and added that nice list application “OurGroceries”. The result is in the following pictures:

The fridge is hardly visible, acting as our white background. To prevent the device from falling, I have attached it to the sides of the fridge, and not to the door.

I hope it actually will save my problem there. Could be nice ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting rid of some junk…

Monday, November 21st, 2011

It wasn’t junk once…

This stuff used to be useful, but it has been laying around for a long while now, doing nothing but collect some dust. I have ‘donated’ some stuff to someone who actually wanted it, but neither him nor me can find a use, nowadays, to a monochrome display card with an ISA 8bit connector, or about 20 56k ISA and PCI modems, or all kind of other old, and once useful junk. So I have let go, and the picture you see is of mostย of the stuff I have taken to the electronics recycle facility nearby. That was a hack of a work.

Remaining: Some desktops (maybe I will throw away some more, donno yet), Sun Ultra 80 (Since you can never get a SPARC platform when you need it), an IBM FastT200 (one day I will do something with it. Donate it to a better cause than to the junk yard), and, well, that’s all actually.

BTW – not in the picture – two IBM servers and two Dell servers, and many hard drives, which were given to the helpful man who assisted me with carrying this all to the recycle center.







x86 Scale Up

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

I have been introduced to a very cool software/hardware combination yesterday. It has been, without exaggerating, one of the coolest things I have seen in a while.

As you may know, x86 has an issue with scaling up. It’s that x86 architectures and price don’t justify scaling up to tenths and hundreds of CPUs. The multi-core technology introduced in the last few years made a four-way server seem trivial today, where in the past it was a high-performance server for large (and expensive) data centers. It is very common today to purchase an eight-way server at a price of a mere commodity server – all thanks to the multi-core technology.

However, when compared to the large Unix data centers, where 64 and 128 cpus are rather common (I will emphasis – the large Unix data centers), although nowadays, per-core, x86 is somewhat more powerful, for a large load set, it could not rival any many-way server. The common solution with x86 was to “scale out” – add more cheap servers and manage the workload in a more distributed way. Yes, you might pay with communication overhead, however, this can be made cheaper still.

With a distributed load sharing came the illnesses of communication latencies. Myrinet, 10Gb/s Ethernet and Infiniband were a common, yet expensive (as it was a niche market) solutions, and still – for distribution of high loads, they were well worth it. Still – a large scaled-up server based on x86 was nowhere to find.

No more. With ScaleMP’s concatenation you can “bundle” a set of servers using Infiniband link into a single huge-multi-way, huge-ram server at a very low cost, relatively.

Think about how you can purchase your current server, for example, your eight-core server (two quad-core cpus), and in time, scale it up into more powerful server (add another two quad-core cpus), or add more RAM, or more network interfaces, or whatever.

This is not as fast as the IBM x3950 board-link (excuse me for not knowing the exact name), so it is not ideal for databases or systems which tend to create a lot of cache-misses, however for large (actually – very large) SMP systems, it could be great. It can allow any company which feels that the current server might not be enough the safety and assurance that they can actually scale up, using the same server, into adding more cpus and more RAM to the server at any time.

I is supported, as far as I know, only for Linux at the time being. It diminishes some of the distance between the large Unix machines and the modern Linux, for a fracture of the price.

I liked it.

RHEL4 can see only 8 cores out of 16 cores server

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

I have encountered it on several cases. RedHat Linux ES, by default, uses smp kernel which is limited to eight cores, or two sockets. You find out that your multi-socket hardware, with its 16 (or more…) cores show you only the first eight, both by the simple method of running ‘top‘ and then pressing on ‘1‘, or by running ‘cat /proc/cpuinfo‘.

A simple solution to the problem is to change grub so it loads the largesmp kernel at boot time, and reboot. You will get all your cores.

This is not required, for some reason, on AS server.

The file is not a valid windows ce setup file

Friday, February 1st, 2008

I have an iPaq running Windows Mobile 2003 SE. The above error was something I’ve seen when I tried installing SkyPE for PocketPC on it.

It appears that SkyPE have decided to sign cab files, according to some new (and pretty unexplained) concept of MS, disregarding any existing non-WinXP or non-ActiveSync4.2 users (and I am a member of these two groups).

The solution was found in SkyPE official forum, in an unofficial post (as most of them seem to be) right here.

The code supplied actually works, and I will consider using variations of it on any future signed cab file I might encounter. I hope it will help… ๐Ÿ™‚