The Great Beast is armored!

All my readers should be aware of the Rowhammer attack by now. It gives me great pleasure to report that thanks to our foresight in specifying ECC memory for the design, the Great Beast of Malvern has armor of proof against this attack. The proof being over a thousand runs of the Rowhammer test. Thank… Continue reading The Great Beast is armored!

Fear the software guy with the soldering iron

Today, for the first time ever in my life, I used a soldering iron. Remarkably, I neither conflagrated my house nor inflicted horrible burns on sensitive portions of my anatomy. Cat and wife are looking visibly relieved at this. As well they might.

Building the perfect beast

I’ve attempted to summarize the discussion of build options for the repository-surgery machine. You should see a link at the top of the page: if not, it’s here I invite all the commenters who have shown an interest to critique these build proposals. Naturally, I’d like to make sure we have a solid parts list… Continue reading Building the perfect beast

Black magic and the Great Beast

Something of significance to the design discussion for the Great Beast occurred today. I have finally – finally! – achieved significant insight into the core merge code, the “black magic” section of cvs-fast-export. If you look in merge.c in the repo head version you’ll see a bunch of detailed comments that weren’t there before. I… Continue reading Black magic and the Great Beast

The Smartphone Wars: Nokia gives it up for Microsoft

It’s been quite a while since I wrote a Smartphone Wars post; I let the series lapse when I concluded that the source I was using for U.S. market share figures had likely disconnected from reality (and more recent surveys from other sources suggest I was right). But the developments of the last couple of… Continue reading The Smartphone Wars: Nokia gives it up for Microsoft

Summer vacation 2013

The last couple of weeks have been my vacation, and full of incident.This explains the absence of blogging. First, World Boardgaming Championships. I did respectably, making quarter- and semi-finals in a couple of events, but failed in my goal to make the Power Grid finals again this year and place higher than fifth. I did… Continue reading Summer vacation 2013

Keyboards are not a detail!

I’ve been thinking a lot about keyboards lately. Last Sunday I founded the Tactile Keyboards community on Google+ and watched it explode in popularity almost immediately. Spent most of the next couple of days boning up on keyboard lore so I could write a proper FAQ for the group. On my journey of discovery I… Continue reading Keyboards are not a detail!

Announcing: Keyboards with crunch

I’ve founded a G+ community for fans of the Model M and other buckling-spring keyboards. Here it is: Keyboards with crunch Buckling-spring keyboards are wonderful devices for the discriminating hacker, vastly superior to the mushy dome-switch devices more common these days. But for various reasons (including the mere fact that they contain a lot of… Continue reading Announcing: Keyboards with crunch

Adobe in cloud-cuckoo land

Congratulations, Adobe, on your impending move from selling Photoshop and other boring old standalone applications that people only had to pay for once to a ‘Creative Cloud’ subscription service that will charge users by the month and hold their critical data hostage against those bills. This bold move to extract more revenue from customers in… Continue reading Adobe in cloud-cuckoo land

The Agony, the Ectasy, the Dual Monitors

I am composing this blog entry on the right-hand screen of a brand shiny new dual-monitor rig. That took me the best part of a week to get working. I am going to describe what I went through to get here because I think it contains some useful tips and cautions for the unwary.

How to fix cable messes

A friend of mine recently posted this image of a hideous network-cable tangle: I have invented an algorithm for fixing this kind of mess. Probably other people have developed the same technique before, but it wasn’t taught to me and I’ve never seen it written down. Here it is…

The Smartphone Wars: The Limits of Lawfare

It’s beginning to look like Apple’s legal offensive against Android might backfire on it big-time. Comes the news that Judge Koh has declined to suppress evidence that Apple may have copied crucial elements of the iPad design from prototypes developed by Knight-Ridder and the University of Missouri in the mid-1990s.