HanishKVC’s General Blog zone

October 20, 2006

My NEXT PC might be a PS3

Filed under: General,life,OpenSource,PS3,technology — hanishkvc @ 4:06 pm

From sometime now I have been thinking of upgrading my computer (interms of CPU and GPU) and or buying a laptop. However because of various reasons I haven’t been able to do both.

Pricy PCs  (well in a way):

Well wrt CPUs now that Core 2 Duo is out the technology advance issue is resolved now however prices being bit high here in India, I am waiting out for the prices to drop. Now coming to GPUs with the availability of Unified Shader logic (rather more generically the flexible pipeline and flexible programmable nature) in the newly released and to be released GPUs, the technology advance I have been waiting for will be finally resolved, but then again the pricey nature of GPUs (rather more severe in case of GPUs when compared to CPUs in India) makes it hard to buy them.

Consoles to the rescue:

So assembling the PC hit by pricey nature of new CPUs and GPUs, the other alternative I can look at is buying consoles (I mean Game consoles).

The price issue becomes less of a issue as the vendors normally try to sell the console at a less cost or atleast less margin of profit from a h/w perspective and then try to make money on the games that are sold.

Coming to technology, Well at a technical level a game console is also a computing device with similar capabilities to a PC. However over the last few generations of the Game console the vendors have been aiming them as pure gaming devices and not letting the users utilize the full power hidden in these products. But things are changing.

XBox360 is a good console with 3 core PowerPC asic (with each core supporting 2 threads) and a unified shader based gpu from ati. It has support for storage (HDD), networking (ethernet and wlan) and external expansion(USB, Bluetooth) . And it has sufficient Memory (512MB). However the problem here is that Microsoft (i.e the developer/vendor) doesn’t want XBox to be used for anything other than Gaming in principle. There is some hope to circumvent it legally to some extent by using the XNA Express developer framework however this can only be at the application level and here to only interms of managed code.

PS3 from Sony on the other hand has the Cell processor (a PowerPC core + 8 Specialised Processing elements (mini cpus))(having architected embedded products which use multicore ASICs involving a General purpose CPU and or DSP and Specialised Processing elements from other Chip vendors, I am pretty happy and looking forward to all the possibilities in these specialized ASICs with seemingly limited resources)  and a GPU from NVidia (hoping against hope that it will have a surprise interms of unified/flexible shaders, even otherwise to some extent it is still ok) . It also has storage (HDD, Flash cards), networking (WLan (and ethernet???)), expansion (USB, Bluetooth, Flash card interfaces (SD/…)) and Memory (512MB). And TO TOP IT UP Sony is WILLING to let Users UTILIZE the Computing Power of their Console for what ever the User fancies. And inturn they will DO IT IN STYLE by USING /EXTENDING OPEN TECHNOLOGIES like Linux, OpenGL, OpenXYZ, GCC, open source applications (belonging to many/any domain).

So PS3 presents itself to be a good Gaming Console as well as a good General/Special (thanks to Cell) Computing device. Even thou it might be pricy in India at the begining (only sometime around 2007 mid, if I may fancy) still I would consider it a better pricy thing to buy rather than a pricy pc(which inturns I have to keep upgrading atleast every ~1.5 years if I want to play the latest and greatest game in its full glory).

One more reason for tilting towards a Game Console (PS3 in this case) being that Games will be specifically optimized to utilize the the full power of the console to give the best results. Also games will be available for the console for atleast 4-5 year period without requiring to upgrade(rather change) the console, which is not the case in PCs (i.e if you want to fully see what the game developer wants you to see).

Consoles which I may use for similar purpose but not happy fully:

Nintendo Wii: Again uses a simple PowerPC core  and a simple GPU. Other than only haveing simple CPU and GPU, it has a proprietry DVD format if I am not wrong. Again native availability of a flexible computing enviornment with option to add ones own modules/applications is questionable at this stage. One could always hack these to get these capabilities and there will surely be communities on the internet to help allow that, but then it is a different story altogether.

Last generation – PS2 and XBox: At this point in time the Computing power/capabilities of these products will fall below what a average user/developer might expect. Again among these PS2 would be the one I would pick if I have to because (a) it has official support to experiment with linux and (b) it is the non standard platform design (which is what I like and would love to experiment with) compared to Xbox (a PC at a basic level).

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October 4, 2006

My bit old but true thoughts on WinVista – Nothing radical compared to other OSs around, just SP3plusplus stuff

Filed under: Microsoft,technology — hanishkvc @ 1:38 pm

Sometime back in June2006, there was a blog post belonging to WinFS team trying to say that WinFS is not dead but just transformed into a better and richer form by moving many of its logic to SQLServer and some other support libraries. Again even thou WinFS would have used some form of database and intelligence above it to achieve what it aimed to achieve, Lack of that intelligence in Win Vista can no way be justified as good And many people did rigthly point it out to MS. I had posted my feedback to WinFS team then asking them not to abonden the concept of WinFS. Here it follows now:

Hi WinFS team,

I use and experiment on many OSs.Even thou I have been using Linux as my main OS for a long time; becuase of my interests I also have windows and do keep track of it. I have tried winVista, agreed it is fancy looking (but bit slow, but at same time its still beta, so hope speed increases by final release) but currently don’t see it adding much value than a better access check mechanism for operations and a updated Graphics driver model which I believe is more XP SP3 material rather than the radical change that WinFS would have been.

So hope you people keep WinFS going rather than abondening it.

Later I had one more post clarifying some thoughts above, it follows:
Just to clarify what I meant above when I told keep WinFS going. Agreed the possibilities around various applications of WinFS could be got by having a flexible attribute mechanism at the filesystem level and intelligent indexing and or storing of all datas (content data as well as all meta data).

At one level it requires the WinFS core services to be available at one end and at the other level significant effort requires to be put in the applications so that they are woven around this core. And the system wide effort is what can give the power of this to all.

So I hope microsoft moves towards this system wide coharence (implicitly or explicitly achived) in simplifying and powering up things for the end user, which most OS environments will move towards slowly.

Open sourcing Code (which should be ethically open) equally or more important than Hiring few open source developers or supporting opensource

Filed under: life,OpenSource,technology — hanishkvc @ 1:15 pm

In Aug2006 there was a blog entry about Google , the god father of opensource ? in linuxjournal. Which tried to justify Google not opensourcing their code by saying that they hire people who work on opensource products and that people won’t understand googles code contributions so why should they and so on. This really made me sad that people think in such ways and make bad things appear good. So I commented there my thoughts on why its not good. I am adding it here as part of consolidation of my thought. Here follows my comments then:

Hi,

It is good to know that google is hiring open source developers so that they can concentrate on their open source work rather than worrying about how to earn a living in parallel to working on open source projects.

However if google is not open sourcing some of its code which it should have open sourced from a pure ethical point of view (but not doing it by hiding behind some short comings in the existing GPL or other open source licenses – feel/guessing that it may be mostly related to web based servicing …) Then it is a bad thing that google is doing and it can no way be justified to be ok just because they hire few open source developers or support few open source projects moneyterily.

If someone tells that they don’t think that its worth opensourcing their code, because people may not understand the code or may not have any use for the code then they are talking garbage here. If all the initial developers of opensource code had worked with the same mentality as above then the open source movement wouldn’t have been the great movement to be reckoned with that it is today.

Yes there might be people who are mentored slowly into open source projects, but at the same time you will find a lot of people silently contributing or using opensource code/project with out having any mentor to guide them because they have some circumstances which they feel is best resolved using open source projects and then learning the abc’s of the project on their own based on the code available to them and by experimenting with that code.

NOTES: As I don’t keep track of events on the opensource front actively I don’t know if google is guilty or not. But if any company (google or otherwise) as a attitude that what ever code they are working on which in turn is directly or indirectly built on open source projects, is not worth opensourcing just because they feel others may not understand it or may not have use for it, then this is NOT a GOOD TREND NOR ATTITUDE and NOR IS IT ETHICAL. And no one should praise such a company and justify that a better thing for such a company to do is (a) to hire few open source developers to let them work on their open source projects, or (b) contribute moneyterily to open source projects or (c) mobilize people to work on opensource projects. What I mean is even though (a),(b) and (c) above are in itself good things it can in NO way justify the stealing (if I may use such harsh word) of efforts of other opensource developers however small it might be. Because it goes against the fundamentals of the open source movement, which are essential to keep the opensource movement alive.

Binary blobs and linux or other Open source programs – greedy people – Bad Bad

Filed under: Blogroll,life,OpenSource,technology,Uncategorized — hanishkvc @ 12:48 pm

Some time back, Aug2006 to be precise, there was a blog in oreillynet.com about binary modules and Linux kernel. And many people inturn commenting about it. This was my thoughts around that then, which I had posted there. Now I am adding it here, so that my thoughts are consolidated here:

I find many people making the statement, that one uses the best thing for the job. Let me tell you that no one is telling that there aren’t good proprietrery software, if there is some proprietry software use it its your wish and right.

But then if you also agree that there is some good open source products that you use then it is there because it is open and it has allowed people to fix and enhance it to reach that level, which is possible because of its open source nature. If that open ness was not there, it wouldn’t have been possible to have all these great open source products. NOW if someone wants to be in this opensource market, then he should respect the wishes (i.e opensource licenses of these copyright owners) of these opensource developers as his work will not be of anyuse in this particular market (i.e that of the opensource products), which he wants to be in, if the underlying opensource product is not there in the first place.

Put differently as some great person had told centiuries ago humbly “I am a small person who appears like a gaint because I stand on the shoulders of many gaints”. If people who use the opensource market for their own profit realize this fundamental thing thats what would be great. And I would say if this statement of that great person is understood by everyone, then we wouldn’t have had to live in this purely money oriented world with all these patents (the way they are implemented in todays world, where almost anything is patentable irrespective of the lack of PATHBREAKing innovativeness in most of the ideas) and other stupidities.

Hello world!

Filed under: General,Uncategorized — hanishkvc @ 7:30 am

Am Hanish Menon C, from India. HanishKVC is my computing id. I started on the net around 1997, when I first got access to internet (thro the company I joined after studies) and setup my website hanishkvc.tripod.com.

I am a systems architect and an open source person. My current work (well past 6 years now) involves conceptulizing and designing new products and support systems which belong to the consumer and or digital media market. Also have worked on diverse computing domains as part of my work as well as open source activities.

Started on the blogging space late around beginning of 2006. It started as a blog addition to my website itself, only few entries till date that too only in the initial month or so. Now also decided to experiment with one of the community blog sites. And here I am.

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