FREE Software Freedom

Freedom Free software Vs Proprietary business

 

I thought i would make a blog post about Free software that would be Free as in freedom to do as you wish. The current understanding of this on the net and around the world is a bit sketchy. Many people think there is unemployment attached to free software and or releasing source code of a application.

Points i want to cover in this post:

  • Business with open and closed source
  • Differences between open source and free software
  • Closed source software
  • Microsoft Business model (closed source software)
  • Freedom
  • Human Rights(not man made rights)
  • Sheepeople

The video bellow is a long video of a lecture speech that Richard Stallman gave in India. Mainly for the education and progression to the schools and children studying in India.

It point in the video is that as an education authority not just in India but worldwide is that education must enforce the principles of freedom, NOT to be locked down to a proprietary software. Children MUST be educated to be able to choose whatever route they wish to choose in life. No one must restrict or stop you in any way. Richard goes on at the end of the video to explain how Microsoft and Autodesk AutoCAD give Gratis copies to the schools as to manipulate the children to become proficient in a proprietary commercial expensive piece of software. Effectively making the children dependent on there proprietary closed source software. Much like a addictive drug. I hope my readers can be open minded enough to understand the severe dangers to our children and freedom today. Continue reading

Technology page turn post ATI open source

History, Innovation, closed source, FREE software ATI

In 2006 i was trying to reverse engineer my ATI FireGL graphics card not because i wanted to steel technology, copy or even expose ATI for some unknown false advertising but to get it working with X.org. The damn stupid driver would not work properly so i set out to try and fix it. This meant that the API the driver was built on X.org allowed me to venture deep into the source and find out what was failing. From a development point of view we could go that deep into the code as to change modify and even innovate the software from the inside out. In fact the real problem was ATI’s version check junk. In many cases there was nothing wrong and i mean nothing at all wrong with the API it was to run on. There driver had an inbuilt version checker that refused to load into kernel space unless these super tight conditions were met.

Because the driver is closed source not many people could see this and those that did, did not and could not do anything about it, we called it ATI junk and still do now and again. Either way someone had to give. ATI pushed the X.org and Kernel to change there version system and vice verse pushing the other way. With ATI clearly to loose more money compared to the FREE software guess who finally budged on there silly version system. It works allot better today, code is cleaner, drivers are still closed source but much more compatible and, AND cleaner code(not as clean as we would like but hey). Continue reading

2012 Intel E7 AMD opteron 6200 Shock

Hello again my good Internet readers.

I felt the urge for a post in regard to the current processor developments between Intel and AMD this year.

We have seen it all happen over the past 3 years with Intel and AMD battling it out in court over patents and more. One thing was learnt from this, that was that Intel are still pounding and bullying AMD over the patent share for x86 lol yea as silly as that sounds. For those that dont know Intel developed the x86 arch and for AMD to manufacture there chips they must work with Intel closely (maybe too close for comfort) on some sort of arrangement to allow them to make a x86 chip. Scary stuff aye.

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Well it turns out Intel want access to AMD’s patents, “holly guacamole” and Intel believe this totally fair because there allowed! primarily because there given the right to use x86. Now we got this out the way we can look deeper into current relations that are impacting us as the consumer and maybe answer why Intel want access to there latest patents.

Its 2012 and AMD have released what many say is a totally flopped processor yet no one has actually taken a closer look at the CPUspec sheets on these chips. Although the step up for more cores has not directly doubled performance it certainly did something.

In this article i will be comparing 2 socket(DP=Dual processor NOT double penetration as one reader a few years ago thought it was.) systems used in HPC workstations/servers.

The Intel E7-2870 @ 2.4ghz 10 core that includes hyperthreading.

AMD Opteron 6272 @2.1ghz 16 core

I used these chips as comparison because there both quad memory chips. all 5600 and core chips from Intel are only triple channel.

Now The AMD 6272 rolls out on the market @ ~£500.00/chip

Wait for it!

The Intel E7-2870 rolls out at ~£3800.00/chip

By taking a look at the CPUspec site we can see performance marks, totally ignoring the memory performance for a moment and just focus on the CPU mark the AMD scores 392 and 448 peek wow.

Intel scores nearly identical remember its 10 cores with 20 threads so thats 40 threads 20 cores scores 502 and 535 peek say what, thats about a 100 difference so does that mean they took that value and used it as a multiplier for the price.

As one can see this might be why Intel are giving AMD a hard time wanting to know how they did this, remember the AMD 6272is clocked @ 2.1ghz with a much lower TDP while Intel E7-2870 is a 2.4ghz and slightly higher TDP.

Now a price like that at nearly 8000 gbp is insane in comparison to 1000 gbp for a pair of AMD 6270’s with very little performance gap. Someone is ripping someone off here and it sure is not AMD. If you have read my previous article titled “Concerns with Intel processors” you will see that Intel is really not looking good. The future Intel marketing plan is very flawed.

So to all those people screaming how bad AMD is doing with there processors just take a quick look at this insanity. Sure Intel is faster not by much but by god they are so far apart on price its unreal.

I personally support AMD on there ideals all the way reason being is that every home, user, developer from all walks of life should be able to enjoy high performance computing at an affordable price. AMD are one of the only companies to provide this. Intel are due to release there new EFI or UEFI BIOS replacement which actually has built in network drivers that do not let you turn them off. This is a new initiative by Intel to allow for automatic updates and anti piracy software. There building into there processor a hardware based code block to stop software that has not got permission to use certain Intellectual Property rights to not execute. If that was not bad enough the UEFI allows this to be remotely updated over the Internet. Scary stuff, certainly enough to make alarm bells ring.Ill make another post as soon as i can compile the information together regarding Intel’s UEFI BIOS Replacement.

Could well be that HPC open free computing is going to cost you £8000.00 and closed locked dictatorship computing will be available at the £1000.00 price all curtsy of Intel. With this in mind one can only say God bless you AMD and keep up the good work. Freedom and innovation on Linux and other OS’s can really only survive with a free open platform(free as in free speech).

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Thanks for reading and keep yourselves wise to it, its about the only way you can stop them ripping you off or limiting your abilities.

AMD PCIe 3.0 HPC Opterons

I recently read a thread on AMD forums which i just had to reply to.

The thread was talking about PCIe 3.0 and how its waste the time AMD jump on the band wagon and implement this interface at present. Something i think a very important issue to AMD at present with the market looking for HPC and future proofing there server products it is imperative they at least make one slot available in PCIe Gen 3.0.

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Here is my reply to the thread:

Interesting thread and this in my opinion is going to make or break AMD in the next year if they dont sort it.

Here is an interesting story for you, i can understand the concerns why many want PCIe 3.0 support and its not really the performance update.

In 2001 high end workstation were breaking over to PCIe leaving AGP behind as well as moving to 64bit computing. The high end market was embedding superfast AGP slots that had not yet been saturated in fact they were not saturated until about 2004. Why does this matter? well because those that had purchased a workstation at costs 3X the standard top PC gaming system ended up royally screwed. The chipsets throttled you to upgrading to 64bit and the PCIe generation crushed out all future options for AGP. Yes we seen the gaming market change there boards like they change there underpants but when that mainboard, CPU(S) cost as much as they do its not that simple. Your pretty much forced to chuck it and replace in fact expandable options in the HPC workstation server market is a massive problem as it is not cheap tat that can be changed like your underpants.

With the above in mind on buying a mainboard processor solution you need to think 4 years from now what you are going to need, remember were talking $5000.00++ investment here that you might have to throw away after 2 years urm NOT an option.

You spend that kind of cash you really need a future proof solution so its not actually about performance now its about getting that extra bit of poke for minimal upgrade to your investment. By scrapping and buying new it is clearly a bad move. If AMD dont move fast or change something soon in the HPC market people are not going to consider AMD solutions to there investments for the next few years.

I not going to blat lots of replies to different people so ill put it all here. Someone had mentioned changing the socket and having PCIe 3.0 on the CPU die. Yes Intel have done this, there maybe a issue for AMD to do this its called Patents lol, Intel might have the IP on it. At present if you take a look at the mainboard plans for C32/G34 sockets you will see all PCIe is handled by the southbridge SR5xxx chipset. HT3 is not 2 x X16 its actually x16 + x8 take a look at the Tyan mainboard documentation to see this. PCIe gen 2.0 X16 is a 5GT/s lane where 3.0 ups the speed to 8GT/s PCIe gen 4.0 due 2015 is PCIe gen 3.0 in paralel making X32 lane @ 8gt/s so if AMD dont move fast on this there in trouble with PCIe 4.0 just 3 years away you can bet your bottom dollar Intels E7 chips are going to be all over it in 2 years. I am expecting Intel to be all over PCIe 3.0 for there E7 DP/MP before the end of this year. There is a market lead AMD can take here with there opterons 4000/6000 and FX series.

AMD memory controller is already set for delivering 2ghz ddr3 memory. There HT interconnects need to be overclocked as mentioned by some posts in this thread and that is mostly i say mostly down to mainboard manufacturers. The PCB tracking has to be made and tuned to handle these speeds. Check out PCIsig for the specs they have to adhere to. Crosstalk, inductance are a big issue when dealing with these speeds a slight mistake and it can render the entire board useless. Remember you cant just overclock you need to balance the PCB interconnects correctly to get it working. Intel have managed it to a certain degree of success, proves it can be done.

To those who thing software does not use it, well that is in your Windows world and this is why the Linux server dominates the planet at present. It allows developers/administrators to really open it up, thats the meaning of free software after all. Thats why we need PCIe 3.0 this year so AMD needs get busy squeezing there chips to blow the world away with the best HPC or they might just loose the race.

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Thanks for reading and i hope AMD read this too because after all its there customers that buy which in turn pay there wages. Sorry for spelling errors if any peace and fingers crossed we get what we need so we can invest and keep our innovation going. I say that because compiling allot of source code takes a loooooong time and openCL really needs a faster PCIe slot.

ATI Linux and windows response

Recently i responded to another BUG in Ati linux drivers. This raised some thought i am having about buying a new computer. Bellow is my response to the ATI bugzilla unofficial website.
Yea i tried the beta 8.57 drivers, this version seems to load very unstable mind with crashes etc. From what i can gather X server 1.7.x has changed the DPMSEnabledswitch to DPMSEnable not sure the reason for doing this but hey.

I moved onto the KMS Raadeon for now and it seems to run much better. Oddly fglrx module remained in my kernel modules and without me having it configured in the xorg.conf it became loaded. Not sure what happened there. must say it would be nice to see the fglrx driver working with the kms driver as the kms provides native resolution via edid for my monitors. still trying to figure out if i can set tty1 and tty2 to my individual monitors using the kms driver. that would be awesome.

I am also in a dilema of weather to buy ATI again or Nvidia. ATI seem to be really pushing down the route of windows dx etc which leaves me to believe there not focusing on linux users. Being a gentoo user i do require compile times to be reduced. Especially when i can fix problems my self in code(i gave up messing with ATI drivers long time ago on my firegl) I spent more time fixing the ATI drivers for my firegl than i did working on fixing and developing other stuff so i am a bit battered to say the least by ATI.

This renders a big question in which AMD or Intel processors/hardware is better suited for linux system over the next 10 years. AMD clearly dont give a crap about windows much as they just add more cores, seing as windows has limits to the amount of cores you can have to it windows OS it dont seem to bother AMD yet intel take account of this so who is doing what which is the best way to go.

END

So what is the thought on this. Its fair to say windows is a dominating operating system in todays modern computing but the beuty years ago of hanging on to a PC for dear life(which did happen) was because we had the choice of what we could program and run on the system. It was not a computer you purchased from a shop which was pre-programed with an OS you just used etc. It allowed you to choose, gave you flexability in what you wanted to do with it etc.

If every manufacture from nvidia intel AMD and so on become 100% revolved around producing a windows system then the PC market looses that freedom and its sure as hell something i dont want to see.

Linux for me has always been an education, being as i am a person who loves to learn, study, research etc linux fits the bill perfectly. Most people like to sit relax and enjoy watching the television, some like to sit watching Youtube videos, some like to sit on social networking sites all night and day well hey thats your choice for me i like to tinker learn play with things to learn program design develop things the way i want it. This is not a financial gain for me its about personal gain. I get a level of satisfaction from completing a project seing it work and enjoying what i have built makes my entertainment.

So where and what hardware is made for people like me?

What is the hardware companies leading on to because if they leave the linux market open then its a great business opertunity for others to rival and prosper. ALthough this sounds good one problem exists, Intel or AMD would most likely not allow this and have some sort of say on the matter or maybe even release a product at silly cheap prices for a few months to destroy the company.

If the above occurs i think it would give retired hackers a purpose again to hack lol.

Concerns with Intel processors

It has been 10 years since i purchased an Intel processor and my system has seen better days.

So i am shopping around designing, developing a new system for my self. It would seem Intel have dragged there ass a bit since 2001 seeing as the Nahalem is a break through arch released 8 years after the Pentium 4 arch.

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To me it seems not much has happened from Intel during this time. AMD had developed Hyper-transport well before Intel moving to QPI( quick path interconnect) I still have so many questions unanswered as to why Intel took so long in moving the traditional FSB which clearly has given AMD a running start.

Could it be that Intel wanted to give AMD a running start? is it possible that Intel needed to resolve royalty rights with AMD over this new interconnect? I don’t know, one thing i do know is that over the past 15-20 years we have seen Intel and AMD supposedly head to head but that said. AMD incorporated MMX technology and Intel using aspects of 3Dnow technology. I have a suspicion that Intel and AMD have a collaboration in sharing architecture even though there in competition.

What do i think of Nahalem, well there is a thing. In comparison to price and power and ‘Does it do it for me’ I am not very impressed.

Why?

The Nahalem arch seems a great processor but for the price there asking to scratch the surface of what i want it to do versus price well it scratches the surface for a ‘it will definitely do it’ price and there is no guarantee from Intel it will.  I have gone with the jargon many years ago with Intel’s first Hyperthreading Xeon Pentium 4 class processors but on arrival of these processors they did not perform anywhere near close to Intel’s word.

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You guessed it, that kind of leaves me not able to trust what Intel says. Baring in mind it has taken them over 5 years to come out with a processor that works on today’s market as good as the Pentium 4 did. It must be said that the performance of the Nahalem arch is a wow, I just thought i would put that in there.

What concerns me is that the DP Xeon which is set and built for the development workstation/server market and a core i7 950 seems to par to its performance. Of course a DP system is a different to a desktop core i7 but in overall comparison the performance boost is not double the compute power needed for a workstation. So why is its price triple that of a desktop system. As i mentioned above performance to price is way off.

In 2006 Sun Microsystems developed the very first 8 core 256 thread processor which was later re-programed to 64 threads all of which were individually assignable threads by the developer. This still runs in as a 4 socket system making 8×4=32 physical cores and 64×4= 256 individual threads. A big argument here is the power this system uses well it runs on a 1.6kw or 1600w power supply unit which is a very common wattage used in a normal gamers desktop unit. with a single processor and graphics card.

Intel are still to release a 8 core processor and even looking at there road-map each core only has 2 threads which can NOT be assigned by the user/developer. It should be said here that late 2006 start 2007 Intel and Sun Microsoystems started a collaboration on server products due to the Ultrasparc processor.

Further more concerns in this area is that Sun Microsystems managed to squeeze 8 cores 256 threads, two PCIe gen2 interfaces two 10gbe’s all on a 95nm die. Intel told us the Nahalem arch would be scaled to 8 cores yet they are scaling the first 6 cores onto a 32nm die, of course not including the 6 cores used on the 7400 MP processors. Due to be released soon is a Xeon MP Nahalem 8 core processor which clearly indicates to us Intel could have made an 8 core Nahalem 3 years ago, but did not.

Proof that Intel lies to its customers misleading them to buy an older model for latest prices. so 8 core Nahalem on 45nm should mean at least an 8 core Westemere on 32nm.

A few years ago the difference of the Xeon enterprise and workstation Xeon was MP for enterprise and DP for workstation or mid server. Put simply if an 8 core MP processor was available then a 8 core DP processor was available allowing Workstation users to develop on the same arch that they new would be portable to the MP systems.

I don’t know maybe i am reading into it too much. one things for certain, Intel’s marketing for there processors is ripping the consumer off with lies and overpriced markups.

A question for the road.

Would you pay thousands on a product knowing that for the same price you could have double the quantity?

Note: All trade names used above are rights of there prospective owners.

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