December 27, 2002

Will Intel Clone AMD?

Cringely seems to think so:

Microsoft is not proposing that computer companies abandon Intel, because its Intel relationship is too important and AMD is too small to be relied upon as a sole supplier. So what is likely to happen (here comes my prediction) is that Intel will be forced by Microsoft to adopt AMD's 32-bit instructions. To do this they will build a processor by the end of 2003 that is a clone of an AMD processor that is a clone of an Intel processor.

Now that'd be an amusing twist, huh?

Posted by jzawodn at 04:41 PM

Mixing Metaphors

So I'm reading some official documentation about JDBC and I run across this bit of text (emphasis mine):

The second major advantage is that the DataSource facility allows developers to implement a DataSource class to take advantage of features like connection pooling and distributed transactions. Connection pooling can increase performance dramatically by reusing connections rather than creating a new physical connection each time a connection is requested.

What does "physical" connection mean in this context? Is there really somebody sitting at a very small switchboard inside my server, putting plugs into sockets so that I can communicate and then removing them when the connection is no longer needed?


It's all digital. The word "physical" does not belong at all. It conjures up images of a long ago era when telephone "operators" actually did operate as your local telephone switch.

I believe the point that the author is trying to make is this: creating new database connections may take a non-trivial amount of time which is all "overhead" as far as you're concerned. It's best to minimize or eliminate that. Connection pooling is the traditional solution. (Or you could use an alternative database server that doesn't have the per-connection overhead that the big one does. But that's really a side issue.)

That just bugs me.

Posted by jzawodn at 02:54 PM

Linux Video Frustration and Open Source Bashing

Coming from someone who was doing X programming quite a while ago (and who helped to build Netscape), jwz's rant is not to be taken lightly.

So I gave up on that, and tried to install gstreamer. Get this. Their proposed ``solution'' for distributing binaries on Red Hat systems? They point you at an RPM that installs apt, the Debian package system! Yeah, that's a good idea, I want to struggle with two competing packaging systems on my machine just to install a single app.


A common idiocy that all of these programs have in common is that, in addition to opening a window for the movie, and a window for the control panel, they also spray a constant spatter of curses crud on the terminal they were started from. I imagine at some point, there was some user who said, ``this program is pretty nice, but you know what it's missing? It's missing a lot of pointless chatter about what plugins and fonts have been loaded!''

He's not just ranting. He's dead on about some of the dumb things that Open Source "hackers" expect normal users to put up with. Maybe that helps to explain why Microsoft is making so much money.

Maybe I'm less patient in my old age, but this is partly the reason that I use the TiBook most of the time when I'm at home. Sure, I still SSH into various Linux servers but for my desktop the frustration really isn't worth it for the benefits I get. OS X just feels like the right mix.

Posted by jzawodn at 01:19 PM