[Soekris] PPC... GEODE... MIPS...

Chuck Yerkes chuck+soekris at 2003.snew.com
Thu Jul 31 07:12:59 UTC 2003

Hmmm, we're already out of site of the land of relevancy to
the list, but I might as well paddle with the rip-tide.

Michael wrote:
| Alphas make great space heaters.  It's not quite trivial, OfficeXP
| doesn't run very well on PPC or SPARC or MIPS.  Okay, never mind that,
| important stuff like Myst III etc. doesn't either.

/me looks at Excel on my PPC and wonders if it shouldn't work.

Quoting Shawn Mitchell (shawnm at iodamedia.net):
> Something funny...  I have some wireless AP's setup on UPS's... the UPS's
> have a built in "power save" mode to where if it doesn't sense any power
> draw, it turns off...
> Well, I have to either have at least 3 AP's, or 1 AP and a night light on
> them so it doesn't shut off...  :D

Then perhaps you might bail on the 120VAC from the UPS and go for
snagging 12V direct from the batteries.

Quoting Shawn Mitchell (shawnm at iodamedia.net):
| But x86 was VERY useful... it got home pc's into peoples homes and out of
| the lab's and offices only.  Like CP/M, it was a needed step, but it's time
| to take the next step... we've been on this step for 20 years now..

Um, <boggle>
/me looks at a pair of Apple ]['s (circa 1978 and 1981).
/me looks at a TRS-80 (1977).
I don't have a Comodore PET (1977), I did have a VIC 20.
/me doesn't own a PC-XT (1982 - WAY after "computers were in people's homes")
/me also looks at a Sun3 (circa 1987 when the AT was being replaced with,
    er, the PS/2 and Microchannel and OS/2 that fell on its face).

VisiCalc (1979) put personal computers into offices (from homes).

| I used to build control systems years back, and used the Z80 CPU.  It was
| the fastest CPU until the 286 came out.  You used to have to slow down the
| serial port to interface a 8080/8088 to it.

Again, excuse me?
- 80286 was 6-10MHz, as I recall.  16 bit.
- 68000 was 8Mhz in the Jan/84 first Mac. 32 bit.
- Notable is that the 68k's instructions took far
  fewer cycles than the x86s did.  And it had 32bit
  internal registers and addressed 4MB off chip.
  The 286 had bankswitching very 1978.  It also had a
  unidirectional "become more than the 8086" command that
  required a processor reset to go back.  Nice.)
- With no changes, code on the 68020 could address the
  larger range of memory (more address pins available).
  All my 68k/S-100/CPM code ran just fine when we put
  a 68020 board in there, but faster.  We only had 192k tho :(
- But I suppose being compatible with the Z80 was important.
- Hell, it seems it still is (ever run CP/M at 2400MHz on a modern
  PC?  Wordstar is pretty fast.)

No, the 286 was not advanced.  I've never been a fan 
of "I/O" busses that were separate from the memory busses.

The 486 dates to 1989.  It's been 14 years.

And yes, my RISC chips smoke Intel chips at about 10% the power
consumption.  My new Sun's have 1.2GHz CPUs.  And cost WAY too
much. Sun regularly falls behind and jumps back to -current speeds,
rinse, repeat.  First Sun3 lagged and was healed by SPARC.  Sparc
10 era was slow and costly, getting smoked by Alpha and the Ultra
finally came out.  Ultra III was released 15 months late and, for
now, is speed competitive.

MIPS chips run at low clock speeds, but the R14000 can run many
(8? 16?) instructions AT A TIME.

The chips in the Apple "G5" (a marketing name for a computer)
will likely be running at 2GHz by end of year. Which means
more instructions/second than 3GHz Intel.

What's slower than CPM on a Z80?
The Itanic I chips.  :)

So given that the big PC slowdown involved that we don't really
need more SPEED, I'd love to see some stuff come out that uses LESS
POWER or makes LESS HEAT.   ARM is lowest power/MIPS out there.

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