Tag Archives: INQUIRER

Dearie me day over at the INQUIRER

DEARIE, DEARIE me. Read the comments below this story on my old organ.

Intel recalls the days of Alpha, PA-RISC and Itanium

TO THE CHARLOTTE STREET HOTEL, in Fitzrovia, to listen to what Intel had to say about its Xeon 5500 (Nehalem) launch and to customer testimonials.

I stayed at Myhotel Bloomsbury, next to a pub, and which used to be a cop shop. I bumped into Paul Hales and Sylvie Barak from Register Two, who were there, too.

Gathered in front of an assembly of British hackdom was Tom Kilroy, from Intel Stateside, who described the launch of the 5500 series as the most important launch since the Pentium Pro.

Ah! The Pentium Pro! I still somewhere have a keyring with a Pentium Pro and cache attached. Intel was forced, as I recall, to re-engineer this chip because there was a problem with the cache. Think someone from Compaq tipped me off on that, all those years ago.

This set me thinking quite a lot. Kilroy wheeled in people from the London Stock Exchange, from Thomson Reuters, and naturally its customers such as Dell and HP – curiously not Big Blue – gave their sales pitches too.

Kilroy was here (left)

Kilroy was here (left)

And as I thought of the implications of what Kilroy said – I couldn’t help wondering, of course, about the Itanium, a question formed in my mind, from whence it came, no one knows.

After showing us various benchmarks, which appeared to suggest that this was the best microprocessor Intel had ever fabricated, we had to start wondering about the Alpha chip “good until 2025” – said Richard George when he worked for DEC, and the PA-RISC chip. Because Intel seemed to be suggesting that this truly was a “mission critical CPU”. Why else would Mark Reece from the London Stock Exchange be there, otherwise?

The Hidden Agenda

The Hidden Agenda

After Kilroy told us that this was part of the “tick tock”  Captain Hook style Intel cadence,  we Brithacks sat patiently, waiting for the Q&A which never seemed to come.

The master of ceremonies eventually allowed a brief Q&A and pointed at me, Mikus Interruptus, saying: “Tom, would you now like to answer Mike’s question about the Itanium?”

Unfortunately my mind had moved on by then and I thought that perhaps a better question was how the financial meltdown had affected Intel’s business.

Said Kilroy: “Certainly there’s been an impact on demand”. The MC said: “Mike, we’re in our quiet period right now.”  Too late!

We finally got a chance to ask our question about whether “Nehalem” was a better chip than the Itanium, but phrased it whether it was a better chip than the PA-RISC chip – obviously with the Power 6 from IBM in mind. IBM was not, officially, represented at this gig.

Mr Kilroy said that the question didn’t really compute, because the Itanium offered stuff like RAS and you couldn’t compare a chip like the Nehalem with the Itanium.

Later, we had a chance to speak to a friend close to Hewlett Packard who told us it had told its customers last September the game was over for PA-RISC. But, we asked, it would have to support customers like the US government on both the PA-RISC chip and the DEC Alpha chip?  Yes, he admitted, that was true. The customers had the latest roadmap.

Do not forget, of course, that Carly Fiorina and the then CEO of Compaq, Mike Capellas, transacted an agreement that meant that, er, er, all things federal about microprocessors – apart from IBM – would belong to HP.

We bumped into a guy called Hugh Jenkins, who now works for the Great Satan of Hardware (Dell Inc). He said that of course Dell still uses AMD microprocessors for some of its server business. Er, BT seems to be an Intel only place, as far as we could tell.

Funny old business this, isn’t it? Intel served bucks fizz (mimosa) at the end. We’d already made our excuses and exeunted stage left before that was served.   

* Spotted from  other Magee spawned websites: Sylvie Barak (INQster), Chris Mellor (Rogister).

INQUIRER editor gives Examiner editor the bird

THE FIRST PUBCAST has come to pass but it has happened here, on my very own bog.

Paul Hales, the editor of the INQ (founder: M.Magee) decided to join the Old Farts at the Globe Tavern opposite Baker Street yesterday evening.

Hales wasn’t a happy bunny. But at least he had the grace to respond to our request for a live interview, complete with sound effects. Just a second later, he grinned and gave us the finger twice. But we’ve cut that bit out, because this is a family bog.  The vid was produced with the fantastic Flip device – it plugs into your USB port, the sound is pretty good, and the vid quality isn’t bad either. The software is on the machine and it takes a couple of batteries which generate an hour of video. What’s inside this cheap device?

With apologies to Intel for the dum-de-dum-de-dum-de-dum thingie. It was playing loudly on the pub TV while we were filming. The finger is here.  

Inquirer, Examiner in battle of the bogs

YEAH, you win some, you lose some, you Carly Fiorina readsome.

But a very interesting piece here at Geek Extreme reckons Paul Hales and myself are fighting over freelancers “double posting”.

If some of these so-called  “feelancers” would even single post, it would be quite good.  As the world+dog knows, Halesie and myself are joined at the hip. We are the Tweedledum and Tweedledum of the Printernet. There is not even the hum of a hummingbird’s wings between us… 

What’s happened to Silicon Limey?

HERE BE A BOG called Silicon Limey, written by a geezer who is headed over to San Francisco to work as an ex-pat, in much the same way, we guess, we’ll be doing out in Bengaluru in a week or so.

The pic he runs doesn’t do me many favours. It was taken in Ole Taipei. I didn’t suffer a massive heart attack, thank goodness. Only the tiniest bit of my heart was affected, and I had a triple, not a quadruple bypass.

Nor did I start quaffing endless pints and smoking Marlboro Reds as if there was no tomorrow.  I don’t know what he means about my unstable hands either – sheesh, I could tell a story or two about him if pixels were free. Like, for example, if he was slumped with his head on top of a keyboard, wouldn’t it be beeping like crazy? Is he Silicon Limey, or Silicon Cor Blimey?

But the slowly burning question of the day persists. Is he now in San Francisco? Will he be able to find a decent cup of tea over there?  Has he got adequate medicare? Can we find a recent photograph of him in our digital portfolios?  ♥

The March solar winds will blow, but April brings snow

A WHOLE YEAR of solar panels on the top of what used to be INQ Central, and these charts below give you an idea of the output of the 15 Sanyo solar panels on our roof.

The money we got back is slightly less than the £309 on this page below, but on the other hand we’re in credit with the electricity supplier and haven’t paid an electricity bill during all this time.

The amortisation rate is still, as we’ve said in the INQ before, about eight years. In early April we did have snow and I’m not climbing on the roof to sweep it off, so for practically a whole day the blanket of crystals delivered not particularly brilliant solar results, except back to the clear blue sky.

On the other bright side, the pigeons couldn’t poo on our arrayed panels and went skiing instead.