Accelerator boards - no future? Bad business?
swiftgriggs at gmail.com
Fri Apr 22 16:17:15 CDT 2016
On Fri, 22 Apr 2016, ethan at 757.org wrote:
> SGI stuff is still much under wraps as far as I know. Thats why NetBSD
> and similar for SGI are still pretty rudimentary. All propriatary, those
> groups don't want to use stolen info, and who knows if the documentation
> still even exists after the rackable purchase.
Rackable totally needs to release that stuff, but the lawyer-weasels are
probably never going to let that happen due to all the cross-licensed code
in IRIX. However, I still wish they'd release hardware specs. I wonder
what that could hurt? Maybe it's the same type of thing if they OEM'd too
many parts. I think IRIX support of any kinds ends this year (for 6.5.30 on
a Tezro only). Maybe they will reconsider after they don't get any $$$ from
it in order to build some good will and gain some street cred. Yes, I
know.. feel free to wake me up anytime...
> High clock rates for data busses of modern systems wouldn't work with old
> style card edge interconnects AFAIK.
Ahh, yeah I forgot that's why they did that (move to BGA and such). I'll
bet you are right. It'd have to go in the processor slot.
> Also, I don't think the old PPC accelerators for the Amiga or the ones for
> the Macs (that sometimes had CPU upgrade slots) would really accelerate
> everything - you might get faster processor instructions and maybe L1/L2
> cache -- but memory and I/O are still slow?
That's totally true from my recollection. However, some of the boards for
the Amiga would co-locate additional RAM on the accel board. That was a bit
of an in-between state. Nonetheless the faster CPU(s) would generally have
some positive impact. Plus, some of the boards were just plain neat looking
and made your Amiga look even-more-awesome (to my geek eyes, at least).
> They were really expensive at the time :-) US dollars have lost a lot of
> value (especially given overpriced housing.) The old $3000 Tandy system
> with a 20 meg hard card and TGA/CGA graphics is like $7000 in todays cash.
Which is why I never owned one :-) My parents were so poor when I was a kid
I slept in a dresser drawer (until I outgrew it). hehe. I only got
cast-off gear at that time, usually 10 years behind the state of the art
(mostly stuff my mom found at garage sales).
> Amiga stuff was always pretty expensive, and you had to pay VGA monitor
> prices for it's crappy TV display (1084S).
Awww. That truth stings. :-) It sure was a purty video display and playing
SNES and Genesis games on it rocked.
> And yea, at least Atari stuff was made in Taiwan so they were using
> cheaper labor then too.
Heh, Atari always was a forerunner. Guess they pioneered offshoring, too.
> You gotta build it!
Oh man, I can barely repair my guitar amps when they fail. You guys would
laugh hard watching me try to run a scope, too. I can fix monitors,
sometimes (used to do it back in the day for a job). Mostly, I'm a 'test
post' electronics tech. I can measure voltages, run a solder-sucker, tell
the diff between most components, and possibly not burn and bird-crap all my
joints, but I pretty well suck at electronics. I'm not even close to
skilled enough with digital component layout tools, logic analyzers,
verilog, FPGAS, etc.. as what I'd need to be and I doubt I could learn it
fast enough to be useful, but who knows. Like you say, the tools today are
amazing. I'm more of a software and integration guy, but I'm interested in
just about everything technical, even biology (esp female biology, har har) !
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