Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Upside down economics - I more or less agree - I also see farming as increasing in labor and GDP, because inputs will go up, but you still have to eat. Also, the looming recession (I say looming because I expect it to last for a long time) will cause more people to move into farm labor.

I'm curious if farmers see rising inputs (fertilizer, pesticides, fuel) as a reason to go organic. But organic is far more labor intensive, and people will have to be pretty desparate to move from there fat-ass white collar jobs to farm labor.

Nonetheless, the important point is how you view the economy - and in down times it's always better to be producing/selling more essential goods. Whatever essential goods are. I'll tell you what isn't - financial innovation.

I still think this underlies a basic problem - a lot of America is in useless, unnecessary industries: finance, insurance, and real estate - industry that all relies on credit (read: debt). And when that debt can't be paid back...

Glad I'm out of that business (Stages of the Bubble - as an example). And when that bubble is the only means of increasing wealth over the last 5 years - asset inflation on it's own is not good for the economy - it needs an underlying factor - cheap energy, increasing efficiency and productivity.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

After the new Intel memory allocation changes (not sure what else):

//start snip
UT2004 Build UT2004_Build_[2004-09-21_19.13]
x86-64 Linux
Unknown processor @ 2394 MHz
Mesa DRI Intel(R) 965GM GEM 20080716

dm-rankin?spectatoronly=1?numbots=12?quickstart=1?attractcam=1 -benchmark -seconds=77 -exitafterdemo -exec=/opt/ut2004-demo/Benchmark/Stuff/botmatchexec.txt

5.927572 / 27.762682 / 130.561325 fps rand[1886997259]
Score = 27.756296
//end snip

That's up from 24 fps. Even more playable.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

10/30/2008 4:49 P.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
10/30/2008 4:03 P.M.

46 minutes from Louisville, Kentucky to Minneapolis, MN. Wow, I guess UPS is using F-16's to move packages now.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm Changing My Name to Chrysler:


Always a classic, and very pertinent now.

A little history, Chrysler got a 1.5 billion dollar loan from the Gub'ment (Mark Twain version sp?) to avoid bankruptcy. As of the bailout plan, GM, Ford, Chrysler got 25 billion dollars I believe in a similar deal. I know it sounds bad, but I have little hope for the US of A's car companies. Chrysler did pay back there old loan (early even), depending on long-term energy prices (demand and supply see-sawing against each other) and the affect of credit (betting on future growth). I'm thinking that won't quite be the case again.

Also, if you've enjoyed partial bank nationalization hold on to your hats because more fun is on the way - Option Arm recasts - remember not to confuse recasts and resets, I always do. Basically one comes before the other, and the second one is more important, because that is when you _have_ to pay more per month.

With 80% of these Option Arm people making the minimum payment, you can expect 80% to foreclose or short sell. Housing prices fall even further. But don't worry 60% of Option Arms are in California. There is no way we are out of this crisis.

The real economy will continue to decline, and we'll be in a recession -officially- because we are certainly in one now.

While the above is pretty incoherant (from cars to Option Arms) it displays my basic pessimism about the economy and public policy - if Option Arms can happen, there is no God.

But remember to always look on the Always Look on Bright Side of Life.


Friday, October 24, 2008

With the new GEM stuff, I've got double the FPS in UT2004

//ut2004 benchmark results:
T2004 Build UT2004_Build_[2004-09-21_19.13]
x86-64 Linux
Unknown processor @ 2396 MHz
Mesa DRI Intel(R) 965GM GEM 20080716

dm-rankin?spectatoronly=1?numbots=12?quickstart=1?attractcam=1 -benchmark -seconds=77 -exitafterdemo -exec=/opt/ut2004-demo/Benchmark/Stuff/botmatchexec.txt

4.439383 / 24.573044 / 76.100990 fps rand[1886997259]
Score = 24.603319
//end results

24 FPS, while not super awesome, is playable, barely.

Although now celestia is running dog slow...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

e17's expedite:

$ expedite -e gl
Failed to initialize TTM buffer manager. Falling back to classic.
76.78 , Image Blend Unscaled
67.44 , Image Blend Solid Unscaled
46.03 , Image Blend Nearest Scaled
46.22 , Image Blend Nearest Solid Scaled
46.39 , Image Blend Smooth Scaled
46.17 , Image Blend Smooth Solid Scaled
42.49 , Image Blend Border
44.79 , Image Blend Solid Border
43.46 , Image Blend Border Recolor
322.29 , Image Quality Scale
96.92 , Image Data ARGB
55.42 , Image Data ARGB Alpha
306.71 , Image Data YCbCr 601 Pointer List
338.09 , Image Data YCbCr 601 Pointer List Wide Stride
128.40 , Image Crossfade
98.84 , Text Basic
16.09 , Text Styles
14.92 , Text Styles Different Strings
72.97 , Text Change
88.36 , Textblock Basic
50.57 , Textblock Intl
60.21 , Rect Blend
62.39 , Rect Solid
527.56 , Rect Blend Few
624.59 , Rect Solid Few
247.03 , Image Blend Occlude 1 Few
226.17 , Image Blend Occlude 2 Few
314.52 , Image Blend Occlude 3 Few
85.65 , Image Blend Occlude 1
77.33 , Image Blend Occlude 2
89.15 , Image Blend Occlude 3
37.04 , Image Blend Occlude 1 Many
34.36 , Image Blend Occlude 2 Many
37.31 , Image Blend Occlude 3 Many
7.07 , Image Blend Occlude 1 Very Many
6.43 , Image Blend Occlude 2 Very Many
7.12 , Image Blend Occlude 3 Very Many
61.70 , Polygon Blend
119.87 , EVAS SPEED

In gentoo land that's using:

# pmerge -p mesa libdrm
* Resolving...
[ebuild R ] media-libs/mesa-7.1_rc3 USE="-debug -doc -motif (-nptl) -pic -xcb" VIDEO_CARDS="i810 -mach64 -mga -none -r128 -radeon -s3virge -savage -sis -sunffb -tdfx -trident -via"
[ebuild R ] x11-libs/libdrm-2.3.1 USE="-debug"

Not sure if these benchmarks are good or bad, but I'm going to update libdrm and see if that makes a difference.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Solar power:


Here is a nice list of cheapy's - the Evergreen Spruce looks pretty good. And BeyondOilSolar has the charge controllers as well as inverters. Nice.

Still, for one 170 panel, charge controller, batteries, and an inverter - $2,000 easy. I'll have to run through the numbers - I think this would include one panel, and a charge controller and inverter with room to grow (so I can add more panels and batteries).

On an unhappy side note - the Federal Government sucks... mostly...

On FISA: Glenn Greenwald - he appears to be about the best source on the subject (since he is very comprehensive and links to a number of other good comments on this issue). I don't know why Obama has to "Move to the Center." It seems - now that the primary is out of the way they're changing the target audience, and with that

On a happy(-ish) note: Paul Krugman's column today does show some light, and that Democrats aren't useless.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I recently got a new Lenovo Thinpad T61:

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T8300 @ 2.40GHz
Ram: 2 GB (not sure what the latency is).
HDD: 160 GB 5200 rpm
It has the 965 chipset (with the IGP X3100 graphics card - supposed a lot better than the GMA 950, but that's not saying much).

Since the X3100 has absolutely no benchmarks published, I've finally done a couple myself.

First of all: glxgears (which everyone says is not a benchmark)

$ glxgears
5471 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1094.008 FPS
5618 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1123.475 FPS
5606 frames in 5.0 seconds = 1121.063 FPS

It sucks (my Pentium-m 1.6 Mhz laptop with a GeForce FX Go5200 gets ~2100 fps).

That's probably why Eric Anholt (http://www.anholt.net/) wouldn't post any info on performance, it's not so good. Also, as everyone keeps telling me glxgears is not a benchmark, fine...

So here's some UT 2004 deathmatch - DM-Rankin, at 800x600@32 (not that it matters - lower resolutions and color depth did almost nothing (although fullscreen does help - a little - the last row is fullscreen):

5.563165 / 12.212557 / 45.396217 fps -- Score = 12.217196
5.556774 / 12.213729 / 46.879482 fps -- Score = 12.218822
5.914872 / 13.538128 / 115.044312 fps -- Score = 13.543859

The score is the avg. frame rate per second - more or less (they seem to do some minor adjustments). It still sucks, although it is playable (with less bots).

//benchmark script (from here):
/opt/ut2004-demo/Benchmark $ cat benchmark.sh
ut2004-demo dm-rankin?spectatoronly=1?numbots=12?quickstart=1?attractcam=1 -benchmark -seconds=77 -ini=default.ini -exec=/opt/ut2004-demo/Benchmark/Stuff/botmatchexec.txt
//end script.

//Here is the botmatchexec.txt:
//end snip

If you lower the number of bots, it's a bit better, I think...

Bashmark makes me think that the issue isn't a CPU limitation, but then again I'm not entirely sure what bashmark is testing:

//start bashmark snips
$ bashmark
: T E S T : :S C O R E : : R A T I O:
:Cpu, Integer : : 4746: : +342%:
:Cpu, Floating point : : 3954: : +421%:
: : : : : :
:Memory r/w (cached) : : 7418: : +517%:
:Memory de-/alloc : : 1607: : +146%:
: : : : : :
:Multithreading : : 1903: : -24%:
: S Y S T E M I N F O :
2x Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo T8300 @ 800.000MHz, L2 3072KB
Linux 2.6.24-tuxonice-r4
GCC 4.2.3
92KB binary size
: R E F E R E N C E S Y S T E M I N F O :
Reference system was Geno's pc with:
Athlon XP 1800+ 1575.631MHz, 256KB
Linux 2.6.11-ck1
GCC 3.4.3-20050110 (compiled with standard cflags)
glibc 2.3.4 (with nptl)
128KB binary size
Scores gathered on March, 30th. 2005 with bashmark 0.6
//end bashmark snip

Hard drive reads (I really don't care about write speeds unless I'm setting up RAID):

//start hdparm snip
# hdparm -Tt /dev/sda

Timing cached reads: 3084 MB in 2.00 seconds = 1543.44 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 130 MB in 3.04 seconds = 42.73 MB/sec
//end hdparm snip

My 3 year old laptop (with 7200 rpm's as opposed to 5200 rpm's like my current laptop) gets about 8 MB/sec less.

Power usage is pretty good (via powertop):
16.3 W (3.4 hours) at idle (albeit with firefox and my wireless sending kernel interrupts like mad). The screen doesn't dim at all when on battery power - so it should actually be a bit better than this. My old Pentium-M laptop gets about 21 Watts at idle (which is pretty good, imho).

My OLPC get's less than six, and my server (with similar architecture) gets about 8 Watts at idle - and only a couple watts more at 100% CPU usage. Whatever you have to say about the OLPC, hardware-wise it's phenomenal in what it does at that level of power usage.

Long story short, this thing is weak on the graphics department, but otherwise it seems pretty quick. It also works quite well in Linux

The gaming stuff is most important since I'm getting back into that sort of programming...
more later...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Re: previous post - I'm dumb. It was an April Fool's joke. Good one guys.

My problem with April Fool's is that I never know what day it is exactly. So I'm easily fooled. It's still March!

Friday, April 04, 2008

I was listening to a NPR a couple days ago and it talked about a couple in Arizona getting there Economic Stimulus rebate

I was kind of surprised they got it early (payment schedule) - they should be getting it in May. But for some reason they got it early. You don't want to get it early. In there case they didn't get a check ... or cash....

They got an Fucking air conditioner. Yep, that's right they got there rebate in the form of retail goods at the "value" of the cash. Even funnier, why an air conditioner you might ask? Well apparently the government makes a geographic guess (not sure what else factors in) about what you would "need": these people live in Arizona, it's hot there ... give 'em an air conditioner." Thank you government.

The reason for the air conditioner is obvious - that money has gone into the economy already (the A/C came from somewhere): thus performing it's stimulating functions. The reason why these people got one, allegedly, is that they were calculated by some IRS algorithm as having a good probability to pay off debt (on silly things like car and mortgage payments) and not buy things, like air conditioners.

I better not get a God damn snow blower.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Power usage of computers. In an attempt to lower my power usage (and to understand my power usage) I been using my Kill-A-Watt to see how much power my computers as well as my monitors use.

For starters, LCD monitors appear to be a lot better. My 20" Samsung (with higher contrast and similar brightness) beat my 19" ViewSonic by almost 2 to 1, ~75W to ~45W, respectively.

As for computers, it's a little suprising. My Dell laptop uses about ~20 Watts at idle (going up to 35W under high load). My AMD64 system, with it's Nvidia video card that is now a couple years old (and wasn't top of the line when I got it) uses a whopping ~132+ on idle. With that in mind here are some more specifics; it has 3 hard disk drives (HDD's), 2 GB's of RAM, a Nvidia 7600GT, Athlon 64 3800+, and a DVD writer.

Still it seems relatively high compared to my PIII 450 Mhz, with 384Mb's ram, one HDD, and a CD-ROM drive which clocked in at about ~50W. I was actually pretty impressed how low that was. This makes me wonder how much power the Nvidia video card uses. This was my old server, which was replaced by my new Koolu.

The Koolu with it's AMD Geode processor (similar to the OLPC) clocks in at ~8W with a standard laptop 30 GB HDD. This computer runs constantly, so it's the most important to have low power usage (and generate less heat - which is good for the summer).

So long story short I was actually hoping my old server used more power. Nonetheless, using a laptop is certainly much more earth friendly than a desktop. By Far (recap: 20W at idle compared to 132W at idle)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Real perty. Meanwhile we gear up for recession time. If oil prices stay this high (they will) it's going to be a bad one.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Protect America Act for morons.

Thank you Russ Feingold.

Meanwhile this is timeless: Black Bush

Friday, January 18, 2008

I got one of these cute little OLPC laptop's. It's not the most powerful, but for what it does, it works pretty well. With one definite exception: 3d. The graphics chip is on the same die as the processor (or something close to this). The only features it has show pretty obviously what it's intended purpose was. Your awesome accelerated features consist of features only really used in 2d: blitting (BitBLT or just BLT). Oh and hardware screen rotation.

So the only possibility to get any more performance out of this is by using the AMD 3DNow! and MMX extensions to the limit.

I know gcc does optimizations for such things, but I'm not sure how good it is, or how to code it to help gcc along.

Either way, it was decided that performance was so abysmal that there is no glx in the Xorg package that comes with the system. So I had to compile my own: xorg-x11-server-Xorg-1.4-42gl.olpc2.i586.rpm - with "-mmmx -m3dnow" put in cflags. Not sure if it really made much difference. In fact it really didn't - GLX gears ("glxgears -fullscreen") still performed at ~25 fps (the first polling says 35 fps, then it drops to 25 fps and stays there). Ubuntu apparently gets 60+ fps on glxgears - which is a big "wow" in comparison. I'm not sure if that is DRI (no DRI in OLPC kernel), or a newer version of Mesa (the FC7-based official OLPC stuff is 6.5.2).

With Black Shades Elite I was able to get 22 fps on the main menu, which actually isn't too bad. And I still think I can create a playable version on the OLPC.

Any input would be appreciated.