|FROM ||From: "Inker, Evan"
|SUBJECT ||RE: [hangout] Lindows CEO attacks Intel's Centrino Linux lockout
|From owner-hangout-desteny-at-mrbrklyn.com Fri Mar 21 13:14:01 2003
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From: "Inker, Evan"
To: "'Ruben Safir'" , Bruce Perens
Cc: rc , "'hangout-at-nylxs.com'"
Subject: RE: [hangout] Lindows CEO attacks Intel's Centrino Linux lockout
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 18:16:07 -0000
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Reply-To: "Inker, Evan"
List: New Yorkers Linux Scene
Admin: To unsubscribe send unsubscribename-at-domian.com to hangout-request-at-www2.mrbrklyn.com
While I agree with some of what you are saying, you are wrong in the
The new IA-64 Itanium will be much much more expensive not cheaper
Additionally they will be slower (currently top speed is 1.5 Ghz).
Most importantly, if you want to be heard, Linux Distro makers like Red hat,
Suse, and Mandrake (already out now) should not release a IA-64 bit release
Based on Intel's Itanium based solely on the stupid design flaws of the chip
(see Linus Torvalds rant about this
While RISC seemed like a good idea in theory, in practice its just too
kludgy to be practical
Linus Torvalds, Itanium "threw out all the good parts of the x86"
IA64 falls flat
By Arron Rouse: Monday 24 February 2003, 19:58
LINUX CREATOR AND INDUSTRY GURU Linus Torvalds has been holding forth on the
state of processor architecture on the Linux Kernel Archive. In words that
Intel are likely to be far from happy with, the Finnish luminary has stuck
the boot into Itanium. Only just falling short of calling the processor
Itanic, his responses to some questions on processor architecture are sure
to be music to AMD's ears.
In a discussion on the merits of various processors, Torvalds wrote that
Intel had made the same mistakes "that everybody else did 15 years ago" when
RISC architecture was first appearing. Itanium tries to introduce an
architecture that is clean and technically pure, something that just doesn't
seem to work in the real world. He claims that Intel "threw out all the good
parts of the x86 because people thought those parts were ugly. They aren't
ugly, they're the 'charming oddity' that makes it do well."
He almost certainly has a point. Although a 1.5GHz Itanium would be faster
than a 1.5GHz Pentium 4, that's not the competition it has to face. The
Pentium 4 is available at twice that clockrate and the Itanium only gets to
keep pace by having huge amounts of cache despite all of its clever
Clever architecture is something that has trapped others in the past. The
Alpha processor team spent years learning that many of the architecturally
correct ideals they had held needed to be thrown out when it came to the
real world. According to Torvalds, "And all the RISC stuff that tried to
avoid it was just a BIG WASTE OF TIME. Because the _only_ thing the RISC
approach ended up showing was that eventually you have to do the hard stuff
anyway, so you might as well design for doing it in the first place."
He goes on to write, "As far as I know, the _only_ things Itanium 2 does
better on is (a) FP kernels, partly due to a huge cache and (b) big
databases, entirely because the P4 is crippled with lots of memory". That
crippling with lots of memory is due to what many people describe as a major
kludge in the Pentium architecture called Page Address Extensions (PAE).
According to Torvalds, "the only real major failure of the x86 is the PAE
There are quite a few Xeons in particular that you will see advertised with
8GB or 16GB of memory. Astute observers will have wondered how a 32bit
processor can address more than 4GB of memory. PAE is the answer. It allows
36bit addressing using 'pages' of memory. According to Torvalds, the Pentium
4 is crippled "because Intel refuses to do a 64-bit version (because they
know it would totally kill ia-64)."
AMD can take some heart at his comments. Reading between the lines, it's
obvious that Torvalds thinks x86-64 is the way to go. "Right now Intel
doesn't even seem to be interested in '64-bit for the masses', and maybe IBM
will be. AMD certainly seems to be serious about the 'masses' part, which in
the end is the only part that really matters". It's worth noting that
Torvalds' employer, Transmeta, has licensed x86-64 so he is likely to have
access to Hammer hardware.
Intel has spent a huge amount of money developing its 64bit processor but
the payoff in the real world is likely to take a long time. The problems
that are being found now that the processor is out with customers are going
to take a lot of effort to smooth over. In his scathing view on the Itanium,
Torvalds postulates that "in another 5 years they'll get to where the x86
has been for the last 10 years".
In what could be the best news for AMD, Torvalds summarised his thoughts on
Itanium. "Code size matters. Price matters. Real world matters. And ia-64 at
least so far falls flat on its face on ALL of these." µ
And if you wanta 500 MHZ Alpha I can find you one for a really good price as
no one wants these any more.
From: Ruben Safir [mailto:ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com]
Sent: Friday, March 21, 2003 1:03 PM
To: Bruce Perens
Cc: rc; Inker, Evan; 'hangout-at-nylxs.com'; Ruben Safir
Subject: Re: [hangout] Lindows CEO attacks Intel's Centrino Linux lockout
On Fri, Mar 21, 2003 at 09:29:32AM -0800, Bruce Perens wrote:
> I also pulled out of the Lindows desktop summit. The reason was that
> the summit was not representative of the free software developer
> community, and only communicated the Lindows.com viewpoint. Many other
> companies pulled out, as well.
Right, and this was a proper action IMO. However, the point Ray makes is
If such a heavy hand was taken with LINDOWS, then even more so it should
have been taken with Microsoft who's attacks on the Free Software community
is many times worse than Lindows in it's best day.
Yet, Microsoft was given a free pass at Egov-OS and other places, whereas
Lindows is at least a contributer to the Free Software community putting
GNU/Linux on the desktop of milions of users daily.
> Regarding the Centrino, Microsoft has Intel over a barrel. Intel feels
> that the IA64 chip will be a failure without Microsoft's
> _enthusiastic_ cooperation. Not just cooperation, they need to be
> enthusiastic. Remember what happened with the Alpha chip.
The stupidity of the Alpha Chip and Compact should be remmebers, not because
Alpha was crushed by a lack of Microsoft support, but because Compact was
too stupid to make those Alpha Chips cheap and to put and
invest in an alternative desktop, one which was already mature and ready for
business, in the GNU/Linux desktop.
Intel shouldn't repeat this mistake and they should break from Microsoft
If intel floods the market with $300 64 bit processor system running SUSe,
Evolution and Open Office, MS is dead in 2 years....
The problem with Compact, and repeated with Intel is they REFUSE to compete.
Your a big houncho.... contact intel and let's blow open the GNU/Linux
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