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mcherm : hardware   142

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80×25: Why are Screens This Size? « blarg?
A wonderful historical romp, impressively well sourced, that traces the 80 by 25 size back to printing presses in the civil war.
history  hardware  via:HackerNews 
november 2019 by mcherm
How did MS-DOS decide that two seconds was the amount of time to keep the floppy disk cache valid? | The Old New Thing
They couldn't swap disks quite as fast as 2 seconds so they decided they could trust the cash as long as the disc have been read within the past two seconds.
history  hardware  via:reddit 
september 2019 by mcherm
Who needs qubits? Factoring algorithm run on a probabilistic computer | Ars Technica
Circuits that flip randomly (here called "p-bits") might provide an alternative form of computing. The article said nothing about an algorithmic analysis.
probabilisticcomputing  physics  hardware  ArsTechnica  via:HackerNews 
september 2019 by mcherm
Samsung pulls own ads after ditching headphone jack - Android Authority
Ads about headphone jacks (and other iPhone flaws) that Samsung pulled after their latest release has the same flaws.
hardware  mobile  via:reddit 
august 2019 by mcherm
Adrian Sampson: FPGAs Have the Wrong Abstraction
FPGAs can be used for more than circuit emulation (just as GPUs can be used for more than graphics). But of the language for expressing such programs does not yet allow this kind of use.
hardware  programming  APIDesign  via:reddit 
june 2019 by mcherm
The antisocial laptop
An interesting bug - it was in the hardware of his laptop (insufficient electrical isolation of various components).
bug  hardware  via:HackerNews 
january 2019 by mcherm
Every 7.8μs your computer’s memory has a hiccup
With careful work and a Fourier transform you can detect the pauses while DRAM memory refreshes itself.
hardware  via:reddit 
december 2018 by mcherm
What's a CPU to do when it has nothing to do? []
Many CPUs (including Intel) have multiple "idle states" they can enter (but there is a cost to enter the state). They made Linux smarter about which to use and when to enter which reduced idle power consumption by 20%.
via:HackerNews  hardware  linux  programming 
october 2018 by mcherm
Intel Underestimates Error Bounds by 1.3 quintillion | Random ASCII
They advertise that their implementation of sin() is amazingly accurate, but actually it is much worse than claimed.
hardware  bug  via:HackerNews 
august 2018 by mcherm
This ‘Demonically Clever’ Backdoor Hides In a Tiny Slice of a Computer Chip | WIRED
A way to introduce a vulnerability into a chip which uses very little extra silicon and only triggers if you do a specific action thousands of times.
security  hardware  via:HackerNews  wired 
april 2018 by mcherm
It's official, ADSL works over wet string
Literally, over wet string. Now, that's a fault tolerant protocol.
funny  hardware  via:reddit 
december 2017 by mcherm
How is a $12 phone possible? / Boing Boing
This is the outer limit of how cheap a phone can be.
hardware  via:boingboing 
november 2017 by mcherm
Recent Intel Chipsets Have A Built-In Hidden Computer, Running Minix With A Networking Stack And A Web Server | Techdirt
Running WAY below the operating system (or even some kind of hypervisor) is the "management engine" which is directly built into Intel CPU chips. It has its own OS with device drivers and even a web server. Let's target THAT for our next attack!
security  hardware  via:Techdirt 
november 2017 by mcherm
IBM researchers: Rowhammer-like attack on SSDs can provide root privileges to attacker -
A physical attack on flash memory chips, this allows an attacker to modify arbitrary bytes. Skeptical commentators say real SSDs encrypt data and relocate it anyway so this wouldn't work.
security  hardware  via:HackerNews 
august 2017 by mcherm
USB Type C's Configuration Channel
Some info about how the new, reversible USB cables work.
hardware  via:googleplus 
november 2015 by mcherm
Safe VSP
Story of a hardware bug in C64. Random corruption under very rare circumstances, that can be traced back to voltages and timings on the chip.
bug  personal_net  hardware 
november 2015 by mcherm
Dell apologizes for HTTPS certificate fiasco, provides removal tool | Ars Technica
Synopsis: Dell messed up, but probably not maliciously. They acknowledged it, and changed course immediately. In my book, that's a really good thing. (Almost as good as not messing up in the first place.)
security  hardware  Dell  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  privacy 
november 2015 by mcherm
Cache is the new RAM
An insightful article about certain trends that go around and around in computers... and where they are going next.
via:reddit  programming  hardware  database  nosql  history 
october 2015 by mcherm
When Solid State Drives are not that solid | Milliseconds Matter
Scary story about finding a hardware bug. I could never have done this.
bug  hardware  via:HackerNews  personal_net 
june 2015 by mcherm
Intel Underestimates Error Bounds by 1.3 quintillion | Random ASCII
Another hardware bug... this time in the implementation of sin().
bug  hardware  via:HackerNews 
october 2014 by mcherm
About a month ago, my Galaxy S4 caught on fire. Samsung told me that they would replace it. They have ignored me completely since then. : Android
Guy has problem w/ Samsung phone, can't get Samsung to help but remains classy -- no name calling, just looking for help. HTC writes in: "thanks for keeping it polite, have a free HTC phone so long as you give the Samsung to charity if you ever get it". Awesome! Plus 2 points for HTC.
mobile  android  hardware  customerservice  via:reddit 
july 2014 by mcherm
New Middleware Technology Quadruples SSD Speed -- Tech-On!
The claims are significant enough that I approach it skeptically, but they plausibly claim a software fix vastly improves speed and lifetime for SSD drives by doing better garbage collection.
hardware  programming  via:reddit 
may 2014 by mcherm
C10M: The C10M problem
General purpose computers can't be powerful enough for really high-speed data manipulation in an ordinary operating system. We need to allow some bulk data operations to take over memory and CPUs while the OS runs on what's left.
scalability  hardware  via:HackerNews 
february 2014 by mcherm
Dizzying but invisible depth You just went to the Google…
Going down the rabbit hole of ever lower levels of looking at a simple web page -- all the way down to the silicon.
via:HackerNews  complexity  hardware 
december 2013 by mcherm
Electricity: Edison’s revenge | The Economist
USB has become ubiquitous and they're about to release a new standard allowing 10x as much power. Many things are converting from AC to DC, and cheap, easy solar panels are a perfect source for DC power.
electronics  hardware  via:HackerNews 
october 2013 by mcherm - Computer Parts, Laptops, Electronics, and More!
Buy from these guys. Because they have a good store, and because they fight patent trolls.
shopping  hardware  computers 
september 2013 by mcherm
If We Assume: The (De-)evolution of My Laptop Battery
He measured the decay in his apple laptop battery. The old laptop was on track to last 3yrs. The new battery was on track to last ~1.5 yes.
hardware  batteries  via:HackerNews 
august 2013 by mcherm
How to add numbers (part 1)
Explaining how to create an adder circuit. Actually, MUCH more complicated than I thought... everything they taught me about this in school was wrong (well, naive, not wrong).
hardware  algorithm  via:DanielSobral 
february 2013 by mcherm
Not Just AstLinux Stuff: Packets of Death
A hardware-level bug (actually, firmware) in Ethernet connections.
bug  networking  hardware  via:HackerNews 
february 2013 by mcherm
How to survive an iPhone liquid submersion (hint: it's not rice) | ZDNet
If your phone falls in the water dry it off immediately and use a commercial drying substance (dry-rid) for 24 hours.
hardware  via:twitter 
february 2013 by mcherm
Numbers Every Programmer Should Know By Year
Times, like disk access, branch mispredict, or network packet send and how they have changed over the years. It really IS something every programmer should know although not so many do. NOTE: data may be questionable; extrapolation IS questionable.
programming  hardware  networking  datavisualization  via:reddit  performance 
december 2012 by mcherm
Your GPU's “Fingerprint” Could Lead to New Securit... - Input Output
Manufacturing artifacts in each GPU can be used as a nearly unclonable fingerprint to identify a particular PC.
security  identity  privacy  via:reddit  hardware 
october 2012 by mcherm
IDF: Intel says Clover Trail will not work with Linux - The Inquirer
Intel is teaming with Microsoft and specifically prohibiting Linux from (at least one of) it's processors just to satisfy Microsoft.
via:HackerNews  personal_net  hardware  microsoft  intel 
september 2012 by mcherm
How I Store My 1′s and 0′s: ZFS + Bargain HP Microserver = JOY | mockyblog
A useful build for a "living room PC" that sits behind the couch and just runs, providing server services for the house.
june 2012 by mcherm
SSDs and Distributed Data Systems - Jay Kreps
Serious thoughts about how the different characteristics of SSD drives (compared to magnetic disk) will change the architecture, algorithms, and data structures that apps must use.
hardware  algorithms  via:JayKreps  JayKreps 
june 2012 by mcherm
A site for getting cheap tech-support from independent people. Like helping your mom who lives out of state.
useful  hardware  computers  via:CodingHorror 
april 2012 by mcherm
2011 Computer Reliability Report
An assessment of the reliability of various computer brands.
hardware  via:ArsTechnica 
october 2011 by mcherm
Behind Intel's New Random-Number Generator - IEEE Spectrum
New Intelligence CPUs have a digital circuit for generating random numbers.
via:reddit  hardware  random  cryptography 
september 2011 by mcherm
Hacking Smart Batteries
Apple's smart batteries can be hacked.
security  apple  hardware  hacking  via:boingboing 
july 2011 by mcherm
A First Step Toward a Prosthesis for Memory - Technology Review
Someone figures out a way to simulate capturing AND "remembering" a memory in rats.
science  hardware  brain  singularity 
june 2011 by mcherm
HTC says they won't lock their bootloaders | Facebook
Perhaps pressure from alpha geeks is actually worth something.
android  hardware  via:reddit 
may 2011 by mcherm
Google Phone Gallery
Google's page describing android phones.
android  google  hardware 
april 2011 by mcherm
Founder's Blog - Jitbit: Chinese Magical Hard-Drive
Claims to be a huge hard drive. Is actually a small memory card with clever software that makes it appear to work when first tested.
hardware  scam  hack  via:HackerNews 
april 2011 by mcherm
The surprising usefulness of sloppy arithmetic
Making computer circuits that are not 100% accurate. According to this article, it allows much greater computation on the same amount of silicon, and it's perfect for tasks like video processing.
probabilisticcomputing  computerscience  hardware  via:reddit 
january 2011 by mcherm
Ksplice » Hosting backdoors in hardware - System administration and software blog
How a piece of hardware can provide the BIOS with some code to execute and that can be used to take control of a system (assuming you know something about it). If you can touch the hardware, you can own the system (that's not new news, but this is a great example).
via:reddit  security  hardware 
october 2010 by mcherm
Apple iPhone 4 Antennas... - AntennaSys Blog - AntennaSys, Inc. - antenna design, integration and consulting.
The antenna on the iPhone. Some interesting engineering, and a story about how regulation has unintended side effects.
mobile  hardware  via:HackerNews  engineering  iphone  apple  design 
june 2010 by mcherm
Ksplice » Attack of the Cosmic Rays! - System administration and software blog
Detailed tale of a careful proof that an error was caused by a single flipped bit in RAM.
via:slashdot  bug  debugging  hardware  antenna 
june 2010 by mcherm
PC Building: Hidden Phenom cores unlockable but not guaranteed - News - PC Authority
Apparently, they sell CPUs with some cores turned off (to have product lines w/ fewer cores). And you can turn them back on. (They also might have part of the CPU damaged, so there's no guarantee that this works.)
via:slashdot  hardware 
april 2010 by mcherm » “Adam? …is there a reason your laptop is in the fridge?”
Very clever hack: sticking the failing drive in the fridge to keep it usable long enough to get the vital data off it.
hardware  hack  via:HackerNews  personal_net 
april 2010 by mcherm
Secrets of the Nexus One's screen: science, color, and hacks
Detailed review of why the screen on the Nexus One isn't as good as it is advertised. The difference has to do with size and placement of the color pixels. Interestingly, one result is a way to get a black-and-white image to appear in color.
ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  color  android  nexusone  hardware 
march 2010 by mcherm
How Amsterdam was wired for open access fiber
Detailed story of what was learned when wiring fiber to every house in Amsterdam.
internet  hardware  fiber  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
march 2010 by mcherm
SquareTrade Warranties
Third party that sells warranties, and I think it may actually be FAIR rather than being a kind of scam. Particularly consider it for something like a cell phone.
finance  useful  hardware  insurance 
january 2010 by mcherm
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