Gigabit Ethernet for SGI Fuel

Posted by Kaya Kupferschmidt • Wednesday, November 29. 2006 • Category: Hardware
Recently I got hands on an SGI Fuel, and I plan to use it for development (as soon as I ported my project to Linux - in other words, it will take a while). The Fuel offers some standard 64bit PCI expansion slots, and even supports some standard PCI cards. You can find a list of (inofficially) supported cards at Nekochan.

For myself, first I installed an M-Audio Revolution 7.1 card, which runs out-of-the-box. The next step was to install a gigabit ethernet card, as I have all my home directories stored on a central NAS Raid server. But this was not so easy, because of two problems: First the number of supported gigabit cards is rather low (and they are expensive), and they only work with a small kernel hack. But finally I got my hands onto two Compaq NC7770 Gigabit Server Adapter for 19EUR each. I installed one of the cards into my Fuel and followed the hacking instructions again found at Nekochan.

Now I have working a cheap but powerful gigabit ethernet card in my Fuel, the same trick should also work on an Octane with a PCI card cage and an Origin. Maybe I will try to install the second card into my O200 some time.

Zeta R1.1 Demo for free download

Posted by Kaya Kupferschmidt • Friday, October 21. 2005 • Category: Hardware
Yellowtab finally made a demo version of their operating system called Zeta available for download. You can get the CD-image from Freenet (unfortunately the page is in German, but it shouldn't be too hard to download the file).

Zeta is based on BeOS, the famous operating system designed by Jean Louis Gasse which turns even old hardware into fast computers. But I have to admit my opinion about Zeta is ambivalent, especially the German BeOS community is very fanatic, even they can hardly oversee the many mistakes Yellowtab has made in the past.

Anyway, try out the OS and decide if you are willing to pay ~100EUR for the full version. I already bought the full version as an early adaptor, but I was disappointed and I am not using it very often any more.

Rhapsody - Mac OS X in its early days

Posted by Kaya Kupferschmidt • Wednesday, March 2. 2005 • Category: Hardware
As many people know, Apple didn't develop Mac OS X from scratch. Instead of beginning from zero for developing their next gerenartion operating system, they bought a company called NeXT in 1996 whose CEO was Steve Job, the current Apple CEO. This company was founded by Jobs after he left Apple NeXT had a great product called NeXTSTEP, which was a unique and powerful operating system originally only running on the famous proprietary NeXT hardware (NeXT Station and NeXT Cube).

The first versions of the successor of NeXTSTEP was called "Rhapsody" and was running both on Mac and on Intel hardware - the later version wasn't maintained after 5.1. After some years of hard work the final version finally appeared as Mac OS X, one of the best desktop operating systems available today. And even nowadays, the names of many base classes still begin with the prefix "NS" reminding of the original roots of OS X.

For more information about Rhapsody including its history and some screenshots, read on at Shaw's Rhapsody Resource Page. This brings to my mind that I still have a NeXT Station Colour at home waiting for a fresh install plus some Rhapsody media for Intel computers...


Official Details of Cell Processor

Posted by Kaya Kupferschmidt • Tuesday, February 8. 2005 • Category: Hardware
Finally after my three entries The Future of Computing - The Cell Processor,
Cell Architecture - Continued and The Cell Processor - A new Software Paradigm about the anxiously awaited Cell Processor designed by IBM, Sony and Toshiba, there are some official details available at Tom's Hardware in the top story called Cell processor to run at more than 4 GHz.

But I guess this will be the last link to new about the Cell Processor in this blog for a while, as the subject gets boring to me. I will concentrate more on making a new demo ready featuring a cloth simulation.


My new Toy: HP Pavilion ZD 7000 Notebook

Posted by Kaya Kupferschmidt • Thursday, February 3. 2005 • Category: Hardware
So today my new toy, a HP Pavilion ZD 7000 notebook arrived at my home. It has a very nice and big display (1440x900 pixels), a fast Pentium 4 at 3.2 GHz and a large keyboard. An ideal semi-mobile workplace. It only is "semi-mobile", because it weights about 4kg. But as I plan to use it as a desktop machine when I have to work at my customers, this will not be a problem (hopefully). More important it has a decent graphics unit (an Nvidia Geforce Go 5700 with 128MB), which was a necessary precondition for my future working horse.


Cell Architecture - Continued

Posted by Kaya Kupferschmidt • Wednesday, January 26. 2005 • Category: Hardware
Last week, I published a link to Nicholas Blachford's article about IBM's Cell Processor. He has added a sixth page to his investigations, but he also earned a lot of criticism. Arstechnica published another article about the Cell processor as a reaction, talking about some flaws and misunderstandings in Blachford's original text.