November 2004 Archives

Fuji F700 Prints

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I dropped in 3 pics today to the Agfa processing Centre on Friar street in Thurles. They use a multilingual system called ebox that allows you to select the images you want developed. The images are then automatically queued to their processing system.

The quality of the prints are excellent, the one thing I learned today is that the printed version is about 95% of the digital version so manual adjustment may be necessary.

Oracle to create 70 new Jobs in Ireland

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Oracle has announced that it is establishing a Consulting Centre at East Point Business Park in Dublin as well as its first Northern Ireland (NI) office. Between them the new facilities will lead to the creation of 70 new jobs – 50 in the Consulting Centre and 20 in the new Belfast office.

Nicky Sheridan, vice-president and managing director, Oracle Ireland, said the consulting centre would focus on “high-end, high-value-add business consulting to design, develop and implement projects that deliver a high return on investment for customers”.Roles being hired include functional consultants, project managers, technical architects, solution architects and developers.

New Travel Aggregator- Mobissimo

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Wired recently brought to my attention the growing number of travel aggregators that are competing to offer the general public cheap air fares.

The new kid on the block is Mobissimo which is the brain child of Stanford University graduates (former graduates of Stanford have created companies such as yahoo and google).

Mobissimo takes a visitor's query and scours about 80 other travel sites and search engines, typically returning a wider array of prices, airlines, and options. The fledgling company already handles about 500,000 travel searches a month.

The site has received favourable reviews from Wired, CNN and Business Week.

I decided to test the site by pricing flights from Dublin to Barcelona in January, the search took about 20 seconds and produced a large number of results, ranging from 143 return to 1807 Euro.

The only issue I have with these aggregators is they cannot pick up on all the deals that the airline offer, some times you just have to visit the individual airlines to check e.g aerlingus and Ryan Air


http://www.mobissimo.com/

Finding the Right Processing Architecture for AES Encryption

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AES is a processing-intensive algorithm that requires tons of MIPS on processor architectures.

Bruce Schulman at Commsdesign reviews how general-purpose processors, vector processors, and DSPs stack up at handling this encryption algorithm.

CommsDesign - Finding the Right Processing Architecture for AES Encryption

WIFI Finder - keyring detector

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Kensingston have a WIFI Finder which I know my colleague Bernie Goldbach would love to get his hands on.

As the blurb from the kensington site points out

* No more booting up notebook to find a WiFi signal
* Detects most available WiFi networks with the press of a button
* Three lights indicate signal strength
* Compact and lightweight design fits in pocket
* Detects 802.11b and 802.11b/g signals up to 200 feet away
* Filters out other wireless signals
* No software or computer required

Fuji F700 Digital Camera

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f700.jpeg

I recently purchased a fuji f700 camera, I found the website www.dcresource.com to be an excellent impartial source for digital camera reviews. Essentially we wanted a compact camera that took good portrait photos. I have the camera about a week now and the images seem to of good quality, the 512 MB XD card means I can store about 320 6 Mega Pixel images. I will set up a flickr account in the near future and upload some images

The Spec of the camera are as follows (taken from amazon.co.uk)

3.1 million S-Pixels and 3.1 million R-Pixels
6.2 million photodiodes, delivering 6.03 million recorded pixels
In accordance with CIPA regulations on pixel count
Newly-designed, ultra-sharp Super EBC Fujinon 3X zoom lens
Ultra-fast start-up (1.2 seconds)
Improved autofocus performance
High quality VGA motion capture at 30 frames per second with sound matching camcorders for motion picture smoothness
RAW Mode enabling unprocessed file saving

Sun - Star inniative for academia

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Sun Microsystems (www.sun.com) has announced the Sun Technology and Academic Resources (STAR) initiative, bringing together several programs to reduce the cost and complexity of managing network systems for the education IT community.

One of the new inniatives is the Global Education and Learning Community (GELC), which is a gathering place for Java technology-related researchers and educators. It provides a medium for sharing open-source educational tools, open-learning standards and implementations, and open-course learning materials. The GELC portal (http://community.java.net/edu-jelc) is the host site for the group's initiatives, and currently features more than 130 projects initiated by the more than 900 members of the global community, representing 20 countries.


Sun Heats Up the Education World

D-link access point now running on Linux

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D-Link has released source code, under the GNU GPL license, for a MIPS-based ADSL router with a built-in four-port switch and wireless 802.11g/b radio. The DSL-G604T supports "all major ISPs," D-Link says, and has been marketed primarily in Australia, Great Britain, and Russia.

Device D-Link DSL-G604T wired/wireless ADSL router

PhD Weblogs

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A warm welcome to users of phdweblogs.net. My site is now being linked by phd weblogs which is great as its a growing community with ideals that I endorse.

I have been quiet busy the past few days researching some RISC issues, the implementation of bit masking has proven to be very challenging.

DVD killed the VCR star

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The Register reports that after 25 years of selling VCR's Dixons are to stop selling them before christmas. Dixons said the machines will be out of its shops before Christmas. Sales of DVD players at Dixons are currently outstripping sales of VCRs by 40 to 1.

Dixons ditches the video recorder

RISCy Business

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Jim Turley has an interesting article on embedded.com. Where he points out thatd despite the hype over RISC, CISC processors live on. In fact, they dominate. Sometimes slow and steady really does win the race.

I would agree with his sentiments as I am currently facing some of the issues that a RISC system throws at you.

Embedded.com - RISCy Business

In this paper Kounavis et al discuss the implementation and evaluation of NetBind.

Programming the Data Path in Network Processor-Based Routers
Michael E. Kounavis, Andrew T. Campbell, Stephen T. Chou and John Vicente

Abstract
In this paper, we present the design, implementation and evaluation of NetBind, a high performance, flexible and scalable binding tool for dynamically constructing data paths in network processor-based routers. The methodology that underpins NetBind balances the flexibility of network programmability against the need to process and forward packets at line speeds.

Network Processor Paper - Understanding Network Processors

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Niraj Shah who has authored several papers on network processors wrote the following article in 2001.

Understanding Network Processors By Niraj Shah

As he states in the paper the intended audience is

This document presents a survey and analysis of network processors. It is intended primarily for four major audiences:

· Network processor architects who want to know the technical details about current network processor offerings

· Network processor product managers who want to know the features, performance, and range of target applications of their competitors' products

· Users of network processors who want to incorporate them into their products but are having trouble choosing which device best suits them

· Developers and designers in network processor related fields, like network processing software, network co-processors, and network testing equipment

Kozio Inc announces support for Intel Network Processor

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(PRWEB) November 18, 2004 -- Kozio, Inc., a leading developer of embedded systems software, today announced its support of the Intel® network processor product lines, including the new Intel IXP460, Intel IXP465, IXP2325 and IXP2350 network processors. Kozio, a general member of the Intel Communications Alliance, develops software solutions that verify design and validate hardware for embedded single-board computer systems. Kozio will provide support in December to a limited number of partner board designers offering IXP23XX reference designs, and full support for both families will be available to all board designers in Q1 of 2005.

Full Press Release

New O'Reilly Book - Smart Home Hacks

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O'Reilly has published a book about using gadgets such as X10 devices to build automated home security, convenience, and entertainment systems.

Smart Home Hacks, by Gordon Meyer, looks at relatively inexpensive ways to make your home the envy of the Jetsons.

The book covers how to:

Turn on lights automatically upon entering a room, or when the sun sets, or only when needed

Send reminders of important events to cell phones, email accounts, or pagers

Alert everyone in the house with chimes or voice announcements

Monitor the driveway, mailbox, refrigerator door, or litter box for activity

Monitor the home when nobody is there

Control the entire house from a web browser

Bluetooth SIG announces new core spec version 2.0 + EDR

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The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) recently announced the adoption of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 2.0 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). Increased data rates – up to three times current levels – and lower power consumption will improve the Bluetooth user experience when running multiple Bluetooth devices simultaneously and transferring large data files, as well as enabling longer battery life in mobile devices.

The main features of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 2.0 + EDR are:
• 3 times faster transmission speed (up to 10 times in certain cases)
• Lower power consumption through reduced duty cycle
• Simplification of multi-link scenarios due to more available bandwidth
• Backwards compatible to earlier versions
• Further improved BER (Bit Error Rate) performance

XD card dilemma

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I am trying to decide which XD storage medium to purchase, 512 MB could seem excessive for a 3MP camera, but I suppose you can never have enough storage

Fuji Fujifilm 512MB XD Picture card

My colleague Istvan Matyasovszki in UL sent me this info.

Intel are conducting a web cast today titled
"Designing Security Solutions for Scaleability Using Network Processors and Open Modular Systems"

Overview:
Security services are deployed from hosted managed services at the edge all the way down to Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Customer Premise Equipment (CPE). Traditionally, these solutions are implemented using disparate platforms and system architectures, increasing the challenge of new and sustaining development across multiple platforms. This presentation will highlight how network processors and open modular systems enable convergence of multiple market-specific platforms into a single common platform that allows re-use and transparent scaleability from the low-end to the high-end.

Times:
Greenwich Mean Time Wed, Nov 17, 2004 19:00
Eastern Standard Time Wed, Nov 17, 2004 02:00 PM
Pacific Standard Time Wed, Nov 17, 2004 11:00 AM

UL car park madness

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I had to visit the University of Limerick today, I drove into the pay car park and drove around it for 10 mins trying to find a parking spot, I eventually had to leave it and pay 2 euro for the experience.

I eventually found parking opposite the UL concert hall, they are digging up the whole area at the moment, so I'm hoping the road I drove in on will still be open. At least in Tipperary Institute students do not have to pay for the priviledge of parking their car.

Upperchurch Ladies Football are Junior B Champions

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Congratulations to the Upperchurch Ladies Football team who are the Tipperary Junior B Champions.

Upperchurch Hill Walk

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On Sunday the 15th of November, the Upperchurch hillwalk was officialy launched by Michael Smith T.D.

The walk takes in the scenic hill of Knockalough, the route crosses the hill and provides a variety of terrain from forestry to open fields. It takes approximately 3 hours to complete the walk.

A good crowd turned out on Sunday and the pipe band piped the walkers off on the start of their journey.

Network Processor Papers - IEEE Micro Special issue

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IEEE Micro magazine has a special issue on network processors. The Sept - Oct 04 issue has in total

The table of contents reads as follows:

p. 7-9 Guest Editors' Introduction: Network Processors for Future High-End Systems and Applications
Ioannis Papaefstathiou, Nikos A. Nikolaou, Bharat Doshi, Eric Grosse

p. 10-18 Synchronous Dataflow Architecture for Network Processors
Jakob Carlström, Thomas Bodén

p. 20-33 PRO3: A Hybrid NPU Architecture
Ioannis Papaefstathiou, Stylianos Perissakis, Theofanis G. Orphanoudakis, Nikos A. Nikolaou, George Kornaros, Nicholas A. Zervos, George Konstantoulakis, Dionisios N. Pnevmatikatos, Kyriakos Vlachos

p. 34-44 NePSim: A Network Processor Simulator with a Power Evaluation Framework
Yan Luo, Jun Yang, Laxmi N. Bhuyan, Li Zhao

p. 45-54 NP-Click: A Productive Software Development Approach for Network Processors
Niraj Shah, William Plishker, Kaushik Ravindran, Kurt Keutzer

p. 55-69 Optimization and Benchmark of Cryptographic Algorithms on Network Processors
Zhangxi Tan, Chuang Lin, Hao Yin, Bo Li

p. 70-78 Integrating Cache Coherence Protocols for Heterogeneous Multiprocessor Systems, Part 2
Taeweon Suh, Hsien-Hsin S. Lee, Douglas M. Blough

half life 2 graphics card

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I am considering upgrading the graphics card on the home pc, one of my benchmarks is that it should be capable of playing half life 2. The other is that I shouldn't have to take out a second mortgage.

Some websites have done some benchmarking of half life 2 apparently it needs direct x9 support and 256 mb of ram. It seems that the geforce cards are being forced to run in direct x8 mode. So far the best contender is the radeon 9800. Its still pricy (EUR 154)


Sapphire ATI Radeon 9600 AT 256 MB AGP 8x

Fox to create series for wireless phones

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In what appeared to be the first arrangement of its kind, Twentieth Century Fox said Wednesday it would create a unique series of one-minute dramas based on its hit show "24" exclusively for a new high-speed wireless service being offered by Vodafone PLC, the world's biggest cell phone company.

Vodafone will begin offering the one-minute episodes in January in the United Kingdom, coinciding with the start of the fourth season of the show on a satellite TV service.
The "mobisodes," as they're being called, will be introduced later in 2005 in up to 23 more countries where Vodafone operates, mainly in Europe, as well as in the United States through the company's Verizon Wireless joint venture.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - TV

Ultra Wide Band Standard Pledged by Year's End

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The wireless replacement for USB, ultra wide-band (UWB), will be ready by late December and without the formal approval of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, a leading group promoting the revolutionary technology has promised.

The spec will be formally launched tomorrow, a move which finally puts UWB standardization outside the IEEE's formal process, where it has been deadlocked for two years.

PCWorld.com - Wireless USB Standard Pledged by Year's End

Mandrakesoft Linux is back in the black

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Mandrake Linux has been around for a few years now and lately have been reaching out to academic communities. Its popularity is growing as a desktop linux platform that installs with very little fuss.

Mandrakesoft ended fiscal 2003/04 with record sales of 5.18 million euros. The Company announced that income rose by 33 percent over the previous year (3.9 million euros).

heise online - Linux distributor Mandrakesoft is back in the black

Wireless chip embedded paper

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Japanese company Oji Paper announced November 8 that it has jointly developed technology to embed semiconductor chips in paper during papermaking processes. This invention was co-developed with two other companies FEC Group and Toppan Forms.

According to the JCN network, the embedded chip is 0.5x0.5mm and comes with a built-in antenna for wireless transmission at frequencies of between 13.56MHz to 2.45GHz. This breakthrough technology enables mass production of chip-embedded paper.

This will allow chips to be embedded into cheques, gift tokens etc.

PhysOrg: Chip-Embedded Paper for Wireless Transmission

Stormweb.ie - brewing up a domain pricing storm

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Stormweb.ie offer the lowest domain name pricing in Ireland. They have been in business for the past 6 years and recently transferred their offices from Dublin to Nenagh in Tipperary. They offer .com domains for EUR 7.50 and Linux hosting from EUR 60 + VAT.

So if you can at all buy Irish! Visit www.stormweb.ie for more info

Network Processor Tutorial on NPF's IPsec forwarding benchmark

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To specify a standard for measuring IPsec forwarding performance, the Network Processing Forum has developed the IPsec Forwarding Application Level Benchmark. The benchmark is specified in text, not code, to enable benchmarking of widely divergent network processor (NP) architectures.

Manohar Castelino and Frank Hady of the network processor forum have written an article for Commsdesign.com. In this article, they take a detailed look at the benchmark, examining the key technical elements that must be examined to determine IPsec performance.

The article looks at forwarding rate, throughput, and latency tests. It also examines related work being conducted by other standards bodies.

CommsDesign - Tutorial on NPF's IPsec Forwarding Benchmark

Google Jobs in Ireland

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Google are hiring again for the Irish operation in City West. This is part of growing recovery of IT in Ireland.

This time they are looking for
# Contracts Administrator
# Cluster Systems Administrator
# Head of Inside Sales
# HR Generalist
# IT Field Technician
# Network Engineer
# Oracle Applications DBA, Financials
# Online Sales and Operations Coordinator
# Online Sales and Operations Director
# Online Sales and Operations Manager
# Online Sales and Operations Team Lead
# Recruitment Specialist
# Site Reliability Engineer
# Site Reliability Manager
# Tax Accountant

Google jobs in Ireland

Irish broadband to pilot Wimax with Intel

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The Irish ISP Irish Broadband are to collaborate with Intel Ireland to provide a WiMAX base station at the Intel Ireland site which will allow local businesses, households and schools to avail of high speed internet access using this technology.

This venture is the first installation in Ireland of WiMAX compatible equipment operating in the commercial 3.5GHz frequency spectrum. As part of this roll out, Intel and Irish Broadband are offering free high speed wireless internet connectivity over WiMAX technology for a three year period, to eight primary and post primary schools in Leixlip and the new Leixlip Library, which is currently under construction.

Irish Broadband holds 3.5 spectrum licences in 16 cities and towns in Ireland including Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Waterford. As the company expands services to these areas WiMAX will be an integral part of the network.

WiMAX is a standards-based wireless technology that provides high-throughput broadband connections over long distances. WiMAX can be used for a number of applications, including broadband internet connections, hotspot and cellular backhaul, and high-speed enterprise connectivity for businesses. Wireless broadband will revolutionize people's lives by enabling a high-speed connection directly to the information they need, whenever and wherever they need it. It is a fast, superior, always-on, unlimited usage broadband internet service and customers do not require a phone line to avail of this service so they can use the Internet and their phone at the same time.

Intel / Irish Broadband WIMAX pilot scheme

US Election Ohio - video the vote footage

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Dave Pentecost is one of a number of volunteer filmmakers who worked with Michael Moore to document election day conditions at polling sites throughout Ohio. Dave sent BoingBoing a short movie comprised of excerpts from footage they captured on November 2, 2004. Much of it was apparently edited on laptops in the back of a bus.

The short film highlights some of the problems people had voting as well as some questionable tactics employed by republican campaigners at voting. These campaigners shyness to video cameras is also very noticable.

Video the vote

IP Fabrics is a relatively new company that claim to offer a radical new approach to designing s/w for network processors. The following is taken from their website

"The radically different approach, which is targeted to Intel’s IXP2xxx NPU family, consists of a very-high-level packet processing language (called PPL, or Packet Processing Language) and a virtual machine environment for it on Intel NPUs. The language and environment are well suited for any application based on IP technology, including firewalls, VPNs, security gateways, intrusion detection, content switching, application-layer firewalling, SPAM filtering, traffic monitoring, and many more. The product fits seamlessly with the NPF (Network Processing Forum) APIs and with Intel’s IXP Portability Framework and development tools. "

They also have a paper describing PPL, it can be found here.

ARM Book - ARM System-on-Chip Architecture

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0201675196.02.TZZZZZZZ.jpg

This text book has joined my research book shelf after being recommended by several lecturers. The book is written by Steve Furber and is highly recommended by Amazon readers

The book covers:

-presents and discusses the major issues of system-on-chip design, including memory hierarchy, caches, memory management, on-chip buses, on-chip debug and production test

- provides an overview of the ARM processor family, enabling the reader to decide which ARM is best for the job in hand

- describes the ARM and Thumb programming models, enabling the designer to begin to develop applications

- covers all the latest ARM products and developments, including StrongARM, the ARM9 and ARM10 series of cores, and the ARM-based SoC components at the heart of Ericsson's Bluetooth technology, the Psion Series 5 PDA and Samsung's SGH2400 GSM handset

- includes details on the AMULET asynchronous ARM cores and the AMULET3H asynchronous SoC subsystem


ARM System-on-chip Architecture

IEEE wireless standards book

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IEEE standards press have just published a book titled
"Wireless Communication Standards"

The book includes
- Comprehensive overview of WLAN, WPAN, and WMAN (IEEE 802.11™, 802.15™, and 802.16™) standards
- Discusses deployment of WLAN networks
- Includes over 100 figures and diagrams
- Identifies research problems
- Explains current business trends
- Provides understanding of future standards development

I will be adding this to my essential reading list

For Sale - Cisco PIX Source Code

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As a CCNA instructor and security consultant I was alarmed to learn that a group called The Source Code Club says it's selling the blueprint for an older version of the popular Cisco Systems Pix firewall for $24,000.

As the group says in an online statement to news groups: "This release is significant because Pix is vital to the security of many ultra-secure networks."

The group specifically boasts code for the Pix 6.3.1 source code, which was replaced in July with 6.3.4.

Cisco told a news organization it is aware of the online offer and was investigating its authenticity. The California-based company suffered a source code leak in May, but no one has said if this latest offer from the hackers, previously known as Larry Hobbles, is related.

ACM transaction on embedded computing have a call for papers on the following.

SoC design complexity threatens continuation of current design schemes. In fact, designing SoC requires concurrent design of complex embedded software and a sophisticated hardware platform that may include several heterogeneous CPU subsystems. The lack of early coordination between different teams belonging to different cultures causes delay and cost overheads that are no more acceptable for the design of embedded systems. Programming models have been used to coordinate software and hardware communities for the design of classic computers. A programming model provides an abstraction of HW-SW interfaces and allows concurrent design of complex systems made of sophisticated software and hardware platforms. Examples include API at different abstraction levels, RTOS libraries, drivers, typically summarized as hardware dependent software. This abstraction smoothes the design flow and eases interaction between different teams belonging to different cultures, hardware, software and system architecture. This special issue addresses the application of this concept to SoC with emphasis on practical issues.

Submission date is Feb 15 2005

More details can be found here

Play.com now selling books to Irish consumers

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Up until recently if an Irish consumer wanted to buy books online they would use amazon.co.uk, this meant incurring a hefty shipping charge in the region of 3 - 5 euro.

Play.com who sell cd's and games online have now started selling books. Unlike amazon they quote the price in Euros and include shipping with the price.

I think I am going to have to get more book shelves.

Papers on real time and embedded Linux

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LinuxDevices.com has published proceedings from the Sixth Real-Time Linux Workshop held in Asia, at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

The papers span a broad range of topics ranging from fundamental real-time technologies, to applications, to hardware, to tools. As usual, the conference was organized by the Real-Time Linux Foundation.


25 papers on real-time and embedded Linux

Debian Linux cross compile tool

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Linuxdevices.com reports on an open source project that could be of benefit for my PhD research.

Scratchboxis an open source project to simplify cross-platform software compilation. They have recently made several advances that may interest embedded device developers. The project is helping Debian ARM strive for parity with Debian x86 by enabling package maintainers to build native ARM applications on fast x86 PCs, without modifying package build scripts

Cross-compile tool helps Debian ARM Linux catch up with x86

Google alert sent me the following link the other day.

Programming Challenges in Network Processor Deployment C. Kulkarni, M. Gries, C.
Sauer, K. Keutzer

http://www-cad.eecs.berkeley.edu/Respep/Research/mescal/publications/KGSK_cases03.html

Abstract:

Programming multi-processor ASIPs, such as network processors, remains an art due to the wide variety of architectures and due to little support for exploring different implementation alternatives. We present a study that implements an IP forwarding router application on two different network processors to better understand the main challenges in programming such multi-processor ASIPs. The goal of this study is to identify the elements central to a successful deployment of such systems based on a detailed profiling of the two architectures. Our results show that inefficient partitioning can impact the throughput by more than 30%; a better arbitration of resources increases the throughput by at least 10%, and localization of computation related to the memories can increase the available bandwidth on internal buses by a factor of two. The main observation of our study is that there is a critical lack of tools and methods that support an integrated approach to partitioning, scheduling and arbitration, and data transfer management for such system implementations.

US Presidential race - electoral-vote.com

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This site was recommended by a post on userfriendly.org.

www.electoral-vote.com takes into accounts all the various polls etc and provides a non partizan view of the stats.

At the moment they are predicting Kerry to win with 283 and Bush with 246.

Hopefully this will be the result ...

Back online

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The website is back online, we had a problem with a NIC I believe but now everything should be back to normal

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2004 listed from newest to oldest.

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