flipCode - Tech File - Lionel Brits [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Lionel Brits
(aka Betelgeuse)
Click the name for some bio info

E-Mail: britsc@cadvision.com

   02/25/2000, Strike Two!


Greetings from the domain of the ▀etelgeuse! I bring you another techfile! Maybe it's because Call it mental flatulence, but here are some of the latest things on my mind (apart from "Roy Jacobs appearing at the top of my techfile)

Half way to A+ (C-)?

Well, after several months of putting it off I've finally written the first part of my A+ exam. No-brainer, let me tell you! I wasn't sure whether or not I would make it after hearing some of the horror stories surrounding the exam; however, I was amazed at it's simplicity. I guess some of the folks out there just aren't technologically inclined. Words of wisdom: If you think RJ-45 is an auto-lube, A+ might not be for you.

More Self Executing RAM

No, I'm not talking about suicidal livestock here. Read my previous techfile if you can't follow. Anyway, it dawned on me that the technology for closely coupled RAM/processor arrangements has existed for quite some time now. With a great deal of knowledge of microelectronics one could mount a reduced and simplified version of the i386 chip directly onto a high capacity memory circuit.

Using the latest miniaturization techniques one could fit 16 such devices on a videocard sized circuit board. Each device could run at upwards of 200 Mhz and have direct access to it's own 4+ MB memory space. If these devices were designed specifically for this arrangement, they could be highly optimized and could communicate to each other via a high speed localized bus. After all this we have a ugly circuit board in our PC that generates a great deal of heat and RF interference and that doesn't comply to FCC regulations, but that does outperform the current high-end Pentium III and can be assembled at 15x the price.

Given a few years of R&D (not to be confused with R&R :-) these devices can look like the DIMM modules currently used for memory. All the high-level decision making of our $100k machine will be done by a single CPU while the dirty work, such as real-time full-scene anti-aliasing is done by these dedicated pions of misfortune. Given another few years of R&D, prices will come down and you'll have more digits of pie than you can swing a cat at.

If anyone has "contacts" with Intel, lemme know :-)

Virtual Machines and Imaginary Friends

After surviving a vicious attack from a worm/Trojan that exploits weaknesses in microsoft's scripting agent, I was forced to rethink some of my ideas on VM creation. I'm still convinced that a highly optimized VM can perform quite well given a large enough instruction-set. RISC is good for Motorola and silicon, but when the instruction pipeline becomes a series of if statements, highly specialized instructions are needed. Instead of performing hundreds of arithmetic and stack operations, VM code should simply invoke machine-code plugins. Ok, this goes against VM philosophy, but hey, it's my techfile. This is where my crazy idea was born. Combine Java and Flash to create a portable and flexible platform that is fast enough to handle video and audio output. Once I get a break from this annoyance called school I hope to have a simple demo ready that demonstrates this. As for security issues, leave that to the folks at M$ (they seem to be experts on that ;-)


Mmm... It seems that I need to "Punch a monkey and win", so i guess I had better finish this off and do so.



  • 10/18/2000 - A Coder's Insanity
  • 04/17/2000 - My Not-So Tech File
  • 03/28/2000 - EggNBeans, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways
  • 03/19/2000 - Midgets, Calculus And Dirty Punks
  • 02/25/2000 - Strike Two!
  • 01/27/2000 - Introduction

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