DEC Alpha Engineers….We salute you…..

DEC, Technology
Hallelujah, Intel has finally milked us enough, that they are now ready to give us Quickpath. Woohoo. Fresh squeeze from IDF, the Inquirer reports that intel has started handing out details about it's upcoming Nehalem family of processors and QPI (Quickpath Interconnect). This is of course a reaction to AMD's announcement and implementation of HT (Hypertransport) v3. All this might sound brand new to you and you might be thinking wow, aren't these guys cool.....Well, NO....QPI and HT are the Alpha EV7 architecture bus, rebranded.You see there used to be a company called DEC (Digital Equipment Coorporation) who's brilliant engineers designed this processor called Alpha 21364 (aka. EV7) and the associated bus structure wayyyy back in 1998/1999. Sometime after, a group of idiots (most likely accountants) decided that the company…
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SONET and Telecomm buzzwords explained….

Reference, Technology
So this is just a short tutorial, so I don't have to repeat this to every person who asks about the difference between T and E circuits. Here is the whole thing (more or less), (hopefully) once and for all.It all starts with the Nyquist's Theorem and Pulse Code Modulation. PCM is the way telephones digitize audio (your voice). Nyquist's Theorem (named after Harry Nyquist) says that "When sampling a signal, the sampling frequency must be greater than twice the bandwidth of the input signal in order to be able to reconstruct the original perfectly from the sampled version". Another way of putting this is that to accuretly encode an analog signal (your voice) you have to sample it twice as often as the total bandwidth you wish to reproduce…
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Problems with new iMacs and Panasonic AG-DVC30

Apple, Macintosh, panasonic
So from our testing in house we've found a definite problem with the new iMacs (brushed aluminum) and Panasonic AG-DVC30. The camcorder does not get detected by the system under OSX 4.10 and/or Windows XP. The problem seems to be hardware/firmware related. Almost every other camera inhouse seems to work except this one.We've also gone ahead and reconfirmed our tests at the apple store in Toronto. Same results, the new iMacs do not like the Panasonic AG-DVC30. BTW, the camera gets properly recognised by every other mac in the store (including our inhouse G5/G4/Power Book/Mac Book/Mac mini/MacBook Pros).The problem seems to stem from the initial handshake (atleast that's what we've been able to figure out until now), since the introduction of a LaCie firewire drive in the middle of the…
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CineGrid GLIF Demo….

DCinema, Research
From CineGrid GLIF...Well many of you have probably been wondering why N.E.R.D. has been a bit slow for the past couple of months. Well, August was a bit of a nightmare month (although an enjoyable nightmare for the most part). I got a chance to go to Siggraph'07 in San Diego, followed by a European trip to end the other project I've been working on (Comedia II) at Ryerson. That trip passed through Amsterdam (WOOHOO) and ended in Stuttgart with a succesful demonstation of our high-resolution low bandwidth screen sharing app which was a part of Comedia II deliverables.The screen sharing basically uses a Blackmagic Design Intensity card to share/deliver/encode the DVI output of a CAD/CAM workstation to a remote site and with the addition of our home-brew pointer control…
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Do you Mango?

Flash, Travel, Tutorial
From the pages of really useful, well designed websites comes Mango. The webapp (flash 9.0) is simple to use, well layed out and generally works well. It offers 11 Free language courses (Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Spanish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Pig Latin and Russian). So head over, sign up and learn something new. It's FREE!!!
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Second Life developers start thinking big…

Metaverse, Opensource, Second Life
So this week marks a beginning for Second Life and Linden Lab to truly start to open up second life and think about interconnected worlds and a standards for connecting them. Well, welcome boys and girls, now maybe you can throw your weight in with Intel and HP to further the standards that Croquet has been working on for years. You see Croquet has been doing exactly that for a long time (ie: being truly open source and working towards standards). For those not familiar, here is a short explanation from their site:Croquet is a powerful open source software development environment for the creation and large-scale distributed deployment of multi-user virtual 3D applications and metaverses that are (1) persistent (2) deeply collaborative, (3) interconnected and (4) interoperable. The Croquet architecture…
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Google, Opensource
So google does it again, as promised by Eric Schmidt earlier this summer, google presentations was released on the last official week of summer. Now it's not quite power point yet (remember they have had a couple of years of head start), but is quite usable and actually offers some neat features missing from the standard power point. One of them is sharing and shared editing, the other is online presentation where you can actually invite people to look at your presentation, go through it with them and discuss your points over text chat. Now I know it's not quite like standing in a room and presenting to real people, but something tells me that voice chat is right around the corner.My biggest problem -- and it's not so much…
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For all your conversion needs….

audio, conversion, graphics, Video
Head over to I've been waiting for something like this since the early days of the web and it seems like these people have done it. It's simple, go to the site, upload your file and choose which format you want to convert it to. Give them your email address and they will send you a link to the converted file when it's done. simple.They can handle more than 70 different types of graphics, 40 different document formats, 7 different types of audio files and more that 10 different video file formats. As a bonus they also allow you to do unit conversion :-)
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Slim OSX battery meter for your hemoraging menubar

Apple, Macintosh, OSX
So if your menubar is as packed as mine, you usually have to kill menubar utils just to get to your application menus (specially bad when I run Photoshop). SlimBatteryMonitor comes to rescue. SlimBatteryMonitor is a replacement power gauge for Apple's Mac OS X that tracks both laptop batteries and many UPS batteries. Multiple-battery systems (e.g. older powerbooks) are supported as well. A graphical icon shows the power remaining, and can be accompanied by a text description (battery charge in percent, or time remaining). Colours can indicate whether the system is fully charged, charging or on battery.Best of all, you can choose different display options for each battery state (fully charged, charging or on battery). You may wish to see the time remaining while on battery, for example, but show…
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Great little OSX utility….

Apple, Macintosh, OSX
SharePoints 3.5.4 is a little known gem that allows you to REALLY "manage" your samba and afs shares under OSX. It's free (donationware) and now Universal. No more limits as to who shares what with who, no more editing smb.conf by hand. It's your machine you paid for it, it came with OSX and samba so why run in castrated mode :-)SharePoints is an application or a preference pane that makes it easy to add and delete share points like in the old Finder. In Mac OS X, by default, you are limited to sharing only what is in your public folder in your home directory. This program makes it easy to share any folder.In addition SharePoints also brings back users and groups management to Mac OS X as well…
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