Friday, July 14, 2006

Core 2 Has Arrived

I actually left work today not satisfied with myself because I wasn't understanding something my mentor was trying to explain and I felt like a moron. I should just attribute it to being Friday though and move on. Intel has finally revealed all the gory details of their Core 2 Duo line, with the Conroe chips (designed for desktops) being sold July 28. As such, there are reviews of the final product left and right, and they're pretty good. What really got me pumped about it was this article's explanation of the microarchitecture, which sounds really sweet. Maybe I'm happier that I'm actually using stuff I spent tireless hours learning last semester in Computer Architecture. It sounds like it blows the Pentium M line out of the water, which means better power consumption without sacrificing speed. Each core can handle 4 instructions a cycle, which means 8 in all on average; a rate previously unheard of. Maybe I'm just blinded by not reading up on a lot of competing chips, but it sounds like they put a lot of effort into this one, especially with the smart shared cache and macrofusion to combine instructions together. For this kind of performance, it's going to cost you no less than $500, which is probably at least double what's inside your computer (unless you're a pretty big tech geek). This pushes AMD back into the background again seeing as how their current competing chip (the FX-62) got smoked by the Core 2 in benchmarks, which is a shame because everyone likes rooting for the underdog. You gotta hand it to Intel though, they've been packing something pretty impressive without having to play up the clock rate.

What's unfortunate is that computer sales are hitting a slump right now, even more than what's typically expected for this time of year. It's hurting Dell and Apple the month, and Dell can't afford to keep losing investor confidence because they keep running out of rope to pull themselves back up. I think that article is way too pessimistic about things though, and I see an upturn due in the coming months. I reported a couple of days ago that the Firefox 2.0 Beta 1 was released, but it turns out that it's really not much of an upgrade from 1.5 to warrant the 2.0 title. Sure, it looks pretty, but part of the challenge for Mozilla is to come up with stuff that the community hasn't already provided through extensions, so they're just integrating some of the most popular stuff. It sounds like it's as great as it always was, but I think everyone was just expecting a little more. I finally have good news from Microsoft today: they're giving away Virtual PC for PCs! I'm not sure where they're getting the pressure from to do this, but I'm sure that it made VMWare a little ancy. Also, they came up with a pretty good idea of releasing something called Windows Fundamentals for Legacy PCs that turns old, crappy computers into thin clients. Hence, they run a few applications locally, and then run everything else from a server thanks to the OS. This will probably save companies a good chunk of change, especially small companies who can't afford to upgrade very often. Google has added a few new features to Google Spreadsheets, and they're cool despite how small they are. They're mostly just to make using it more intuitive, just like that scroll wheel addition to Google Maps. If you've ever wondered what IT workers make around the world, then you'll probably waste a lot of your time reading this page with postings from people from all over of all types of experience and salaries. It just goes to show that your major doesn't absolutely determine how much you'll be making. If you're like me though and still looking around, then you'll love Emurse, which actually lets you create and publish your resume online for free.

Click to enlarge

You are looking at the new, lenticular poster for Spider-man 3, which means that the angle you look at it from changes what you see (obviously from Spider-man to Venom in this case). You can get a better look at it here. I think it's a pretty great idea, and almost a no-brainer in this case! The really big news today though was the full trailer for The Prestige, and it blew me away. I now have really high hopes for this movie. The multimedia fun doesn't end there though. I also thought the trailer for 13 Tzameti was neat, and usually foreign films are pretty intriguing. I don't know how, but IGN scored the first 24 minutes of A Scanner Darkly. I'd watch it, except that my Internet blows. Moviefone has some behind the scenes footage from 300, which is always fun to watch because this movie just looks neat. There's also some footage from Transformers, but it was less thrilling. Some SNLers have joined the cast of Shrek 3 to portray various fairy tale characters from Cinderella to Snow White. I still don't have reason to have faith in this movie though because it sounds like they're making a sequel just to make one rather than because they had some good ideas. Lastly, if you can't contain your anticipation for the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, then you can find the first 56 pages of the script over here. It's strange that it's on MySpace, but it's been confirmed to be legit, though it's just from a rough draft. Oh, and it definitely has spoilers in it.

Now for Friday's Feast:

Name one thing nice that you could do for someone else today.

Give them a compliment? Pray for them? Give them a ride somewhere?

When was the last time you were frightened by the weather?

When it flooded in Houston like four years ago and I was stuck on my bus for a few hours. That was pretty crazy.

What would you say is the most useful website or blog that you visit?

Definitely Digg. I could waste so much time there while learning so much at the same time.

Main Course
Who was your favorite singer/group when you were a child?

Probably Ace of Base. Hey, it was the early 90s! They were cool back then!

Do you have any rituals? If so, what are they?

Oh yeah. Blogging! Also, I go to the gym pretty much every day. I also enjoy the rituals of eating, bathing, and urinating.


ribbiticus said...

sweet appetizer! my feast is up! ;)

Alex Rudloff said...


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