Monthly Archives: May 2020

TSR – The Server Room – Shownotes – Episode 25

ARM Chips, RockPro64 , and ARM Development boxes

We talked about ARM Chips and architecture back in other episodes when We talked about Single Board computers at Episode 03.

Today I want to talk about two ARM based devices I came across one laptop and one desktop.

Lets look at ARMs History first

The British computer manufacturer Acorn Computers first developed the Acorn RISC Machine architecture (ARM) in the 1980s to use in its personal computers. Its first ARM-based products were co-processor modules for the MOS Technology 6502 based BBC Micro series of computers

The official Acorn RISC Machine project started in October 1983. They called it ARM2. They chose VLSI Technology as the silicon partner, as they were a source of ROMs and custom chips for Acorn. Wilson and Furber led the design. They implemented it with efficiency principles similar to the 6502.[23] A key design goal was achieving low-latency input/output (interrupt) handling like the 6502. The 6502’s memory access architecture had let developers produce fast machines without costly direct memory access (DMA) hardware

Acorn computers itself has a rich and troubled history worth reading up on it on its own or even watching the BBC movie – Micro Men . I linked in the shownotes on Youtube.
Also can read more in detail of ARMs history using the links in the shownotes.

The Next major step forward into success for ARM is when Apple and Acorn began to collaborate on developing the ARM, and it was decided that this would be best achieved by a separate company.

The bulk of the Advanced Research and Development section of Acorn that had developed the ARM CPU formed the basis of ARM Ltd. when that company was spun off in November 1990. Which is the ARM of We more familiar with

Both its 32bit and 64bit ARM CPUs have a wide variety of support in Operating Systems (Embeeded, Mobile OS, Desktop OS, Server OS)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture#Operating_system_suppo

Pinebook Pro – The Laptop for Linux and BSD

The Laptop is one of the cheapest ones You can find the 199$ Pinebook Pro which uses the RockPro64 Single Board Computer (SBC)



Socionext SyncQuacer – An Expandable and Powerful Desktop Computer – Aka Raspberry Pi on Steroids

https://www.chip1stop.com/sp/products/socionext-synquacer_en

ARM Vs The Competition and Where and Why ARM is a threat to Intel and x86

While ARM CPUs first appeared in the Acorn Archimedes, a desktop computer, today’s systems include mostly embedded systems, including all types of phones. Systems, like iPhone and Android smartphones, frequently include many chips, from many different providers, that include one or more licensed Arm cores, in addition to those in the main Arm-based processor. Arm’s core designs are also used in chips that support all the most common network-related technologies.

Processors based on designs licensed from Arm, or designed by licensees of one of the ARM instruction set architectures, are used in all classes of computing devices (including in space). Examples of use of those processors range from the world’s smallest computer, to smartphoneslaptopsservers and to the processors in supercomputers on the TOP500 list, including the most energy-efficient one on the list. Processors designed by Arm or by Arm licensees are used as microcontrollers in embedded systems, including real-time safety systems. Arm’s Mali line of graphics processing units (GPU) is the third most popular GPU in mobile devices. A recent addition to their lineup are AI accelerator chips for neural network processing.

Arm’s main CPU competitors in servers include Intel and AMD.[Intel competed with Arm-based chips in mobile, but Arm no longer has any competition in that space to speak of (however, vendors of actual Arm-based chips compete within that space). Arm’s main GPU competitors include mobile GPUs from Imagination Technologies (PowerVR), Qualcomm (Adreno) and increasingly Nvidia and Intel. Despite competing within GPUs, Qualcomm and Nvidia have combined their GPUs with Arm-licensed CPUs.

ARM CPUs/Architecture definetly has the edge in Embedded Systems and Power Efficiency

Apple is also thinking about switching a Third time its Software stack to a different Architecture ARM in this case

(Motorola 68k – IBM PowerPC – Intel – ARM)

Pre- 1994 – Motorola 68k based CPUs

1994 – Transition to PowerPC ( starting with the Power Macintosh 6100 )

2005 – Transition to Intel begins ( starting with the Macbook Pro and Imac from the same year)

2021 – Apple plans to sell Macs with its own chips.

Can it be a direct shift to ARM architecture, perhaps an Apple customised ARM Chips?

ARM and Apple had met in the past when Acorn Computers and Apple created ARM Ltd. in 1990 as mentioned and also Apple Used ARM chip for its Apple Newton (( ARM 610 RISC )) which many looks at as the predecessor of modern iPads

In 1999 Apples stakes in ARM lowered to around 14%

As of today the amount of % of Apples shareholding in ARM Ltd is not exactly known , I couldnt google it up .. but Apple predicts to switch to ARM CPUs will reduce its CPU costs around 40 – 60% which makes me believe they still have to have some stock in ARM Ltd. I might be wrong however.

Links

https://www.pine64.org/pinebook/

https://www.96boards.org/product/developerbox/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARM_architecture

https://community.arm.com/developer/ip-products/processors/b/processors-ip-blog/posts/a-brief-history-of-arm-part-1

https://www.riscosopen.org/content/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Micro

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-23/apple-aims-to-sell-macs-with-its-own-chips-starting-in-2021

https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/23/21232441/apple-arm-mac-2020-5nm-processor-12-cores

BBC – Micro Men

Server Links of ARM and Other

https://www.gigabyte.com/Server-Motherboard/MP30-AR0-rev-11#ov

https://www.gigabyte.com/ARM-Server

https://en.wikichip.org/wiki/cavium/thunderx

ARM Server from Gigabyte very expensive for me: (R270 AND R120 )

https://techdata.complit.at/Gigabyte-R120-T30-%28rev.-160%29-Server-Rack-Montage-1U-1-Weg-1-x-ThunderX-2-GHz-RAM-0-GB-SATA-Hot-Swap-6.4-cm-8.9-cm-%282.5%27%27-3.5%27%27%29-kein-HDD-AST2400-10-GigE-40-Gigabit-LAN-Monitor-keiner/product.html/eid_5695517/

https://techdata.complit.at/Gigabyte-R270-T61-%28rev.-100%29-Server-Rack-Montage-2U-zweiweg-2-x-ThunderX-2-GHz-RAM-0-GB-SATA-Hot-Swap-6.4-cm-%282.5%27%27%29-kein-HDD-AST2400-10-GigE-40-Gigabit-LAN-kein-Betriebssystem-Monitor-keiner/searchResultProduct.html/eid_5695530/?q=gigabyte+r270&bk=c2VhcmNoLmh0bWw-cT1naWdhYnl0ZStyMjcw

Dally Rhythms – 2020.05.03

Tracklist

  • Rau.du – Mersey Angelic (Battric and MIVU Remix), 12 minor, 122 bpm
  • Mike Teknii – Mid Range (Peppe Markese and Profano Remix), 12 minor, 123 bpm
  • Carmelo Gargaglione – File e dispositivi (Manuel De Lorenzi Stripe Remix), 12 minor, 124 bpm
  • Joseph Krause – Illusioni Perdute (Luixar KL Remix), 12 minor, 124 bpm
  • PRT Stacho – Love Of An Angel (Luixar KL Remix), 7 minor, 123 bpm
  • Daniel Sanchez – Pearled Into Droplets (Nima Gorji Remix), 7 minor, 125 bpm
  • DJ Red – Raw Cacao (Ricardo Villalobos Remix), 7 minor, 126 bpm
  • Nathan Fake – The Sky Was Pink (James Holden Remix), 7 minor, 124 bpm
  • Binar Memories of the Past (Original Mix), C major, 124 bpm
  • Florian Meindl – Anomaly, 2 minor, 128 bpm
  • Dawn Razor – Warped, 2 minor, 128 bpm
  • Jacek Sienkiewicz – Kingdom Of Lo (Original Mix), 2 minor, 127 bpm
  • Jane Oak – Now’s the Time, 4 major, 129 bpm

Available for download in the archives.

MTT 166 / Relative Distance

A 110 BPM grab bag episode this time. I wanted to play Dave Angel’s Latin Lover and How I Missed You by Clatterbox and worked backward from there.

A recording of this show can be found in aNONradio’s archives: https://archives.anonradio.net/202005010600_cev.mp3 , and at mixcloud: https://www.mixcloud.com/djcev/mtt-166-relative-distance/ .

Tracklist:

  1. Mrs Jynx / Diving Loop 00:00
  2. The Pad Foundation / The Last Stand 03:03
  3. Gottfried Y. Leibniz / Leibniz’ Vierspeziesrechenmaschine 06:11
  4. Clatterbox / How I Missed You [It Catches My Heart In It’s Hands] 09:52
  5. Darkhalo / Manga Starlight 14:11
  6. Jean-Paul Bondy ft. Carl Finlow / Cold Reformer 17:38
  7. Axiom 23 / Higher Communication (Hyper Script) 21:08
  8. Bola / Sirasancerre 25:12
  9. Boards Of Canada / Pete Standing Alone 26:57
  10. Lawb / Sdhkvjeesus 31:34
  11. Clatterbox / Hard Cell [Long Distance Voice Mail] 33:35
  12. Drox / Aquanerve 37:04
  13. Skatebård / Celluloid Mirage 40:18
  14. Fluke / Mosh 43:13
  15. Enertia-sound / Lutron 48:36
  16. Dave Angel / Latin Lover 51:21
  17. FSOL / Hot Knives 55:40
  18. Legowelt / Cherri Meets The Professor 58:10

Track #16 Latin Lover by Dave Angel is from the first 2004 Ghost In The Shell tribute album. I said my piece about those two tribute albums in the show notes to MTT158, so go check that out. Latin Lover is the one slow track on that first tribute album, and is excellent, worth dropping out of Lutron for.

Project Unison by Metamatics and Clatterbox features twice in this hour, as track #4 How I Missed You and #11 Hard Cell. Project Unison was released twice, first on Neo Ouija and then on Hydrogen Dukebox. The two releases have the same content although the tracklists appear different. I own the Neo Ouija neo02lp version of the album, so I’ve used those titles above. The hyperlinks lead to Hydrogen Dukebox’s bandcamp however, so I’ve included the Dukebox titles in brackets. Anyway, that’s a very pretty IDM album, probably my favorite work by both Clatterbox and Metamatics.

This is the second week in a row Carl Finlow‘s vocals have appeared. Last week it was Out Of Time from Electrilogy+, this week it’s Jean-Paul Bondy‘s great Cold Reformer. Bondy is better known to me as Volum and one half of Volsoc. Cold Reformer is on a fun, varied album called The Path Of Most Resistors from 2006. I’ve been quietly playing tracks off it over the last few years; it’s worth a listen and is available at junodownload.

And that’s all the commentary I have in me today. I’ll be back with some electro next time, I think.

MTT 165 / Carrying Capacity

Breaks, electro, techno; continuing the theme of the last few weeks. The middle of this is maybe too subdued, but I’m happy with the hour overall.

Due to technical difficulties this show did not air on aNONradio as planned. It was recorded a day later and has been uploaded to mixcloud, and rb387.net (my friend’s server). This show would have originally aired on 2020-04-25; this tracklist is being added to aNONradio’s blog to preserve continuity.

Tracklist:

  1. ADJ & Pathic / Scenario 00:01
  2. Dj HasH / Rumbo A Eddion 03:43
  3. MAS 2008 / World’s Passing By 06:13
  4. Popkomm / Input 10:20
  5. =UHU= / Magic Computer 13:21
  6. Lowfish / Ripped 17:08
  7. Mitch Murder / Coup de Théâtre 20:51
  8. DMX Krew / PH-830 24:56
  9. Echo 106 / Dark Strings 27:44
  10. Camomile Dawn / Louise 31:55
  11. Mikron / Re-Entry 35:13
  12. Marco Bernardi / Super Deep Voices 39:17
  13. Peshka / Averuna 42:37
  14. Enertia-sound / Electrostatic 48:16
  15. Carl Finlow / Out Of Time 53:20
  16. Namlook / Music For Urban Meditation Part III 58:00

Two tracks from the NV020 compilation on Neo Violence feature in this mix: #10 Louise by Camomile Dawn and #13 Averuna by Peshka. I’ve been playing both NV020 and NV017 a lot lately, and recommend both (and Neo Violence in general).

But I came here this week to play Carl Finlow’s classic Out Of Time. I think I first heard Out Of Time in a mix DJ Xed put out on the old electroalliance.net forums. It’s on the Electrilogy+ CD, a compilation of the three Electrilogy 12″s that were released on Device in 2001 and 2002. (Plus a few extra tracks, as the name suggests). Mr. Finlow has Electrilogy+ available on his bandcamp with an extended mix of Out Of Time, and it’s worth every penny. I’ve been waiting to play it here; this felt like the right moment.

Last thing I’ll say, I generally dislike Synthwave but I love Mitch Murder‘s work, particularly the album After Hours. It has multiple cool electro pieces on it; that’s where track #7 Coup de Théâtre comes from. If you’re like me and Synthwave isn’t your thing, give After Hours a shot.

And that’s it. I’ll be back next week (hopefully live on the radio again) with something slower to close out the month.

TSR – The Server Room – Shownotes – Episode 23 – 24

Interview With George Neville-Neil from FreeBSD – Part I. – II.

A Pre-Recorded Interview in two halves ( as the whole interview was 45 minutes) made with George Neville-Neil talking about BSD and Many other things.

George’s Website:

http://www.neville-neilconsulting.com/

Episode 23

Prolouge

I will play the first half of a pre-recorded full 45 minute interview I made with George Neville-Neil some time ago.

Once both halves aired ( in the form of Episode 23 and 24) I will upload the whole 45 minute video interview with George to the Show’s video archive website at:

https://video.hardlimit.com/accounts/serverroomshow/video-channels

I will also have some epilogue to share with You all at the end of Episode 24 / The end of the second half of the interview together with my impressions and personal opinion.


Episode 23 – Prolouge + Part 1. of Interview
Episode 24 – Part 2. of Interview + Epilogue/Personal Opinion


Episode 24

Epilogue

… (( something more )) …

George is a well-versed individual with a lifelong passion for computers and operating systems including BSD/FreeBSD.

He is the co-author of the book The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System 2nd Edition with Kirk McKusick.

He has a long list of publications and presentations / teaching history.

And amongst the odds of all the above… He is a great person and lot of fun to talk to.

George’s extensive set of work on Open Source
(extracted from his website)

  • FreeBSD, the premiere open source operating system, at the heart of many of the systems that run the Internet.
  • PTPd, the Precision Time Protocol Daemon, a BSD licensed implementation of the IEEE-1588 protocols, used to closely synchronize LAN connected hosts.
  • PCS, the Packet Construction Set, an easily extensible Python library used to write network testing and validation tools. 
  • Packet Debugger, a tool, based on PCS, for interactively working with packet streams such as those collected with tcpdump. 
  • Conductor is a system for controlling distributed systems during tests.  It is meant to replace testing by hand with multiple ssh sessions or depending on a ton of random shell scripts to execute network based tests with multiple clients.

To Know More About FreeBSD You can check the below links (( including the FreeBSD Journal which is a magazine from the FreeBSD Foundation ))


https://www.freebsdnews.com/

https://www.freebsd.org/

https://www.freebsdfoundation.org/


Podcast about BSD:

https://www.bsdnow.tv/

Links from the conversation with George:

RC2014 Website

RC2014 is a simple 8 bit Z80 based modular computer originally built to run Microsoft BASIC. It is inspired by the home built computers of the late 70s and computer revolution of the early 80s. It is not a clone of anything specific, but there are suggestions of the ZX81, UK101, S100, Superboard II and Apple I in here. It nominally has 8K ROM, 32K RAM, runs at 7.3728MHz and communicates over serial at 115,200 baud.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CP/M

http://www.digitalresearch.biz/CPM.HTM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VAX

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Kirk_McKusick

https://www.mckusick.com/