The Haus

Monday, January 21, 2002

No AOL / Red Hat Merger

CNet is reporting that AOL is not trying to buy Red Hat after all. That's probably just as well. Thanks Slashdot.

Stupid Email Disclaimers

Someone has archived all the stupid disclaimers he has seen tacked on to the end of email messages. I love it when the disclaimer is 75x longer than the actual message. I also love it when jerks send me spam and then have the unmitigated gall to add a line saying "this is not spam" in a disclaimer. Whatever. I'd love to send them a package saying "this box is not filled with poisonous snakes."

AMD Althon/Duron Bug

There seems to be a bug in AMD's Athlon and Duron processors that causes lockups while using AGP in Linux. This is not a Linux-specific issue. AMD released a patch for Win2K back in September of 2000 for this. You can get the scoop on Gentoo Linux, which is currently being Slashdotted into oblivion. Here's a snip:
As you may know, x86 systems have traditionally managed memory using 4K pages. However, with the introduction of the Pentium processor, Intel added a new feature called extended paging, which allows 4Mb pages to be used instead. Here's the problem -- many Athlon and Duron CPUs experience memory corruption when extended paging is used in conjunction with AGP. And, this problem hits us because Linux 2.4 kernels compiled with a Pentium-Classic or higher Processor family kernel configuration setting will automatically take advantage of extended paging (for kernel hackers out there, this is the X86_FEATURE_PSE constant defined in include/asm-i386/cpufeature.h.) Fortunately, there is a quick and easy fix for this problem. If you have been experiencing lockups on your Athlon, Duron or Athlon MP system when using AGP video, try passing the mem=nopentium option to your kernel (using GRUB or LILO) at boot-time. This tells Linux to go back to using 4K pages, avoiding this CPU bug. In addition, it should also be possible to avoid this problem by not using AGP on affected systems. As soon as I discovered that this CPU bug existed (which happened, unfortunately, because my CPU has the bug), I informed kernel hacker Andrew Morton of the issue; he put me in touch with Alan Cox. Alan is going to try to add some kind of Athlon/AGP CPU bug detection code to the kernel so that it will be able to auto-downgrade to 4K pages when necessary.
Someone ran some Quake 3 benchmarks using that option. His framerate dropped from 79.4 to 79.2 so the perfomance hit barely registers. I wonder if this is part of the reason so many people complained about VIA chipsets locking up with AGP? This apparently affects every AMD processor, except the most recent revision of the Athlon XP, which includes this fix. I'm not sure how you can tell in advance if you have the newest version, other than by checking the CPUID. Check out AMD's white paper (PDF) on the model 6 (Athlon 4/XP/MP) revisions for more information.

Saturday, January 19, 2002

AOL to Buy Red Hat?

The Washington Post is reporting that AOL/Time Warner is in discussions to buy Red Hat, the most popular Linux distribution. This could give Red Hat tons of money to work on open source code and make Microsoft's life miserable. On the other hand, they might do for Red Hat what they did for Netscape. Thanks Linux Today.

NFL PS Week #2

Eeyore's picks for Playoff week 2: Bears, Raiders, Steelers, Packers. (Eeyore: Go Pack! Go!)

A.T. Hun comments: Not a chance! Bears, Patriots, Steelers, Rams.

RtCW SDK Clarification

id's Robert Duffy updated his .plan with a clarification on what was actually released last night in the Return to Castle Wolfenstein SDK.
To clear up a bit of confusion, what we released yesterday was the level editing tools and not the full SDK for Wolfenstein. Everything is there to create both single-player and multi-player maps. Also included is Escape ( from single-player ) and Beach ( from multi-player ) for reference.

The source code will be available soon.

No Old News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
August 10, 2007: SCO SUCKS IT DOWN!
July 5, 2007: Slackware 12.0 Released
May 20, 2007: PhpBB 3.0 RC 1 Released
February 2, 2007: DOOM3 1.31 Patch

January 27, 2007: Join the World Community Grid
January 17, 2007: Flash Player 9 for Linux
December 30, 2006: Darkness over Daggerford 1.2
December 19, 2006: Pocket Tunes 4.0 Released
December 9, 2006: WRT54G 1.01.1 Firmware OK with Linux/Mac

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