Spread wide before installing Vista

Link care of Bloo:

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.txt

Highlights:

  “None of the AGP or PCI-E graphics cards that you can buy today support HDCP […] If you’ve just spent $1000 on a pair of Radeon X1900 XT graphics cards expecting to be able to playback HD-DVD or Blu-Ray movies at 1920×1080 resolution in the future, you’ve just wasted your money […] If you just spent $1500 on a pair of 7800GTX 512MB GPUs expecting to be able to play 1920×1080 HD-DVD or Blu-Ray movies in the future, you’ve just wasted your money”.

“For example PC voice communications rely on automatic echo
cancellation (AEC) in order to work.  AEC requires feeding back a sample of
the audio mix into the echo cancellation subsystem, but with Vista’s content
protection this isn’t permitted any more because this might allow access to
premium content.”

“The Microsoft specs say that only display devices with more than 520K
pixels will have their images degraded, but conveniently omit to mention
that this resolution, roughly 800 x 600, covers pretty much every output
device that will ever be used with Vista.  The abolute minimum
requirement for Vista Basic are listed as 800 x 600 resolution”

“Elimination of Open-source Hardware Support”
“Elimination of Unified Drivers”

“Once a weakness is found in a particular driver or device, that driver will
have its signature revoked by Microsoft, which means that it will cease to
function.”

“Since this is a rogue device, it can be revoked… along with hundreds of thousands or even millions of other consumer devices that use the same chip.”

“Every little (normally unnoticeable) glitch is suddenly surfaced
because it could be a sign of a hack attack, with the required reaction being
that “Windows Vista will initiate a full reset of the graphics subsystem, so
everything will restart”.  The effect that these tilt bits will have on system
reliability should require no further explanation.”

“In order to demonstrate their commitment to the cause, Microsoft
have recommended as part of their “robustness rules” that vendors license
third-party code obfuscation tools to provide virus-like stealth capabilities
for their device drivers in order to make it difficult to interfere with their
operations or reverse-engineer them.  Vendors like Cloakware and Arxan have actually added “robustness solutions” web pages to their sites in anticipation of this lucrative market.  This must be a nightmare for device vendors, for whom it’s already enough of a task getting fully functional drivers deployed without having to deal with adding stealth-virus-like technology on top of the basic driver functionality.”

“Hardware
manufacturers will have to drink the kool-aid (and the reference to mass
suicide here is deliberate [Note N]) in order to work with Vista: “There is no
requirement to sign the [content-protection] license; but without a
certificate, no premium content will be passed to the driver”.  Of course as a
device manufacturer you can choose to opt out, if you don’t mind your device
only ever being able to display low-quality, fuzzy, blurry video and audio
when premium content is present, while your competitors don’t have this
(artificially-created) problem.”

EQ2: Faes not as gay as Freeport

I have work to do and I’ve already spent a bunch of time spell-checking the posts I wrote last night so I won’t spend over much time on this.

My Fury is now level 28 and a level 26 furnisher. Yes. You read right. Furnisher. I make furniture and boxes. I couldhave been a useful provisioner. But I elected the delights of making Pristine Light Ash Office Chairs and Conditioned Maple Broke Benches. Fwoah! Mark that one down to escapism.

But we’ve been playing outta Freeport and …

Alt-F4 Wall of Shame

One-time list of 5 guys names removed since people seemed to believe this was some kind of active listing.

My start to the new year

Happy New Year all; sorry for the extended absence. Last year was a tough one for me.  If you read this blog as some kind of “Statements from CRS” outlet and view me as a spokesperson for CRS; don’t read this post. Seriously, fuck off. I’m gonna write me an honest-to-god blog entry. It just happens to involve WWII Online by way of the fact I work on it. This one is for the folks who know me. If you don’t know why “Gyroscope” is funny, try reading Rafter’s blog instead.

Microsoft: Source control done wrong.

(This is a months old-post that has been sitting in my drafts list for a while, I don’t recall why I hadn’t posted it so here it is) 

We use Microsoft’s Source Safe. I’ve read numerous nightmare descriptions from within Microsoft as to how code is organized between teams and how it migrates. As I see it, the core problem lies in the way that SourceSafe (and thus Microsoft) do their branching. They literally, physically, separate the two lines of code: if you have code at version 1.2 and decide to branch there, so that you can actively continue maintaining 1.2 while working on 1.3, SourceSafe does this by creating a complete new repository for the new branch.

This makes complete sense on an end-user machine. Having my “code” directory named for the branch it is from, e.g. code-1.2 and code-1.3, makes sense. But it doesn’t make sense in the source control system.

Source Safe allows you to apply a label to a particular point in time during the source history. Other source control systems embellish on this idea by using meaningful labels which can be branched in-line. If 1.3.x is the current head of the development tree, and we need to go back and fix a bug in 1.2.x, you simply pull the files labelled 1.2.x make your changes and when you check them back in, they go back in as 1.2.x.1

This gives you a complete source history in a single repository. It makes merging changes between versions much easier. It makes it infinitely easier to work on concurrent revisions because you can branch repeatedly.

Microsoft’s source control is out of hand – different teams have their own repositories with their own unique instance of the codebase. Double check that – I’m not talking about devs with their own copy of the code on their local machine. I’m talking about the repository that they pull from. This is branching gone not just sour but thoroughly rotten.

You’ve all seen instances where the same bug has cropped up in WWIIOL, or where a bug is listed as fixed in the readme but somehow its not changed.

Well, this is primarily because we use SourceSafe, and secondly because we’re human. When you have 2 or 3 source repositories representing different versions, sometimes files don’t get checked in to the right version.

This hindrance to healthy workflow management is the biggestflaw in the SourceSafe model. It encourages coders to check-in late, when in fact coders should be encouraged to check code into their branches early, and then merge their completed and tested work into the parent branch when they are done.

Doing this establishes a workflow trend, of branch-development, merge-completion that starts with the programmers and translates up through the team. On a large project, lien managers or team leaders become responsible for up merging in changes from lower down the branch hierachy.

In a very large project, this provides you with important data on trends – it can be very useful to analyze some of the working patterns that become clear, such as regular checkins to deal with fixing common problems which might expose issues in an API design or with development tools.