August 26, 2002

Aren't computers the funniest things? We loaded up a new Xeon-MP multiprocessor computer with Windows 2000 Server. The Xeon MP processor has a special ability to emulate a second processor on each physical processor, giving up to 30-40% more performance in multi-threaded application performance. HOWEVER, because Windows 2000 Server kernel code works on up to 4 processors maximum, these virtual processors are not recognized in our new 4-way server. We would have to purchase Windows 2000 Advanced Server to make use of the additional capabilities afforded by our hardware. It doesn't seem quite fair, though, considering that when the second set of 4 processors come online - they'll only be 30% of the performers that the actual processors are.

What's interesting is that it's real hard to take sides on this. Microsoft can't very well just give away the Advanced Server kernel to anyone just because they have this virtual processor capability. On the other hand - if I licensed SQL Server by the processor, they wouldn't make me pay for an 8 processor why is it not the same with the OS. As for Intel, they gladly informed me that Linux doesn't have any restriction on the amount of processors that the OS uses out of the box.

It's a very interesting topic. It's called hyperthreading, and Intel has some whitepapers about it (and Windows vs. Hyperthreading) right here.

August 15, 2002

Do you use the Internet at all? Of COURSE you do! Well, as a user concerned with the security of your machine, you should be aware that patches for your Operating System and your software are constantly being patched and upgraded. For example, the Flash plug-in in your Internet Explorer (or Netscape) has an update out this week due to the following bulletin: Macromedia: MPSB02-09 - Macromedia Flash Malformed Header Vulnerability Issue

You're going to want to click on that link and follow the instructions so that you don't get targeted by the next 2 or 3 worms/viruses that come out. You see, new viruses tend to utilize fairly recent vulnerabilities (weaknesses) in the software you use, but may not realize you use. In this example, the Flash player is the software that allows you to view my 'typing text' animation at the top of my page. So, if at the top of the screen, you see some text typing across, you're using Flash player software, whether you knew it or not.

I've changed the minimum version for Flash on this page. It will attempt to force download the new one. If you clicked on Yes when the install box popped up, you've already been upgraded to the new version of Flash. If you clicked no, you're still vulnerable.

August 12, 2002

Why do people gamble online with money? There's places online you can go to and win cash without risking your hard earned greenbacks. Sites likeGamesville! are out there - play to win $2500 on some of their games, and the only thing you have to give up is your time (which you're going to give up anyway) and your attention (ad-driven site..).
Love stupid criminal stories? They're common in the weekly newsletter that Randy Cassingham puts out called This is True(�). Here's a story from last week that Randy's posted a visual on. You might find this story quite amusing. Sign up for Randy's newletter for free while you're at it. It's worth every penny and more..