Opteron Meltdown?

Posted by cwright on 2007.03.20 @ 10:38

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For one of Kosada’s consulting clients, we’ve set up this dual-core AMD Opteron server. Normally it runs all happy-like and does what it needs to. We take care of its basic needs, and it takes care of the rest.

Opteron after meltdown

However, Tyan — the motherboard manufacturer — saw fit to include only 1 of the typical 3 heat sink mounting tabs. Somehow, this 1 tab managed to suddenly break on Sunday, March 18, at about 4:45pm.

And now the processor has Opteron Cancer. [more...]

The Sentinel

Posted by cwright on 1999.11.18 @ 17:24

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Today in Barton’s compsci class we went over simple user-controlled looping.  This allows us to collect variable amounts of input from user, without asking them explicitly for the number of fields in advance.

We used Barton’s Constant (-999) as a sentinel value to trigger the end of the data set.  In many ways this is a lame solution, since -999 may be a valid data point for some data sets, and it also requires additional instructions at each prompt to let the user know how to exit the loop.  In the future, we’ll hopefully learn how to trap Ctrl-C or Ctrl-D to make this simpler, or maybe we can simply detect a null input to indicate list completion.

Of course, all of the above is moot once we get into Graphical User Interfaces.  But for command-line stuff, I guess there aren’t really any better solutions…