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[News] U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW AssemblyANN.lu
Posted on 26-Aug-2004 12:00 GMT by Balisto (Edited on 2004-08-26 14:23:34 GMT by Christophe Decanini)27 comments
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The Senate Republican HTTF's (High Tech Task Force) Jesse Wadhams (Technology Policy Counsel to the Chairman) visited the assembly production of the Open Desktop Workstation 24 Aug 2004. See the Press Release http://www.genesi.lu/press.php?date=20040825 Genesi Photos: http://www.pegasosppc.com/gallery.php?id=111 HTTF Weebsite: http://republican.senate.gov/httf/new.htm
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 1 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by takemehomegrandma (Registered user) on 26-Aug-2004 10:45 GMT
Wow! Cool news! They are even using MorphOS on one of the pictures! :-)

The Pegasos sure gets more and more recognition! :-)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 2 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Emeric SH (195.38.100.106) on 26-Aug-2004 11:27 GMT
In reply to Comment 1 (takemehomegrandma):
Yes, I've also noticed that no Linux but MorphOS was demonstrated :) Nice :)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 3 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Emeric SH (195.38.100.106) on 26-Aug-2004 11:28 GMT
In reply to Comment 2 (Emeric SH):
And beg tell me where can I download that desktop background image :)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 4 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by priest (192.100.124.218) on 26-Aug-2004 12:01 GMT
In reply to Comment 2 (Emeric SH):
It might not be too wise to demonstrate Linux (that people use on 3Ghz machines) on a 1Ghz machine...

But what are they running in this picture: http://www.pegasosppc.com/image.php?id=1326
(on the right)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 5 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by priest (192.100.124.218) on 26-Aug-2004 12:02 GMT
btw. those pictures made me "a little bit" worried about the ESD protection of that production/assembly facility ...
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 6 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (213.226.84.72) on 26-Aug-2004 12:16 GMT
In reply to Comment 4 (priest):
Clusters ... super computers ... this might perhaps result in a dual CPU card, with 2x 1.5GHz 7447A! :-O

No RISC no FUN! :-)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 7 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Emeric SH (195.38.100.106) on 26-Aug-2004 12:34 GMT
In reply to Comment 4 (priest):
"It might not be too wise to demonstrate Linux (that people use on 3Ghz machines) on a 1Ghz machine..."

Honestly, I don't think that govt ppl can tell the difference between a computer and a coconut... :)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 8 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Christophe Decanini (Registered user) on 26-Aug-2004 14:38 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (Emeric SH):
And I doubt that a lot of people would feel the difference between a 1 Ghz and 3 Ghz computer when running linux.
I had a 300 Mhz Celeron linux which felt much faster than a P3 550 Linux.
The 300 Mhz was running just what it needed to run while the P3 had a standard Linux distrib. Most of people who have seen Linux have seen standard distributions installations which are loaded with a ton of stuff users do not need most of the time.
The advantage of having a platform like the Pegasos (or even better a set top box) is that you can install a special optimized distribution for your platform.
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 9 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Rafo (213.41.189.222) on 26-Aug-2004 16:34 GMT
In reply to Comment 6 (Anonymous):
Well, it's not supercomputers, it's the Coke machine.

Anyway, this really looks like a very hi-tech environment doesn't it ?
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 10 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Amon_Re (Registered user) on 26-Aug-2004 18:27 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (Rafo):
Yea, it must be the hairnets! :P
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 11 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Darth_X (Registered user) on 26-Aug-2004 18:52 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (Rafo):
> Well, it's not supercomputers, it's the Coke machine.

hehe ;)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 12 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Wayne Dresing PhD (216.127.82.99) on 26-Aug-2004 22:32 GMT
The Senate Republican HTTF's (High Tech Task Force) Jesse Wadhams (Technology Policy Counsel to the Chairman) should seriously pay Amiga Inc a visit as well.

Certain AmigaInc employees should contact Jesse Wadhams. I guarantee there are a lot of 'interesting' things going on behind the scenes at Amiga Inc that would astonish him, if you know what I mean. AmigaInc could show off that new t-shirt design and even bring in some OS4 BAFs.
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 13 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (65.110.6.34) on 26-Aug-2004 22:49 GMT
Come on, you KNOW we all want to see pics of Bill wearing a bag on his head!
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 14 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by JoannaK (213.130.199.15) on 27-Aug-2004 01:09 GMT
In reply to Comment 12 (Wayne Dresing PhD):
Hey.. this one is actually funny :)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 15 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (213.226.84.50) on 27-Aug-2004 04:29 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Christophe Decanini):
Gentoo! :-)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 16 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz (64.252.16.62) on 27-Aug-2004 06:32 GMT
In reply to Comment 9 (Rafo):
"Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It's because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time."
-- George Carlin
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 17 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by corpse (172.188.54.229) on 27-Aug-2004 15:13 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Christophe Decanini):
"The advantage of having a platform like the Pegasos (or even better a set top box) is that you can install a special optimised distribution for your platform."

replace pegasos with a i386 based arch(i486,i586,k7,p4), or another arch and that statement is just as valid. The difference being on i386 based Arch's A: GCC's optimisations are fairly mature (compaired with other platforms) B: The kernel actually supports cutting edge hardware in a stable fashion (i.e. you can do a hdparm -d1 /dev/xxx without corrupting your fs or panicking the kernel) C: the price to performance ratio means you can build a system that running completely unoptimised will still walk all over a pegasos but costing far less D: etc etc

Then we have platforms like the broadcom SOC's appearing in recent routers (like my fine linksys WRT54GS). The advantage isn't that you can optimise for it.. the main advantage is that you have basically a whole, albeit "slow", linux system in a "cheap" ic. Why bother investing time in a design like the Pegasos when you can build around the cheap and fast i386 arch or a SOC?

IMHO I think the name Open Desktop blah blah is a bit misleading, the use of Open suggests that I could get all the docs, code etc for this thing but I doubt that's the reality. They're seriously going to have to come up with some better ideas than catchy buzzword names or set-top boxen to move out of the hobby market.
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 18 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (213.226.84.50) on 27-Aug-2004 19:31 GMT
In reply to Comment 17 (corpse):
No offense, but your comparison is kind of pointless; it's not Pegasos motherboards they are selling in this approach, the Pegasos is just one component of the package. They are selling a service, a total solution that greatly reduce both the risc and the total cost of ownership for a company throughout time.

Regarding the cost/price of the hardware, I believe that is subject to change downwards quite soon. That not said that the price tag of the "lease" they sell in this approach will change in similar way, probably margins will become greater instead. It may however be of interest to any of us individuals interested in the Pegasos for our personal reasons, if you know what I mean! ;-)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 19 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (213.226.84.50) on 27-Aug-2004 19:40 GMT
In reply to Comment 8 (Christophe Decanini):
"The advantage of having a platform like the Pegasos (or even better a set top box) is that you can install a special optimized distribution for your platform."

There is indeed an advantage to be able to optimize the OS for hardware that you are in control of, have insight in, and where all thinkable variables are known, instead of having to constantly bear in mind that the OS may end up running on an innuendo of thinkable motherboard models and hardware configurations.
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 20 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (213.226.84.50) on 27-Aug-2004 19:46 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (Anonymous):
"It may however be of interest to any of us individuals interested in the Pegasos for our personal reasons, if you know what I mean! ;-)"

Clarification: It may however be of interest to any of us individuals interested in the Pegasos MOTHERBOARD (not counting the corporations interested in the AVALANCHE approach) if the price of the hardware itself drops!
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 21 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by corpse (172.188.2.92) on 27-Aug-2004 21:21 GMT
In reply to Comment 18 (Anonymous):
" Regarding the cost/price of the hardware, I believe that is subject to change downwards quite soon."

The price would have to drop exponetionally for Genesi to shift a decent amount of units. Frankly put, the prices of this stuff is too high for the negligible benefits.

From the press release and ODW pages, this thing is basically summed up as a PPC linux box (A Standardized PowerPC Embedded Software Development System barf!). What exactly sets it apart from the also Linux capable (and better supported) PPC boxen from Apple (aka Mac's) isn't clear other than these look like they're constructed in a factory cafeteria rather than a production facilitity. Apparently they're also yet to come up with any reason why PPC is so great.

The Chinese produce a MIPS based desktop-capable linux machine in a tiny orange cube and what do America/Europe have to offer? Ah argh I know let's stick an underpowered, expensive design in a flashy case and give it a bunch of stupid tag names.
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 22 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz (64.252.16.62) on 28-Aug-2004 05:20 GMT
In reply to Comment 21 (corpse):
The Chinese produce a MIPS based desktop-capable linux machine in a tiny orange cube and what do America/Europe have to offer? Ah argh I know let's stick an underpowered, expensive design in a flashy case and give it a bunch of stupid tag names.

That's the "Nipponese" (NEC) trying to market to the Chinese, and... hey, it's a shame that thing *is* going to be remembered here as 'that weird orange thing that runs TRON,' especially when AMD has a reference platform that could be put to similar use, and so on. (Of course, I'm not sure what to think, since on the one hand you could incorporate one into a desktop LCD at barely any cost... and on the other hand, all the ridiculous complexity already in such things is part of what's keeping prices high. Hmm, you're right, I did just accidentally reinvent Microsoft's 'Mira' in a much more corporately-useful fashion.)

Meanwhile, there's not really anything horribly wrong here, to the extent that the power consumption of a whole Pegasos (or, of course, the competing Via hardware) probably isn't *all* that different from the NEC cube per_metric_of_performance, and entities have been throwing entire 'PCs' (even ones with -- *gasp* -- moving parts, and have you ever touched a 300MHz P-II?) at the same problems for quite some time. Netbooting straight from Genesi HQ might not be the most intelligent thing for everyone (as far as I can tell, that's just an example, if I'm even reading it right), and it seems a bit silly to couch the tech on this Avalanche site (well, it seems a bit silly to make a para-proprietary solution), but if Genesi want to be a 'solutions' company this week, that's how everyone from HP to Tarantella try to make their money (and SourceForge projects probably don't impress the Republicans)...

The only ironies are that, of course, it'd be just as easy to do with OpenBSD as anything else (maybe 'easier,' if that development would've caught and squashed any lingering bugs), and unless you're Motorola, it probably *is* still cheaper to do it with commodity PCs. But drag the Pegasos to parity with the average C3 solution or overpriced big-brand pizza box (as far as I can tell, it's getting there, if only because there's no way to sell them otherwise), give it some decently functional software (okay, I'm ragging, but is any silliness with Marvell's gigabit driver really over and done?), and at least you've got something with PCI slots if you ever need to repurpose one in the field.

(Contrast Sun Rays, iMacs, the occasional Wyse Winterm or whatever the market for this junk is presently using -- An all-Pegasos deployment might actually have some vague advantages versus a hundred 'thin' clients and a small nation's GNP of Cisco in the closet to support them... and the same holds equally for AmigaOne, if anything ever straightens out on that end.)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 23 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (213.226.84.50) on 28-Aug-2004 06:35 GMT
In reply to Comment 21 (corpse):
"Frankly put, the prices of this stuff is too high for the negligible benefits."

Again, the Avalanche approach is not about selling Pegasos motherboards (alone), so it's rather a matter of showing how much value this total package brings to an interested corporation and proving that the price tag for the service as a hole (which will put the price tag of the Pegasos in a dark shadow, make no mistake about that) still is quite attractive.

"What exactly sets it apart from the also Linux capable (and better supported) PPC boxen from Apple (aka Mac's) isn't clear"

Again, comparisons between different motherboards or computer systems isn't too relevant here, because motherboards is not what the customers are buying. But I don't quite agree that the Mac's would have better linux support than the Pegasos. What do you base that statement on?

AFAIK, Terrasoft has a rather unique position as an "Apple Authorized OEM VAR" that "has been granted a unique license to install Yellow Dog Linux on Apple computers and maintain full Apple hardware warranty for home, commercial, education, and government customers". Perhaps there are others too that has the right to sell Mac's as Linux boxes, I don't know of any (but it doesn't matter). However, their "linux boxes" comes pre-configured " la Mac Desktop", which may not be suited for all occasions, and not only do they offer limited customisation possibility, they would probably also be more difficult to get good profit margins from.
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 24 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Anonymous (213.226.84.50) on 28-Aug-2004 06:50 GMT
In reply to Comment 22 (Joe "Floid" Kanowitz):
"it'd be just as easy to do with OpenBSD as anything else (maybe 'easier,' if that development would've caught and squashed any lingering bugs)"

I refrain from commenting on your tech/platform comparisons, since (as I said in other posts) I don't feel that they are too relevant in this case. I just wanted to say that I feel it's still very possible for Genesi to use OpenBSD. AFAIK, OpenBSD already runs on the Pegasos hardware, and it's an open source project so I don't see why it would be impossible to put someone other than these "loud officials" on the job? It should definitely be doable, even if it isn't officially supported, if Genesi would want to. Or why not spin off a "PegasosBSD" from it? That one would be "officially supported" enough, don't you think? ;-)
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 25 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Joe "Floid" Kanowitz (64.252.16.62) on 28-Aug-2004 08:15 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Anonymous):
I refrain from commenting on your tech/platform comparisons, since (as I said in other posts) I don't feel that they are too relevant in this case.

Hm, so what's relevant? Rays on through to iMacs and XP-chugging Intellistations are all examples of things that get leased as part of "a service, a total solution that greatly reduce both the risc and the total cost of ownership for a company throughout time." And if all that hardware didn't compare equally on some level, the vendors wouldn't be throwing it all at the same nebulous corporate niches, would they? C'mon, I even said something nice!

I just wanted to say that I feel it's still very possible for Genesi to use OpenBSD. AFAIK, OpenBSD already runs on the Pegasos hardware, and it's an open source project so I don't see why it would be impossible to put someone other than these "loud officials" on the job? It should definitely be doable, even if it isn't officially supported, if Genesi would want to. Or why not spin off a "PegasosBSD" from it? That one would be "officially supported" enough, don't you think? ;-)

Sure is, if anyone saved the source... or even if not. It's simply an 'irony' that nature called right before this corporate push... and getting it running properly (if seeking to preserve OBSD standards of IP-cleanliness/liability-avoidance, so not so much a problem if relicensing the code) *would* seem to require Marvell practice a little extra glasnost. In turn, the prime benefit of OBSD comes from the 'eyes' of the core development team, so without that advantage (or the ability to offer the equivalent with a straight face; eternal vigilance don't come cheap), you might as well screw it and go port Darwin or something. ;)

[I'm kidding, I'm kidding... Nobody should *ever* port Darwin, it's the HIV of *NIX... ;)]
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 26 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by Andreas_Wolf (80.185.1.91) on 28-Aug-2004 12:11 GMT
In reply to Comment 24 (Anonymous):
Unfortunately ekkoBSD which once was about to support the Pegasos is dead now.
U.S. Senate's High Tech Task Force Visit ODW Assembly : Comment 27 of 27ANN.lu
Posted by mm (80.144.142.105) on 11-Oct-2004 19:07 GMT
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