Saturday, July 29, 2017

New PowerPC Hardware in Sight

We have not one but two items of news on the PowerPC hardware front. Yes, you read that right. It's not just software developers still working in PowerPC. There's also some hardware development happening.

First there is the PowerPC Notebook project I blogged about back here. They've kicked off a fundraising campaign to hire Acube Systems to design a PowerPC motherboard with the following rough specs (quoted from their project blog):

  • CPU: NXP T208x, e6500 64-bit Power Architecture with Altivec technology
  • 4 x e6500 dual-threaded cores, low-latency backside 2MB L2 cache, 16GFLOPS x core
  • RAM: 2 x RAM slots for DDR3L SO-DIMM
  • VIDEO: MXM Radeon HD Video Card ( removable)
  • AUDIO: sound chip, audio in and audio out jacks
  • USB: 3.0 and 2.0 ports
  • STORAGE:
    NVM Express (NVMe), M.2 2280 connector
    2 x SATA
    1 x SDHC card reader
  • NETWORK:
    1 x ethernet RJ-45 connector
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • POWER: on-board battery charger and power-management
  • CHASSIS: standard notebook case 15,6”

As of this writing they've raised about 4,500 of their 12,600 goal. All the details of the campaign are at this post, and you can read much more at the GNU/Linux PowerPC notebook blog and the Power Progress Community website.

A small but dedicated community has gathered around this project, and if the past is evidence they're in it for the long haul, so I think this project warrants some serious consideration.

There's also another PowerPC project that might be even closer to fruition, the Talos II. Cameron Kaiser has been following this project on his blog, so read all about it there, but suffice to say they look tantalizingly close to bringing a POWER9 desktop to market.

There is no RISC in not trying.

Oh, God, that ended terribly.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

IPv4 is Apparently Ludditeville - And Also Faster

I got an email from Adam Albrec, creator extraordinaire of PPC Media Center, with a fix to a performance lag he noticed when moving to a new house. PPCMC wasn't nearly as fast in the new digs and after conversing with the youtube-dl developers, they suggested he disable IPv6 in the app. He reports it helped "IMMENSELY." He promised a new version of PPCMC which will do this automatically, but you can disable IPv6 system-wide right now in Tiger by going into Network Preferences, and under the TCP/IP tab, click the "Configure IPv6..." button and switch from "Automatically" to "Off".

In Leopard it appears you have to click on the Advanced button first to get to the TCP/IP tab, as illustrated on this University of North Carolina help page.

I also noticed on G5 Center's Internet page this tidbit:

Pro-Tip: Tobias, key developer of Leopard-Webkit, recommends disabling IPv6 in the Network system preferences for your internet connection/port on your Mac if you experience hangs when loading webpages. I can confirm that this leads to a night and day performance change for my G5. WebKit is smooth as silk now.

So disabling system-wide sounds like a good option to experiment with. Just be aware, things like Bonjour or other system services could break, but re-enabling IPv6 is quick and easy.

Que the network IT people saying, "Don't disable IPv6. Fix your @#%^&$ing network!"