A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

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Raion-Fox
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:25 pm

ClassicHasClass wrote:I still want a Talos.


Me too
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017

Unread postby Krokodil » Sat Mar 04, 2017 5:28 pm

Raion-Fox wrote:
Dead end since Compaq killed it off in the early 2000's - the BSDs have been steadily dropping it and performance-wise PA-RISC and Itanium at their highest end both kill it off.


Still they're very nice systems. It's a pity they get no love.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:54 pm

Very expensive on the secondhand market. I had a DS20. I didn't know what to do with it after a time so I sold it as part of the crap that funded my first Tezro. I miss Byakuren. She was big and noisy but very fun
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I am probably posting from yangxiaolong, HP Z230 with Xeon E3-1230v3, 16GB RAM, GeForce 750ti, and running NetBSD and Windows 8.1 Embedded.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Krokodil » Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:36 pm

Raion-Fox wrote:Very expensive on the secondhand market. I had a DS20. I didn't know what to do with it after a time so I sold it as part of the crap that funded my first Tezro. I miss Byakuren. She was big and noisy but very fun


I have a DS10 and I don't know what to do with it. I'm mulling the possibility of selling Vandoc.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:03 pm

You can run VMS, Tru64, Alpha Linux or Alpha Net/OpenBSD if you wanted... but it's a machine that a $6 laptop (I got a working Inspiron 1501 for $6!) can kick the tar out of it with little redeeming qualities outside of those OSes.

IRIX and SGI have style and charm.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Elf » Sat Mar 04, 2017 9:22 pm

I have some Alpha machines (DEC 3000, Alphaserver 800, DS20L), and still looking to pick up a MicroVAX of some sort to replace one I had to get rid of years ago. They are not fast, in a modern sense, but very well built and certainly worth it for the historical aspect, if nothing else.

But they certainly give a very "technical" feel, not as quirky and fun as SGI.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby guardian452 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:08 pm

My only complaint is about your argument with Intel ME/PSP and the NSA and then turning around to suggest chromebook as a solution :lol:

Is this a serious concern with modern macs and PCs with secureboot enabled or more of a linux tinfoil hat type thing? Because I imagine that if such a system was so vulnerable it would be more widely attacked. I understand the argument but I dont think we're getting the whole story. Like, I think this is disabled on my laptop OOB.

After 2016/11/08 a lot of people (quasi-layperson like me) suddenly became interested in this sort of stuff, I think ;)

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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Sat Mar 04, 2017 10:29 pm

guardian452 wrote:My only complaint is about your argument with Intel ME/PSP and the NSA and then turning around to suggest chromebook as a solution :lol:


You can install Linux on many chromebooks and they run the open source Coreboot firmware. They're not bad.

guardian452 wrote:Is this a serious concern with modern macs and PCs with secureboot enabled or more of a linux tinfoil hat type thing? Because I imagine that if such a system was so vulnerable it would be more widely attacked. I understand the argument but I dont think we're getting the whole story. Like, I think this is disabled on my laptop OOB


The ME and PSP are NEVER disabled on a modern PC. They cannot be disabled because they've been made integral to the boot process. They initialize the ethernet jack, control basic boot functions etc. There's several attack vectors: NSA and other government agencies can EASILY tape your computer and steal your data as the ME/PSP possess phone home capabilities, even when the system is powered off. They can dump memory contents, interfere with or sniff your encryption keys if you make them on the machine. All of this can be sent back to Intel/AMD, or government agencies.

You may say "I have nothing to hide" but I'm a libertarian - and I think we are entitled to the government not snooping in our business, plus I don't trust the government nor the law enforcement to treat me fairly so I do things like refuse searches, refuse them entry without warrants and the like. I don't dislike them or intend to make their jobs harder, more I want them to have to follow the rules set forth.

As for hackers, all they need to do is compromise Intel or AMD's private key (It appears to be different for each revision of the ME, but still - thats every machine since the C2D era running around with code that could be exploited!) and boom, they could have access to the same shit Intel does. If a bunch of script kiddies can hack Sony, Xbox Live etc. then they sure as hell could do it to Intel or AMD and steal all of your personal information.

guardian452 wrote:After 2016/11/08 a lot of people (quasi-layperson like me) suddenly became interested in this sort of stuff, I think ;)


Not to get further into taboo subjects, but I trust nobody who works in the 'ol white buildings in DC.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Y888099 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:43 am

Raion-Fox wrote:The ME and PSP are NEVER disabled on a modern PC. They cannot be disabled because they've been made integral to the boot process. They initialize the ethernet jack, control basic boot functions etc. There's several attack vectors: NSA and other government agencies can EASILY tape your computer and steal your data as the ME/PSP possess phone home capabilities, even when the system is powered off. They can dump memory contents, interfere with or sniff your encryption keys if you make them on the machine. All of this can be sent back to Intel/AMD, or government agencies.


So, the line is tapped like in the Matrix movie.
How does it work? Is there any technical document about?
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby robespierre » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:53 am

Y888099 wrote:So, the line is tapped like in the Matrix movie.
How does it work? Is there any technical document about?

Summary from Qubes' Joanna Rutkowska: http://invisiblethings.org/papers/2015/x86_harmful.pdf
Since then more has come out.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Dodoid » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:59 pm

AMD is supposedly considering open sourcing some stuff after a tremendous amount of community support for it sparked by a Reddit AMA. Don't know how much will come of it, but it's supposedly being discussed with some very important people.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:20 pm

Context would be nice.
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:Octane2: R12000A 400MHz V6 2.5GB RAM
:Indy: (Acclaim) R4600 133MHz XL Graphics 32MB RAM
:Indy: (Challenge S) R4600 133MHz (MIPS III Build Server)

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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby bifo » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:07 pm

regarding the alpha as a platform, we may yet see a revival of it thanks to the chinese government's complete lack of respect for copyright law and large force of hackers in the 90s:
https://www.nextplatform.com/2016/06/20 ... rcomputer/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunway

back in the late 90s there was a security breach on DEC Japan's servers, which was cut off once discovered, but not before the intruder had downloaded a significant portion of the files necessary to clone an alpha processor.

otherwise i do want a talos but i can't imagine spending that much money on a computer when i can pick up a pre-me intel laptop that's still going to be faster than most arm machines

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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby praetor242 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:19 pm

The Sunway TaihuLight is a beautiful system. Nice rack design and plenty of shiny lights. It's just sexy, even if it is Chinese. But it's exciting it's running an Alpha-ish processor. As much as I love, love, love SGI machines, I'd love them even more if they had Alpha chips in them. :p Those things are just brutes, and still being used for production work to this day. Of course, I don't think we'll ever see the Sunway chips hit a larger market. Not here anyway. Too much paranoia.
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Re: A Guide on Your Options for non-x86 Computers (2017)

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:21 pm

Sunway Taihulight is NOT Alpha based, I would know as I was in China, did some research there. its not Alpha-based, the Bluelight is however. Taihulight actually is a pretty weak supercomputer compared to its peers, the metrics shown on wikipedia are questionable at best.
:O3x02L: R16000 700MHz 8GB RAM kanna
:Octane: R12000 300MHz SI 896MB RAM yuuka
:Octane2: R12000A 400MHz V6 2.5GB RAM
:Indy: (Acclaim) R4600 133MHz XL Graphics 32MB RAM
:Indy: (Challenge S) R4600 133MHz (MIPS III Build Server)

I am probably posting from yangxiaolong, HP Z230 with Xeon E3-1230v3, 16GB RAM, GeForce 750ti, and running NetBSD and Windows 8.1 Embedded.
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