Sunday, July 29, 2007

Singularity v1.0

Looks like Singularity has reached the first release stage.
This is a project that Microsoft has been working on for a while, since 2003.
It’s basically a research OS prototype answering the question, "what if you built an OS with dependability and trustworthiness at its core from the ground up".

Here are some of the items the Singularity team is working on.

For example, Singularity uses type-safe languages and an abstract instruction set to enable what we call Software Isolated Processes (SIPs). SIPs provide the strong isolation guarantees of OS processes (isolated object space, separate GCs, separate runtimes) without the overhead of hardware-enforced protection domains. In the current Singularity prototype SIPs are extremely cheap; they run in ring 0 in the kernel’s address space.


I think the best thing about this new OS is the SIPs (Software Isolated Process).
Every program, device and system extension gets its own SIP.

Imagine this scenario...
You go out and buy some cheap ass web cam, printer or any external device and plug it into your machine. You install the drivers and restart your pc.....BAM!!! Blue Screen of Death



Your new cheap ass device just killed your OS because drivers are first class citizens and have hooks into the kernel. This scenario could not happen in a Singularity based system. In a Singularity based system the device would have its own memory space. There is no memory sharing or modifying of its own code. Every SIP gets its own data layouts, run-time system, and garbage collector. If this happened, in a Singularity based system, it would just die in its own little memory space and the rest of the OS would not be affected. Once the system finish booting, the OS can just tell you which devices have not booted and would you like to uninstall them.

I guess the other coolest part about this OS is the new language built for it called Sing#, which is an extension of C#. This language has first-class support for OS communication primitives as well as strong support for systems programming and code factoring.

Too get more info on Singularity check out their page... Singularity

Also here’s a really good white paper that goes into the specs of the whole system here.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Interview with Linus Torvalds

I just read this interview with Linus Torvalds over at www.oneopensource.it .
One of the questions that really stood out for me was this one.


A curiosity: which is your favourite distribution, and which on e do you consider more secure?

I don’t really tend to care much, I’ve changed distributions over the years, and to me the most important thing tends to be that they are easy to install and upgrade, and allow me to do the only part I really care about - the kernel.

So the only major distribution I’ve never used has actually been Debian, exactly because that has traditionally been harder to install. Which sounds kind of strange, since Debian is also considered to be the “hard-core technical” distribution, but that’s literally exactly what I personally do not want in a distro. I’ll take the nice ones with simple installers etc, because to me, that’s the whole and only point of using a distribution in the first place.

So I’ve used SuSE, Red Hat, Ubuntu, YDL (I ran my main setup on PowerPC-based machines for a while, and YDL - Yellow Dog Linux - ended up the easiest choice). Right now, most of my machines seem to have Fedora 7 on then, but that’s only a statement of fact, not meant to be that I think it’s necessarily “better” than the other distros.


I thought this to be a very funny comment, coming from a major kernel developer. Allot of Linux zealots bash windows users because of there dependence on so called dumb down user interfaces and lack of knowledge of the command line. When at the end of the day one of the main creators of Linux likes to use the distro that is the easiest to install with the dumb down GUI.

Now I know this question is talking about system installations. But I want to take it a step further to application installs. One of the major missing features that I think is holding back Linux is a standard install and uninstall service across all distros. This would make the lift to switching to Linux, for first time users, allot easier.

Full interview here...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

MonoDevelop 0.14 has been released



Here are some of the highlights...
  • Subversion add-in.
  • Refactoring operations.
  • New smart indenting for C#
  • Project exporting and conversion (includes Visual Studio 2005).
  • New features in Gtk# designer.
  • Desktop Integration Features (editor for launchers, .desktop files).

This IDE is one of the best IDE's for Mono. If your a VS lover you'll find your self at home using this IDE for linux.

Check it out here... MonoDevelop

Plus checkout the Mono Project here if you haven't already... Mono Project



TRANSFORMERS

This 4th I went to see Transformers. To sum it up in 1 word it was FANTABALISE!!!!! (like fantastic but better).

This movie takes CGI to the next level in detail and realism. The physics engines they most have on the models most be amazing because every step and bump was calculated to perfection.
Its the first movie I've seen that I actually truly forgot that I was watching CGI generated characters. Now I know they built some real models to mix in with the CGI characters but the battles were definitely complete CGI.

Now besides the fact that this is one of my boy hood dreams come true, to see the Transformers on the big screen. I do have some problems with the film. The plot was quite thin and maybe gave a total of 10 min to the origin and the reason why the Transformers are on earth. I really don't like the fact they changed the story on how they're on earth. Also like many others, I do not like the new and confusing look of the Transformers. The character development for each robot was sad. The reason a lot of us fell in love with the cartoon series is because we admired the characters and could relate to each one. In the movie they only really developed Bumble Bee and Primes characters.

Even with its flaws the movie is still a kick ass time to watch. I recommend any Transformers fan to go out and see it.

Check out these crazy Transformer fans.
They made costumes that actually transform!!!


Also checkout the trailer if you haven't seen it...