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Archive for May, 2013

Xbox One Reveal Post-mortem: Microsoft reveals expensive PVR which under limited circumstances can play games

May 28, 2013 2 comments

I’ve waited for a few days after Microsoft’s Xbox One reveal on May 21st 2013 to gather up the trickle of additional information that has been leaking out of the press in the aftermath of what has widely been considered one of the most disastrous console reveals of all time. While fanboys and media alike were quick to criticise the new machine, here I am going to present just the facts as we know them so far, and a dose of reality that some readers may find startling. Read more…

Introduction to Multi-Threaded, Multi-Core and Parallel Programming concepts

May 17, 2013 7 comments

In this article I’m going to present a gentle and modernized introduction to multi-threaded and parallel programming. While there are no concrete examples in this overview, I’m going to cover the general concepts and terminology, as well as an overview of the tools available to you as a developer to leverage multi-threaded techniques in our modern era of programming.

What is multi-threaded programming?

Single-threaded programs execute one line of code at a time, then move onto the next line in sequential order (except for branches, function calls etc.). This is generally the default behaviour when you write code. Multi-threaded programs are executing from two or more locations in your program at the same time (or at least, with the illusion of running at the same time). For example, suppose you want to perform a long file download from the internet, but don’t want to keep the user waiting while this happens. Imagine how inconvenient it would be if we couldn’t browse other web pages while waiting for files to download! So, we create a new thread (in the browser program for example) to do the download. In the meantime, the main original thread keeps processing mouse clicks and keyboard input so you can continue using the browser. When the file download completes, the main thread is signaled so it knows about it and can notify the user visually, and the thread performing the download closes down. Read more…

“Quite Interesting” Media Round-up: 13th May 2013

May 13, 2013 Leave a comment

In programming…

Figure 1. That’s some mighty cock and balls you got there bro

I came across a pretty sweet (and free) tool called CyberDuck. It lets you connect to FTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3 and Google Drive sites (among others) from a unified interface, which is pretty neat and allows you to consolidate all those file transfer apps on your hard drive a bit.

In mathematics…

I discovered the site PurpleMath which has a really excellent repository of algebra tutorials and exercises for any student or professional who needs a refresher.

In technology and IT…

This month the 75% of the UK electorate who didn’t vote for UKIP are wondering what their country has degraded into, while the other 25% are excitedly preparing for a return to the Dark Ages. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news: an image was spotted by a keen Redditter of the Mars Spirit rover drawing a giant penis on the surface of Mars; eloquent reporting as always by The Register, although the editors at Space.com were significantly less amused by these chenanigans than us luddites. In other extravagance that greatly relieved my personal travel woes, Google’s own private airport terminal is now under construction after being approved on 18th April. It’s alright for some, but poor old Kim Dotcom hasn’t been so lucky as he continues fighting the charges against him re: MegaUpload and copyright infringement. Remember when he made the MegaCar in 1999? Oh how the mighty have fallen. Read more…

Categories: Media
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