Sunday, October 25, 2020

Tesla Autopilot Not Detecting Stopped Traffic on Highway

These self-driving cars give us the false security that cars can actually drive themselves.  In terms of artificial intelligence, it seems to me that we are a long way from having machines that understand visual cues as well as humans, or your dog for that matter.  It is my understanding that most of these are using something equivalent to a graphics card for the pattern recognition.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

PassMark Intel vs AMD CPU Benchmarks - High End

It is interesting how much power some of these processors have, and how much more cost-efficient the AMD chips are.  I am especially liking the low cost of the Rizen 9 3900X.  This puts my Core-i5 7500 to shame.

A14 Bionic

The new Apple A14 bionic processor in their new iPhone and iPad Air, with its 5-nanometer circuits, benchmarks its processor power between my old iMac and my new iMac, and this is without any active cooling. This is desktop processing power on a phone. Apple is planning to use similar chips in its upcoming laptops because they are abandoning Intel processors on at least their portable devices.  

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Fwd: Xbox Series X Fridge Unboxing

Thursday, October 15, 2020

6G - Explained!

I think that 5G is not very practical yet, given that the high frequencies are easily blocked. However, this video is already talking about 6G, to come in 10 to 15 years.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Amazon Tablet

I don't need a new tablet, and I'm not sure that anyone needs tablets these days when we have smartphones, but I was pretty impressed with this $149 Amazon tablet when it was on sale for $99 last Black Friday. However, Amazon is now having a 2-day sale for Prime Members, and the tablet is only $80. 

This link claims that you can join Prime for 30 days for free...


Monday, October 12, 2020

Intel lost the game - AMD Ryzen 5000 Reveal

In the old days, Moore's law (as I remember)  said that computer power would double every 18 months.  This was true for a long time.  However, as they made the circuits extremely microscopic, the laws of physics started to get in the way.  Over the last ten years, improvements have been more incremental.  Now people get excited over a 20% increase.   

However, AMD has made some big advancements recently.

Why People Restore Vintage Computers, and How You Can Too

"Do keep in mind that fully repairing and upgrading an old computer can easily cost more than the original purchase price of that machine. Plus, if you ever want to resell your upgraded machine, there's no guarantee you'll be able to recoup your costs."

This seems like the most worthless piece of advice.  An inexpensive Raspberry PI most likely can outperform older computers.  The only reason to restore an old computer is if you are a collector, or extremely nostalgic for the days when computers were far less powerful.  

Sometimes there is older software that doesn't run on modern computers.  Fortunately, your modern computer can run emulation software to emulate almost anything, including older computers.

I could see some 8-bit enthusiasts like myself pining for the old days when computers were very simple.  From the standpoint of a computer programmer, those days were fun because the computers were far less complicated; you had access to all the hardware and you didn't have to learn an extremely complex operating system to create a program.

Fixed my Wi-Fi problem

When I got my new Internet Service, with advertised speeds up to 1000 Mbps, there was an immediate problem where I was getting only 30 Mbps using Windows 10 on my 2017 iMac. If I boot Mac OS on the same computer then I get up to 660 Mbps, which is more than I expected. You never get the full advertised speed anyway, especially over Wi-Fi.

AT&T customer service couldn't do much more than verify that the service is working. They recommended that I do a Windows Update, which didn't help and took a really long time, and I also tried reinstalling the Bootcamp drivers which helped a little.

Apparently, this is a well-known problem with the Broadcom 802.11ac Wireless Adapter Windows 10 driver on the iMac. I tried to follow the advice on many websites and videos, most of which didn't work. However, I did get the speed up to about 200 Mbps, although it was frequently less. Last night I noticed that the speed was only about 80 Mbps, which I found very disappointing.

So last night I tried a different approach. I used a program called "Driver Easy" which claims that it can update all your drivers for you automatically. People recommend that you shouldn't update your drivers unless you are having a problem because you risk breaking your computer, but I was definitely having a problem. Normally, Windows 10 will update your drives for you when it does a Windows Update, although the driver that Microsoft gives you for the wireless adapter doesn't work very well on the iMac.

The Driver Easy program will download the latest driver software, but it won't install it for you unless you pay for the program. If you don't want to pay, then it gives you clear instructions on how to install the driver yourself, which was easy for me since I already knew how to do this.

So after updating the driver with Driver Easy, I was getting speeds over 400 Mbps, which is quite adequate. If I want higher speeds then I most likely would have to run an ethernet cable from the computer to the router directly and not use Wi-Fi.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, October 10, 2020

PlayStation 5 - Official Teardown Video

Many people think that Playstation 5 is ugly, myself included, but its design is to help keep it cool.  It has a huge heat sink to cool it down.  The much smaller but more powerful XBox Series is reportedly getting very hot according to early reviews.

Why Does Wi-Fi Use the Same Frequency as Microwaves?

The other day I guessed that a router would broadcast at only 0.1 watts, which would make it about the same power as a cheap walkie-talkie.  In theory, the 5ghz band allows for higher speed, but shorter range.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Wi-fi problems with new AT&T Internet

I have resolved my Wi-Fi speed problems as best I can. It turns out the latest Broadcom drivers for Windows 10 are not good, at least not for high speed. Initially, I was getting only 30 Mbps. I did much research on the Internet, and I saw a few different websites and videos recommending switching to older drivers, a couple of which I had to download and install. I have switched between 4 versions of the drivers, and the oldest one seems to work the best. My speed tops out at about 200 Mbps, although reality might be a little less. I did a large download to test the speed and I calculated about 120 Mbps, which is at least double the speed of my old internet.

However, the same computer running Mac OS gets up to 660 Mbps with my new AT&T internet. My iPhone gets about 400 Mbps. One option for me is to run an ethernet cable to the router, which would work, although in my current setup that would not be convenient.

It was slightly helpful to turn off power saving features on the ethernet and wifi cards by selecting "maximum performance" instead.

The AT&T technical support couldn't do much other than test that the internet is working. They recommended that I do a Windows Update, which took an extraordinarily long time and didn't help. It was also recommended that I reinstall the Bootcamp software, but for some reason, the install crashes and does not finish. I tried manually copying the driver from the Bootcamp software, which helped, but I got better results by downloading and installing an older driver.

It seems odd to me that the Microsoft Windows Update installs the latest Broadcom driver that is apparently defective. This could happen with my next Windows Update and I'll have to fix this again.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Is the Smartphone Market Ready for This?

Apple has the only 5 nanometer processor available to the public so far.  It is no wonder that Apple is dumping Intel and going with their own chips on future computers. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Begin forwarded message:

From: John Coffey 
Date: October 3, 2020 at 11:29:30 PM EDT
To: Albert Nelms 
Subject: Re: Is the Smartphone Market Ready for This?

This performance is comparable to my old Core-i7 iMac computer.  On an iPad Air. 

What is astounding is how many nodes per second Stockfish gets on my five year old iPhone 6s+.  Around 2 million.  On my 2017 iMac I see 3 to 5 million. 

Best wishes,

John Coffey

On Oct 3, 2020, at 6:00 AM, Albert Nelms wrote:

iPhone 12 p, A14 chip performance review.