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Re: Back to the Future
antedeluvian   9/23/2013 8:33:56 PM

I don't discount your argument, but I don't think it will be an easy transition.

I wonder how far all the software has come from its Unix roots and how easy it will be going back. I remember those workstations and their price back then was certainly way beyond any personal or small enterprise development. And weren't most of them linked to a central server? And how compatible was each piece of software across the different workstations?

I do hope you're right that the gaming market would drive the cost of hardware down and force standardization.

As long as the market holds up for 5 or 6 years- then I can retire in peace.

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Re: Windows 8
antedeluvian   9/23/2013 8:18:57 PM
Hi David

Apparently  there are ways of making it look more like the older Windows. 

Windows 8.1 is supposed to address some of this, but from what I have read, it is little more than "window" dressing! When it does become available I will upgrade, but I still don't think it will work for development.

There seems to be a strong trend to use tablets as interfaces now, so I guess Android and IOS programming skills are going to be needed more and more...

I agree with you but the development is still done on a PC. I recently developed an Android application, the result of which is described here (I have mentioned it before). I had considereable difficulty in creating the Android side of the interface and I documented it in detail on Microcontroller Central in 5 or 6 blogs. Unfortunately EE Times is still trying to figure out what to do with the archives, so you will just have to take my disappointment as a given. I would hate to think the difficulty anyone would face in trying to write a compiler/emulator or suchlike to run under Android.

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Back to the Future
betajet   9/23/2013 8:17:42 PM
I just see us going back to Unix (now GNU/Linux) workstations.  Even if Microsoft abandons the desktop market, there are enough "gamers" out there who want the fastest machine to keep prices low for those of us who use computers for Serious Work.  Unix-based design software is nothing new: when I got started working professionally most ran on Sun or Apollo or proprietary "workstations".  In fact, I believe Xilinx software was first available on Unix workstations and they later added MS-DOS versions, which could only be used for small designs.  Most Xilinx tools are command-line and never forgot their Unix roots, so porting Xilinx to GNU/Linux must not have been hard to do.

David Ashton
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Windows 8
David Ashton   9/23/2013 7:48:01 PM
Hi Aubrey

Interesting questions, Afraid I can't answer them as I have not had the pleasure of working with Win 8 yet.  Apparently  there are ways of making it look more like the older Windows.  I get the feeling MS will come short with this "One size fits all" approach, but time will tell.

I worked on an Osborne 1 once - got one printing for a friend who couldn't make it work.  Also on some of the old Amstrad CP/M machines.   Also have fond memories of the Compaq Portable II, a similar "luggable" MS-DOS machine with a hard disk in it!  You look at the latest notebooks and tablets and it's amazing how far we have come.

There seems to be a strong trend to use tablets as interfaces now, so I guess Android and IOS programming skills are going to be needed more and more...




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As data rates begin to move beyond 25 Gbps channels, new problems arise. Getting to 50 Gbps channels might not be possible with the traditional NRZ (2-level) signaling. PAM4 lets data rates double with only a small increase in channel bandwidth by sending two bits per symbol. But, it brings new measurement and analysis problems. Signal integrity sage Ransom Stephens will explain how PAM4 differs from NRZ and what to expect in design, measurement, and signal analysis.

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