NVIDIA Nerfs GPUs To Combat Crypto Mining

nvidia-logoTo address the GPU market supply shortage, NVIDIA has now decided that they are not happy with people that use their GPUs for mining cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.). Trying to make some good PR in the process, they are saying that they (NVIDIA) are for gamers and they are trying to hurt the miner’s bottom line to dissuade them from buying GPUs. I for one don’t think they care about gamers or miners either way, they just want to look good so they can sell more cards (when they can get them in stock) and look better to the public and their shareholders.

So, what is going on? Well, if you have tried to purchase a GPU (a.k.a. video card or display adapter) any time recently, you have probably noticed that they are usually out of stock right away from vendors selling them new. Continue reading

Installing Skype on Ubuntu 64 bit AMD

Here is a tip for anyone like me that is running 64 bit Ubuntu on AMD processors and wanting to install Skype.  This is what I ran into recently and I found a solution so I wanted to share.  This is a one liner that will take care of it for you, or at least it did with me on 8.04 Hardy Heron.

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs lib32asound2 libasound2-plugins;
wget -O skype-install.deb http://www.skype.com/go/getskype-linux-ubuntu;
sudo dpkg -i --force-all skype-install.deb;

See? That’s all there is to it! This installs some supporting libraries as well as Skype itself. I broke this into multiple lines at the semicolons so it would display properly, but you can run it all as one big command or seperately. Enjoy!

Sun Microsystems Drops SPARC Chip

OK, I admit that headline is a bit misleading, but it’s also true.  I spend time regularly working in an environment that is all Solaris UNIX running on SPARC chips, therefore we use SPARC based Sun Blade workstations exclusively.  This means that the platform we use to manage and develop on is the same as the platform we manage, which is a good thing when you are dealing with hundreds of mission critical servers.

I was speaking to one of my Sun contacts, enquiring about some workstations when I was informed that Sun has now dropped all Sun Blade workstations based on the SPARC chip.  You will only be able to buy workstations with Intel or AMD (x86) processors.

What!?  I personally think that’s stupid, and it puts me in a bind.  Before you flame, I know why they did it.  The SPARC workstations are expensive and I am sure they don’t sell very many so they decided it was more economical to stop making them altogether.  And yes, I know I can run Solaris x86, but why would I want to introduce a whole new architecture just for managing my existing systems?

Either way you slice this, I think it is a sign of the times.  Quality and performance will give way to cheap.  I read articles on the Web about how solaris is slow and the SPARC chip “sucks” because it “only” goes up to 1.5GHz or so when Intel goes over 3Ghz.  That just makes me smile because it just shows how little people know about how things work.

When you get right down to it, I guess it all comes down to money.