June 2003 Archives

today's advice

Don't drink 7 green apple martini's after work, even if a vendor offers to pay for them.

the G5 benchmarks

All right. The G5's look great, but the benchmark debacle is just beginning. First, Apple posts benchmarks. Then, they get debunked. Then an Apple VP responds, and the original critic responds to it (under "Reply to Apple's Reply").

It can make your head spin, but my take on it is:

a) Apple didn't really cheat. All benchmarks tend to be controversial because they try to bend the machine configuration to deal with the benchmark programs. Furthermore, the original SPL's soapbox critique was flawed. I think it's reasonable to observe this guy is a couple of tomatoes short of a thick paste: complaining that pricing a product at $2999 is "deceptive", mistaking the -sse compiler options, and causing a whole-lot-of-useless whinging over the use of Hyperthreading (which doesn't always work as advertised).

Here's what he had to say about mistaking the SSE2 compiler options: "The situation here is unclear. I originally said that Apple/Veritest had disabled SSE2 for FP, thereby crippling FP performance. After further investigation, it seems I was mistaken about this particular point. "

Akshally, the situation is quite clear - he spoke too soon.

b) The use of GCC is deservedly controversial. I'm not sure I agree with the argument of "may the most optimised compiler win". Part of me sees the merit in that, but part of me sees Apple's choice to "normalise" compilers as reasonable (if naive).

Most users shouldn't be looking at the SPEC benchmarks anyway, they're measurements of theoretical CPU capacity. The informal application benchmarks are probably more "real world", and they're impressive.

JavaOne coverage

I contributed to TheServerSide.com's coverage of JavaOne, if anyone's interested... I also have extensive notes from all of the sessions I attended, though I haven't quite figured out how to get some of my code & tag examples to show up properly here, so I think I'll refrain on posting the rest.

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