Archive for January, 2009

Yes we can: follow the Barack Obama inaugural speech in Berlin!

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

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Just the other day on Susan’s birthday we had the pleasure to follow Obama’s inaugural speech live (via CNN) in a Irish Harp pub here in Berlin, Germany:


Intel Atom - 64 bit (XOR) VT

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

I was keeping an eye on those cheap PC sub-notebooks (often called Net…, however a trademark of another UK-based company), but just recently noticed that the cheap Intel Atom variants used in those computers have neither 64 bit (x86-64, AMD64, Intel E64T, x64, or however you want to abbreviate it) nor the hardware assisted Virtualization Technology (VT). 64 bit support is handy for running the same, modern software as you run on a workstation and also offers a performance advantage due more CPU registers and potentially moving twice the data per clock cycle. VT on the other hand brings the popular open-source virtualizer Qemu up to speed via the help of KVM making use of said hardware assistance.

Hower the N (low-voltage) versions used in those tiny and cheap PC notebooks comes with booth disabled. Only the more expensive Z (ultra-low-voltage) flavors - most often used in higher end UMPCs - comes with at least the VT extension available. Only the “regular” Atoms (without N or Z) do have 64bit mode, however no VT extension.

Intel Atom 200: E64T; no VT
Intel Atom N27x: no E64T, no VT
Intel Atom Z5xx: no E64T, but VT (except Z500 and Z510 which do not feature VT)

I wonder how they came to this silicon feature inheritance - what a mess.

Too bad the VIA Nano is coming so late to market: it is advertised to feature both - 64 bit and VT.