Fun Friday – Fetches, Kvetches, and Hammerlund Catches

Well, it’s Friday so I suppose I should go through the odds and ends catagory. The first item is a story about Rambus latest patent to speed up graphics. Dean Takahashi of the Merc is breathless in his admiration, “Micro-threading is the brainchild of a team of Rambus engineers led by Fred Ware and Craig Hampel. They were trying to figure out a way for memory chips to catch up with microprocessors and personal-computer components that have become faster over the years.” Yes, memory bottlenecks are a problem and they do , and Rambus deals with it.

But what’s their “invention”, really. Instead of one 32-byte fetch, they do 4 8-byte fetches in parallel… this is considered “clever”. Sigh. Actually, they’re very smart at Rambus, but I think they spend way too much time with lawyers (and journalists) and not enough with engineers.

Byte Online decided to rerun my article The Problems of Personalization this month, and I got quite a kvetch from a reader who caught every typo the editor missed. Needless to say, I agreed with him, notified the editor, and had quite a laugh. It’s good when your readers are so involved in your story that a double “and” is grating. So keep my editors on their toes and let me and them know if you find any other problems.

Mike Cassidy of the SJ Merc’s column today on old ham radio antennas brought back memories. Last summer my kids sold my father-in-law’s old Hammarlund HQ-129-X after realizing they were never going to use it (they spent the money on telescope parts). Now that they’ve got the Internet – why bother with radio? They buyer was a nice young undergrad from the Naval Postgraduate School ham club. I was told I could get a lot more for it from a collector, but this kid was really nice, drove over from Monterey and picked it up (it weighed about 40 pounds). So it got a good home and everyone was happy. Well, not quite. The antenna got taken down years ago and scrapped, so it wasn’t part of the deal.

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