TOPTECH/THE ELDEST GEEK IS ADDING A NEW STRASBURG LOCATION!
There will be (reasonably shortly) a drop location in Strasburg! our family has moved out there! Now – the Alexandria store is not affected at all, but we will be having at least a drop off location for Strasburg, Winchester, Front Royal folks! Just means (LOL) I’ve a bit longer commute than from Lorton!
The Eldest Geek is getting a spot in the Strasburg Emporium! Look for us there 🙂
THE NEW MAC – M1 Chip. and a NEW ONE FOR SALE IN BOX!!
Been playing with a M1 Chip Macbook (and have a BRAND NEW ONE IN BOX FOR SALE!)
First thoughts….well. Its a RISC chip. Now I hear you ask – what is a RISC cpu? It stands for Reduced Instruction Set Chip.
Its a VERY fast CPU that executes a very small instruction set. It itself is a VERY simple processor. that runs at blazing speeds!
it emulates the pentium instruction set from Intel. (but could also pretty much pretend to be any other processor!)
It is an ARM cpu and an outgrowth of the ARM cpus that run iPhones!
WOAA – so an iPhone chip can outrun Intel’s best?
Whereas an Intel chip can do a single instruction that does many things, involving many registers and complex interactions
(like for example executing a math function involving several memory locations).
A RISC processor (ARM is advanced RISC) – might break this down into 10 or more instructions, but execute the 10 in less total time!
Apple is now using their OWN CPU which is of course manufactured in Taiwan by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
It will of course be a big blow to Intel. Apple was a huge customer naturally.
Why did they do it? Well – – As a “System on a Chip,” the M1 integrates several different components, including the CPU, GPU (graphics processor!), unified memory architecture (RAM), Neural Engine, Secure Enclave, SSD controller, image signal processor, encode/decode engines, Thunderbolt controller with USB 4 support, and more, all of which power the different features in the Mac. Prior to now, Macs have used multiple chips for CPU, I/O, and security, but Apple’s effort to integrate these chips is the reason why the M1 is so much faster and more efficient than prior Intel chips. The unified memory architecture that Apple has included is also a major factor because all of the technologies in the M1 are able to access the same data without having to swap between multiple pools of memory.
This one single M1 chip replaces quite a few chips in current designs – and you got a LOT of power improvement. just memory access shuttling around different chips requires pathways and time spent with 2 or 3 chips coordinating talking with each other – now all that is gone as its INSIDE the one chip!
Also- the M1 chip has 8 CPU cores in it – 4 are ‘high performance’ and 4 are ‘high efficiency’. And the M1 with the high performance cores working together vastly outperforms existing Intel based macs! and it has 8 GPU cores for graphics processing!
In practice the benchmarks are very impressive! Compared to a current Desktop PC – the M1 offers 3.5x the performance – with 25% of the power consumption!
Is it super nice – well there are drawbacks. There IS a lot of code out there that may depend on low level timing properties of the Intel cpus. And that software might not work – if the RISC executes Intel instructions too quickly!
But first blush – seems pretty snappy! Come by and play with one! Or even BUY one <hint hint>
THE PIPELINE AND RANSOMWARE AND BITCOIN?! What happened?
There is a lot of stuff floating around. What is true? Well we don’t for sure know. But I can add –
dont read much into ‘RUSSIANS RUSSIANS’ as I’ve noted before I’ve met Russian hackers can mask themselves pretty dam well.
In fact, Darkside is a RaaS group – Ransomware as a Service! Groups LICENSE their ransomware and go do their attacks –
and Darkside gets a big cut of the payments! Darkside may be in Eastern Europe or Russia. But the folks who license their
ransomware could be … anywhere!!! Maybe the Iranians got tired of us messing with their centrifuge plants anyone?
What is a RANSOMWARE attack? Here the malefactors ENCRYPT your data and demand payment for the key to unlock it!
Should this have disabled the pipeline? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Any intelligently designed system would have a cold backup of your critical
files – and would be able to wipe the server, reload from the cold backup – and be back in business in the matter of a few hours.
Well – Craig – why is this an issue. Well – because they have been idiots and have NOT a backup strategy in place for this eventuality!
Or – the ransomware locked up their BILLING COMPUTER and they didn’t have any idea who owed them $$$! That is what I think happened.
They have now admitted to paying 4.5 million to decrypt the data. But they could have paid on DAY ONE and we would probably have never
heard about it!
WORD TO THE WISE – make sure YOU are not subject to this disaster. Ransomware should be an inconvenience not a catastrophe!
SHOULD BE JUST LIKE HAVING A HARD DRIVE FAIL!!! And when it is not its YOUR fault not the hackers!! Need help with a backup strategy
to protect you from this eventuality? We can help!
How does BITCOIN figure into this??? Hate to say it but I will.
The Pipeline attack would NOT have happened – if Bitcoin didn’t exist! Think of it. Its an untraceable payment mechanism. No clue
who you are paying. Or where they are. ‘Calls for the FBI to Identify where the money went’ are nonsense. They can’t.
IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE BITCOIN imagine. Would they have insisted on a bank wire transfer? THEN we would know their bank. And could get the
account holders info! Mail a check? Bags of unmarked bills? where to send them? The FBI WOULD be watching who collected the bags!
SO – NO BITCOIN NO RANSOMWARE.
Also – you hear Tesla will no longer accept bitcoin?? Another little aspect. BITCOIN mining consumes a HORRIFIC amount of electricity.
As things are now, the only folks who are making any money are those who can steal the power free. Otherwise the mining operation costs you more in
electricity bill – then you get back in bitcoin!
And where does this electricity come from? Well – currently — big majority from Nasty Coal and Natural gas burning plants! BITCOIN is NOT
GREEN – in any sense of the word. And that’s why Tesla wont accept it any longer.
BIG SUR – What a nightmare!
More horror stories. More nasty upgrades that failed! PLEASE PLEASE make a TIME MACHINE BACKUP before even considering an upgrade to Big Sur!
Better yet DON’T DO IT!
LIQUID SPILL REPAIRS
We are busy doing these for folks. if YOUR mac or pc is dead lets see if we can get it back on its feet! Estimates no charge, 6 month warranty on repairs!
Need your website fixed up? Many don’t know that I do WEBSITES – and have done over 700 of them anywhere from $100 to $100k!
Recently have been bringing in some good Irish talent (I went to college in Ireland) and they have been helping do sites with me!
Need help?? Let me know! We also HOST sites on my servers for only $6 per month including emails and minor updates!
NEED HELP WITH GOLD/SILVER? Or Antiques? We have a LOT of expertise 🙂
I’ve been a precious metals dealer for years – started in the Antique Center. And we buy gold/silver – we pay more than pawn shops or jewelers!
And if you have something you THINK is valuable I can find out what pretty much anything is worth!
BLAST FROM THE PAST!
Come look at my NorthStar Horizon! Vintage 1977 – Only computer EVER to come in a walnut case! Nice story to it!
Just got an old PowerPC Apple 7100 system up and running! It has a whopping 250 MEGABYTE hard drive! One quarter of 1 gigabyte!
your phone has 30 times the storage as this apple – at least! and its at least 1000x faster!