Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

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Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Jedinovice » Tue May 02, 2017 3:39 am

OK, I am rushing this post as it is exam season and I have classes!! I am typing this as a student does an exercise. But I have, over a matter of weeks, put together my thoughts on why Intel is doomed. Windows is going south and this is the year of the Linux desktop.

Now, the simplest argument is the Pinewood laptop seen here:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/89-linux-l ... ival-pine/

Please note that the Pinewood, apart from it’s external store (HDD as it were) the machine is MORE powerful than my dual core n2840 laptop!

But, I actually typed up a 10 page document on my thinking/reasons which I attach as an ODT file. It is text only as pictures or exporting to PDF pushes the file size above the required 50K limit. But to see my thinking, take a read. It is a bit technical but I tried to explain things like RISC without getting too techie.
inteldoom.odt
[Note: Post edited to upload an edited version with masses of typos fixed. But will still have errors as no proof reader.]

Sorry about typos and grammar. I have no-one to proof read!!

Going to post and run class! Drinking coke… Caffeine!!!
Last edited by Jedinovice on Tue May 02, 2017 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by chrisuk » Tue May 02, 2017 3:51 am

You might want to read what the Pinebook is really like... including the ordering process:

https://hackaday.com/2017/04/28/hands-o ... -pinebook/

As for your title... yeah, right ;)
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Jedinovice » Tue May 02, 2017 3:54 am

chrisuk wrote:You might want to read what the Pinebook is really like... including the ordering process:

https://hackaday.com/2017/04/28/hands-o ... -pinebook/

As for your title... yeah, right ;)
1. The Pinewood has not been fully released yet.
2. It is built for hacker, not (yet) the general public.
3. You did not read my piece.

:D
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by kc1di » Tue May 02, 2017 7:35 am

LIke your article - good history - though not sure pinebook is right for me. It's very interesting developement -- Best wishes on the finals :)
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Portreve » Tue May 02, 2017 3:54 pm

Jedinovice wrote:OK, I am rushing this post as it is exam season and I have classes!! I am typing this as a student does an exercise. But I have, over a matter of weeks, put together my thoughts on why Intel is doomed. Windows is going south and this is the year of the Linux desktop.

Now, the simplest argument is the Pinewood laptop seen here:

http://www.zdnet.com/article/89-linux-l ... ival-pine/

Please note that the Pinewood, apart from it’s external store (HDD as it were) the machine is MORE powerful than my dual core n2840 laptop!

But, I actually typed up a 10 page document on my thinking/reasons which I attach as an ODT file. It is text only as pictures or exporting to PDF pushes the file size above the required 50K limit. But to see my thinking, take a read. It is a bit technical but I tried to explain things like RISC without getting too techie.
inteldoom.odt

Sorry about typos and grammar. I have no-one to proof read!!

Going to post and run class! Drinking coke… Caffeine!!!
So, what about Motorola's own foray into RISC CPUs? Or, for that matter, anyone else's RISC-based CPUs?

For the longest time, there was a very healthy competition between Intel (primarily) and AMD, against Motorola's PPC 60x and then G3/G4/G5 CPUs, and it wasn't until Motorola basically gave up on bothering with them (with the G5) that Apple was finally forced to switch over to Intel and the x86-64 architecture.
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Citizen229 » Tue May 02, 2017 7:17 pm

I am no laptop expert.....
I would think the laptop market would be swinging to ARM cpus( not counting tablets here, most already use ARM cpus). Their power efficiency is unmatched. I realize the things you can do in the computer world is limited with arm vs x86. But for commercial uses it seems like it would be a win. Workstations have never been power houses(factory floor, data entry kinda of stations). The data centers on the other end do the real work.
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by z31fanatic » Tue May 02, 2017 7:24 pm

Jedinovice wrote: Intel is doomed. Windows is going south and this is the year of the Linux desktop.
Lay down the pipe and stop day dreaming.

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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Jedinovice » Tue May 02, 2017 7:30 pm

Citizen229 wrote:I am no laptop expert.....
I would think the laptop market would be swinging to ARM cpus( not counting tablets here, most already use ARM cpus). Their power efficiency is unmatched. I realize the things you can do in the computer world is limited with arm vs x86. But for commercial uses it seems like it would be a win. Workstations have never been power houses(factory floor, data entry kinda of stations). The data centers on the other end do the real work.
The 'problem' with ARM laptops has been the need to run Windows in the past and Windows needed x86. To get ARM on a laptop you either had to port Windows 10 and ALL associated propitiatory software over from various vendors including Adobe or break the need for Windows on a laptop. The first will never happen. The second... I think is upon us.

Just a note... I do not think the Pinewood laptop is for general consumption yet. It will still be a machine for hackers. But it is a laptop for the biggest single grouping of hackers in history - 12 million Raspberry Pi's (NOT including clones) already! And those hackers will push the software, refine it and help develop future Pinewoods and the market base will move out and be adopted by other vendor.

If only because OEM really want to get rid of Microsoft on their laptops. Sure, they want Windows while it sells laptops but the minute it doesn't they will want rid of both Intel and Microsoft. Both Intel and Microsoft have made OEM have to sit up and beg for scraps off the table before now The treatment of OEMs regarding netbooks and secure boot has been appalling.

There is a lot of reason for ALL sides except Microsoft and Intel to go ARM laptop running desktop Linux.
I argue.
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Jedinovice » Tue May 02, 2017 7:30 pm

z31fanatic wrote:
Jedinovice wrote: Intel is doomed. Windows is going south and this is the year of the Linux desktop.
Lay down the pipe and stop day dreaming.
Someone else who did not read my piece.
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Jedinovice » Tue May 02, 2017 7:35 pm

Portreve wrote: So, what about Motorola's own foray into RISC CPUs? Or, for that matter, anyone else's RISC-based CPUs?

For the longest time, there was a very healthy competition between Intel (primarily) and AMD, against Motorola's PPC 60x and then G3/G4/G5 CPUs, and it wasn't until Motorola basically gave up on bothering with them (with the G5) that Apple was finally forced to switch over to Intel and the x86-64 architecture.
Dunno. I do not know why Motorola gave up on their own chips, though fabrication might have been an issue.
As it is, it is the future I am looking too!

Industry now has every reason to go ARM and Linux!

Sure, the Pinewood is not going to be sold at the local hitech mall or PC-World for a while yet... But Microsoft are effectively locked out of the ARM market and the growing Raspberry Pi base does not need or want Windows which means does not need x86 which = ARM based laptops which can then be sold, after refinement, on the general market. It will be a phased transition but there is a new standard in town - the Pi!
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by UpholderOfTruth » Fri May 26, 2017 2:21 pm

Hi just read you post and document and it was interesting and a real eye opener.

First of all can I ask what kind of experience or expertise you have in this are as your statements all sound so definitive. Not that it really matters but it's good to know where everyone is coming from.

I also think I should point out some slight inaccuracies in the claims, not that I would go as far as to say they invalidate your views just that it's good to have the details straight in a fairly techie heavy article.

1) The 8008 was released in April 1972 not in 1973. Not a biggie but good to get things clear.

2) You say that the Chromebook is the biggest selling laptop and has been for the last 5 years or so and then later on repeat the 5 year claim like it's a fact. However that's not quite true the figures are skewed in how they are compared for example back in 2015 they only accounted for about 1% of the market and only last year did they overtake Mac sales. In fact in 2015 they had sales of around 7m (up from 6m in 2016) compared to the total laptop/desktop market of around 247m (down from 277m), tablets/clamshells market of 199m (down from 226m) and Premium Ultramobiles market of 44m (up from 37m). Again not necessarily harming your points just for clarity. (Here are some links but more are available http://uk.businessinsider.com/chromeboo ... ?r=US&IR=T, http://uk.businessinsider.com/google-ch ... ?r=US&IR=T).

3) You also state that
Google originally used a mix of Intel Atom and ARM chips but has now given up on Intel and has gone 100% ARM
Unfortunately again that's not quite true. As far as I can see Google currently only make the Pixel which uses an Intel i5 processor and there first (prototype) model was the CR-48 which had an Intel Atom N455 processor. Now of course Google isn't the only Chromebook manufacturer (they weren't even the first general manufacturer). However if I recall other manufacturers all started off with ARM versions and most have now switched to Intel versions. This article from might interest you where it talks about early Chromebooks shipping with ARM processors and by then over 50% were running Intel Processors (according to David NG of Samsung). That trend only appears to have continued since then. (A quick Amazon search shows 101 Intel based Chromebooks and 4 ARM based ones).

4) You then have this statement
All right, so ARM and Linux are kings of the mobile market
and while it is most definitely true of ARM it's far from true with Linux. Android and iOS dominate around 99% of the mobile market (that may be changing though) and although some might claim Android is just a version of Linux it only has part of it based on the Linux kernel it's not a version of a Linux OS itself. Other than that Linux doesn't really register on the mobile states much.

5) While I realise that
Linux was made for the Raspberry Pi as much as the Raspberry Pi was for Linux
probably just used to indicate how well they work together it's sounds like a fact in the article and is most definitely not true (how can it be).

6) You keep saying that
Linux has come of age
without offering any real proof. Is this like when it 'came of age' back in 2002 or when it 'came of age' back in 2008 both of which were widely reported. Many times this have been reported but there is yet to be any real proof on the desktop front.

7) The Raspberry Pi is not the biggest selling computer in history it currently ranks about third as of about March 2017 (just above the Commodore 64) and that's in a time when it's cheap and many more people are liable to buy them. (see http://www.techradar.com/news/the-raspb ... f-all-time for details).

Thats all for now. Again I'm not putting down your points just clarifying some of the facts.

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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Jedinovice » Fri May 26, 2017 7:21 pm

Hi Upholder,

Thanks for your comments. I do value accuracy. Just to say that I produced my document during the white heat of exam season. I run a private tuition business in Indonesia and it’s my first year and February to July are INSANE!! The mothers lose all grip on reason as they have panic attacks about their children’s end of year exams and you end up working seven days a week. Very hard to produce anything outside of worksheets. I was impressed I managed to finish the document. Took me a couple of months.

I am really busy today and so a more in depth reply will have to wait. Please be patient. This weekend is going to be madness! However, while exam season goes on until mid-July the National exams have JUST finished and a number of my classes will stop until August which might take the insane heat off a bit. But it's pretty insane right until the last school closes its doors for Summer which, here in Indonesia, is mid July. My work is somewhat seasonal.

So, just responding with what I can right now, more later. Your points probably have some validity and I am probably in error but I ain’t got time to check right now!

Re: Chromebooks sales… I had read from a number of sources that the Chromebook was storming and outselling other laptops. Of course, there may be other factors in play as you say. I will have to check further. I understood the following:

1) The Chromebook has been Amazon’s top selling laptop for five years
(And the nature of the Chromebook means it’s goingot be an Amazon seller rather than a store seller.)
2) The Chromebok has flooded the education market where it is cheap and easily maintained. Would need to check further.

Your data may give a wider spectrum of data figures… so you may be right. But it’s currently hard enough to just stand at the end of May. Furthermore, in Indonesia, the end of the financial year is effectively May. Literally speaking it is January but in reality everybody tries to complete everything and get all payments in before Ramadan kicks in at the end of May. So I besieged right now! Not only do I have loads of classes but these weekend everyone wants to sort out their contracts for the next year. So I'll check your data later.

In regards to Linux on the device market, that I am certain of. I know that Android only uses the Linux kernel and adds it own propitiatory ‘bits’ on top... but that counts! After all, Linux is only the kernel. Torvalds himself has said Android is Linux as; “Linux is just the kernel.” BSD is a complete, integrated OS. Linux is not. As it is, Android illustrates my point perfectly. If you want to run up an OS on a device and do not want to code everything from scratch you grab Linux and then mod it to suit your needs. As it is convergence has proven a disaster (KDE are still gunning for it but they have never taken the ‘one user interface’ experience route and I think they might just crack it through their plan of having shared code and apps but changing UI experience) and a full blown Linux OS is not going to be found on a device. I simply meant that nobody in the device market starts with Windows. They go with Linux - just meaning the kernel. As it is, prototypes of Android were sent to Torvalds during development.

Re: Raspberry Pi… I was using what you might call hyperbole but, at the same time, the Pi was created, in essence, to run Linux. Not Windows. When the Pi was released there was no real version of Windows to run.

I did explain how Linux come of age. That I know I did! I explained that Linux was now usable, easy to use with loads of apps. Just one quote:
But, as I say, Linux is now of age. Gone are the days of typing in everything by hand, having to compile software manually and install all the dependencies, and their dependencies, and their dependencies… Gone are the days of having to write your own drivers for your mouse or being unable to watch flash videos because Adobe had not released flash for Linux…
So I was saying that Linux is now a complete OS and not the half baked, hacker’s OS it used to be. It is now usable by the common man.

The rest of your comments probably stand!!! I’ll have to look later. May, when the National exams take place and just ahead of Ramadan is back breaking and this weekend is FULLY booked! When I do get any real time out I will probably be asleep. So, for now, I probably grant all that you say but I’ll check sources and get back to you… later.

It’s insane! Opps, wife has charged in! Gotta move already!

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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by JosephM » Sat May 27, 2017 2:36 am

Look, I'm a fan of Linux as much as anyone else. I only use Linux and even spend my free time as a Mint developer. But year of the Linux desktop? No chance. Not this year or any year soon, if ever. Until the day comes that someone can walk into their local Best Buy and choose Linux machines from right alongside all the windows machines, this will never happen.
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by UpholderOfTruth » Sat May 27, 2017 8:17 am

Sorry man sounds really bad over there, I hope you survive. What kind of classes do you teach? I assume it's IT/Tech related based on how definitive you were in the article.

Chromebooks: I agree Chromebooks have been top sellers for Amazon for the last few years but you have to factor into that the point you made of Amazon being one of the major selling channels for them. You have to be careful when looking at statistics as it's easy to look at one market and extrapolate that out to the rest of the world. Chromebooks have been doing well over the last few years but that's primarily been in the US and even there it's mainly the education market (remember in the last few years 80%+ of Chromebooks have shipped to the US). It's only in recently that they have started to begin to make inroads elsewhere. In the US they have 50%+ of the education market but that doesn't bear out world wide. If you look at K-12 Mobile Annual shipments in the US Chromebooks have gone from 38% market share in 2014 to 50% in 2015 and then 58% in 2016 which is impressive (and primarily at the expense of iOS not Windows). However if you look at the K-12 Mobile Annual shipments in the rest of the world Chromebooks have gone from 9% in 2014 to 8% in 2015 and 9% in 2016 (in comparison Windows has gone 47% in 2014 to 56% in 2015 to 65% in 2016).

Linux: I see you were using the term Linux (meaning the kernel only) and Linux (meaning an OS as a whole) interchangeably, I did not realise. Perhaps when talking about it in a complete OS context it would have been helpful to put GNU/Linux to have made it more clear (of course that would not then include Android). Whether Linux is just the kernel or the complete OS is a touchy subject for a lot of people no matter what Linus himself may say. As I said my clarifications don't invalidate your points just trying to make things clear and the original point that Windows is virtually non-existent in the mobile market stands. Also there was a slight impression that building an OS was easy if you started with the Linux kernel as you just mod it by bolting some bits on top however that's no the case for example Android took the very core kernel only and put basically an entire OS on top of it which is a gargantuan task. What I was trying to make clear is the distinction between the two particularly for a non techie person that won't realise that Android is based on Linux. For example one of your headlines was
Linux is now nice to use
so did you mean the kernel (no) but you used the term Linux and I would argue that could depend on what was built on top of it.

I'm not quite sure why you added
As it is, prototypes of Android were sent to Torvalds during development
at the end as if it clarifies the issue but just in case here's another one
Torvalds believed that ARM was pain in the a**, but with kernel 3.7, they got over it
Raspberry PI: I think it's a little unfair on the creators of the Pi to say that it was created to run Linux. Certainly being able to run Linux enabled it's creation (maybe made it possible) but that wasn't the whole purpose of it and indeed you run multiple different operating systems on it currently. Don't do the Pi creators down man.

Linux come of age: Sorry you stated it so vehemently it sounded like you were making a statement of fact when in fact it was just your opinion with you reasoning and arguments following. I agree that the days of typing in everything by hand have gone although there is still some terminal usage on occasions (otherwise I could never use it on any of my laptops), they are long gone. The days of writing your own drivers are also even more long gone and yes you can watch flash videos on GNU/Linux (well done just in time for everyone to move away from flash).

Moving on...
So I was saying that Linux is now a complete OS and not the half baked, hacker’s OS it used to be. It is now usable by the common man.
Come on man you just finished saying that Linux is just the kernel (even quoting Linus) and now you are saying Linux is now a complete OS. Either it is or it isn't so maybe for clarity put 'Linux is part of a complete OS' or 'GNU/Linux is a complete OS'. Obviously I understand the distinction but this could be being read by people less tech savvy than us.

Also if it's now usable by the 'common man' is it also usable by the 'common woman' as in your article you had a lot to say about how women were driving the tech market (just kidding).

Again I'm not putting any of your main points down just saying be careful in the clarity and especially careful in taking performance in one market (Chromebook in education, Android/Linux on mobiles) and extrapolating that out to the rest of the world/market.


Just a few extra comments in case you post the article more widely:

1) Tone down the Microsoft bashing. While true it's old hat, doesn't improve your case and it's not something other companies do (including Alphabet).
2) Maybe rephrase the 'Women' comments as they sound a little condescending in places.
3) Expand the scope to give a slightly more balanced view. Maybe include how Google is thinking of merging Chrome OS into Android (or possibly something new), how Microsoft has made inroads into the education market worldwide (65% market share in 2016), include a discussion on how legacy applications have held back Windows (they've tried to drop support for them several times).
4) Maybe narrow the focus of the whole article (I know it kind of contradicts my last one) or split it into two more defined separate sections/articles (Intel Doomed and The Linux Desktop). While Intel's problems could indeed be affected by the rise of a desktop Linux they are more affected in other areas and the rise of the Linux desktop isn't really affected by Intel's issues because as you point out Linux doesn't need Intel.

Phew turned out longer than I thought and that's enough for now as I have other matters to attend to (my enemy AI is attacking my player and he has no way to fight back!!!) so I will sign off but if I have more time later may be back to discuss such exiting topics as ARM licensing, processor design, how the business aspect of IT works, real world Linux trials for the 'average Jo', Apple moving Macs to ARM, Oi Amazon where's my Linux laptop (5000+ Windows vs 182 Mac OS vs 36 Linux/Chrome OS vs 3 DOS!), Oi PC World (other stores are available) where's my Linux laptop (257 Windows vs 22 Mac OS/OSX vs 14 Chrome OS).

Remember when times are hard keep soldiering on, keep your chin up, and other such uplifting comments.
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by UpholderOfTruth » Sat May 27, 2017 8:47 am

Sorry completely forgot something in your article that made me chuckle. The Pinebook!!!. Firstly it's Pinebook not Pinewood as you keep calling it (it's even in the link you had). Next it's not a Raspberry Pi (as you implied) based laptop it uses the PINE64 board which maybe builds on the legacy of the Pi but it's not a clone or related directly. Yes it is released in a very niche, request it and we will eventually build it, wait for it, wait for it, kind of fashion but there is a long way from there to a commercially viable product. The best bit is even the makers themselves know this (they don't say other wise). Further development of it on the software side is to be 'community lead' by which you will be on your own (not saying that's a bad thing just not for the average user or business).

I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the Pinebook as I haven't seen or used one and from early reports it appears to be quite a bargain but however they themselves realise it's not ready for real world usage with this direct quote from their website:
We do not wish to discourage anyone for getting a Pinebook, as it is a good piece of hardware, but if you are looking for a device to replace your current work or school laptop, then perhaps it is wise to look elsewhere.
Unless something truly amazing happens then that or something close is not going to be wide spread enough to contribute to 'The Year Desktop Linux Arrived'.

By the way I too did some quick research (typed Raspberry Pi Laptop into google) and found this (first entry) which is maybe a better example for your article https://pi-top.com/. Ok it's build it yourself and so not a commercial 'general' purpose laptop (neither is the Pinebook) but it's using an actual Raspberry Pi, appears quite education focused (related to your Chromebook stuff) and as far as I can see can be ordered now.

Quick related question, what makes you think the Pinebook is MORE powerful than your n2840 laptop?

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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Seff » Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:46 pm

You said you didn't have a proof-reader. Might I lend a hand?
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Jedinovice » Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:11 am

Seff wrote:You said you didn't have a proof-reader. Might I lend a hand?
Quite possibly.

Still battling with exam season. Every day an unexpected revision class.

Exhausted. Will get back to all this later.
Might well need a proof reader. I know a number of private tutors near me - it's very popular where I am in Indonesia - and they are totally burnt out by the demands of panic stricken mothers.

So, more later. Might use your services. Dunno. Can barely think!
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Moem » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:03 am

Jedinovice wrote:The market changed for a start. Vast numbers of people who were not interested in computing technology were very, very interested in communications. The internet blew the world of computing open and it opened up computing to… women!
I think you mean 're-opened'. In the early eighties and before, back when using a computer and coding were pretty similar things, computing was not at all a world that was closed to women.
Some interesting articles here http://www.npr.org/sections/money/2014/ ... ped-coding and here http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-new ... 180953111/

Women as a group aren't newcomers to computing (and weren't in the nineties, either). And many of them used to be plenty interested in computing technology.
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Fred Barclay
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Fred Barclay » Thu Jun 08, 2017 12:46 am

Moem wrote: I think you mean 're-opened'...
We can't forget Grace Hopper either! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grace_Hopper
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Re: Year of Linux desktop = 2017 = Intel doomed!

Post by Tomgin5 » Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:20 am

I think the biggest issue between Motorola and Intel and AMD chips was the Integer processing in the big integer vs little integer sequence. This is still sticking it's head up in many instrumentation applications in machinery controls that communicate between mismatched groups.

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