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Android Leftovers

Another Look At The Performance Impact To IBM's POWER9 L1d Flushing Change

Last week I provided some benchmarks looking at the IBM POWER9 mitigation for the L1 data cache needing to be flushed upon entering the kernel and on user accesses due to a recently disclosed vulnerability. POWER9 allows speculatively operating on validated data in the L1 cache, but when it comes to incompletely validated data paired with other side channels it could lead to local users potentially obtaining improper access to data in the L1 data cache. When benchmarking the impact on a POWER9 4c/16t CPU the overall impact was fairly modest while since then I fired up some benchmarks as well on a large POWER9 server with 44 cores / 176 threads to see the performance impact of this default Linux kernel change. Read more

Dual-GbE router board offers PoE, 802.11ax, and an M.2 slot

Wally’s announced a compact “DR-6018-S” router board that runs Linux on a Qualcomm IPQ6010 with 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) and an M.2 slot plus dual GbE ports, including one with active PoE, and optional micro-SD, GPS, and USB 3.0. Wally’s Communications has followed up on its 5-port DR6018 v2 router board with a smaller DR-6018-S board with the same Qualcomm-Atheros IPQ6010 SoC with 802.11a/n/ac/ax (Wi-Fi 6), but with only 2x GbE ports. The 125 x 105 x 20mm DR-6018-S features 802.3bt-compliant, active and passive, 24-48V Power-over-Ethernet on one of the ports. By comparison, the DR6018 v2 offers a single passive PoE port along with 3x standard GbE and a 2.5GbE port. Read more

Manjaro 20.1.2 Mikah Plasma review

Manjaro remains a bi-polar distro. On one hand, it's a unique project, with unique features, its own identity, true and independent effort to be a first-class system, constant improvement, and a level of quality that is starting to approach serious pro stuff. On the other hand, it's plagued with totally random issues that have no place in a wider-reach user-facing product. Nerds be nerds, fine, but ordinary folks cannot and will not do any trickery to get things working and running. That said, Manjaro Linux 20.1.2 Mikah plus Plasma delivers a reasonable desktop experience. Considering my newfound extra-jaded approach and significantly less tolerance than what I used to dedicate to reviews in the past, this is a pretty solid result. Overall, you get a lot of goodies. My one fear is - how long will the awesome last before it gets ruined by some unnecessary bug? Can Manjaro go only up from here? So far, looking at the range of distros released in the last several months, Mikah is one of the more successful contenders. Now, looking back several years, there were and are better and stronger and smarter choices for the average user out there, but when the sky is all gray and gloomy, a ray of sunshine on the horizon means a lot. Well, I hope the Manjaro team can turn this effort in a meaningful and long-lasting endeavor that delivers a seamless experience. We're not there yet of course - better application management, more robust updates and fewer nerd-in-the-middle stuff must be satisfied. That said, in the current Tux landscape, Manjaro 20 is a fairly solid offering. And I go back to my cave and its stalagmites of shed tears. Read more