Life, Technology, and Meteorology

Month: February 2006

Living in Michigan…

Fact #382
If you live in Michigan and your household internet access is via a wireless link, watch out for ice storms. The ice will collect on your antenna and take your internet connection down.

Fact #383
If above-mentioned situation with ice on an antenna exists, a hairdryer is an effective tool for removing the ice.

A pretty wicked ice storm came through here yesterday and our internet connection went down yesterday afternoon. When we woke up this morning everything was covered with ice, it was quite an amazing sight. Clearing the antenna took about 20 minutes outside up on the ladder with an extension cord to plug the hairdryer into, but the ice is gone and our internet connection is back online. 🙂

Blizzard 2006

In case you haven’t heard, the East Coast has been getting hit pretty hard by a blizzard today. New York City has reported 22 inches of the white stuff in some areas and the snow is still coming down. Jeff Masters has a report and some photos on his blog at the Weather Underground. Flickr also has some photos tagged with Blizzard2006. To everyone out there, stay safe while this gets cleaned up.

I feel just a little short-changed here… This storm came through Michigan Thursday night/Friday morning and barely dropped 2 inches of snow here. We should have at least gotten 5-7″ out of it… 😉

Update: This blizzard just hit the record books for NYC…

“The blizzard of 2006 has dropped the most snow ever on New York City, a record 26.9 inches as of 4:10 pm at Central Park. The previous biggest snowstorm of all time was 26.4 [inches], set Dec 26-27 1947.” –Jeff Masters, link above.

Developer Benchmarks

A few Mac indie developers like Gus and Luis are running some unofficial developer benchmarks to judge the performance between PowerPC and Intel Macs. The benchmark is compiling Subversion, and it’s a pretty good method of metering performance impact because we spend all day compiling. 🙂

Anyway, I thought I would share the results from my dual 2.5Ghz G5 with 2.5GB of RAM, and to make the mix a little more interesting, I’ve also benchmarked a server here with a single Athlon64 3200+ processor (2Ghz) and 1GB of RAM running Kubuntu Linux.

Dual 2.5Ghz G5:    make -j2    3:22.64 with 174% CPU usage

   make -j4
   3:20.73 with 179% CPU usage

   make -j8
   2:34.94 with 179% CPU usage

   make -j12
   2:37.82 with 178% CPU usage

Athlon64 3200+:    make -j2    3:15.81

   make -j4

   make -j8

I was surprised to see that even though the Athlon box has only a single CPU, the performance is right up there with the dual G5. Also, from Luis’ benchmarks, it looks like my MacBook Pro numbers will be pretty competitive with the G5, though it will be interesting to see how a slower disk effects the benchmarks. Speaking of disk, I should mention that the Athlon box was compiling on a 3 disk RAID 5 partition. Disk usage while compiling should be negligible, but it might skew the numbers a bit.

Now if only Apple would support distributed compiling to any other machine with gcc installed, then I could split my work between the G5, Athlon, and forthcoming MacBook Pro. 🙂

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