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One of the first home computers resurrected — Raspberry Pi and 3D printing brings faux TRS-80 to life

Many of us got our start in computers through a joint venture between Tandy and Radio Shack stores, the TRS-80. Joe Pasqua relives those days with a 40%-scale replica he built using 3D printing and a Raspberry Pi to emulate the ancient operating system. It even includes a cutout for a working keyboard and trackpad.Pasqua designed the project to capture the feel of the TRS-80 Model 3 or Model 4 but acknowledges it’s not a replica. Instead, he’s incorporated his favorite aspects of each into the design. The project bears the most resemblance, cosmetically, to the TRS-80 Model 4.The TRS-80 Micro Computer System was introduced in 1977 when Tandy launched it for sale in its Radio Shack stores. Initially, it used the popular Zilog Z80 processor, and several successors followed over the next few years. In 1983, the Model 4 got a faster Zilog Z80A CPU and a larger display.The 3D-printable design includes a 5-inch 640×480 display and two decorative but non-functional floppy drives. The floppy drives have LEDs that can flash randomly to help convey the feel of the classic 1980s computer. The cutout below, where the original TRS-80 would include a keyboard, is designed to hold an inexpensive, off-the-shelf wireless keyboard and trackpad.Image […]

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AMD 3DNow! instructions finally extinct as LLVM compiler drops support

AMD’s near-ancient 3DNow! instructions have faded even further into obscurity. Open-source compiler LLVM is finally removing support for the set of instructions that hasn’t been supported by AMD’s CPUs since 2011.The 3DNow! instruction set was introduced in 1998 as a competitor to Intel’s MMX. It added Single Instruction, Multiple Data (SIMD) instructions to AMD’s base x86 instruction set, which helped the CPUs do vector processing of floating-point operations using vector registers.AMD replaced 3DNow! with the newer SSE equivalents in 2011 and stopped including that feature flag bit beginning with the K10 Bulldozer CPUs. It did take some time for compilers to start dropping support for the instruction set, though, since the CPUs remained in use for quite some time.In 2021, Linux retired the instruction set from its kernel, but LLVM maintained support long after everyone else dropped it. The developers behind the LLVM compiler also work to remove MMX types and instructions from the tool.A commit for LLVM 19, expected to be released in September or October, confirmed the impending removal.“This set of instructions was only supported by AMD chips starting in the K6-2 (introduced 1998), and before the “Bulldozer” family (2011). They were never much used, as they were effectively superseded by the more-widely-implemented SSE (first implemented on the AMD side in Athlon XP in 2001).This is being done as a predecessor towards general removal of MMX register usage. Since there is almost no usage of the 3DNow! intrinsics, and no modern hardware even implements them, simple removal seems like the best option.”Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox.The AMD 3DNow! instructions were popular in the late 90s and early 2000s for improving gaming, video playback, and Adobe Photoshop workflows. Then, Intel released the SSE instructions, which became more dominant overall. When Intel released SSE2, AMD adopted it and dropped its older SIMD instruction set.Developers who need to write for old AMD processors can still use 3DNow! instructions in Assembly, including inline Assembly code with LLVM. Other than that, anything related to 3DNow! should be considered deprecated and no longer used. […]

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Nvidia transitioning to open-source GPU kernel modules for Linux — R560 and later default to open-source for Turing and newer graphics cards

Nvidia announced Wednesday it is expanding its GPU kernel module open-source transition. Nvidia first released production-ready open-source Linux GPU kernel modules for data center compute GPUs in May 2022. Beginning with its upcoming R560 driver release, Nvidia will transition fully to the open-source GPU kernel modules across all platforms.Nvidia stated that since its GPUs all share a typical driver architecture and capability set, it can utilize the identical fundamental driver regardless of whether the GPU is for home use or used to power cloud-based AI workloads. After two years of development and testing, Nvidia says it’s brought its open-source GPU kernel modules to a state where they offer equivalent or better performance than the proprietary drivers.Furthermore, Nvidia said its open-source kernel modules can provide “substantial new capabilities.” These include:Heterogeneous memory management (HMM) supportConfidential computingThe coherent memory architectures of our Grace platformsAnd moreThere are exceptions to this transition. Grace Hopper and Blackwell GPUs require the open-source driver, and Nvidia recommends it for many other newer GPUs. If your GPU is from the Turing, Ampere, Ada Lovelace, or Hopper architectures, Nvidia recommends switching to the open-source GPU kernel modules.However, the open-source GPU modules do not support Nvidia’s older GPUs, including those with the Maxwell, Pascal, and Volta architectures.Swipe to scroll horizontallyNvidia GPUs unsupported by open-source GPU kernel modulesMaxwellPascalVolta GTX 750 TiTesla P100 AcceleratorGeForce 10 Titan V GTX 750 SeriesTitan XQuadro Volta Series GTX 950 SeriesQuadro P5000Tesla PG500-216 GTX 960 SeriesQuadro P6000Tesla PG-503-216 GTX 970 SeriesGTX 1080 SeriesTesla V100 Series GTX 980 SeriesDGX-1Jetson Xavier Series GTX Titan X CMP 100HX-210In most cases, Nvidia says its driver installation methods will change the default choice to the open-source driver. However, some scenarios require special attention, according to Nvidia:Package managers with the CUDA metapackageRunfileInstallation helper scriptPackage manager detailsWindows Subsystem for LinuxCUDA ToolkitSwitching to open-source GPU kernel modules helps Nvidia improve integration with the Linux operating system. It also allows developers to debug, integrate, and contribute to enhancing the drivers. Furthermore, the move aids distribution providers in better managing ease of use and the out-of-the-box user experience.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Russia-based Kaspersky antivirus shuts down its US business due to sanctions — offices to close by July 20

Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity and antivirus software company, announced it will start shutting down all of its operations in the U.S. on July 20. The departure was inevitable after 12 of the company’s executives were hit with sanctions, and the company’s products were banned from sale in the U.S.Kaspersky Lab told BleepingComputer of the pending closure and confirmed it would lay off all of its U.S.-based employees. Reportedly, the shutdown affects less than 50 employees in the U.S. The impact on cybersecurity could be much greater since the company’s researchers have been responsible for stopping or slowing countless major security exploits.The United States government has claimed that Kaspersky’s continued operations in the U.S. posed a significant privacy risk. Since Kaspersky is based in Russia, officials worry the Russian government could exploit the cybersecurity firm to collect and weaponize sensitive U.S. information.In June, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry & Security (BIS) issued sanctions on Kaspersky. A Final Determination hearing resulted in Kaspersky being banned from providing any antivirus or cybersecurity solutions to anyone in the United States. Kaspersky’s customers in the U.S. have until September 29, 2024, to find alternative security and antivirus software.Kaspersky told BleepingComputer that it had “carefully examined and evaluated the impact of the U.S. legal requirements and made this sad and difficult decision as business opportunities in the country are no longer viable.” After all, it’s hard to run a business that provides cybersecurity and antivirus solutions when you’re banned from doing so.The BIS placed Kaspersky Lab and its U.K. holding company on the U.S. government’s Entity List because of their ties to Russia. This prevented Kaspersky from conducting business in the U.S. At the same time, a dozen members of Kaspersky’s board of executives and leadership were individually sanctioned.These sanctions froze the executives’ U.S. assets and prevented access to them until the sanctions were lifted. While Kaspersky insisted the ban was based on theoretical concerns rather than evidence of wrongdoing, sources close to the matter have said otherwise. Russian backdoors into Kaspersky’s software are an “open secret,” they said, and a Commerce Department official stated the department believes it is more than just a theoretical threat.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Cerabyte brings archival glass storage with 5,000 year durability to the U.S.

German archival glass storage specialist Cerabyte announced on July 15 that it is bringing its technology to the U.S. The firm has already opened offices in Santa Clara, Calif., and Boulder, Colorado to prepare to commercialize its ceramic glass tablet storage technology.Cerabyte, founded in 2022 by Christian Pflaum, Martin Kunze, and Alexander Pflaum, hopes to revolutionize data storage by offering a system that keeps data safe from any loss without the need for a constant supply of electricity. It makes sense for the company to bring its business to the U.S. since the largest data storage providers and many of the largest potential consumers are located in the U.S.At the heart of Cerabyte’s storage system, data is imprinted on a glass substrate tablet in the form of femtosecond laser nanoscale holes in a ceramic medium 50 to 100 atoms thick. This ceramic-on-glass material is cut into sheets 9cm square. The system can write data at a rate of 2 million bits per laser pulse and store up to 1GB of data on each of the tablet’s surfaces. Once recorded, the data is safely stored on a medium that Cerabyte says can last for 5,000 years or longer. It’s also resistant to loss from fire, water, radiation, EMP, and any other environmental effects known to cause data loss to formats such as tapes, hard drives, and SSDs. With currently available data archival methods, data retention is realistically only around 100 years, and media needs replaced or refurbished every 10 years or less.Since the Cerabyte solution is much longer lasting, the company’s founders anticipate reducing media costs for the system to less than $1 per TB by 2030. They refer to it as being “durable as hieroglyphs.”Cerabyte’s storage solutions allow organizations to store up to 100 PB in a single CeraMemory cartridge and up to an exabyte of data per CeraTape. The complete archival system stores the CeraMemory cartridges and CeraTape tapes in a set of library racks. Robotic arms retrieve the storage devices for reading and writing.“A data tsunami is on the horizon – and new, trail-blazing approaches to data storage are needed to meet the looming scalability and economic requirements. Cerabyte is prepared to transform how data is stored and address the urgent cost and sustainability demands of data centers,” said Christian Pflaum, co-founder and CEO of Cerabyte. “Our vision is to achieve $1 per petabyte per month, a cost reduction of 1000x within the next two decades.”Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox.According to Fred Moore, founder of Horison Information Strategies, data centers hope to get to a point where archived data that isn’t being used doesn’t consume energy. Right now, 60 to 80 percent of all data is in cold storage on devices that require energy to keep the data safe.Cerabyte’s solution is currently available as a data storage system prototype. The company says it’s ready for commercialization, though, and has demonstrated end-to-end functionality in targeted environments. […]

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WD quietly adds roomy 8TB NVMe SSD to its gaming lineup

With games needing faster SSD performance and more storage space, WD might consider being more forthcoming about its latest product. WD quietly added an 8TB option to its popular and speedy WD Black SN850X NVMe SSD family.The SN850X family is among the fastest available drives for gaming. Compatible with any computer with an M.2 2280 NVMe port or the PlayStation 5, these drives use TLC 3D NAND for impressive storage capacities and fast read/write speeds. They use your computer or PlayStation’s PCIe 4.0 bus, include a heat sink, and have options for RGB lighting.Previously, the SN850X was available in 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. Most recently, WD has added an 8TB model to the lineup, priced at $849.99 without a heatsink. If you want the heatsink, that will set you back an additional $50.The 8TB model compares nicely with other options in the series. It offers slightly slower read speeds, at 7,200 MBps, compared to the 7,300 MBps provided by the smaller options. However, the write speed is the same, at 6,600 MBps. Also, the 8TB offers 1,200K IOPS for random write speed, compared to 1,100K IOPS for the smaller variants.Swipe to scroll horizontallySpecificationsProduct8TB4TB2TBPricing | w/HS$849.99 / $899.99$309.99 / $369.99$289.99 / $309.99Capacity (User / Raw)8000GB / 8192GB4000GB / 4096GB2000GB / 2048GBForm FactorM.2 2280M.2 2280M.2 2280Interface / ProtocolPCIe 4.0 x4PCIe 4.0 x4PCIe 4.0 x4ControllerWD ProprietaryWD ProprietaryWD ProprietaryDRAMDDR4DDR4DDR4Flash Memory112-Layer BiCS5 TLC112-Layer BiCS5 TLC112-Layer BiCS5 TLCSequential Read7,200 MBps7,300 MBps7,300 MBpsSequential Write6,600 MBps6,600 MBps6,600 MBpsRandom Read1,200K1,200K1,200KRandom Write1,200K1,100K1,100KSecurityTCG Opal v2.01TCG Opal v2.01TCG Opal v2.01Endurance (TBW)4800TB2400TB1200TBPart Number | w/HSWDS800T2X0E / VWDS800T2XHEWDS400T2X0E / WDS400T2XHEWDS200T2X0E / WDS200T2XHEHeight | w/HS2.38mm / 10.31±0.50mm2.38mm / 10.31±0.50mm2.38mm / 8.80±0.22mmWarranty5-Year5-Year5-YearLooking at competing 8TB NVMe SSDs, the new WD Black is definitely one to watch. Nextorage’s 8TB gaming SSD costs the same as WD’s but clocks slower random read and random write speeds. Sabrent’s similar offering is more expensive but fails to match the SN960X in speed metrics.Swipe to scroll horizontallyWD’s 8TB drive compared with competing modelsProductWD Black SN850X 8TBNextorage NE1N8TB 8TBSabrent Rocket 4 Plus 8TBPricing$849.99 $849.99 $1,199.99 Sequential Read7,200 MBps7,300 MBps7,000 MBpsSequential Write6,600 MBps6,600 MBps6,000 MBpsRandom Read1,200K1,200KUp to 700KRandom Write1,200K1,100KUp to 1,000KIf you want a single NVMe SSD with 8TB of storage and are willing to pay the price, this WD Black option could be just what you’re looking for. While we’ve yet to review one with this capacity, the other models in the same family performed very well in our testing.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Maker community takes over where Fractal Design stopped and produces miniature North case for Raspberry Pi users

During Computex 2024, PC case maker Fractal Design showed off a miniature North case for the Raspberry Pi, something many would buy in a heartbeat. The company doesn’t have any plans to produce the case. Please leave it to the maker community to fulfill that desire, though. The miniaturized version of the Fractal Design North case, scaled down to house a Raspberry Pi, has inspired some case designs for the SBC that you can just 3D print at home.I wrote then that the “Fractal Design North “mini-me” presents the same sleek, modern looks as its big brother.” The Fractal Design North case was one of the best PC cases in 2024, and the miniaturized version the team brought to stream MP3s maintained that sleek look.When Fractal Design failed to announce any plans to mass-produce the case for the Raspberry Pi community, I thought maybe that was it. I should have known better, though, because the maker community generally loves to design for themselves what the “big boys” won’t sell us.Jeff Geerling has spotted at least two 3D-printed cases inspired by that Fractal Design North mini-me. One of the designs is already available for you to print yourself, and the other will be soon (hopefully).More designs — this one is a bit closer to identical (less ‘inspired by’): https://t.co/EEXwqcCr0h https://t.co/qC0Wb3mEI7 pic.twitter.com/iOVAohwOUJJuly 15, 2024You can find STL files and assembly instructions for Nagrom’s Fractal Baby North at Printables. It looks like a pretty easy build.Depending on whether you have the Raspberry Pi 3, 4, or 5, you need to print the appropriate files in your desired colors. Nagrom included I/O panels matching all three Raspberry Pi models and separate files for the wood inserts on the front of the case.(Image credit: Nagron on Printables)The assembly looks pretty straightforward without any gluing required. You screw the pieces together. All the appropriate holes are there but don’t appear to be threaded. That’s fine because threading such small holes can test your 3D printer’s calibration.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox.If Fractal Design never brings the North Raspberry Pi case to market, at least you’ve got alternatives to make your own, as long as you have access to a 3D printer. […]

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First PC emulator arrives on iOS App Store, delivers i486 or PowerPC fun on your iPhone, iPad or Vision Pro

Despite Apple’s initial rejection of the emulator app and the developers’ initial decision to give up, UTM SE was approved and released on the App Store Sunday. The “retro PC emulator” allows you to run classic operating systems, software, and games on the iPhone, iPad, and Vision Pro.We are happy to announce that UTM SE is available (for free) on iOS and visionOS App Store (and coming soon to AltStore PAL)!Shoutouts to AltStore team for their help and to Apple for reconsidering their policy.https://t.co/HAV5JnT5GOJuly 13, 2024UTM is a popular alternative on the Mac to applications like Parallels, VMWare, and VirtualBox. It acts as a graphical interface to the command-line-driven emulator Qemu. It’s never been officially available to iOS users, though, because Apple didn’t allow emulators of any sort on the iOS App Store until April 2024.When Turing Software first submitted UTM SE to the App Store, Apple rejected the app. Apple also refused to notarize it for third-party app stores in the European Union. Part of the problem was that the app relied on Just In Time (JIT) compilation to provide a satisfactory emulation experience. JIT compilation means compiling code as a program is running rather than beforehand, something Apple deems a security risk on iOS.Gaming emulators like DolphiniOS have also been rejected for needing JIT support. DolphiniOS depends on the technique to emulate newer Nintendo consoles. UTM used it to translate PowerPC code to run on the Arm-based chips found in current Apple devices.Unwilling to resubmit the app without JIT support because doing so meant a subpar experience, it seemed as if UTM would not come to iPhones and iPads without jailbreaking the devices. However, help for the project came from another Qemu developer. Qemu is the actual emulation layer UTM uses to allow you to run software as if it was on an old i486 or PowerPC-based Mac.The team implemented a version of the Qemu Tiny-Code Threaded Interpreter (TCTI). Qemu TCTI interprets the code rather than compiling it, allowing Turing Software to get around the JIT ban. Mind you, this results in a rather slow experience even by the standards of the emulated hardware. That’s why the app includes the “SE” tag at the end — “SE” stands for “Slow Edition.”That being said, the approval is good news for other emulator developers. For the more general audience, you can install UTM SE from the App Store to run classic games or operating systems on emulated x86, PPC, and RISC-V architectures.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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Developer ports Windows NT to Power Macintosh systems — firmware and boot loader now available

There might be a new use if you’ve got an old Power PC-based Power Macintosh. A developer has successfully ported Windows NT 4.0 to the Power Macintosh and published the firmware and other software needed for it to work. Thanks to one skilled developer, that’s changed. On GitHub, contributor Wack0 recently released his maciNtosh project, a repository that includes the ARC firmware and its loader.While Microsoft did port Windows NT 4.0 to the PowerPC years ago, the Power Macintosh doesn’t use the same firmware needed for Windows NT. The PowerPC version of Windows NT only supported IBM and Motorola systems using PowerPC. Support for the more popular PowerPC computers from Apple never surfaced.The so-called New World Power Macintosh systems used the MPC106 “Grackle” memory controller and PCI host and either the “Heathrow” or “Paddington” super-I/O chip on the PCI bus. That means if you have one of the following Power Macintosh computers, you can use the repository to install Windows NT 4.0:iMac G3 (tray-loading)Power Macintosh G3 (blue and white, “Yosemite”)Macintosh PowerBook G3 with the bronze keyboard (“Lombard”)Power Macintosh G4 PCI (“Yikes!”)The author says the ARC firmware should also run on Old World systems like the beige Power Macintosh G3 and the Macintosh PowerBook G3 Series (“Wallstreet” and “PDQ.”) However, there isn’t a boot loader yet for those systems.(Image credit: Virtually Fun)Wack0 also acknowledges that the project is very experimental, having only tested on Lombard systems. Furthermore, some drivers, such as the Cuda driver, have yet to be tested on real hardware. Also, the loader only supports ATI graphics chipsets, and ATI hardware with a fcode version before 1.69 might pose problems.Installing Windows NT on your Power Macintosh requires the firmware and loader from the GitHub repository, along with Windows NT 4.0 installation media. Fortunately, a simple Google search makes disc images easy to find. Wack0 provides detailed, step-by-step instructions to get Windows NT up and running.It is an exciting project, and it makes me wish I still owned the PowerMac G4 I used to have. Of course, don’t expect stability, at least not yet. The author has developed the drivers just enough to run and use NT and notes that there are occasional PMU hard shutdowns when booting.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox. […]

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US government announces first CHIPS Act research and development beneficiaries — $300 million awarded to three R&D facilities

The White House announced on Friday the selection process for the first three CHIPS and Science Act research and development (R&D) facilities. The government has already earmarked billions of dollars for semiconductor manufacturers like Intel, Samsung, and TSMC. However, part of the bill includes funding for R&D facilities, and the U.S. government is now preparing to make those awards.The announcement was co-authored by the U.S. Department of Commerce and Natcast, the National Semiconductor Technology Center (NTSC) operator. The idea here is to help “bridge the gap between research and industry.” Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said that for the U.S. to reclaim a semiconductor leadership position, “we can’t just invest in manufacturing capacity, we also need to supercharge our research and development ecosystem.”The planned CHIPS Act R&D facilities will help make that happen. The Act includes up to $11 billion for research and development, and the government intends to award up to $300 million for the first R&D facilities.Funding will go towards three R&D centers: an NSTC Prototyping and National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) Advanced Packaging Piloting Facility, an NSTC Administrative and Design Facility, and an NSTC Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) Center.Once up and running, the R&D facilities will help revitalize semiconductor research and development, addressing what government officials call “critical gaps in the current ecosystem.” Taiwan-based TSMC and Korea’s Samsung have led the charge in most recent semiconductor developments, with U.S.-based Micron contributing to the advances but not as prolifically as foreign-owned manufacturers.The NSTC Prototyping and NAPMP Advanced Packaging Piloting Facility will offer state-of-the-art manufacturing and packaging services. This R&D facility will also provide next-generation technology development. NSTC members and NAPMP-funded researchers will be able to conduct 300mm research, prototyping, and packaging. By co-locating the NSTC’s research and development prototyping and NAPMP’s packaging capabilities in one facility, the facility will offer a unique value in collaborative semiconductor and advanced packaging research to the U.S. semiconductor ecosystem.The NSTC Administrative and Design Facility will be a multi-functional hub for the NSTC’s critical operations. It will host administrative functions and bring consortium members together. The facility will support various NSTC programs, including the Workforce Center of Excellence and the NSTC Design Enablement Gateway. The complex will also allow for advanced semiconductor research in chip design, electronic design automation, chip and system architecture, and hardware security.Get Tom’s Hardware’s best news and in-depth reviews, straight to your inbox.The NSTC EUV Center will provide NSTC members with access to EUV technology, which is essential for a wide range of research and advancing towards commercialization. It is vital for technologies with the most challenging feature sizes. This center will offer access to EUV lithography and space for Natcast researchers, staff, and member assignees to conduct research and collaborate.Beginning July 15, the Department of Commerce and Natcast will issue a questionnaire for U.S. states and territories to help guide the selection of sites for the R&D facilities. Economic Development Organizations of all 56 states, territories, and the District of Columbia will be notified when the questionnaire is live and will have one week to complete it. […]