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Alastair Revell is the Managing Consultant of Revell Research Systems, a Management and Technology Consulting Practice based at Exeter in the United Kingdom.
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The material published in this web log is for general purposes only. It does not constitute nor is it intended to represent professional advice. You should always seek specific professional advice in relation to particular issues. The information in this web log is provided "as is" with no warranties and confers no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions.

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Review Entries for Day Saturday, January 27, 2007

It never quite ceases to amaze me that Moore's Law continues to hold.

Moore's Law (which was first articulated in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore) is based on an empirical observation that the number of transistors on a chip can be doubled every 24 months.

It has not been broken since 1965 and seems set to continue because Intel has just announced that it will start production this year of 45nm transistor technology, which means that Moore's Law will continue to hold for the foreseeable future.

There has been a lot of speculation in recent years that we are reaching the limits of how densely transistors can be placed on a chip due to their ever shrinking size, which is now close to the size of an individual atom, although Moore himself doesn't think this will be an issue for another decade or two.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007 12:17:30 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Thursday, January 18, 2007

I have been porting our code library to the .NET Framework 2.0 and have been using the new generics feature in many places to improve the code.

I've generally been impressed by the functionality offered by generics, but was a little disillusioned when I realised that they would be of little or no use in refactoring our matrix and vector maths libraries.

Perhaps, as a graduate mathematician, I had been more excited than most by the prospect of being able to write generic matrix and vector classes that could be instantiated just as easily on a built-in Double type as a custom Complex number type.

However, the gradual realisation dawned that the built-in types in the .NET Framework don't share any common numeric ancestor type and don't implement a common interface such as IArithmetic that might be used to constrain the generic matrix and vector classes to being instantiated ONLY over numeric types.

Rüdiger Klaehn, a German freelance programmer, has proposed that Microsoft should augment the basic numeric types in the .NET Framework with an IArithmetic interface that would define the basic arithmetic operators on these types. This would allow generic types to be defined over types that guarantee this interface, allowing such classes as a matrix or vector to be built that can be constrained to types that support basic arithmetic.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007 1:05:42 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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Review Entries for Day Monday, January 08, 2007

It seems that Microsoft has no intention of being caught with an entrenched user base of Windows 2000 users who refuse to upgrade in 2010, when the operating system is officially considered obsolete by them.

I recollect that Microsoft had problems weaning organisations off of Windows NT when they considered that to be obsolete. It’s also worth remembering that Microsoft's revenue is largely dependent on persuading people to buy their latest software.

I note with interest that the latest version of the .NET Framework won't run on Windows 2000 Professional, that Internet Explorer 7.0 won't be available for Windows 2000 and that Defender (their anti-spyware product) won't be available for the platform either.

It seems increasingly prudent for organisations to consider upgrading to Windows XP (if they haven't done so already) over the next couple of years to avoid issues in the nearing future...

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Monday, January 08, 2007 11:33:22 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #
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