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A long while ago — just before buying the MacBook Pro — I already complained about software bloat. A year and two months later, it is time to complain again. I am thinking on renewing my MacBook Pro assuming I can sell this one for a good price. The reasons for this are to get slightly better hardware (more disk, better GPU and maybe 4GB of RAM) and software updates. The problem is: if I am able to find a buyer, I will be left without a computer for some days, and that's not a good scenario.
Yesterday night I finished playing "Resistance: Fall of Man", a game that came with the PlayStation 3 Starter Pack I bought. It was not as long as I expected but found it to be a very good game. The storytelling, sound and gameplay was nice, but I cannot judge the graphics. I already showed you the crappy monitor used with the PS3... so I'll surely go through the whole game again when I get a nicer screen.
A bit more than a week ago, I posted about considering to buy a PlayStation 3 and, finally, yesterday evening I took the plunge and bought a Starter Pack that comes with a PlayStation 3 (60GB model, about to be deprecated), 2 Sixaxis controllers (I know the DualShock 3 is about to be published) and two games (Resistance: Fall of Man and Motorstorm). I love the machine so far and think that the money was well spent, even though I haven't had a chance to install Linux yet.
For the last couple of weeks, I've been considering to get a PlayStation 3. Not because of gaming, as I'm not a hardcore gamer, but because of the development platform it provides: a rather compact and cheap machine with an heterogeneous multiprocessor — the Cell Broadband Engine — that can easily run third-part OSes. My current research tasks focus on this area, so having a personal Cell machine at home to tinker with would be nice.
The deadline for my PFC (the project that will conclude my computer science degree) is approaching. I have to hand out the final report next week and present the project on July 6th. Its title is "Efficient resource management in heterogeneous multiprocessor systems" and its basic goal is to inspect the poor management of such machines in current operating systems and how this situation could be improved in the future.
The mainstream Linux sources have some support for the PlayStation 3, but it is marked as incomplete. Trying to boot such a kernel results in a stalled machine, as the kernel configuration option says: CONFIG_PPC_PS3: This option enables support for the Sony PS3 game console and other platforms using the PS3 hypervisor. Support for this platform is not yet complete, so enabling this will not result in a bootable kernel on a PS3 system.
The Linux kernel, when built for a Cell-based platform, provides the spufs pseudo-file system that allows userland applications to interact with the Synergistic Processing Engines (SPEs). However, this interface is too low-level to be useful for application-level programs and hence another level of abstraction is provided over it through the libspe library. There are two versions of the libspe: 1.x: Distributed as part of the Cell SDK 2.0, is the most widely used nowadays by applications designed to run on the Cell architecture.