Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: Everything I needed to know I learned online (July 13)

I’d say that being able to evaluate the validity of information gathered online is more important – much more important –

than the ability to find it. Some search engines incorporate the popularity of a site into their rules, do they not? I don’t see how a person lacking a careful general education, with extensive coverage if not intense depth, is in a position to verify what s/he reads. (I’d be careful even about specific technical information. It isn’t all that difficult to imagine some disgruntled user publishing something plausible but destructive). Apart from that, a well-rounded and productive person NEEDS more than one approach to education, just as a person fluent in more than one language has a more sophisticated understanding of the world.

Peter Lacey

Re: Sasser and its secrets (July 5)

Tell me if it’s just me who thinks this, but should we not be looking to a jurisdiction that hammers down on software creators to be ever more diligent in avoiding such ‘flaws’ in the first place?

As a owner of a firm that creates software, I find myself feeling very responsible for problems made by ‘flaws’ we have embedded in our software solutions.

I mean we need to look at the big picture here don’t we? and instead of waiting for an “Internet-savvy Bruce Wayne” perhaps we should be holding Microsoft accountable for their lack of due diligence?

You tell me, just who is truly accountable?

I think it’s people like me, IT business owners, leaders of code creation and especially guys like Bill Gates.

Erich Bertussi
Founding Director Inc.

Re: Sasser and its secrets (July 5)

Good article!

Nobody will stop these creeps unless the penalties are severe enough – which means the courts, which, for us Canadians especially, likely means zilch.

And was death ever a consequence? What you suggest seems entirely feasible. Has anybody ever researched the question, statistics, who, when, where, cause, etc.?

Graham Hobbs

Re: The IT Manager 2005 (June 30)

Good article but I guess that on the three question test I fail miserably.

1. Do I keep a blog? No – this practice seems to me to fall into the area of dangerously trendy (check Jon Stewart’s Daily Show take on blogs for a truly cynical view). How many people were keeping blogs five years ago? I guess good application developers/IT managers have only come into being over the last couple of years or so….

2. What’s my home page? It used to be but currently it is our own internal web portal, but I don’t tinker with it. Hmmm I’m not spending an hour each morning playing with a web page; instead I’m wasting my time going through my e-mail and dealing with the issues that have arisen over the night hours. I guess I’m just not making the grade.

3. Have I ever contributed to an open source project? Nope, because my passion is for my job which does not involve open source projects.

So am I a bad IT manager? Maybe, but I don’t think the criteria listed give much more insight than asking a person ‘What is your favourite colour?’ ‘What was the last book you read?’ and ‘If you were President/Prime Minister for a day, what law would you enact?’

Or even better: ‘Do you read IT columnists articles on a regular basis?’, ‘Do you think being controversial is more important than being accurate?’ and ‘If you were an IT columnist for a day, what would you write about?’

Keep up the good work.

Sam Robbins
Manager MIS
BC Rapid Transit Co. Ltd.

Re: Split Apple: Two dealers on the Intel deal (June 6)

Just a technical point. I’m not going to comment on the opinion aspects.

In the 6th paragraph, Howard Solomon states “Intel’s Itanium processors and some Xeon processors are 64-bit CPUs. Some Xeon and Pentium processors are 32-bit CPUs that can support 64-bit operating systems.” This is misleading. Intel’s Itanium line is a core designed from the ground-up as a 64-bit CPU, as was IBM’s PowerPC 970. (The PPC970 is based on the PowerPC instruction set, which was designed from the outset to support 64-bit processors. The 970 is just the first ‘mainstream’ product in the PowerPC line to support the 64-bit aspects of the instruction set.)

The current Xeon and Pentium processors are also 64-bit, but in a different way. The ‘x86’ instruction set (which Intel calls IA-32, as opposed to the Itanium’s IA-64,) was not designed for 64-bit support from the outset. AMD added this support with their Opteron and Athlon 64 processor a couple years ago.

While this 64-bit support may be tacked on, it is no less 64-bit than IA-64 or PPC64. This AMD extension is what Intel has adopted for their current Xeon and Pentium processors (and even, indeed, in their latest low-end Celeron processors). It is solely a factor of Intel’s marketing that downplays the ’64-bitness’ of this extension. (AMD calls it AMD64, while Intel calls it IA-32 with EM64T, portraying the 64-bitness solely in terms of the increased memory capacity.) Intel’s new desktop-oriented Pentium-D and Celeron-D processors “with EM64T” are fully capable of manipulating 64-bit data, just like their AMD counterparts.

In short, they aren’t “32-bit CPUs that can support 64-bit operating systems.” They are full 64-bit CPUs.

Ed Hurtley

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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