Category Archives: Uncategorized

CMMS software & PPP Performance Reporting

Any growing business  that has to maintain many different systems and software, knows that to do so they need to have an effective CMMS software package or a PPP Performance Reporting system. Both CMMS software and PPP Performance reporting maintain a computer database of information about an organisation’s maintenance operations. Thisv ensures that the management of that organisation can review the company’s software maintenance on a daily basis.

The Benefits of CMMS Software

CMMS is intended to help maintenance workers do their job a lot more effectively. By choosing to use CMMS software a company can see exactly what machines require maintenance and  which store rooms contain the spare parts. Not only that but the software can also help members of management make informed decisions; for example, they might need to calculate the cost of a machine  breakdown compared to the cost of preventative maintenance for each of their machines.

The software  not only help with the upkeep and maintenance of machines though,iIt also produces daily status reports and documents which give in depth details and summaries of the maintenance activities. However whilst CMMS software and PPP Performance reporting are similar, they have both important different functionality..

Need Something Different? It May Be PPP Performance reporting!

One of the differences that PPP Performance reporting has to a CMMS software system is that it is a public private partnership management  system.  These partnerships have become in recent times an alternative to public financed projects around the world. PPP Performance Reporting provides a needy management tool to these public private partnerships. It  gives a higher degree of management intervention whilst enabling an effective proactive management of services daily. It can provide a company with an early identification of potentially costly failures, which in return gives earlier opportunities for management intervention.

Why your company should use these systems

When selecting  PPP Performance reporting or CMMS software, you need to ensure that the software is latest version and  from a reliable source. The last thing that you want is for the software to not do its job properly. However, once you have either one of these systems in place you will see many cost effective changes happen within your organisation.

iPhone 4S

The article will provide a user with information and guidance on iPhone 4S.  There are three different versions of iPhone 4, they are the original one, the Verizon iPhone 4for CDMA networks and a slightly different design and the white iPhone. The latter has a different proximity sensor and some users claim there are more differences.

It is predicted that the release of iPhone 4S will boost iPhone’s popularity once again. It will be available in black and white, its dimensions will be 115.2 ? 58.6 ? 9.3 mm / 4.5 x 2.3 x 0.37 in, and it will weigh in 140g / 4.9 oz. – it’s the same size but it’s a bit lighter than the predecessor. All the accessories that a user has got for his/her  iPhone will work fine with the new one from cases to stereo systems at least for a year.  iPhone 4S uses a dual reception/transmission system.

Camera
iPhone 4S uses an 8MPix camera with autofocus which can be set by touching the screen, facial recognition, an LED flash which also makes a good flashlight, 1080p video recording, geotags etc. Photo Maximum resolution is 3264 x 2448, it features new and better software, new lenses. The A5 processor can make the first picture in 1.1s.  In iOS 5 a user can make pictures by pressing the volume rocker but it will affect picture sharpness.

CPU
iPhone 4S uses the A5 processor and Apple and it is fast.  It is not just in regular apps but in games also.

Storage
The storage space will be 64GB.  It will help when a user wants to have lots of apps, video and, especially, games and who have learned to save storage space will certainly appreciate the extra 32GB.

Assistant
The Siri system can answer any questions about weather, it can help a user type a message or a memo, create a route etc.

Google Makes First UK Acquisition

Google has historically maintained a steady pace of acquiring small, privately held companies and, after a brief lull due to the recession, now expects to be making about one acquisition per month, mainly in lieu of hiring.

In their first foray into the UK market Google has bought Plink, a small company which makes a mobile app that recognizes works of art. Plink was founded by Mark Cummins and James Philbin, both of whom have PhDs from Oxford, and launched publicly only four months ago. According to their blog post announcing the deal they will no longer be developing Plink but instead will be working on the Google Goggles visual search project. The visual search project is a Google Labs experiment that currently runs only on Android devices and lets users search for landmarks, books, documents and other objects by taking photos with their mobile device.

Plink’s app — which is called PlinkArt, and runs on iPhones and Android devices — allows users to get information about works of art. When a user takes a photo of a painting with their phone, the app recognizes it and pulls up information about it. The Plink founders apparently got Google’s attention when they won $100,000 in an Android developers challenge last year. Google Goggles was released last year, and the company has said it plans to support iPhones and other platforms soon as well as Android. According to gigaom, in February the company showed a prototype version of the app doing text recognition and translation of a German restaurant menu.

Cummins and Philbin sign off by saying “The visual search engines of today can do some pretty cool things, but they still have a long long way to go. We’re looking forward to helping the Goggles team build a visual search engine that works not just for paintings or book covers, but for everything you see around you. There are beautiful things to be done with computer vision – it’s going to be a lot of fun!”

Memristors Set to Continue Moore’s Law

When Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleyev invented the periodic table in 1869 he prophesised that there were four as yet undiscovered elements. Many did not believe him but the four elements he described; scandium, gallium, technetium and germanium were soon discovered, matching his predictions exactly.

There aren’t many who have possessed the ability to so accurately predict discoveries in the future but Professor Leon  Chua of Berkeley College can now be included on the list based, on his prediction in 1971 that a fourth circuit element type would be added to the known three of resistor, capacitor and inductor. This fourth element he called a memristor, because it combines the electrical properties of a memory element and a resistor.

The memristor was first turned into reality by HP Labs in 2008 whose team of researchers led by R. Stanley Williams have now created architectures for memory chips using this fourth element. Because they can maintain their state when powered off, memristors are expected to allow faster and greater storage on a much smaller scale (holding double the data of flash memory) and with lower energy requirements. Unlike flash, which can only withstand around 100 000 read-write cycles, memristors have withstood around a million cycles in lab tests. According to Williams “We will be able to scale faster and farther than flash because the memristor is a very simple structure, and it can be stacked.”

Because memristors can maintain their state whilst powered off they could be used in a new type of computer memory that would replace D-RAM with something that would not require a slow, energy-consuming boot-up process – there would be no need to wait for data to be retrieved from magnetic storage.

Another big advantage of memristor devices is that they will be able to carry out both memory and logic functions at the same time – a lot of computing power and time is currently devoted to moving data between the two. These capabilities are expected to see a major increase in amount of computing power available to handheld devices in particular which would be able to offer 10 times the memory of today’s products and continuing Moore’s law in the process.

HP believes products with memristor chips could become commercially available in the next few years.

GnuCash – Financial Package for Personal and Small Business Use

According to the wiki, GnuCash is a leading Desktop Financial Manager Application appropriate for personal and small business use meant to be easy to use and full of features – it’s also open source and free.

If you use online banking it is possible to import bank transactions, assuming your bank or credit card company supports one of three import methods; Quicken Import File (QIF), Open Financial Exchange (OFX) and Home Banking Computer Interface (HBCI). If you have trouble connecting the application to your online bank, as I did, there is the option to download your bank statement in csv format and have it converted to OFX via Ed Wilde’s converter . The OFX file can then be imported into GnuCash.

Amongst the features of GnuCash are;

  • Auto-Completion – and other entry shortcuts which help speed up data entry and reduce errors.
  • Statement Reconciliation – helps you catch any discrepancies between your data and statements you receive.
  • Investment Tracking – offers a host of ways to track your investment portfolio. Special investment accounts simplify data entry, and on-line tools allow you to update the price of your holdings as the markets change. Reports complete the picture, allowing you to analyse your investment decisions.
  • Currency Support – allows you to track multiple currencies and monitor bank accounts, investments or other financial data in different currencies.
  • Reports and Graphs – give you valuable information for filing taxes, budgeting, or simply figuring out where your money goes. Offers a variety of easy-to-use reports and graphs to help analyse your financial position and customize your own reports.
  • Double Entry – to provide complete records GnuCash uses the double entry method of bookkeeping. Double entry simply means that money doesn’t just appear or disappear – an equal amount must come from one location and go to another location. By tracking the transaction in both locations, GnuCash will give you detailed reports from the perspective of either account.
  • Tip of the Day – gives helpful tips to new users about available features.

The wiki has further information including an FAQ.

The Disappearing PC?

Are PCs as we know them about to disappear? Well, maybe not completely but they will become a lot thinner on the ground if the hype around new virtualisation and ‘zero-cost’ thin client solutions is anything to go by. One supplier in particular appears to be shaking up the market – Ncomputing, who already sell virtual desktops – have announced that they will be selling their Numo chip for use in a range of devices used in both business and the home. The chip contains a dual-core processor based on an Arm design that will allow multiple users access one PC for their work simultaneously. Only one set of hardware and applications is required on the PC side with each user connecting via a small dumb terminal that allows connections to monitor, keyboard, mouse, Ethernet, audio and USB. One company that NComputing will supply is LG Electronics who plan to sell monitors containing the Numo chip sometime this year. This will negate the need for a separate dumb terminal and simplify setup even further.  NComputing’s client devices cost around 70 USD which makes them a viable option for many organisations including those in developing countries where there can be lower user-to-PC ratios. Another big plus in going with thin clients like these is reduced power consumption with Numo devices drawing 1-5w only compared to 80w-90w for a medium-spec PC and this this would also be an important factor where power supply is unstable. Numo devices currently work with Microsoft XP only with support for Windows 7 imminent and are best suited where video demands are low (not for gaming or video streaming at the moment).

Another company supplying virtual solutions is Pan Logic of California who have recently produced one of the thinnest clients available in the Pano Device. Sleek and sexy, this cube-like device is only 3.5 inches square at it’s base, 2 inches tall and weighs only 1.1 pounds. It is also considered a zero client in that it contains no software (well, that’s the claim but it must hold a tiny bit at least to be managed). Pano Devices are typically being used with VMware in business environments and have good results with video-intensive applications. As usual, careful consideration has to be given to Desktop licensing requirements.

Modifying a VMware Server Virtual Disk Configuration

Modifying a VMware Server Virtual Disk Configuration will include enlarging, shrinking and removing a VMWare Server Virtual Disk. 

The current configuration of a virtual disk can be viewed and modified by logging into the VI Web Access interface and selecting the virtual machine to which the disk is attached from the Inventory panel. Once the workspace updates to reflect the selected virtual machine, locate the disk drive from the Hardware panel, click on it and select Edit… from the menu. This will display the hard disk settings dialog.

 

 

An important point to note is that many of the settings will be read-only (and consequently grayed out) if the selected virtual machine, or any other virtual machine which shares the disk, is currently powered on. In addition, the Increase capacity… link shown in the above figure will not be visible if the virtual machine is powered on. To make changes to configuration values, or to increase disk capacity, it will be necessary to power off all virtual machines that utilise the virtual disk.

Enlarging a VMware Server Virtual Disk

The capacity of a virtual disk may be increased using the disk settings dialog (described above). As with most other virtual disk settings, a disk may only be increased in size when all virtual machines sharing the disk are powered off. Once this is achieved, select a virtual machine which uses the virtual disk from the Inventory panel of the VI Web Access interface, click on the required hard disk from the Hardware panel and select Edit… from the menu. Once the disk settings dialog appears, click on the Increase capacity… link to display the disk capacity fields.

The current size of the virtual disk is listed, together with two text boxes for the amount by which the disk is to be increased and the new capacity. Both are specified in gigabytes (GB), and either may be used to increase the size of the virtual disk. The amount of space available for allocation to the virtual disk is dictated by the available space on the datastore in which the virtual disk file resides. The current free space on the datastore is also listed beneath the capacity text boxes. The increase in virtual disk capacity cannot exceed this value.

Shrinking a VMware Server Virtual Disk

Unlike increasing the capacity of virtual disks, which is performed outside the virtual machine using the VI Web Access interface, virtual disks can only be reduced in capacity from within the virtual machine’s guest operating system and requires the installation of VMware Tools.  If VMware Tools are not currently installed on the guest operating system, then it is good idea to install them.

Once VMware Tools are installed into the guest operating system, the next step is to access the VMware Tools Control Panel. The default configuration for VMware Tools on Windows should have placed a VMware Tools icon in the Windows notification area in the bottom right hand corner of the Windows task bar (where the date and time are typically displayed) and also as an icon in the Windows Control Panel (accessed via Start->Control Panel). Double clicking on either of these options will invoke the control panel.

To invoke the VMware Tools control panel on Linux and Solaris systems, simply execute the following at a command-line prompt:

/usr/bin/vmware-toolbox&

 

The “Shrink” tab of the VMware Tools control panel allows virtual disks associated with the virtual machine to be reduced in size by reclaiming unused areas on the disk. In the first instance, free space on the disk is reclaimed within the guest operating system. Subsequently, the virtual disk image on the host file system is then reduced in size by the VMware Server software.

In order to be able to perform a shrink operation the virtual disk must not have been created as a pre-allocated disk and there must be no current snapshots of the virtual machine.

If the virtual disk is an independent disk it must be in persistent mode. In the case of Linux guest operating systems, the operation must be performed as superuser.

Removing a VMware Server Virtual Disk

Virtual disks are removed using the VI Web Access interface. As with previous tasks, any virtual machines which access the virtual disk must first be powered off. Assuming this to be case, select the virtual machine to which the disk is attached from the Inventory panel, click on the disk drive in the Hardware panel and select either Remove or Delete from disk. The Remove option simply removes the disk from the configuration of the currently selected virtual machine. The physical .vmdk file which represents the virtual disk remains intact in the datastore in which it was created and is available for use by other virtual machines.

The Delete from disk option, on the other hand, both removes the disk from the configuration of the select virtual machine and also physically removes the .vmdk file from the datastore. As such the disk is no longer available and the space it used is released.

Hyper-V Getting Started Guide

Hyper-V is a role in Windows Server 2008 that provides you with the tools and services you can use to create a virtualised server computing environment. This type of environment is useful because you can create and manage virtual machines, which allows you to run multiple operating systems on one physical computer and isolate the operating systems from each other. This guide introduces Hyper-V by providing instructions for installing this role and configuring a virtual machine.  In order to go ahead with this process, it is a good idea to find out the requirements for Hyper-V.  This will then take us through various steps which will form a part of this tutorial guide.  

Hyper-V has specific requirements. Hyper-V requires an x64-based processor, hardware-assisted virtualisation, and hardware data execution prevention (DEP). Hyper-V is available in x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 specifically, the x64-based versions of Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, and Windows Server 2008 Datacenter.  

Known issues 

Known issues are described in the release notes. We recommend that you review the release notes before you install Hyper-V.  These notes can be downloaded on the following links:  

Step 1: Install Hyper-V

You can install Hyper-V on either a full installation or a Server Core installation. You can use Server Manager to install Hyper-V on a full installation, as described in the following procedure. To install on a Server Core installation, you must perform the installation from a command prompt. Run the following command:

Start /w ocsetup Microsoft-Hyper-V

 

To install Hyper-V on a full installation of Windows Server 2008

  1. Click Start, and then click Server Manager.
  2. In the Roles Summary area of the Server Manager main window, click Add Roles.
  3. On the Select Server Roles page, click Hyper-V.
  4. On the Create Virtual Networks page, click one or more network adapters if you want to make their network connection available to virtual machines.
  5. On the Confirm Installation Selections page, click Install.
  6. The computer must be restarted to complete the installation. Click Close to finish the wizard, and then click Yes to restart the computer.
  7. After you restart the computer, log on with the same account you used to install the role. After the Resume Configuration Wizard completes the installation, click Close to finish the wizard.

Step 2: Create and set up a virtual machine

After you have installed Hyper-V, you can create a virtual machine and set up an operating system on the virtual machine.

Before you create the virtual machine, you may find it helpful to consider the following questions. You can provide answers to the questions when you use the New Virtual Machine Wizard to create the virtual machine.

  • Is the installation media available for the operating system you want to install on the virtual machine? You can use physical media, a remote image server, or an .ISO file. The method you want to use determines how you should configure the virtual machine.
  • How much memory will you allocate to the virtual machine?
  • Where do you want to store the virtual machine and what do you want to name it?

To create and set up a virtual machine

  1. Open Hyper-V Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Hyper-V Manager.
  2. From the Action pane, click New, and then click Virtual Machine.
  3. From the New Virtual Machine Wizard, click Next.
  4. On the Specify Name and Location page, specify what you want to name the virtual machine and where you want to store it.
  5. On the Memory page, specify enough memory to run the guest operating system you want to use on the virtual machine.
  6. On the Networking page, connect the network adapter to an existing virtual network if you want to establish network connectivity at this point.

Note

If you want to use a remote image server to install an operating system on your test virtual machine, select the external network.

  1. On the Connect Virtual Hard Disk page, specify a name, location, and size to create a virtual hard disk so you can install an operating system on it.
  2. On the Installation Options page, choose the method you want to use to install the operating system:
    • Install an operating system from a boot CD/DVD-ROM. You can use either physical media or an image file (.iso file).
    • Install an operating system from a boot floppy disk.
    • Install an operating system from a network-based installation server. To use this option, you must configure the virtual machine with a legacy network adapter connected to an external virtual network. The external virtual network must have access to the same network as the image server.
  3. Click Finish.

After you create the virtual machine, you can start the virtual machine and install the operating system.

Step 3: Install the operating system and integration services

In the final step of this process, you connect to the virtual machine to set up the operating system. As part of the setup, you install a software package that improves integration between the virtualisation server and the virtual machine.

The instructions in this step assume that you specified the location of the installation media when you created the virtual machine. The instructions also assume that you are installing an operating system for which integration services are available.

To install the operating system and integration services

  1. From the Virtual Machines section of the results pane, right-click the name of the virtual machine you created in step 2 and click Connect. The Virtual Machine Connection tool will open.
  2. From the Action menu in the Virtual Machine Connection window, click Start.
  3. Proceed through the installation.

Important points to note.

  1.  
    • When you are at the point where you need to provide input to complete the process, move the mouse cursor over the image of the setup window. After the mouse pointer changes to a small dot, click anywhere in the virtual machine window. This action “captures” the mouse so that keyboard and mouse input is sent to the virtual machine. To return the input to the physical computer, press Ctrl+Alt+Left arrow and then move the mouse pointer outside of the virtual machine window.
    • After the operating system is set up, you are ready to install the integration services. From the Action menu of Virtual Machine Connection, click Insert Integration Services Setup Disk. On Windows operating systems, you must close the New Hardware Wizard to start the installation. If Autorun does not start the installation automatically, you can start it manually. Click anywhere in the guest operating system window and navigate to the CD drive. Use the method that is appropriate for the guest operating system to start the installation package from the CD drive.

After you have completed the setup and integration services are installed, you can begin using the virtual machine. You can view or modify the virtual hardware that is configured for the virtual machine by reviewing the settings of the virtual machine. From the Virtual Machines pane, right-click the name of the virtual machine that you created in step 3 and click Settings. From the Settings window, click the name of the hardware to view or change it.

Step 4: Configuring virtual networks

You can create virtual networks on the server running Hyper-V to define various networking topologies for virtual machines and the virtualisation server. There are three types of virtual networks: a private network, which provides communication between virtual machines only, an internal network, which provides communication between the virtualisation server and virtual machines, and an external network, which provides communication between a virtual machine and a physical network by creating an association to a physical network adapter on the virtualisation server.

To create a virtual network

  1. Open Hyper-V Manager.
  2. From the Actions menu, click Virtual Network Manager.
  3. Under Create virtual network, select the type of network you want to create. The types of network are External, Internal, and Private. If the network you want to create is an external network, see “Additional considerations” below.
  4. Click Add. The New Virtual Network page appears.
  5. Type a name for the new network. Review the other properties and modify them if necessary.
  6. Click OK to create the virtual network and close Virtual Network Manager, or click Apply to create the virtual network and continue using Virtual Network Manager.

To add a network adapter to a virtual machine

  1. Open Hyper-V Manager. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Hyper-V Manager.
  2. In the results pane, under Virtual Machines, select the virtual machine that you want to configure.
  3. In the Action pane, under the virtual machine name, click Settings.
  4. In the navigation pane, click Add Hardware.
  5. On the Add Hardware page, choose a network adapter or a legacy network adapter. Network adapters can only be added to a virtual machine when the machine is turned off. For more information about each type of adapter, see “Additional considerations” below.
  6. Click Add. The Network Adapter or Legacy Network Adapter page appears.
  7. Under Network, select the virtual network you want to connect to.
  8. If you want to configure a static MAC address or virtual LAN identifier, specify the address or identifier you want to use.
  9. Click OK.

Additional considerations to be taken into account

  • By default, membership in the local Administrators group, or equivalent, is the minimum required to complete this procedure. However, an administrator can use Authorisation Manager to modify the authorisation policy so that a user or group of users can complete this procedure.
  • A legacy network adapter works without installing a virtual machine driver because the driver is already available on most operating systems. The legacy network adapter emulates a physical network adapter, multiport DEC 21140 10/100TX 100 MB. A legacy network adapter also supports network-based installations because it includes the ability to boot to the Pre-Boot Execution Environment (PXE). The legacy network adapter is not supported in the 64-bit edition of Windows Server 2003 or the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
  • After you install Hyper-V and create an external virtual network, your computer will operate differently. After installation, the parent partition uses a virtual network adapter to connect to the physical network. When you look at Network Connections on the parent partition, you will see the original network adapter and a new virtual network adapter. The original physical network adapter has nothing bound to it except the Microsoft Virtual Network Switch Protocol, and the virtual network adapter now has all of the standard protocols and services bound to it. The virtual network adapter that appears under Network Connections will have the same name as the virtual network switch with which it is associated. It is possible to create an internal virtual network, which will expose a virtual network adapter to the parent partition without the need to have a physical network adapter associated with it. Hyper-V only binds the virtual network service to a physical network adapter when an external virtual network is created. However, networking will get disrupted for a short period of time on the network adapter when a virtual network gets created or deleted.

 

Ex-Intel Engineer Steals Sensitive Documents

An ex-Intel engineer has been handed additional charges for allegedly stealing documents of a sensitive nature from the chip making company after secretly starting a new job with AMD.

Biswamohan Pani, 33, was indicted on Wednesday on four additional counts of wire fraud following his initial charges for stealing trade secrets back in September.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claims that Pani, an ex-designer for Intel’s Itanium chips, stole eight sensitive documents from Intel’s Massachusetts facility while he was on holiday after resigning from his post.

Pani allegedly spoke to his managers at Intel, claiming that he was leaving because a hedge fund had shown “some interest” to him, and were going to let him handle their “multi-million dollar accounts”. However, the real story was that he had been offered a job at AMD months before his resignation, and was due to start four days after he left Intel.

The dodgy engineer spent hi last few days at Intel using up holiday time, and only returned for his last day.

The sneaky Pani used his Intel-supplied laptop to access the company’s network and download the sensitive documents – while on both AMD and Intel’s payroll.

Intel said that it didn’t immediately cut-off Pani’s network access to the company as it was unaware he was working for a competitor.

On his final day, Pani returned to the office for his farewell interview. It was at this point he admitted he was joining AMD. Pani then lied through his teeth that he had kept his confidentiality obligation, and returned all Intel property, prosecutors claim.

This was where Pani slipped up. Because the stolen documents were encrypted, and needed special steps to review after being disconnected from Intel’s systems, when Pani tried to access the network two days after he’d left the company via a copy of his Intel laptop, he got passed the initial login but got stopped at the next security step.

Pani admitted taking the documents, but only out curiosity, according to the FBI, and AMD are claiming no responsibility for Pani’s actions.

“AMD is cooperating fully in the FBI investigation into this matter,” said AMD spokesman Michael Silverman. “AMD has not been accused of wrongdoing, and the FBI has stated that there is no evidence that AMD had any involvement in or awareness of Mr. Pani’s alleged actions.”

Pani could face up to ten years in jail for the theft of trade secrets, and a possible 20 years each for four counts of wire fraud.

Sun Shines light on European Universities

Sun Microsystems, one of the first big Silicon Valley start-ups, came in to being around 30 years ago when hardware specialists at Stanford University and Software specialists at the University of California at Berkley, worked together to create what would eventually become Solaris.

In keeping a university theme, Sun announced that it has partnered with Europractice, a non-profit company that distributes and supports electronic design automation software to 650 universities across Europe.

The organisation is managed by Rutherford Appelton Laboratory, which is based in Didcot, Oxfordshire, and was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth II to promote scientific research and instruction in the UK.

Europractice was launched in 1995 to promote chip research in Europe. Europractice came after the Eurochip project, which was founded in the early 1990s to train students in the use of EDA tools and other chip designs. These days Europractice generates over ¾’s of its funding through the sale of EDA software licenses and support contracts and he rest through the European Union.

The agreement with Sun will last for three years. Europractice will distribute the Verilog files that describe the OpenSparc implementation of the “Niagara” Sparc T1 and T2 processors to the educational institutions connected to Europractice, and will also help them establish Open Sparc as a reference platform on which students can research. Both companies are to hold a contest across the universities to get students involved in playing with the OpenSparc design.

Shrenik Mehta, senior director of front end technologies and the OpenSparc platform at Sun, says that there have been almost 10,000 downloads of the OpenSparc T1 and T2 design files since they were made available in March 2005, adding that there has also been 7,000 downloads of the OpenSparc chip’s software.

The software comes with the virtualization hypervisor that implements logical domain partitions on the Niagara chips, the CoolTools power management software for the chips, and a chip simulator. At this point 100 universities have played around with the chips, but Sun wants more.

On a side note: Although the Sparc T1 and T2 designs have been open sourced, there won’t be open files for the Sparc T2+ or UltraSparc-RK “Rock” processor designs.