Friday 30 May 2008

64MB RAM, 200MHz, NT4 outperforms XP

Why is a standalone 10Mbps network with 10-20 200MHz PCs, running NT4 on 64MB RAM, able to outperform much larger networks with state of the art Windows XP machines? Well, it surely outperforms the systems of many larger organizations if you want to run a normal database application with a good server.

Thinking of it, it does make sense: Modern desktop CPUs are not the bottleneck any more, harddisk seek time has not improved significantly and without other applications and network traffic, 10Mbps LAN is faster and more stable than many WANs - it surely has a lower latency because of the geographic limit. Also, Windows XP (and Vista?) haven't introduced anything really revolutionary with regard to speed, so the bottleneck in many systems is really the latency on the WAN.

Conclusion: For some GUI applications, performance was not improved by the improvements in desktop PC performance during the last 10 years, because network latency is the most important performance bottleneck.

Friday 16 May 2008

GNU gettext for Delphi 2008 available

If you're experimenting with beta versions of Delphi 2008, there is now a version of GNU Gettext for Delphi available that works with the new UnicodeString string type, and supports Unicode everywhere.

It won't be released as part of the official package before I get my hands on a Delphi 2008 myself, but it has been designed to use UnicodeString according to the information made public by CodeGear.

In order to use it, use the latest official version, but replace gnugettext.pas with this version directly from the source code repository.

Tuesday 13 May 2008

The factor 2 principle

All ideas that intend to improve something less than 2 times are unambitious.

Monday 5 May 2008

Goodbye UTF-16

Google's data seem to indicate that UTF-8 is about to take over the WWW. I guess most Linux distributions already made the switch to UTF-8, making us-ascii, iso-8859-1, UCS-2, UTF-16 and others seem like technology of the past. I wonder who is still using these? I do. I'm a Windows programmer. :-(