Thursday, July 23, 2009


OpenBSD is a Unix-like computer operating system descended from Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD), a Unix derivative developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It was forked from NetBSD by project leader Theo de Raadt in late 1995. The project is widely known for the developers' insistence on open source code and quality documentation, uncompromising position on software licensing, and focus on security and code correctness. The project is coordinated from de Raadt's home in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Its logo and mascot is a pufferfish named Puffy.

OpenBSD includes a number of security features absent or optional in other operating systems and has a tradition of developers auditing the source code for software bugs and security problems. The project maintains strict policies on licensing and prefers the open source BSD licence and its variants—in the past this has led to a comprehensive licence audit and moves to remove or replace code under licences found less acceptable.

As with most other BSD-based operating systems, the OpenBSD kernel and userland programs, such as the shell and common tools like cat and ps, are developed together in a single source repository. Third-party software is available as binary packages or may be built from source using the ports tree.

The OpenBSD project maintains ports for 17 different hardware platforms, including the DEC Alpha, Intel i386, Hewlett-Packard PA-RISC, AMD AMD64 and Motorola 68000 processors, Apple's PowerPC machines, Sun SPARC and SPARC64-based computers, the VAX and the Sharp Zaurus

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Processor architectures


ARM is designing and licensing high-performance chips requiring a relatively low power envelope, which would constitute an ideal basis for netbooks, and has touted these as an alternative platform. Despite this, ARM has had very little success in establishing a market for their chips in netbooks, likely because of incompatibilities of their ARM architecture to the established x86 software ecosystem (primarily the dominant Microsoft Windows operating system, Linux is fully compatible). Freescale, a manufacturer of ARM chips, has projected that by 2012 half of all netbooks will run on ARM and there has been much speculation as to a version of the upcoming Windows 7 compatible with ARM. In June 2009 nVidia announced a dozen mobile Internet devices running Tegra, some of which will be netbooks.


Some Ultra-Low Cost netbooks feature a MIPS CPU. The 64-bit Loongson MIPS microprocessor is also used for higher-end applications.


One report at the end of 2008 suggested the typical netbook featured a 3-lb (1.4 kg) weight, a 9-inch (23 cm) screen, wireless Internet connectivity, Linux or Windows XP, an Intel chip, and a cost of less than US$ 400. The x86-compatible VIA Technologies C7 processor is powering netbooks from HP and Samsung. VIA has also designed the Nano, a new x86-64-compatible architecture targeting lower priced, mobile applications like netbooks.