Daily Archives: 2023-01-25

Do not taunt happy fun branch predictor

Source: Hacker News

Article note: Performance prediction/analysis on modern systems with dynamic behavior is wild shit. It's surprising how often "Don't do anything unexpected" is the best heuristic because of caching and branch prediction.
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BlueSCSI v2 Pico announced for retrocomputing storage #VintageComputing #SCSI #OpenSource @BlueScsi

Source: adafruit industries blog

Article note: Ohh, yeah. The "cheap" SCSI emulators are continuing to get more performant and aren't getting more expensive, this is good news, and timely. The giant Micropolis HDD in my HP9000/735 is looking dead, my Sparcstation10 hates all CD drives, and my SCSI2SD is mounted inside my PowerMac 6100/66 DOS at the moment, so I've been investigating options.

BlueSCSI is an open source, open hardware, and open design SCSI solution for vintage computers.

The original version 1.x devices use a “Blue Pill” microcontroller board based on ST chips. Due to the chip shortages, clone ST chips have often been used.

Today the team announced BlueSCSI v2!

  • BlueSCSI v2 is based on the Raspberry Pi Pico microcontroller and a fork of ZuluSCSI’s SCSI2SD code
  • It is open source, open hardware, and open design.
  • It is fast, pushing 10MB/sec.
  • It comes in 3 models, Desktop, Laptop, and DB25.
  • It has tons of new features.
  • It is available now to build yourself or buy.

BlueSCSI v2 targets the Raspberry Pi Pico (not the Pi) which uses the RP2040 microcontroller. Like before we’re building on the shoulders of those who came before us – namely this code base is based on the ZuluSCSI’s SCSI2SD. This is a joint effort between Eric(nulleric) the maintainer of BlueSCSI and Jacob(Androda) a core BlueSCSI developer and maintainer of the F4 BlueSCSI fork.

We’ve added our “special sauce” to the hardware and software. Hardware for BlueSCSI v2 will be released under the same Creative Commons Non-Commercial license as BlueSCSI v1 – we believe in open hardware and this will allow you to build the device yourself if you like.

The original BlueSCSI isn’t dead! We will continue to support and port features to the F1/F4 versions of BlueSCSI as we can. Not all features can be ported back, and speeds are more limited on the earlier models.

See the product page and GitHub for all the details. Efforts like this are what open source is about.

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