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      Linus Torvalds blames Intel for lack of ECC RAM in consumer PCs

      Jim Salter · / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 6 January, 2021 - 21:56 · 1 minute

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    Enlarge / We've been enjoying a kinder, gentler Linus Torvalds for the past couple of years... but that doesn't mean he stopped having opinions. (credit: aaltouniversityace / kjerish )

    This Monday, Linux kernel creator Linus Torvalds went on a frustrated rant about the lack of Error Correcting Checksum (ECC) RAM in consumer PCs and laptops.

    ... the misguided and arse-backwards policy of "consumers don't need ECC", [made] the market for ECC memory go away.

    The arguments against ECC were always complete and utter garbage. Now even the memory manufacturers are starting to do ECC internally because they finally owned up to the fact that they absolutely have to.

    If you're not familiar with ECC RAM, it's probably because you don't build or spec dedicated servers using server-grade CPUs and motherboards—which, unfortunately, is about the only place you actually find ECC. In a nutshell, ECC RAM includes a tiny amount of extra memory used for detection and correction of errors.

    Memory errors and probability

    In most modern implementations, this means for every 64-bit word stored in RAM, there are eight checking bits. A single bit error—a 0 flipped to 1, or a 1 flipped to 0—can be both detected and corrected automatically. Two bits flipped in the same word can be detected but not corrected. Three or more bits flipped in the same word will probably be detected, but detection is not guaranteed.

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      Linus Torvalds doubts Linux will get ported to Apple M1 hardware

      Jim Salter · / ArsTechnica · Saturday, 28 November, 2020 - 14:15

    It would be great to see Linux running and fully operational on Apple M1 hardware like this Mac Mini—but it seems unlikely to happen.

    Enlarge / It would be great to see Linux running and fully operational on Apple M1 hardware like this Mac Mini—but it seems unlikely to happen. (credit: Produnis / Jim Salter )

    In a recent post on the Real World Technologies forum—one of the few public internet venues Linux founder Linus Torvalds is known to regularly visit—a user named Paul asked Torvalds, "What do you think of the new Apple laptop?"

    "I'd absolutely love to have one, if it just ran Linux," Torvalds replied. "I've been waiting for an ARM laptop that can run Linux for a long time. The new [Macbook] Air would be almost perfect, except for the OS."

    Torvalds, of course, can already have an ARM based Linux laptop if he wants one—for example, the Pinebook Pro . The unspoken part here is that he'd like a high-performance ARM based laptop, rather than a budget-friendly but extremely performance constrained design such as one finds in the Pinebook Pro, the Raspberry Pi, or a legion of other inexpensive gadgets.

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