— 10:14 AM on May 29, 2009

Howdy all. Getting quiet out there as everyone gears up for Computex. Funny thing: the Facebook updates I'm seeing show an industry-wide progression toward Taipei, as folks update from places between home and there. Cyril and Adam are getting ready to head out to cover the show for us, as well.

Personally, my attention has been focused on the massive wave of new CPU launches coming next week and some related developments. That means extensive lab time, aching back and wrists, and lots of intriguing new data to share. The new toys I've been playing with this week include a nice, multithreaded version of the classic Stream benchmark and SPECpower_ssj2008. For the latter, after about a day's work, I've produced my first set of good results. I got my collector running and reading temperature, humidity, and power draw data from the sensors. I've sorted out how to run dual JVMs with the proper affinity masks for the system under test, which yields nicely optimized results.  Now I just have to duplicate that with more systems. Each run takes about an hour, and they sometimes fail at the very end if I didn't get the setup perfectly right. So... we'll see how that goes.

Last night, I installed Hulu Desktop on my HTPC and gave it a shot. It's not perfect, but this program is what we've been waiting for, HTPC owners: Hulu wrapped up in a 10-foot interface that's compatible with Windows Media Center remotes—and officially sanctioned. The release version is just 0.91, which is indicative of its beta status, and there are rough edges aplenty. For one, the "pause" button on my remote doesn't work, and scaling images to 1920x1080 with Flash video still presents performance problems on my HTPC system (with 780G integrated graphics). Still, this is a huge step in the right direction, and I expect it will prompt many HTPC holdouts to reconsider. Even if you don't/can't use it as a DVR, there's huge value in having a PC with Hulu Desktop in the living room now. Give it a try, if you haven't already. The setup takes like 60 seconds, maybe less.

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