Wednesday, March 19, 2008

64-bit Forth

One of the limitations in building larger EGDB lies in the biggest continuous memory that can be allocated in 32-bit system. Theoretically, 4G can be allocated. However, I can only manage to allocate around 1.4G in VFX Forth in my 32-bit intel box running Windows XP. I had a 4 core 64-bit system for a long time, but the 32-bit VFX Forth system can only get 1.4G memory again even though I have 8G sitting on the main board. Due to this reason, the biggest endgame databases I can build are with 11.2G (1.4G x 8) elements. As far as I know, there is no 64-bit Forth available for Windows at this time. The only one I know is gForth for Linux. Recently, I installed Ubuntu linux on my 64-bit system and tried out gForth. Converting my endgame program to gForth and to 64-bit is surprisingly easy. Suddenly, I have the capacity to produce endgame databases larger than the ones with 11.2G elements. Unfortunately, gForth is not known for its speed. It is estimated to be about 10x slower than VFX Forth for my endgame program. I am now testing 64-bit iForth. Since it is still in alpha stage, there is still long way to go. I shall update the progress here.

EDGE signal in Taiwan

Recently, a friend of mine told me there is EDGE signal from Chunghwa telecommunication company. Maybe they are preparing for official iPhone launch. I tried my iPhone and it works beautifully. The speed is acceptable. If there is difference between my 3G setting and EDGE, I don't notice. The feeling of not having to bring another smart phone around and enjoy internet connection everywhere with iPhone is pretty good. If you have iPhone and live in Taiwan, you may try it out.

Have fun!