27th > December > 1999 Archive
Hubble telescope gets Intel 486 upgrade
The Space Shuttle machine that will end later on today has achieved one of its prime objectives and upgraded the microprocessor that is the "brains" of the high tech device. Astronauts Steve Smith and John Grunsfeld successfully upgraded the 386 chip that was driving the telescope to a 486 processor over the last few days. That means that Hubble now has the power of Intel Inside. The introduction of the 486 coincided with the introduction of the contentious Intel Inside campaign. But Hubble is still lacking essential technology which Intel has told us earthbound souls that we all need in order to fully enjoy life's rich experiences. The 486 that the astronauts installed does not have Intel's Screaming Cindy (SIMD) instructions, which were introduced by the chip giant earlier this year. Nor does it have the previous MMX extensions, which "enhanced game playing" for a little while. Nor will Hubble use Intel's Copperminogate technology, which we revealed two weeks ago will never be used in space. Last year, Intel replaced Homer Simpson's brain with a Pentium II, meaning that the cartoon character has more transistors in his mighty cranium than Hubble has in its humble shell. ® See also Doh! Homer Simpson sells out to Satanic Intel Intel Coppermines won't go in rockets. Phew!
US Patent Office says Y2K Dickens of a thing
The ghost of Christmas future rattled its chains last week as the US Patent Office took action towards revoking a questionable software patent amid a squall of contention. US Patents Commissioner Todd Dickinson ordered the re-examination of a patent held by Bruce Dickens for a technique known as "windowing", which we are told is a quick-and-dirty fix for Y2K problems.