Table of Contents

Our Principals:
Our Creed:
Venturing Crew 369:
Our Web Page:
Our E-Mail Addresses
Calendar of Events:
Crew Finances
Up-an-Coming Member Expenses
Quote of the Month
The Crusoe: A First Look
Team Work
Bookbinding campout
Sun releases Solaris 8 source code
Web Sites Hacked
The Free Internet
Vaporware I Have Loved:
the Desktop Appliance

Our First Perl Class
Sugar Maple Festival
The Adventure Logo!
369's 1999-2000 Court-of-Honor!
PostScript Version - PDF Version

(C) Tue Feb 29 08:29:44 EST 2000 Venturing Crew 369

Our Principals

    1) Honor before all else. 
    2) The difference between a winner and a loser is that the winner tried one more time. 
    3) K.I.S.M.I.F. 
    4) Y.C.D.B.S.O.Y.A. 

Our Web Page:

E-Mail Us!

Our Creed

Exploring: Enthusiasm, Energy, & Excellence 

Venturing Crew 369

Venturing Crew 369 was chartered on December 31, 1994 to the Reformation Luthern Church. 

Venturing Crew 369 specializes in UNIX for Programmers while emphasizing a deep theme of Engineering Computer Information & Science;

Membership in Venturing Crew 369 is open to young men and women between the ages of 14 [and in high school] and not yet 20.  Annual Membership fees are $25.00. 

Calendar of Events:

3/4/00 Maple Sugar Festival
3/7/00 Bring a 6' section of Natural Rope
3/14/00 Perl Classes Begin
3/52/00 Articles are due for The Adventure
3/28/00 Bring two 6' sections of Natural Rope
5/13-14/00 Flower Planing at Muirfield
5/20-21/00 Flower Planting at Muirfield
6/24/00 Wyandotte Lake, Scout Family Fun Day
6/9/00 Sleepover
6/10/00 Garage Sale
6/24/00 Wyandot Lake
7/2-8/00 Summer Camp
7/4/00 No Meeting
9/19/00 Open House [First Nighter]
10/13-15/00 Book Binding Campout [Exchange Lodge]
10/31/00 Pizza Party
12/15/00 Silver Beaver Apps Due
12/19/00 Christmas Party
12/26/00 No Meeting
12/28/00 Leave for New Zealand

Quote of the Month

James D. Corder
Excuses are like rectums: Everyone has them, and nobody wants to hear them!

Campout Images

James D. Corder
It is times like these that make me feel like a proud pa-pa. While said to see the team split into groups, it is great to see the Crew grow. For the first time since 369's inception the Crew cooked as sperate patrols. This is a good thing:-) Though like all fathers, there is a time to let go. Due to our unsurpassed growth, 369 is now in patrols on campouts too:-) We still did most activities as a group, but we cooked as patrols of 10. There will be a day when we have 10 patrols of 10 on campouts. Fore it is the size of the patrol on a campout, not the size of those that reregister that you measure growth by!

Court-of-Honor Images

James D. Corder
I do not know how to put into words my immense pleasure in presenting the members of 369 "Their" awards. I am extremely proud of the youth's effort of the past year that culminated into 369's 1999/2000 Court-of-Honor.

Not only did we present the new members and new officers with the badge of office, we also had more than 50% of the youth change rank!

We added 4 new Associate Advisors.

We presented Mr. Drake with his 10 consecutive years of service star.

We honored Mr. Docken (33yrs) and Mr. Maurer (29yrs).

Most importantly, we thanked both Mr. Docken and Mr. Maurer for their service to Venturing Crew 369. Fore, we would not be here without them!

Thank you God for Venturing Crew 369!

Crew Finances

Our Money as of 02/27/2000
Fund Needed Debit/Credit Total
The Adventure $900.00 - $375.00
Floor Fund
231.84 $2,500.00
Electrical Fund $2,500.00 - $2,500.00
Flag Fund $1,000.00 -$532.35 $0.00
Room Fund $3,800.00 $0.00 $0.00
General Fund $3,000.00 - $688.62
Total On-Hand $11,700.00 Petty Cash $188.62
Adventure $375.00
Bank $5,500.00

Up-an-Coming Member Expenses

09/05/00 Registration $25.00
09/26/00 Book $25.00
06/06/00 Summer Camp $175.00

The Crusoe: A First Look

Ian C.
Recently Transmeta has revealed their new line of mobile computer systems. Transmeta was looking to compete in the computer market directly. In order to do that they had to do something completely revolutionary, since marketing a conventional laptop computer could initiate a feudal war with Intel. This definitely required thinking "outside of the box". In this article I will try to describe their answer: The Crusoe.

In the x86 desktop market there is only one war that is fought: "make it fast and make it x86 compatible ". The answer has been branch prediction, on-the-fly optimizations, increased instructions, etc., but all these things take up die size and thus power consumption is increased. A good example of this is the Athlon, the fastest, powerful, and power hungry x86 processor. With over 22 million transistors it is a good answer to the problem at hand, but it is very improbable that you'll be seeing an Athlon inside a mobile computer any time soon.

Mobile processors have to be quite different. They must be fast, but since mobile processors have to run on batteries the processor need's also to be efficient. It is similar to the question "If you were driving across the dessert in car would you want a Ferrari or a car with good gas mileage?" Intel's answer to the mobile market is: take a processor already designed, change the shape, and let the OEM manufacturers figure out the rest. Transmeta has the advantage of youth. They can take a whole new approach at the problem.

Their answer involves moving the branch prediction out-of-order execution, and most importantly, instruction decoding off the die and into software. This essentially makes 4 layers: the programs you run, the OS that runs them, the processor's software that handles the resulting instructions, and the hardware that actually runs all of the layers. This is called `Code Morphing'. Now this sounds a bit counterintuitive, but Transmeta worked very hard to make sure that these software optimizations didn't actually slow down the processor but vastly increase the performance over just slicing off the optimizations.

Now in a traditional superscalar design, a software writer writes a sequential program in a high level language and then compiles it to machine code. This machine code is sequential too, and the CPU's instruction scheduling and dispatch hardware has to rearrange it so that it can run in parallel. The scheduler also aggressively examines the code for dependencies, and then reorders it before actually executing. The end result is that the sequential, ordered code that was fed into the CPU actually gets executed in parallel and out-of-order. Doing all of this trickery with the code involves a lot of work on the CPU's part, and often it isn't cheap in terms of transistors or clock cycles.

A "traditional" VLIW machine, however, does all of that reordering and parallelism hunting in software. For a more straight-ahead VLIW design like Intel's IA-64, the piece of software that does all this is the compiler. The compiler extracts the parallelism from the code, looks for dependencies, etc., and produces optimized code that the VLIW core can run as fast as possible, in-order. The Crusoe has to be different from both.

Since the Crusoe is a VLIW machine that's made to run code compiled for a superscalar machine, its compilation and scheduling scheme utilizes both schemes in a way. The Crusoe's Code Morphing software actually takes a compiled x86 program and recompiles it on-the-fly to Crusoe's native VLIW instruction format. This recompilation uses sophisticated compiler algorithms to extract parallelism from the code, look for dependencies, and many other things to optimize the code.

The sequential, x86 application and OS code is fed into the Code Morphing layer, which takes an entire group of x86 instructions at a time and renders a "translation." A translation is a hunk of x86 code that's been translated into native Crusoe VLIW code. This translation only needs to be done once, because Crusoe stores the translations in a special translation cache. That way, Crusoe doesn't have to translate the program every time it needs it; it just utilizes the translation cache and runs the pre-translated code.

Now you are thinking `well that's helpful, but what else does it do with this translation cache?' Well here it is. The Code Morphing software watches the translation code to see which pieces of it get used most often. The more a block of code is used the more time the Code Morphing compiler spends aggressively optimizing it, so that that block continues to run faster and faster with each use.

Crusoe's Code Morphing software not only keeps track of which blocks of code execute most often and optimizes them accordingly, it also keeps track of which branches are most often taken and optimizes the code accordingly. That way, Crusoe's branch prediction algorithm knows how likely a branch is to be taken, and which branch it should execute down. If a branch isn't particularly likely to go one way or the other, then Crusoe can execute down both branches. Now consider how much more accurate the branch prediction is with this new system. This is part of the advantage of the translation cache.

Another part where this translation cache becomes useful is where the conventional processor loses much of it's processing time. An exception. The way that the x86 architecture does exception handling poses a problem to a CPU that tries to execute x86 code out-of-order. An exception occurs whenever an instruction tries to do something and runs into a problem (like in the case of a load causing a page fault, for example.) When this happens on an x86 machine, the exception can't be handled until all of the instructions before the one that caused the exception have completed and all the subsequent instructions have been put on hold. Well, if you're executing instructions out of order, you can see how this poses a problem.

What Crusoe does is keep two copies of the x86 register state, a "working copy" and a "shadow copy." Both copies are first made when Crusoe loads a translation. As the translation executes, the code updates the working copy only. If the whole translation executes with no exceptions, then Crusoe does a special "commit" instruction that writes the shadow copy to the working copy. If an exception happens during the translation, however, Crusoe has to trash all its work and go back and run the instructions in order to figure out exactly which instruction threw the exception. This is when the shadow copy becomes helpful. It's kind of like a backup copy of the register state, in case an exception happens. Now I've showed you how they effectively taken 2/3rds of the transistors and turned them into software for the sake of saving power. Now let me show you what steps they took to further reduce power consumption.

Now for a comparison. A 700 Mhz Athlon with a 0.18 micron process consumes 34 watts as compared to the 700 Mhz 0.18 micron Crusoe's 1 watt! WOW, what a difference! But how can that be? The Code Morphing can probably count for 2/3rds of it, but I what eliminates the rest? Well if you recall, Intel recently announced a new technology for their mobile chips that lets the chip crank itself back by 100 MHz or so when its not plugged into a wall. The Crusoe takes that technology forward many steps. It decides how much of the processor is currently being used and then dynamically changes clock speed to suite the needs. This eliminates the inefficiency of having a processor that is idling 95% of the time and the rest of the time works in bursts.

Another thing that Transmeta used to lower the power consumption of the Crusoe is include the north bridge of the chipset into the processor along with the SDRAM and DDR controllers. While this increases die size it actually lowers the overall power consumption. It might also lead to a very scalable FSB, but that's just my speculation. Now your probably thinking `Wow! They've thought out this mobile processor thing out, but how would/could they possibly compete in the desktop/server market?' The answer is: I don't know, but I can speculate from what little meat they've thrown to bait our interest. They said that the software part of the processor can be scalable up and down as application calls for, which by my interpretation means there desktop/server processor will be called "Caesar" or "Belesaurius" and have a high transistor count and dynamic instruction sets.

The Crusoe will probably (and hopefully) be totally and absolutely hated by *both* Intel and Microsoft. Intel become it offers an low cost alternative to the pentium and is releasing a 700 Mhz processor before them. Microsoft because The Crusoe will run a mobile version of Linux and might run open source software like Star Office as opposed to windows and MS Office. Now all that needs to happen is a manufacturer has to step forward and risk a few hundred blows from all sides to make a large bundle of money. I believe this will be Sony. This is because Sony has a history of doing things there way which they can with a fully open source system like the Crusoe, but again that's just speculation.

Team Work

Jack Trout
What is Teamwork? Websters Dictionary defines it as: work done by several associates with each doing a part but all subordinating personal prominence to the efficiency of the whole. What does that mean? Well it says teamwork is a group of people working towards a goal.

What is so important about team work? Well without people working together many tasks wouldn't get done. How would we advance as a society of people without it? Its simple we wouldn't. Schools offer places to display leadership but don't always promote it as priority. Scouting on the other hand teaches everyone one of its member leadership as it priority.

From Scouting I have learned that leadership works like a body. In a team there is a leader who resembles the head and the other parts follow. Because every member of the team has skills and the leadership body isn't a static one the head and parts can change. Doing this promotes interpersonal skills among the society of people moving to isolation and independence.

With an institution as strong as Scouting I am glad to be a part of. I feel that scouting has made a major difference in many people lives and will continue to do so as long as people pass down its traditions. In the wise words of a scout master. "You can never pay me back for what I taught you. you can only pay forward to those who follow"

Bookbinding campout

Suhas Aswath
Oh wow! What an exciting weekend! As we gathered in the Church parking lot on Friday the 28th I could feel the excitement growing as the time grew closer and closer to six o'clock. It was already cold as we started making the patrol boxes and loading the equipment into Mr. Corder's truck. In the back of my mind, I was wondering, "How cold is it going to be out in the woods if it's this cold in the city?" It made me very happy that I had more than three layers on! We finally left the church parking lot at 6:30 after waiting for everyone to arrive for an extra half hour.

It took us approximately one hour to get to Camp Lazarus. Once there, I started to realize exactly how much work we were going to do while at camp! First, we had to unload the cars and take all our luggage and equipment to the cabins. This was a little difficult. A gate had closed the road that lead to the cabins; therefore, we could not drive up to the cabins and unload our things. We used push/pull carts to transport all our things from the cars to the cabins. It was a good five-minute walk from the cabins to the parking lot. After adding the carts to the walk, it took almost ten to fifteen minutes to get from the parking lot to the cabin. Finally, after almost forty-five minutes, we had unloaded everything and it was time to set up the Training Lodge to start binding books.

Many of us had little or no experience in bookbinding. First we had to sew the pages together. Then we glued the duck-cloth to the pages so that the pages would stay together inside the book. We did these two things on the first night. The next day we bound the books. We used mat board and carpet tape to cover the books. Then we used vinyl to give our books a nice looking cover! It is very rare to find a group of individuals who would take the time to bind their own books. This was the first time that I had bound a book. It was a lesson in patience and persistence. Because it took a long time to sew all the pages together and then to hard bind it. After we finished making the books; however, it was a great feeling to know that we made something from our own hands.

This was the first time that I had been on a real campout. What I mean by a "real campout," is one where we have to cook our own food. It was interesting to cook our meals on a little gas stove. Mealtime was great because it was one activity that everyone helped out in since if everyone knew that if they didn't help, they wouldn't have a meal to eat on time! Even though we didn't have as many resources as we would have if we were in our own homes, we cooked really good meals. We had pancakes, eggs, bacon, spaghetti, fruit salad with brown sugar, salad, garlic bread, baked potatoes, and more! We had a feast almost every meal. It almost felt like we ate better when we were at camp than when we were at home!

Also on this campout, we learned how to make cords. Since we had our annual Awards Banquet coming up, we made the cords that were going to be handed out to people. For those who did not know how to make cords, it was a little difficult at first. But once everyone got the hang of it, the cords were finished in no time at all.

The greatest part about the campout was that it was relaxing and it was a great way to get to know those you didn't know that well. Even though most of us go to school together and associate with one another outside the Venture Crew, it's wonderful to spend three days with each other to get to know what we are like. This campout was filled with excitement, lessons, and relaxation.

Sun releases Solaris 8 source code

Bill Schwanitz
With the current release of Sun Microsystems' Solaris 8 operating system, they have finally released the source code to the operating system.

What does this mean to you, the consumer?

Sun is releasing the source code in a limited manor. They are not releasing every line of code. They are releasing code for the majority of the operating system. I doubt highly they are releasing the source to the kernel containing their filesystem structures, they multi-processing segments and so on.

How does this effect the consumer?

Well, there are a few different ways to look at this. The source code is now able to be analyzed by potential crackers for vulnerabilities making for more known security problems. But for the more productive folks, this means that if you do not like the way a particular function of the operating system, you have, in a limited manor, the source code to the OS. You can now make modifications and in a sense, custom versions of these applications.

The cost of the source code is $75 directly from Sun. They have one basic requirement, what ever changes you make, send it in to them. Sun also has a plan to receive the Solaris 8 operating system for $75 which includes a license for a machine of your preference, intel or sparc with up to 8 cpus.

I am anxious to see what exactly Sun has packaged into their source code. I guess I will have to wait for the cd's to get here :->

Web Sites Hacked

Jason Cunnyngham
On may 27th the senate web site was shutdown by "hackers", this after a string of similar denial of service attacks(DDoS) on sites such as,, and The FBI hasn't caught anyone yet but they say they have a few good suspects and are hoping to make an arrest soon. The FBI web site, which is hosted by IBM and Packet Storm, have just installed new security that will help protect them from this type of attack.

On the technical side a denial of service attack is, in simple terms, when any number of computers send many requests for a connection to the server and flood it so that a typical user does not have the chance to connect to the web site. For this reason I called the people who started this attack hackers instead of crackers because they really did not break into the system and I am not sure even how illegal it is, although attacking the senate and FBI page is a good start to make it illegal.

There are many pieces of software that can attack a system like this but authorities believe that it was most likely Tribe Flood Network (TFN). Other pieces of software like TFN are Trinoo, and Stacheldraht. All of which enable a user to use other peoples computers to send extra-large packets to the server.

The Free Internet

Nabeel Yousef
The internet has only begun its ascent to necessity, and with this necessity arises increased availability. With entire, new industries on the internet, the need arises for easier internet service for the masses. Free internet providers such as pioneer NetZero and recent entrants Snap and AltaVista have made reliable internet access a matter of simply having a modem and enduring a scrolling banner bar. Rather than subscribing for $10 per month to America On-line, AOL offers its instant messaging service for free by adding an advertisement block and free e-mail is available through services such as Hotmail. Not only have internet access and internet services been liberated of charge, but now companies such as AllAdvantage are paying customers based on active time on-line that their banner bar is open.

The repercussion of these new trends is the standardization of the internet in the United States as the new dominant media. Internet machines, inexpensive computers designed only with specifications for internet usage, by Intel and Compaq scrapped a few years ago have been resurrected with the new promise of the internet shows the industry's realization that the internet is not only permanent but also becoming a necessity. The free internet is now here, society will follow.

Ho-Sheng Hsiao
There's a general principle that you can't get a free lunch. Or if you get a free lunch, the drinks are outrageously priced. Or the free lunch requires you to spend a lifetime waiting for it. In other words, something that you get for nothing is worth exactly that: nothing.

The entities that provide the "free internet" expect a return on the investment they put down to offer the service. Even hiring the technical staff, the computers, the space in the data center, and the bandwidth, consumes resources.

There's several ways a company can still make money. One is to track which site you go to and sell off the data accumulated. The service provider may attempt to anonymize the data, but unless you've seen their legal statement regarding the privacy of your access, there's no legal recourse. In any case, you _are_ using their service, so why should the corporation pay to protect you?

Another method is to push the advertisement to your desktop. I don't think bringing TV ads into the Internet works on the Internet. Where as the TV watchers are trained to become passive recipient of information -- and less able to act on that information until much later, a person using the Internet are trained to take control of what they see and what they want to see. Literature about marketing and designing web sites often talk about how quickly a person would view the page, how the viewer does not wish to scroll down, and measures how successful a page is, but how long a viewer stays looking at the site. The same literature are actually talking about "channel surfing", when you don't really have something to watch on the 200-odd TV channels. But like mall-shopping, a web user rarely randomly pick out pages and download them only to go to the next page (the bandwidth is often too precious to do that, even with free Internet). That kind of mentality occurs only when channel-surfing. When there's chat sites and email sites to go to, why would a user click on the banner ads?

Vaporware I Have Loved: the Desktop Appliance

Nathan C. Lee
The constant development of computer technology, fueled by huge demand for personal computers has created an impressively fast-paced marketplace. It doesn1t take long for a new computer to become less and less useful as time goes by as other computers surpass it. This development of technology has been a boon to such wonderful things as the Internet, and users everywhere who are able to stay on top of the constantly changing marketplace. However, it has left an important concept behind: the desktop appliance.

An appliance, as we think of it, is a relatively simple to operate device which can help us do a task more efficiently, or do something we would not otherwise be able to do. Our ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, toasters, refrigerators are all appliances. They are durable goods, they make work simpler, and one can find most of them in any house. An appliance is a helper. A "desktop appliance" would in theory be the same: a machine which could help us communicate with our peers, manage our personal lives, create and read documents, and a multitude of other uses. It is in this adaptability and potential of the computer that the vision of the desktop appliance has blurred. With the modern abilities of personal computers, we can now do so much more with it than write letters and manage our finances.

Somehow, though, the rapid progress of computer technology, and a great profit motive to make personal computers that could display 16 million colors while running a massive operating system, with built-in voice recognition and decoding the latest Bob Dylan song while downloading it from the web has kept the personal computer such a dauntingly complex device, the desktop appliance has never really materialized. The personal computer has become so powerful and complex, it has become its own entity, and we as users have become reliant on it. In theory, an appliance will help us do something we could do otherwise, but assist us, making it easier and faster. The moment it became necessary to have a personal computer to manage tasks, the desktop appliance was dead. Somehow, though, its idea lives on. There is still a marketplace for simple, inexpensive computers that are limited in their abilities. One of the most successful examples of this is the set-top box, WebTV. It does one thing, and it does it cheaply and reliably. It would not be surprising if in the future we saw three computers in our homes: a set-top web surfing box, a high-power computer for games and other complex applications, and perhaps a "desktop appliance." A computer to do nothing more than send and receive e mail, do our taxes, keep a journal, and write our papers.

This division of tasks may sound like a step backwards. "What about multi-tasking?" is a logical question, "The computer has advanced enough that we don1t have to split up tasks among different computers. Why would anyone want that?" Imagine, though, in the future, when indeed computer technology has advanced to the point where it will be common to have a single high-powered computer in every home, acting as a server and central computer for the entire home. There will be a terminal in each bedroom, a web box on the television, and it will all be networked together. The desktop appliance will not be underpowered by any means, but simply the friendly end of a much larger monster. The desktop appliance will come, but it won1t be quite what was envisioned from the beginning. It won1t be necessary for it to be underpowered, or lacking in features, but what it will have is stability, ease of use, and affordability. All we can say for sure is that it may be time to start wiring your house.

Our First Perl Class

S. Potter
BEGIN { scalar(localtime) =~ /Mar  
7/ && teach($FirstClass); }
require "Cord/Red" || require 
if (! &knight("February") ) {
	warn "Must be a Scout of the 
Round Table to enter\n";
	exec "Intro to UNIX";
} else {
	goto Feb_29; }
Feb_29: &boot("sparcs");

If the above looks a little strange to you, don't worry! If you can decipher it, you should be very excited. It's perl pseudo-code detailing the upcoming "Introduction to Perl Programming" class for the Red Cord and above members.

Beginning this week, the 29th of February, we're going to start preparing the classroom to begin the Perl class. Once we have the room setup, and the training Sparc setup, we'll begin teaching the class. But, you must have attained at least a Red Cord, have completed the Introduction to UNIX class, and you must continue to qualify for the Scouts of the Round Table each month. If you don't qualify, you can't continue in the class.

This is going to be an exciting class, your first real opportunity to work hands on with current technology. This class will help you to understand how the programs that run the World Wide Web are written and maintained. Along with the technical skills that you'll learn in this class, we also have several modules developed and ready to prepare you to enter the professional arena -- from resume writing and interviewing to negotiating salary and personal finance.

Sugar Maple Festival

Aaron M. Croyle
This weekend was most enjoyable; rather then the standard issue of milling around killing time, I got to ride out to Camp Lazarus for the Sugar Maple Festival. Now it may not seem like our job was the most important of the day, what with other people making maple syrup, winding rope, and cooking breakfast for and incredible number of people. Instead of all of this we got charge of a cast iron natural gas griddle, that really wanted to be much to hot, sitting in the kitchen of the training lodge that we shared with Post 310, First Aid. With our lowly griddle, and a stove for keeping things warm, we managed to feed and unbelievable number of pancakes to about 300 of the camp staff. Highlights of the included beautiful weather, wonderful singing, and well.... edible food. Mass produced anything is never quite as good as real homemade, but we were close. As for singing, Neil Coplan, Mr. Corder, myself, and later in the day after overcoming some anxiety, Nathan Lee. Our angelic voices serenaded the staffers to the tunes of The Scouts of 369 Song, Za-Zoo Za-Zoo, and the Ants Go Marching. We concluded the day, after a little euchre in the down time, with an immaculate cleaning job which left the kitchen just sparkling. A most enjoyable day was had by all, and we look forward to helping out next weekend, and again next year.

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