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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: An Accurate Broadband Speed Test?

Bert64 Re:None (294 comments)

Depending on latency, buffer sizes and tcp window scaling etc, a single connection is usually much slower than multiple connections used by torrents...
Depending on the window scaling settings at either end, your machine may only process up to 64kb of data (per tcp connection) before it needs to send an acknowledgement, which can result in very poor performance over high latency and/or long distance links.

about two weeks ago
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Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

Bert64 Re:Antecdotes != Evidence (577 comments)

Many applications install the startup widget without asking, and often without informing the user at all. It could be solved through the use of a proper package manager and standard package format so that the package manager rather than an arbitrary installer program actually controls the installation and always gives the user the choice.

about three weeks ago
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Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

Bert64 Re:Antecdotes != Evidence (577 comments)

It's not that unix is magical, but there are several very important differences that make unix systems far less susceptible to these problems than windows...

1, The biggest difference is probably the use of package management on unix vs arbitrary binary installers on windows... with a package manager, every install, update and uninstall is controlled by the same process which keeps track of what got installed and is able to cleanly remove it again, with windows an "installer" is just a binary program that you are trusting to write files all over the place but you have no real idea what its doing or if its working correctly. With the package manager its very easy to identify what package installed any given file etc. If you go outside of the package manager on unix and try to overwrite system packages by hand you can have serious problems too.

2, Transparency - Unix systems are much simpler and better understood, the boot process is usually just a series of scripts for instance, the filesystem is laid out in a mostly logical hierarchy and most configuration is stored in individual human readable text files, its much easier to understand exactly whats going on and much more difficult for poorly written programs to hide performance crippling cruft in unexpected places.

3, Lack of third party drivers - on most unix systems, drivers typically ship with the OS, get updated when the OS does and get tested together... Windows systems typically have a random collection of disparate drivers which sometimes don't play well together or with updates to other parts of the system. The other problems mentioned above also apply to drivers as well as userland.

about three weeks ago
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Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?

Bert64 Re:Really? (577 comments)

The real problem is that the install and/or uninstall is handled by the program itself, and not by a centralised package manager... So every installer is different, there is no consistency, not always a list of what exactly got installed or where, and no guarantee that the uninstall will actually remove everything.
You can also encounter really stupid problems, like the one you describe where you cant uninstall because the uninstall program is damaged. Sometimes you can reinstall over the top and then uninstall, but again due to inconsistency that doesnt always work.

about three weeks ago
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Piracy Police Chief Calls For State Interference To Stop Internet "Anarchy"

Bert64 Re:How about protecting the public (302 comments)

The people complaining do tend to vote for someone other than the main parties, it just doesn't achieve anything.
The vast majority don't understand whats going on and dont want to, they believe what they hear on mass media, and those media outlets are controlled by the main parties.

Without power your voice will never be loud enough for the masses to hear it.
Without a loud voice, you will never get enough votes and thus no power.

The current system is simply designed to maintain the status quo, while giving the false impression that people have any say in the matter.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon Forced To Reboot EC2 To Patch Bug In Xen

Bert64 Re:Compared to Azure (94 comments)

Which makes it an excellent dev environment, but terrible for production use...
While you want your code to be able to cope with database instability, when that code goes into production you also want to minimise the chances that it will ever have to.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

Bert64 Re: Alright smart guy (504 comments)

And it would, if the drivers had been open source instead of closed then they would have been recompiled along with the newer android kernel.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

Bert64 Re:Alright smart guy (504 comments)

Only you are, if you ever need to wipe your phone and reinstall then you are only able to install the latest version of iOS, unless you've previously jailbroken and cached the previous versions - which isn't officially supported by apple.

about 1 month ago
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Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

Bert64 Re:Small setup (287 comments)

I have both ethernet in every room and wifi...
Ethernet is quite a bit faster for bulk data transfers, has less latency, is less prone to interference and to increase bandwidth you can lay more cables whereas there is finite wifi spectrum. I also have several devices which don't support wifi, or would require expensive optional hardware to do so.
My house has thick walls, so wifi coverage is somewhat weaker in places, and the garage is separate from the house and has virtually no signal at all.
I tend to use ethernet for static devices, leaving more bandwidth available for devices that actually move around. I also tend to plug my laptop in to ethernet if i need to do a large transfer.

about a month ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Bert64 Re: What about other devices? (421 comments)

They may not want to screw with it themselves, but they want and deserve a choice... More choice means more competition, and while there is plenty of competition on the hardware side of things they are pretty screwed when it comes to software. That's why hardware has improved massively and gotten ridiculously cheap, while software is still buggy and continues getting more expensive.

about a month ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Bert64 Re:Should be obvious...but it's not (421 comments)

Because you are almost always given a choice of how much ram you want, same for disk and processor...

about a month ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Bert64 Re:How does MS get away with it in the US? (421 comments)

So you offer the hardware with a choice of OS, or blank.
You can also sell pendrives with different OS on them, and there's no need to select any options to boot from usb - if the internal hard drive is blank and there isn't any other removable media most machines will boot from any bootable usb device thats connected.

about a month ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Bert64 Re: What about other devices? (421 comments)

They want to be able to buy hardware either without an os, or with a choice of os on it... Having that choice dictated to you is what people don't like, as they end up paying even if they want to use a different os.

about a month ago
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Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Bert64 Re: What about other devices? (421 comments)

The difference is its a bundle of individual products rather than a single integrated product... The OS available for your TV is not made available separately, and its unlikely your TV is capable of running anything else.
Also the OS on a tv is generally made by the tv manufacturer rather than a third party, and buying a tv from a different manufacturer will get you a different os.

about a month ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

Bert64 Re:At home too (185 comments)

I've had the same problems with windows, wireless or even ethernet not working out of the box and having to hunt around for drivers (and they don't even make it easy to work out what chipset your card has)... Usually this is down to windows being much older than the hardware and having no drivers for it by default, and its often possible to boot a much newer linux livecd and use it to download the drivers.

about a month and a half ago
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Why Munich Will Stick With Linux

Bert64 Re:At home too (185 comments)

Setting up windows is not easy either, in many cases its more difficult than linux. The only difference is that windows usually comes preinstalled, and with a recovery partition that is configured for that specific hardware. If they supplied hardware preconfigured with linux there wouldn't be any issues.

about a month and a half ago
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Could Tech Have Stopped ISIS From Using Our Own Heavy Weapons Against Us?

Bert64 Re:Like DRM? (448 comments)

Assuming the tank is capable of receiving the signal... Defeating such a system could be as simple as wrapping the antenna in tin foil. If the tank requires a signal to operate at all, then the enemy would just invest in signal jamming equipment.
DRM schemes are inherently ineffective, and often cause more trouble for the legitimate users...
The best thing they can realistically do, is have a very comprehensive understanding of the weapons weaknesses, and deploy appropriate countermeasures against them.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

Bert64 Re:Just wait a little (294 comments)

And if you have open source drivers that continue working and the upgrades are free, what possible reason do you have for not upgrading?
The userland ABI and APIs are stable and have been for a long time, code written for unix systems of the 80s will still compile and run just fine on a modern linux system.
Windows users stick with the version they got because upgrades are expensive, often cause performance degradation or require a troublesome clean reinstall, and may break compatibility with existing hardware or software.
The only time problems like that occur on linux is with closed source software, none of which i use... I regularly upgrade my linux boxes for free to get new features or other improvements, and the upgrades are gradual so you can get used to changes rather than a hard slap in the face every 5 years or so.

I continue using my "obsolete hardware" because it still works and still serves my needs, I could buy a new replacement but it would cost money and wouldn't serve my needs any better. Your argument against using obsolete hardware also applies to obsolete software, windows users keep using the version they got with the hardware because any benefits are outweighed by the negatives of upgrading.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

Bert64 Re:Just wait a little (294 comments)

At least with Windows I can guarantee a driver exists somewhere;

No, you can't...
Support for legacy hardware is often very poor with windows... the driver model has changed a few times, and each time cuts off some older hardware.
Then there is the issue that most drivers come as binaries, so while a piece of hardware may have 32bit drivers it may not have 64bit ones, and is even less likely to have arm drivers.
Then there are niche devices that were never intended to be used with windows, sun ethernet cards for instance that were intended to be used on sparc servers actually run just fine in x86 systems on linux but windows has no drivers for them.

I have an old usb scanner here, current versions of ubuntu detect it out of the box but you need to install drivers on windows or macos, only the windows drivers are only for 32bit xp and the mac drivers are only for powerpc.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

Bert64 Re:Sucks but... (294 comments)

Who is using COTS desktop boards on servers? Traditionally, Intel desktop cpu lines do not support ECC memory. And you talk like there is no option for servers besides Linux.

Far too many people are doing exactly this...
Smaller companies often have old desktops running as their "servers", no raid (or using the crappy bios fakeraid), no backups, no redundancy etc. Lots of cheaper servers are also based on desktop boards, and lots of budget hosting companies use such systems.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Bert64 Bert64 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bert64 writes "It seems that eBay allows you to say one thing about the location of an item in the auction description, but then if the item turns out to be defective to supply a completely different address, in another country, where the item can be returned at buyer's expense. No mention of this was in the original auction listing, in the hope of fooling those who would normally not buy from a foreign seller. Details on http://www.ev4.org/ of how i was stung by this, and how it can so easily be abused by anyone to profit by ripping off unsuspecting buyers while ebay sits back and does nothing about it. So anyone can ship defective items, and then make the returns process expensive enough that people won't bother."

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