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FreeBSD 9.3 Released

Fweeky Re:What is BSD good for? (77 comments)

Not really - ports doesn't even have a *concept* of upgrading, it's just uninstall/reinstall and hope you can work out how to handle all the dependencies. This is why FreeBSD's got so many tools for managing them - portupgrade, portmanager, portmaster, all with their own little and not so little quirks.

We do have an apt-alike these days, in the form of pkgng. pkgsrc also has pkgin.

about two weeks ago
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FreeBSD 9.3 Released

Fweeky Re:What is BSD good for? (77 comments)

It's stable enough for general use, but maturity counts for a lot with filesystems, especially when they're as complex as ZFS. It's also a third-party add-on rather than an official part of the OS which does raise some issues.

Conversely it's practically the default on FreeBSD, and it's been available since 2008.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

Fweeky Re:Accept, don't fight, systemd (533 comments)

Every release seems to take the system one step closer to exactly what you describe

Erm, like what?

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Practical Alternatives To Systemd?

Fweeky Re:I've been toying with rolling my own distro (533 comments)

pkgng's still missing the ability to track certain changes automatically, so you occasionally have to force-remove a package or manually change an origin as per /usr/ports/UPDATING. I think they're expecting to resolve that in 1.3 fairly soon.

I've been using it for about 18 months across a small group of machines with about 1400 packages between them, and it's pretty much entirely demolished any apt-envy I've had.

about 3 months ago
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OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week

Fweeky Alternatively (379 comments)

You can also track the changes in a somewhat friendlier format using FreshBSD. Full commit messages (up to a point) upfront, more useful Atom feed, breakdown by committer etc.

about 3 months ago
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How Data Storage Has Grown In the Past 60 Years

Fweeky Re:How long id a song (100 comments)

Reality disagrees with you. The user data portion of a sector is normally a power of two for convenience, being used on computers with power of two page sizes, but drives themselves are no more limited to power of two number of or size of sectors than your computer is limited to power of two size array or structure lengths, and this is readily confirmed by the existence of disks with 520 byte sectors (and somewhat different physical sizes) and an irritatingly diverse range of sector counts.

about 4 months ago
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How Data Storage Has Grown In the Past 60 Years

Fweeky Re:How long id a song (100 comments)

Hard disk drives use sectors which at some basic level have to be addressed by a powers of two binary addressing system. This means that no matter what else you do with sector sizes or block sizes, the binary counting system *always* comes into the picture.

Right, they're addressed using LBA48, which happens to be encoded in binary because that's how we build computers. That doesn't imply disks naturally only support powers of two for sector counts or sizes - they evidently don't.

CDs and DVDs have 2,352 and 2,418 byte physical sectors. Some Fibre Channel HD's support 520 byte sectors, and of course like optical discs all HD's have substantially bigger physical sectors internally for error detection and correction. A quick sampling of some of my HD's reveals drives with 732,566,646, 3,907,029,168, 500,118,192 and 312,581,808 sectors (at least they're all even?).

Ethernet is even more flexible, supporting any frame sizes between 64 bytes to over 9KB, hardware permitting. Note 9KB is not a power of two.

Wrong, and wrong again. *All* computer peripherals transmit data to and from computers encoded in binary signals. It means that all computer based addressing is essentially binary

Um. Yes, the numbers are encoded in binary. No, this doesn't mean computers can only handle number maximums that are a power of two. Memory happens to be like that because it has to be insanely low latency and simple bit operations like masking off the lower portion of an address is very efficient, but not everything is so restricted.

about 4 months ago
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How Data Storage Has Grown In the Past 60 Years

Fweeky Re:How long id a song (100 comments)

Why always picking on the HD manufacturers? Your GigE network runs at 1,000,000,000 bits per second, not 1,073,741,824, what a scam!

Memory is measured in multiples of powers of two because that's how the addressing works. Disks and network have no such fundamental limitations - they count in sectors and frames, which are themselves not necessarily powers of two.

about 4 months ago
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Offers 2,304 Cores For $650

Fweeky Re:Bitcoin / Litecoin mining? (160 comments)

It'll perform a bit worse than a GTX Titan, which gets in the region of 330Mhash/sec. For comparison, an AMD HD5870 from 2009 managed about 400Mhash/sec.

about a year ago
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Btrfs Is Getting There, But Not Quite Ready For Production

Fweeky Re:ZFS (268 comments)

8GB isn't hefty by any stretch of the imagination, especially not when you're messing with dedup. For decent performance the recommendation is somewhere along the lines of 20-30GB per TB, though you can mitigate that somewhat by using an SSD for L2ARC.

about a year ago
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One Quarter of Germans Happy To Have Chip Implants

Fweeky Re:Not an informed choice. (170 comments)

The transaction limits on unverified payments are pretty small (£15 here in the UK, recently raised from £10), and you'd expect any such system to be wary of lots and lots of them.

The lack of signature and PIN verification also means any liability for losses through such a system rests on the bank, not you, provided you report the loss of your card in good time. Same should apply if someone manages to exploit such a feature while you still have your card, provided you dispute the payments not too long after receiving your statement.

more than 4 years ago
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Opera Open Sources Dragonfly

Fweeky Re:I never knew that's what my.opera.com was for! (78 comments)

Firefox has Firebug; a web debugger, basically -- tracing JavaScript execution, examining and poking at the DOM, CSS, etc.

Dragonfly is the same kind of thing for Opera; and indeed, potentially other browsers which support Scope Transport Protocol.

more than 4 years ago
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Colossus 3.5-in SSD Combines Quad Controllers

Fweeky Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (160 comments)

Right, and it's less likely to die from shock or head crash or manufacturing defect, and when it runs out of erase cycles it fails soft; writes fail, but it's still readable; certainly a better failure mode than most drives. Yes, the X25-M has a 5 year design life, just as platter based drives, but I suspect it's also more likely to actually achieve it, firmware update screwups aside.

more than 4 years ago
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Colossus 3.5-in SSD Combines Quad Controllers

Fweeky Re:Get the word out: SLC vs MLC (160 comments)

The MLC X25-M is rated at 20GB/day for a 5 year service life, why would most people care?

more than 4 years ago
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AMD Radeon HD 5970 Dual-GPU Card Sweeps Benchmarks

Fweeky Re:games? (201 comments)

ATI drivers work well enough for me in Win XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7, on a HD3200, 4870 and 5870 respectively.

On the other hand the nForce 4 chipset on my motherboard died and my 8800GTS 512 died, so I tend to avoid their stuff now.

Aren't anecdotes great?

more than 4 years ago
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Intel's Braidwood Could Crush SSD Market

Fweeky Re:Not so sure (271 comments)

I would expect they'd be using some sort of slot, something like this. Motherboard manufacturers aren't exactly going to be thrilled at the idea of putting some yet more expensive components on there, but they might be happy to hook up a small ZIF socket thing like some of them do with CF.

Intel actually had some weird ZIF connected SSD's on there a while ago on preorder, but they appear to have disappeared.

Either way, it's nice to see some hybrid storage stuff which isn't ZFS L2ARC (zpool add tank cache /dev/my_ssd -> tank now has an 80GB SSD for fs cache). Kind of surprised it hasn't been done in software elsewhere really; you'd think there would be some Linux developer who found the idea compelling, or even Microsoft wanting to extend ReadyBoost to its logical conclusion.

more than 4 years ago
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Intel 34nm SSDs Lower Prices, Raise Performance

Fweeky Re:the era of the SSD is here (195 comments)

I've tried an X25-M on a few servers with LSI SAS controllers (as used by PERC 6i, though I don't think I've used that exact chip) and been disappointed to encounter IO hangs and other drives disappearing randomly; even just having an X25-M plugged in is enough to seemingly make the controller rather unhappy. Doesn't appear to be a driver problem, unless it's one shared by FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris.

Hopefully Intel will do an SAS version at some point; they could compete against 15kRPM drives rather well, I think.

about 5 years ago
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Intel 34nm SSDs Lower Prices, Raise Performance

Fweeky Re:Oooh. Questions Still Remain... (195 comments)

Intel rated the first generation X25-M's at 100GB/day for 5 years, I'd be surprised if these were significantly worse.

about 5 years ago

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