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Comments

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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

advid.net Much more dangerous than regular van. (435 comments)

loading it with explosives and using it as a guided missile. This last concern is the only one that I considered a real issue, but even that is not significantly more dangerous than loading up a regular van full of explosives with a timer, then setting the timer to explode before you leave the vehicle next to a school

I see that much more dangerous because the criminal doesn't have to overcome the fear of getting caught in the vehicle with that load, or getting caught by cameras as he leaves.
And he doesn't have to stop or park somewhere. And he doesn't need any timer, just a remote to command the explosion, whenever he wants, even before target if things don't go as he wishes.

about a week ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

advid.net Little-known facts about digital sound alterations (502 comments)

The onboard sound card has ZERO effect on the quality of the audio. The bits are traveling directly, unmolested from the application generating them to the amplifiers in the speakers.

That's what I thought for a long time and then I discovered that I was wrong (so you are - no offence).

Digital sound can be altered on the way between application and the DAC interpretation, even with TosLink (optical).

Have a look about the clock jitter problem, or phase noise :

Some refs here (with more links inside), here, and here.

about two weeks ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

advid.net Re:Countdown timers are only for pedestrians? (579 comments)

In Cambodia there is also countdown on main traffic lights for cars.

That's much better: it's easier to wait when you know how long and you see that you will soon be green lite.

This leads to better behavior of the drivers.

And the green pedestrian light is an animated running green guy :D

about three weeks ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

advid.net Just a name list - legal loop hole - suggestion (276 comments)

Then I suggest they set up a second list where particular individuals would be listed as "can actually fly despite name on no-fly".

So if a Todd Smith has his name put on no-fly list for some reasons, an other Todd Smith would be able to ask thorough check and have his identification put on the do-fly so he would no longer be banned from flying.

about a month ago
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Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index

advid.net What I like most... (248 comments)

... is that Google used to mention that some links were remove from search results by court order, and thus mention the order which has the links in question... :D

about a month ago
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Samsung Debuts Thin Galaxy Tab S With Super AMOLED 2560X1600 Display

advid.net What about tetrachromate women ? (176 comments)

If it can match colors up to 94% of "nature's true palette" , maybe it could be used to display a test for tetrachromate people ?

I always wanted to make such a test, but I was quite difficult with real pigments.

I hope some application will try to make such a test, it would be amazing !

about a month and a half ago
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EU's Top Court May Define Obesity As a Disability

advid.net Energy - Thyroid condition - People at restaurant (625 comments)

For quite a long time I thought that, no matter what, if you eat less energy than your body needs, you will loose weight.

Then I learned about this "Thyroid condition" case...

In that case, even when people eat less than their body really needs, the body will stockpile the fat, to the point that the person can't sustain her functions and will faint.
So, those people don't have a lot of choice if they don't want to faint, they need to eat more.

How many "Thyroid condition" do we have in the population ?
I don't know. Anyone has some information ?
I guess that's not very common.

But usually I see fat people at self-service restaurant with :
=> delicatessen
=> meat, sauce and hydrocarbs
=> pastry
for every single meal!

While I usually take:
=> various raw vegetables without sauce
=> not always meat, but at least one vegetables (fries not excluded but once a week at most)
=> yogourt, fruit or occasional pastry
Guess what ? My weight is stable since over 20 years ( +/- 500g at most), and I'm rather slim.

That's why I show now mercy at all for fat people.
The vast majority of them eat too much, I can see that everywhere.

about a month and a half ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

advid.net Re:Wait a sec (772 comments)

[..] you can believe that this particular theory is the right one [...]

This is not a belief, since I wouldn't say that I *believe* that it is the right one, no...

I would rather say that I'm convinced and that I agree with the reasoning of this theory, given the facts and using logic.

And it is by far the best, and in fact the only one that is still valid and was reinforced during a century of observations, also with predictions comforted by new observations.
There is no other theory left about evolution, and this one was remarkable for its scientific validation.

With all those facts and observations, if you still have doubts, then you must also have some about any theory, even wonder is Earth is flat or not, who knows ?
And have absolute doubt, question even reality...
You can, if you want.

BTW, "believe" might be an ambiguous word in English, like "Free" (Libre or Gratis?), this can be confusing for some people.
Do they say "believe" for "having the belief" - with faith - or just "thinking it's right and valid" - no faith needed - as it can be used casually.
Mixing the two is really confusing.

about 2 months ago
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The Major Theoretical Blunders That Held Back Progress In Modern Astronomy

advid.net Interesting facts (129 comments)

Thanks for the story

You may also point the the original article (PDF version), there is an handful of examples more.

about 2 months ago
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Linux Sucks (Video)

advid.net Advantage of Video talking head (293 comments)

As soon as I saw his eyebrows and glasses, I figured out the video wasn't worth watching.

This actually saves time, even when you compare with text only media.

One must filter information according to prejudices that one have on the physical aspect of the Narrator...

It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances
Oscar Wilde

about 2 months ago
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Free Software Foundation Condemns Mozilla's Move To Support DRM In Firefox

advid.net Migrated on Pale Moon 2 weeks ago (403 comments)

Go for it! Thank to /. thread on Firefox new version (new UI) I've discovered Pale Moon.

I've installed my usual extensions (Adblock, NoScript, Stylish) and the flash plugin.
It's the 64bit version of Pale Moon. I'm happy with it and see no reason going back to Firefox... bye! It's been quite a long time but I leave now.

I've even installed the Portable version, 64 bit also, with the same set of plugins.
No problems so far (2 weeks).

about 2 months ago
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Interviews: Ask Former Director of JPL Edward Stone About Space Exploration

advid.net Next Planetary Grand Tour, a visionary perspective (58 comments)

The Planetary Grand Tour was reduced from 4 to 2 probes but those Voyagers are great space exploration success.

Such planetary configuration will occur again in quite a long time, about 130 years, however we must be able by then to launch a new set of probes to take advantage of the gravitational slingshots. I'm afraid humanity might not be able to achieve this in case of new economic crisis at that time or because of some world conflicts, society collapse, whatever may distract us (or impede us) from working on the challenge.

How do you feel about this next window?
Shall we start to think about it and show to short-sighted politicians that great scientific challenges are at stake?

At least there's a chance that this event would be considered indisputable by everybody, unlike some other scientific phenomenons which will have great (negative) impact on us.

about 2 months ago
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Russia Bans US Use of Its Rocket Engines For Military Launches

advid.net Original ethnics groups ... (522 comments)

... russian speaking ukranians were imported to Ukraine, and the originally ethnic groups were cleared out.
... I propose they just move back to Russia, and leave Ukraine to the ethnic groups that were cleared out.

Then what about people in US move back wherever they came from and leave the continent to the ethnic groups that were cleared out ?

I guess there's a duration threshold somewhere, after that people living somewhere can claim the land.

Maybe 50 years is a bit short, a few hundreds start to be interesting, and thousands year long occupation seems fair.

Anyway, there might have been some other original ethnic group there before any of both today, they should focus on something else than their ancestors' culture and learn to live together.

about 2 months ago
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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Loses Deep Sea Vehicle

advid.net First of all : one remark (93 comments)

... 11,000 meters deep...
Scientists say ...
... 16,000 pounds per square inch

Time to embrace the metric system, don't you think so ?

about 2 months ago
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Skepticism Grows Over Claims That MH370 Lies In the Bay of Bengal

advid.net Scam ! Definitely a HOAX like oil sniffer : (126 comments)

I've already posted that before, but anyway, I'll tell it again:

A search on their patent refs leads nowhere except to their site.

This remind me the Great Oil Sniffer Hoax

Besides, if they were able to do what they claim, they would better look for gold in sunken ships and tell no one.
Their imaginary references are as old as 2003 with a site born in 2014... really ?

Face it: this is a hoax, at best, and more likely a scam.

about 3 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

advid.net Re:If they're having so much trouble testing drugs (1198 comments)

I've read that in Switzerland their suicide kit comprises a helium bottle and a plastic bag.

Also when I give 0,5 litre of my blood, I know that I may faint if I don't drink enough and then stand up suddenly.
I guess making someone give all of it would be fatal with no pain.

(again I want to state that I'm against death penalty, I don't suggest anything to carry on those punishments, just wondering why they still use drugs)

about 3 months ago
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Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

advid.net The problem is the image send back to us (1198 comments)

Do you want to know exactly how bad I feel that this guy suffered for an hour?

I think as little as me, but that is not the point.

What I personally dislike is the gruesome picture that this botched execution sends back to society.

(I also feel the need to state that I'm against death penalty, for miscelanous reasons)

about 3 months ago
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Firefox 29: Redesign

advid.net Pale Moon has a strong opinion against FF4 v29 (688 comments)

Me too.

I'll tell them I no longer like FF by moving away of FF and uninstalling it on 1 Mac, 3 Win, 2 Linux (home) and 2 other Win (pro).

I think I'll try Iceweasel or Pale Moon.

I'd like to quote this from Pale Moon info page:

In addition, later versions of Pale Moon aim to provide more freedom of choice than Mozilla about how people want to browse the web, which tools or extensions they wish to use, and which feedback users want to see; efficiency, after all, should not stop at the engine of a browser, but extend to all parts of it, including the user interface.
Specifically, Firefox 4 and later have redesigned the user interface after the visions of the Mozilla Firefox product directors and user experience team to provide a more minimalist interface; unfortunately also removing essential functions and making a few less logical design choices, confusing minimalism with cleanliness.
Later on, with "Australis", much more has been changed, breaking in many ways with previous versions, standard user interface conventions and ergonomics, as well as proper visual integration with the operating system.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Wold First In-Man Total Artificial Heart Implantation

advid.net advid.net writes  |  about 7 months ago

advid.net (595837) writes "The designer and developer of the world's most advanced total artificial heart project announces the first implantation of its artificial heart, as part of its feasibility study and in accordance with the approvals granted by the French health authority and the ethics committee.

This artificial heart is total, biocompatible and self-regulated, it slows down or accelerates when needed. The external battery is on a belt.

The procedure was performed on December 18, 2013 by the Georges Pompidou European Hospital team in Paris — a world first.

This first implant went smoothly, with the prosthesis automatically providing normal blood flow at a physiological rate. The patient is currently being monitored in intensive care. He is awake and able to talk to his family.
English article
Two videos about this total artificial heart"
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Lightsaber hold-up in minimarket

advid.net advid.net writes  |  about a year ago

advid.net writes "Two thieves robbed a convenience store with a lightsaber to threaten two employees.

They ask them to put the cash in a bag. The staff complied, and the robbers got away with about 250 €.

The incident did not cause any casualties but the employees were very shocked."

Link to Original Source
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What hapenned to slashdot interface ? Why ?

advid.net advid.net writes  |  about a year and a half ago

advid.net writes "Today I see that Slashdot has a new web interface, no more on a single extensible page whith "more stories" button. Now there are previous and next buttons to switch from one age to another...

Why did they changed this ? Why do they do like the others web sites ?

Is there any way to get back to the single dynamic page ?"
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Malaysia deports Saudi blogger over tweets

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 2 years ago

advid.net writes "As one blogger is freed, another is sent back home to face death penalty:

Malaysia has deported a young Saudi journalist who is wanted in his home country over Twitter posts about the Prophet Mohammad that sparked calls for his execution, the Malaysian government has confirmed.

Hamza Kashgari, who was detained in Malaysia on Thursday after fleeing Saudi Arabia, left the country in the custody of Saudi officials on Sunday, a statement of the Malaysian Home Ministery said.

Kashgari, a 23-year-old Jeddah-based newspaper columnist, fled to Muslim-majority Malaysia after making comments on the microblogging site deemed insulting to the Prophet Mohammed, which fuelled a surge of outrage in the kingdom.

Kashgari apologised for his comments and said he was being made a he a "scapegoat for a larger conflict". Insulting the prophet is considered blasphemous in Islam and is a crime punishable by death in Saudi Arabia.

"

Link to Original Source
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Megaupload User Data could be gone soon

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 2 years ago

advid.net writes "According to AP, Megaupload User Data Could Be Gone Thursday.

Megaupload hires outside companies to store the data. Those companies haven't been paid since the Mega-raid: Mega-money is frozen.

Thus 50 million Megaupload users have data in danger of being erased, like for any paid account that is no longer paid by customer."
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Macroscopic wave–particle duality

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 2 years ago

advid.net (595837) writes "A 'walking' drop on a liquid surface behave like a particle with wave properties: diffraction, interference patterns, vibration quantization.

First, in a vibrating container they put a liquid like silicon oil, vibrations are just bellow the Faraday instability threshold. Then a drop of the same liquid is dropped on the surface, but it does not coalesce, it bounces. And further bounces make a static wave pattern on the liquid surface just bellow the drop and its immediate neighborhood. As the spike grows, instability increases and the drop slides down the spike, and start moving horizontally.

Then they have a combo object drop+wave pattern moving at 1/10th the speed of wave in this liquid, straight. They call it a walker.

What is really amazing is that the wave pattern below the drop has some kind of memory: it has accumulated energy from several drop bounces. It can also make the drop see "forward", as the small wave pattern bounces back from nearby obstacles. So the drop is "aware" of its environment and "recall" the path it has followed.

Diffraction is observed and explained by the multiple reflexions the wave makes when the drop passes through a small hole, randomizing the wave pattern and the angle of the path afterward. Interference patterns observed are explained a la de Broglie: as the drop passes through one of the two holes, its associated wave passes through both, carrying forward the message of the second hole to the drop and changing the statistical repartition of the drop's path direction. One more stunning result: they are circling the drop by moving the container (Coriolis), then the associated wave adopts a discrete series of pattern, depending on the speed and radius. Very much like the energy quantization of electrons.
English (and French) abstract
A short article (French but it has photos and formulas)
Full thesis (French,10Mb)"

Link to Original Source
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Ask Slashdot: Duke Nukem Unleashed, what gameplay?

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 2 years ago

advid.net (595837) writes "The long awaited Duke Nukem Forever, the king of the vaporware, was — at last — finished this year. During those years I noticed that the Duke has many followers here on /.

This is why I ask the crowd:
What would you have liked to get instead of this disappointing game?
Or what the next Duke Nukem should be like ?

It seems everyone agrees with games reviews: they took out the fun that DN3D once had.

Obviously we want back:
maps free to explore, no more lame disneyland path to follow like a track.
10 weapons to carry (not counting fists and boots), quick change by keyboard (PC gamers), because choosing the perfect weapon for a job is fun.
fast Duke, not one that can't breath after a 10s sprint. And higher jumps also.

These are the minimum requirements.
And the paradox is that going back to this old gameplay would lead to a new kind of FPS among those we have today. Don't you think so?

Along with that I wonder if you have some other ideas.

Maybe the Ego thing is a good idea to keep, or some combination with life points ?

Interaction with the maps is poor in Duke Nukem Forever, it could be improved with the next Duke Nukem, but I know it is quite some work for developer teams. I think it doesn't matter if you can't destroy walls, doors, and furniture; but some new unusual and innovative map and object interactions should be worked out for the fun and the gameplay.

Then, humor and story are more a matter of taste.
I would suggest a worldwide contest to send new jokes, they will be kept secret unless discarded by some kind of small team of dedicated fans.
Collaborate to build a new story without telling the whole picture or all the details to gamers: do you have any experience in such participation?

Also: dying. Duke should die with more class. Bloody broken glasses aren't enough. Different kinds of death, maybe from another point of view, not with Duke's eyes.
By the way, are the other camera angles gone?

One last question:
How could we call the next Duke Nukem adventure ?
I suggest Duke Nukem Unleashed.
(by contrast to Duke Nukem Forever, very restrained)

I hope someone will be able to push those requirements and your answers to an editor, so the Duke that we like can come back... when finished !"
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MozilllaNews taken over by CyberSquatter

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 2 years ago

advid.net (595837) writes "As I browsed through MozilllaNews links on my Slashdot page, I realize that they all direct to the same cybersquatter page with a very poor content.

What happened? Did they forgot to renew the domain subscription?

Should Slashdot remove this section until they get back their domain?"

Link to Original Source
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The old Prophecy trick strikes in StarCraft II

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 3 years ago

advid.net writes "When a writer just doesn’t know how to tell his new story or, worse, when he hasn’t yet any story to tell but needs to write one, he can make up a prophecy. To resort to a prophecy is an easy trick to make a story. He doesn’t even need to justify anything, to explain where the prophecy comes from or why it says so. The characters keep telling “the prophecy says...” or “according to the prophecy...” without any background or justification. The prophecy is just there. And of course each time a character talks about the prophecy, he is at least respectful and usually speaks with solemnity and deep eyes. Even the bad guys believe, and if someone laugh at it, then this is the moron, the dumb guy. Nobody in the story will challenge the prophecy or say it is crap or bullshit.

The writer can also lengthen the story by telling us how the characters discover the prophecy. Well, first they will have heard about it. Then they have to find the writings or someone telling the prophecy to them. Before that, they will have to get somewhere, break in something, quite a journey. Then, once the prophecy obtained, they need to decode it and interpret it. Besides later another reading of the same text will lead to another conclusion, this is a cheap way to start over a new stunning adventure in the story.

Everyone knows films, books, games which have used this prophecy trick as an easy make-up for a shallow story.

Why am I telling this ? Because I’m just tired of those prophecy stories, I’m sick of it. Enough. Please, can someone in Hollywood, in editors companies, in video game teams, tell them to stop using this trick ?

Last time I’ve seen this trick used, it’s in StarCraft II campaign (crystal missions). I though “Oh! No! Not again! Aaaargh ! The old Prophecy Trick strikes again! Damned! Shame on SC2 team.”

Don’t get it wrong: this game is really great. But come on: do we really need to be treated like that? (And the Zerg burrow capacity explanation remind me the midi-chlorians in Star Wars 1... What a pity to add non-sense to the mystery.)

Does this prophecy trick also upset you and did you saw it in use recently ?"
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Car black box camera DVR : efficiency and law ?

advid.net advid.net writes  |  about 4 years ago

advid.net writes "Just in case I get involved in an car accident, I want to install one of those car black box to record a front view video while driving.

I believe it could help prove which side was wrong. It could be usefull if I'm wrongly accused of speeding or having a red light. Or to know who has damaged the car while parked.
Some of those devices can record two video chanels, 3D g acceleration, GPS position (with speed), HD video (for plate and face identification).

I'm sure some of you have experimented such geeky device :)

Could you share your experience ? Is it efficent ? Is there any problem with it regarding your country/state's law ?"

Link to Original Source
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March 25th : first Procrastination Day

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 4 years ago

advid.net writes "Today, March the 25th of 2010, is the first worldwide procrastination Day.

As you may have guessed, the purpose of this day is to celebrate the procrastination by deferring every today tasks to tomorow.

I just wonder... could we celebrate this day a bit later ?"

Link to Original Source
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France threatens music majors for catalog release

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 4 years ago

advid.net writes "French President N. Sarkozy asks for the majors to release their catalog to all platforms of music downloading.
The majors have fought against this proposal suggested by a government commission. They didn't expect such requirement during the president's 2010 wishes. Universal COE was standing KO as he thought that his lobbying has been successful.

Translation of the last part:
N. Sarkozy gives a year to the majors so they can negotiate rights and "liberate" their music files on all platforms. Failure to do so, they will have to "bargain rights under the law of compulsory collective management through civil societies," he said. For the majors, it's everything they hate! Because a civil society distribute revenues without necessarily benefit producers at the expense of the authors ...
The President went even further by launching the idea of a unique gateway reference all the catalogs and music videos. "Do not complain that others do better than us, if we do not give us the means to do as well as they do," he said. If Sarkozy does not falter, it announced that the time of the omnipotence of American portals on cultural content may be gone soon ..."

Link to Original Source
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Cowboy Neal 3D soon available

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 5 years ago

advid.net writes "According to this thread there are plans to produce some Cowboy Neal 3D replicas through a rapid prototyping process.

I wonder if some other Slashdot celebrities would be available too.

<<Can we print...
7- Cowboy neal 3D?
Still waiting for the model...

Furthermore:
...
— the 4th option silently replace uploaded models by the Cowboy Neal 3D model (coming soon).>>

I can't wait to see how it looks like!"
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Pool: You're most unlikely to believe in...

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 6 years ago

advid.net writes "You're most unlikely to believe in...

  • Aliens came/are on Earth
  • The water powered engine
  • Telepathy
  • Windows without bug
  • God
  • Linux on desktop market
  • Year -6001
  • CowboyNeal pool option success
"
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advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 7 years ago

advid.net writes "According to this European think-tank, several practical consequences of the unfolding crisis will converge in April 2007, some of them are:
  • Acceleration of the pace and size of bankruptcies among US financial organisations: from one per week today to one per day in April
  • Spectacular rise of US home foreclosures: 10 million Americans out on the street
  • Accelerating collapse of housing prices in the US: — 25%
  • Entry into recession of the US economy in April 2007
  • Precipitous rate cut by the US Federal Reserve
  • Sudden drop of US dollar value against Euro, Yuan and Yen

About home foreclosures they mention Beacon Journal 11/01/2007, United Business Media 12/02/2007, Austin Business Journal 26/01/2007 and CNN Money on 25/01/2007.
They also mention scores of blogs appearing on the web and trying to review the on-going housing disaster and the stream of human tragedies, for instance My Real Estate Money or Foreclosure Pulse"
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advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 7 years ago

advid.net writes "This survey about slashdot made me wrote some suggestions...

  • A kind of Slashdotpedia: after an interesting question I gather the best slashdoter advices and my own search to make a journal entry. I suggest that I could back-link my journal from the article, even if archived. Then anybody browsing the article later could see that a guy has made a summary, a best of, enriched with his own work. Also those slashback summaries could be listed in a slashdotpedia section for great value added content (from a nerd point of view). See my three journal entries as an example.
    This mod is an easy one, few resource needed, work done by dedicated /.ers

  • As a registered user I'd like to know which issues I've seen (loaded/clicked) and which articles also. Slashdot would need to keep a database of this, I guess you can't afford such a load. Benefit: I can read later just what I've missed, I don't need to keep track of read/unread items.

  • I like those topic pics :) showing up along with articles, but we should see more often two pictures for an entry that could fit in several sections. I guess those new tags can help also.

  • There's some space on the title bar that could be used for this:
    Display a kind of flag array (very small icons) to tell what is the mood of the discussion. Then we could at a glance see that they started (mainly) to joke / troll, or that they are serious with great feedback. It's a kind of automatic tagging but not for topics/content, only for mood/kind-of-answers/readers-behaviour.
"

Journals

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Thrifty system for volume billed Internet. -HELP

advid.net advid.net writes  |  about 3 months ago

1) The problem:
At countryside, no ADSL, mobile 3G reachable.
No budget for unlimited plan, stay under a few bucks per month for mobile Internet.
No mobility needed.
Low volume Internet need: text emails on gmail, occasional web site visits.

2) The solution:
3G key + external antenna + PC
Prepaid 3G mobile plan, billed on the volume of data downloaded, only 3.4â / month at least.

3) Need help for:
What system to run the PC on ?
It should not download anything implicitly, neither connect to anywhere by itself.
I'm thinking of a tailored Linux with customized web browser.
Offline email with google chrome app, with online sync, seems interesting.

What else ?
Few people have this need, advices and ideas are rare, did I missed something ?

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Friends and Foes

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 7 years ago As I've reach the 200 friends limit on slashdot, I decided to keep track of certain friends (confirmed) or to queue new ones in case a friend is disapointing me and frees a slot. This is sad, I hope the 200 limit will be raised...

Confirmed are protected against unfair deletetion in case I really want to bring a new friend in and need to neutralize a random friend. Challenged may be deleted from friend list later.

Confirmed friends
http://slashdot.org/~LWATCDR
http://slashdot.org/~Ironsides
http://slashdot.org/~LionKimbro
http://slashdot.org/~NMerriam
http://slashdot.org/~misanthrope101
http://slashdot.org/~jgoemat
http://slashdot.org/~Grendel+Drago
http://slashdot.org/~Mark_MF-WN

Challenged friends
http://slashdot.org/~Opportunist
http://slashdot.org/~Teancum
http://slashdot.org/~geekoid

Queued friends
http://slashdot.org/~Demon-Xanth
http://slashdot.org/~dpilot
http://slashdot.org/~Sax+Maniac
http://slashdot.org/~Alzheimers
http://slashdot.org/~MaWeiTao
http://slashdot.org/~FireFury03
http://slashdot.org/~bentcd
http://slashdot.org/~fotbr
http://slashdot.org/~skrolle2
http://slashdot.org/~Chris_Mir
http://daleglass.net/
http://slashdot.org/~Maondas
http://slashdot.org/~babbling
http://slashdot.org/~evanbd
http://slashdot.org/~skam240
http://slashdot.org/~innerweb
http://slashdot.org/~tamnir
http://slashdot.org/~Heir+Of+The+Mess -
http://slashdot.org/~jstomel
http://slashdot.org/~etherlad
http://slashdot.org/~MightyYar
http://slashdot.org/~BakaHoushi
http://slashdot.org/~scotch
http://slashdot.org/~erroneus
http://slashdot.org/~tgibbs
http://slashdot.org/~Smidge204
http://slashdot.org/~sqrt(2)
http://slashdot.org/~mha
http://slashdot.org/~Creosote
http://slashdot.org/~Aglassis
http://slashdot.org/~exploder
http://slashdot.org/~SanityInAnarchy
http://slashdot.org/~Hatta
http://slashdot.org/~RobDude
http://slashdot.org/~ChronosWS
http://slashdot.org/~Belial6
http://slashdot.org/~jawtheshark
http://slashdot.org/~eclectic4 ++ (dec2013: last jan2010)
http://slashdot.org/~eldavojohn
http://slashdot.org/~flyingsquid
http://slashdot.org/~MightyMartian (but foe of friend)
http://slashdot.org/~thynk
http://slashdot.org/~Dhrakar
http://slashdot.org/~plnrtrvlr
http://slashdot.org/~unapersson
http://slashdot.org/~Khazunga
http://slashdot.org/~djmurdoch
http://slashdot.org/~Fuzzums
http://slashdot.org/~xstonedogx/
http://slashdot.org/~Magic5Ball/
http://slashdot.org/~Just+Some+Guy
http://slashdot.org/~giminy
http://slashdot.org/~steelfood
http://slashdot.org/~Kent+Recal
http://slashdot.org/~RAMMS+EIN/
http://slashdot.org/~thsths/
http://slashdot.org/~spun
http://slashdot.org/~sm62704 +++ (dec2013: last sept2008)
http://slashdot.org/~Andy+Smith rel +++ (dec2013: last jul2012)
http://slashdot.org/~Ethanol-fueledrel++ (dec2013: last mar2012)

Foe
http://slashdot.org/~mapkinase

investigate
http://slashdot.org/~twitter/

check to eject Minwee (522556)

EDIT Dec2013: it looks like the 200 friends limit have been raised, so I digg some queued friends to friend theml...

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Backup software & organization (slashback)

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 7 years ago Backing up a Linux (or Other *nix) System

Here are some valuable thoughts, I'll re-write something more synthetic later...

From digitalhermit (113459):

I deal with some aggregate 2 terabytes of storage on my home file servers. What works for me won't work for an enterprise corporate data center, but maybe some things are useful...

I think the article does a good job of explaining how to backup, but maybe just as important is "why?". There are some posts that say put everything on a RAID or use mirror or dd. What they fail to address is one important reason to backup: human error. You may wipe a file and then a week later need to recover it. If all you're doing is mirroring or RAID, no matter how reliable, your backups are worthless.

There's also different classes of data. I have gigabytes of videos. Some are transcoded DVDs, some are raw footage. If I lose all my transcoded DVDs it's not as critical as if I lost raw footage. Why? The DVDs can be re-ripped. It will take a long time but the data can be recreated. For the raw footage it's different, even if I keep the original Mini-DV tapes, because re-recording the video from tape won't guarantee that the file is identical. If the file is different then the edits will be different. Then there's also mail spools, CVS, personal files, etc..

What I've found is that I archive my DVD rips once every few months. Other stuff is backed up once a week to another file server.

I could care less about the OS. THe file server runs FedoraCore5. The only thing I keep is the Kickstart file so that I can rebuild it within a matter of minutes then restore the data from archives. This is just a matter of copying a samba configuration and restarting.

For the web server, all content is kept within CVS. If the web server fails, it's just a matter of rebuilding the image and pulling the latest copy from CVS. Fifteen minutes to re-image the OS. Five minutes to pull down the latest content.

For DNS, initial configuration for 8 domains is done by a perl script that auto-creates the named.conf and all zone files. Then I just append the host list to the primary domain. Ten minutes at most.

Home directories are centralized on a file server using OpenLDAP and automounts. One filesystem to backup makes it easy.. By being easy it means it gets done automatically.

Other "machines" are virtual and these are copied to DVD whenever something drastic changes (e.g., major upgrade).

From swordgeek (112599):

When you work in a large environment, you start to develop a different idea about backups. Strangely enough, most of these ideas work remarkably well on a small scale as well.

tar, gtar, dd, cp, etc. are not backup programs. These are file or filesystem copy programs. Backups are a different kettle of fish entirely.

Amanda is a pretty good option. There are many others. The tool really isn't that important other than that (a) it maintains a catalog, and (b) it provides comprehensive enough scheduling for your needs.

The schedule is key. Deciding what needs to get backed up, when it needs to get backed up, how big of a failure window you can tolerate, and such is the real trick. It can be insanely difficult when you have a hundred machines with different needs, but fundamentally, a few rules apply to backups:

For backups:
1) Back up the OS routinely.
2) Back up the data obsessively.
3) Document your systems carefully.
4) TEST your backups!!!

For restores:
1) Don't restore machines--rebuild.
2) Restore necessary config files.
3) Restore data.
4) TEST your restoration.

All machines should have their basic network and system config documented. If a machine is a web server, that fact should be added to the documentation but the actual web configuration should be restored from OS backups. Build the machine, create the basic configuration, restore the specific configuration, recover the data, verify everything. It's not backups, it's not a tool, it's not just spinning tape; it's the process and the documentation and the testing.

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Slashdot survey: more suggestions

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 7 years ago This survey about slashdot made me wrote some suggestions...

  • A kind of Slashdotpedia: after an interesting question I gather the best slashdoter advices and my own search to make a journal entry. I suggest that I could back-link my journal from the article, even if archived. Then anybody browsing the article later could see that a guy has made a summary, a best of, enriched with his own work. Also those slashback summaries could be listed in a slashdotpedia section for great value added content (from a nerd point of view). See my three journal entries as an example.
    This mod is an easy one, few resource needed, work done by dedicated /.ers
  • As a registered user I'd like to know which issues I've seen (loaded/clicked) and which articles also. Slashdot would need to keep a database of this, I guess you can't afford such a load. Benefit: I can read later just what I've missed, I don't need to keep track of read/unread items.
  • I like those topic pics :) showing up along with articles, but we should see more often two pictures for an entry that could fit in several sections. I guess those new tags can help also.
  • There's some space on the title bar that could be used for this:
    Display a kind of flag array (very small icons) to tell what is the mood of the discussion. Then we could at a glance see that they started (mainly) to joke / troll, or that they are serious with great feedback. It's a kind of automatic tagging but not for topics/content, only for mood/kind-of-answers/readers-behaviour.

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Ideas for a Home Grown Network Attached Storage (slashback)

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 9 years ago Summary for this thread :
Ideas for a Home Grown Network Attached Storage?

[...]I would like to build my own NAS and am interested in hardware/software ideas. While the small form factor PC cases are attractive, my NAS will dwell in the basement so I am thinking of a cheap/roomy ATX case with lots of power.[...]

Notice: this text is a mix of several authors plus personnal updates, I thank everyone. This time I tried to credit authors from /. crowd ;-)

My conclusions are at the end along with request for comments.

from the /. crowd :

General advice

One big growable partition: Take a bunch of disks, turn them into RAID5 array. Make a logical volume (LVM on Linux) and add the RAID-array to it. Create a growable device on the LVM and format with a standard growable FS.
When you get new disks simply create a new RAID5 array and add that to the logical volume and add to your current and grow the FS on it.

You don't want everything on one big RAID0, I lost 200G of data that way. I can say I'll never do that mistake again.

FileSystem type

Common linux file systems (ext, reiser, etc) contains critical data-losing type bugs on file systems bigger than 2TB, except XFS. This was found to be the case in even the most recent 2.6 kernels.
Tony Battersby posted a patch to the LBD mailing list recently to address the ones he could find, but lacking a full audit, you probably shouldn't use any filesystem other than XFS.
Considering the gravity of these bugs, you might consider using XFS for everything, if the developers left these critical bugs in for so long, it makes you wonder about the general quality of the filesystems.

What of IBM's JFS? We run that here on our .75ish TB file server, and it's been great for us. We've not had any data corruption issues since we deployed it ~1yr ago, and it's survived a number of power outages with no problems. I'm impressed so far :)

See Tivos. If they use XFS, it's probably because it deletes even very large files instantaneously whereas most other filesystems takes longer the larger the file is. This is a clear advantage if you want to be able to delete a large movie file from disk at the same time that you want to record TV to that disk.

Summary for this thread :
Ideas for a Home Grown Network Attached Storage?

[...]I would like to build my own NAS and am interested in hardware/software ideas. While the small form factor PC cases are attractive, my NAS will dwell in the basement so I am thinking of a cheap/roomy ATX case with lots of power.[...]

Notice: this text is a mix of several authors plus personnal updates, I thank everyone. This time I tried to credit authors from /. crowd ;-)

General advice

One big growable partition: Take a bunch of disks, turn them into RAID5 array. Make a logical volume (LVM on Linux) and add the RAID-array to it. Create a growable device on the LVM and format with a standard growable FS.
When you get new disks simply create a new RAID5 array and add that to the logical volume and add to your current and grow the FS on it.

You don't want everything on one big RAID0, I lost 200G of data that way. I can say I'll never do that mistake again.

FileSystem type

Common linux file systems (ext, reiser, etc) contains critical data-losing type bugs on file systems bigger than 2TB, except XFS. This was found to be the case in even the most recent 2.6 kernels.
Tony Battersby posted a patch to the LBD mailing list recently to address the ones he could find, but lacking a full audit, you probably shouldn't use any filesystem other than XFS.
Considering the gravity of these bugs, you might consider using XFS for everything, if the developers left these critical bugs in for so long, it makes you wonder about the general quality of the filesystems.

What of IBM's JFS? We run that here on our .75ish TB file server, and it's been great for us. We've not had any data corruption issues since we deployed it ~1yr ago, and it's survived a number of power outages with no problems. I'm impressed so far :)

See Tivos. If they use XFS, it's probably because it deletes even very large files instantaneously whereas most other filesystems takes longer the larger the file is. This is a clear advantage if you want to be able to delete a large movie file from disk at the same time that you want to record TV to that disk.

Struture

There's no reason the NAS box has to have all the files in one file system. Just create multiple partitions or logical volumes. You export directory trees across the network on NAS, not file systems.

Exporting shares

I feel strange advocating a MS-originated protocol -- but the truth us, serving files via Samba on Linux is going to be the best-performing[1], most-compatible remote file system available. [1] Samba beats the MS implementations of SMB/CIFS. No guarantees about Samba vs NFS, GFS, Coda, whatever. Structure

There's no reason the NAS box has to have all the files in one file system. Just create multiple partitions or logical volumes. You export directory trees across the network on NAS, not file systems.

Exporting shares

I feel strange advocating a MS-originated protocol -- but the truth us, serving files via Samba on Linux is going to be the best-performing[1], most-compatible remote file system available. [1] Samba beats the MS implementations of SMB/CIFS. No guarantees about Samba vs NFS, GFS, Coda, whatever.

RAID or not RAID

Regarding RAID, it's been my experience working at The Archive that RAID is often more trouble than it's worth, especially when it comes to data recovery. In theory, recovery is easy, you just replace a bad disk and it will rebuild the missing data, and you're good to go. In practice, though, you will often not notice that one of your disks are borked until two disks or borked (or however many it takes for your RAID system to stop working), and then you have a major pain in the ass on your hands. At least with one filesystem per disk, you can attempt to save the filesystem by dd'ing the entire raw partition contents onto a different physical drive of same make + model, skipping bad sectors, and then running fsck on the good drive. But if you have one whopping huge 2.4TB filesystem, then you can't do that trick without a second 2.4TB device to dd it all onto, and even if you have that, it's probably going to be copied over the network, which makes an already slow process slower .. if you can stomach it, you might just want to make one filesystem per hard drive and NFS (or Samba, or whatever) export each of your six filesystems separately.

On the contrary:

Saying so about RAID is insane.
See mdadm/mdmonitor to get a mail as soon as there is a failure .
Personally I would recommend setting up nagios or some other software monitoring. Everytime something goes wrong on a machine, we write a script to monitor that. Now, very few things go wrong unnoticed.
I'd really much prefer that to not having a RAID array. We've used that system (*knock*,*knock*,*knock*), for 4 years, and with about 5TB of filesystems at work, we've never ever lost a RAID'ed filesystem. We have lost several, incredibly important filesystems that weren't RAID'ed.
If you have spare drives arround, you can configure mdadm to automatically add them into the system. Unlike the standard md tools, you can have one spare for any number of md arrays.

Beware of some misleading "advice": "RAID 5 is about as fast as RAID-0 on reads..." ok but "...the bottleneck on writes is the parity calculation, not access time for the drives." is false:
Even the paltry 366Mhz Celeron in my fileserver can perform parity calculations at nearly 1GB/sec. The bottleneck with RAID5 most certainly *is* the physical disk accesses (assuming any remotely modern hardware)
I would suggest using a motherboard with multiple PCI buses. Basically, look for something that's got two (or more) 64 bit PCI-X slots, as these boards nearly always have multiple PCI buses.
Also putting multiple IDE drives on a channel will destroy performance.
Using RAID50 instead of RAID5 is pointless.
Just buy yourself some four port IDE controllers, put one drive each port and use Linux's software RAID to create two four-disk RAID5 devices (or one 8-disk device if you prefer). Then put LVM over the top to make the space more manageable. If you've got the hardware resources, make sure each disk controller is on its own PCI bus, or at the very least sharing it with something inconsequential (like the USB controller or the video card)

External USB / FireWire enclosures

The state of external enclosures, USB chipsets and firewire chipsets is a sad thing.
I had to go through 3 different USB chipsets (different motherboards) before my external enclosure would write data without random corruption.
Firewire's no better, either. I had an Adaptec firewire card (Texas Instruments chipset, I believe) and it worked with my external drives, yet after 5 or 10 minutes, would randomly drop the drive and corrupt data.

Testimonial

I did this a while back. (3+ years, so it's obviousely not 1TB).
My fileserver runs 24/7 and has been doing that for about 3 years (minus downtime for moving).
I use 4 40GB SCSI drives in RAID 5 configuration, using Linux software RAID.(Obviousely I would have used large IDE now, but these were the cheapest per GB at the time, and I already had the SCSI controller laying around)
This gives me about 136GB of useable space. PArtition is running ext3 as filesystem. The CPU is a Pentium II 450 and it has 256MB of RAM. Is running on a Tyan dual mobo with builtin 10/100 and SCSI.
The server is running an older RedHat release with no GUI, upgraded to Kernel 2.6.8.1.
The RAID is shared on the network using Samba.
Read performance is decent, getting around 5-7MBytes/sec read speed which is pretty good on a 100Mbit link. Write speed is slower, around 3-5MB/s

Misc

When you're dealing with that much storage, you really need to catagorize your files into what needs to be backed up and what doesn't.
If you use Linux, LVM will become your new best friend. Think of: noise and power use, heat and airflow

Don't forget to enable S.M.A.R.T. drive monitoring
I do a lot of software raids and with smartctl, no drive crash has ever surprised me. i always had the time to get a spare disc and replace it on the array before something unfunny happened.
do a smartctl -t short /dev/hda every week and a -t long every month or so ...
read the online page of it: http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/
Software raid works perfect on linux... and combined with LVM the things gets even better
A number of people also recommended MDADM [freshmeat.net] for building and maintaining software RAID systems on Linux.

This won't be best solution noise-wise, but this would extend the drive lifetime. Cut extra holes to the case and build air-flow tunnel to help cooling the drives. I measured drop from 46C to 25C with 12cm nexus low speed fan.

Some small commercial solutions

Device for Samba sharing a USB drive 100$
Need to add: USB drive or drive + USB adapter, up to 8.

Rebyte 150$
A simple flash Linux distro with a converter board that plugs in to an IDE slot. Supports all the standard raid setups. I recommend investing in cooling for hard drives -- not things you want to have fail on a NAS system.

Credits:

Hast zoeith GigsVT HoneyBunchesOfGoats sarahemm booch richie2000 -dsr- Keruo TTK Ciar ComputerSlicer23 drsmithy delus10n0 tchuladdiass Winter beegle

*** advid.net Conclusion ***

Some small commercial solutions are worth to look at -for the lazy/hurried, but a real DIY setup would be:

ATX PC tower with linux 2.6 distro and the kind of disks you can aford (ATA,SATA,SCSI), low or medium RAM and CPU are enougth, and a 10/100 NIC of course. Better perf with one drive per chanel
#1 Use software RAID5 (raidtools2 or mdadm) and LVM.
#2 One or more logical volume.
#3 A growable filesystem (XFS (lnk2), JFS (lnk2), ext3, ext2
#4 A reliable filesystem (XFS, JFS, stable ext3 ? or good old ext2 ?)
#5 Export shares with Samba.
The box: since NAS could be outside the rooms you live, add extra holes and fans to keep the disks cool. Power: UPS here of course.

Please can you comment about:

#1 Some pointed out that raid could be worse than no RAID but simple copies from one disk to another, I'm thinking of rsyncing locally or even to some other host on LAN when reachable. What do you think ?

#2 Different logical volume for different kind of files (size, lots of writes or mainly reads, backup needs). Thus we would choose the FS and tune it differently on each volume. From backup point of vue it could be simpler and smarter: think of a small FS with your most precious files (your work), it could be handled in a 1st class way (replicas,multi backup everywhere,...). What do you think ?

#3 & #4 Some more feedback for XFS, JFS, ext3, ext2 on kernel 2.6 ?

Edit 1.1:

I think ZFS from Sun is the best FS for this purpose, too bad it can't be on Linux... yet.

Rev 1.1

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Running a Server at Freezing Temperatures (slashback)

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 9 years ago Summary of this thread:
Running a Server at Freezing Temperatures
As a part of a backup solution, I'm thinking of running a backup server in my unheated, unattached garage [...] the temperatures very often drop below zero degrees Celsius.

Notice: this text is a mix of several authors plus personnal updates, I thank everyone

Hard drive

Lubricants become more viscous at low temps:
if it got really cold, the lubricants in the drive spindle could actually become solid, freezing the bearings and burning out the motor.
Tell your PC to never turn off hard disks, never turn off fans. (might freeze if they stop, and not start again).

Thermal expansion of the platters:
Hard drive platters go through a normal amount of expansion because solids expand when heated and contract when cooled. Drive controllers are designed to recalibrate occasionally to check for expansion, to insure the heads are positioned correctly, off-track positioning leads to errors. But I seriously doubt the calibration would work outside the range of temps designed into the controller.

Case

Make sure your case is hardened. Every little critter, including mice, will want to live in the warm case. We had a computer in an astronomical observatory dome and mice built their nest on the CPU. The acid in urine from the mice destroyed the motherboard.

Get a case with a thermostatically-controlled main fan (not CPU fan, main fan). Put this in a 5-sided wooden box (hardened against critters, screened on the bottom) and insulate it with construction foam (inside) on four sides and the top. Half-inch foam will probably do. Vent the system fan out the bottom.
What this will do is create a "bubble" of warm air inside the box that is vented when the fan is running and stable when it is off. This will keep your box temperature roughly even. If you are concerned about cold-starting hard disks after a period of off-time, make sure you have a power supply which remains off after a power loss and add a 100 W light bulb inside the box. When you want to power the system back on, switch the bulb on and leave it for an hour or two before you hit the power button, then turn the bulb off again. Do not bring cold hardware into a warm, humid house to warm up - you will get condensation.

Take the floppy out of the machine, and replace the hole in the front with a blank panel. It might be a good idea to do that with the CD/DVD drives as well. Make sure that the back of the case is all sealed up, (ie, no open holes for old PCI devices you no longer have). Lastly, Don't put anything over or close to it. Your going to need it to be able to suck in air, and evacuate the air with the fans.

Misc

Some positive feedback for running such a server at 5C without any problem.
Mind the capacitors min temp specs.

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Software Survival Kit (slashback)

advid.net advid.net writes  |  more than 11 years ago Summary of this thread:
What Would You Put Into A Software Survival Kit?
Plus personal updates

Systems

  • Win98SE
  • Your prefered Linux Distro
  • WinNT4
  • WinXP

Bootable media

  • TOMSRTBT
  • Win98SE Boot Disks
  • Ghost bootable floppies set
  • Knoppix
  • QNX Demo, both modem & lan Disks
  • DOS 6.22 disks
  • any Linux rescue disk/CD

System Tools

  • Partition Magic
  • Norton Ghost
  • The new FDisk for large partitions
  • LapLink, FastLynx http://www.sewelld.com/FastLynx.asp FastLynx has the advantage that it can transfer files between XP and say DOS or Linux, over Serial, Parallel, or USB
  • Delpart.exe
  • McAfee Virus Scan, command line version
  • Antivirus. http://www.free-av.com, F-Prot http://f-prot.com
  • Norton Utilities
  • Hard disk checking utilities (from Maxtor, Seagate, etc) PowerMax http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/powermax.htm , SeaDiag, HDDiag, WD Lifeguard
  • Memtest86, http://www.memtest86.com/
  • DosDiag - for checking your hardware; http://www.5star-shareware.com/Utilities/Diagnosti cs/bcm-diagnostics.html
  • Favorite tools from Sysinternal/Winternals: FileMon,RegMon,PsTools, ... ERD, NTFS DOS Pro
  • BPR, disk & partition recovery, http://www.data-recovery-software.com/
  • Offline NT Password & Reg Editor, http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/
  • F.I.R.E. (Forensic Incident Response Environment) Linux + security tools, http://fire.dmzs.com/?section=faq
  • ? SpinRite http://grc.com/spinrite.htm
  • ? Lavasoft Adaware

User Tools

  • Undelete. A good and free version can be found at http://home.arcor.de/christian_grau/rescue/
  • ZIP, RAR, ACE. Bzip2 and gzip for DOS or Win32
  • UltraEdit
  • ? XTGold 2.0 or 2.5 - runs on DOS
  • ? XTree Ztree www.ztree.com

Misc Apps & Files

  • Acrobat Reader, Quick Time, Flash/ShockWave
  • Nero Burning Rom
  • misc drivers for personal hardware and common nomad devices
  • MS Service Packs (OS/Office)
  • Standalone Web Browser ( OffByOne, others ... )
  • PowerDVD, PaintShopPro
  • Microsofts free Word and Excel viewers

HardWare related to OS installation

  • Blank Diskettes
  • Screwdrivers
  • Spare screws
  • Spare IDE cable
  • Spare jumpers
  • Spare IDE drive or external drive
  • RJ45 cross over CAT-5 cable
  • Laplink Cable
  • RS 232 cross over serial cable

Links

  • List of rescue disks: http://plug.twuug.org/articles/rescuedisk.html

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