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To prepare for a coronal mass ejection, I ...

alexhs How poetic! (151 comments)

To prepare for a cornal mass ejection, I... Stockpile toilet paper...

You call that cornal mass? You're feeling poetic in the bathroom.

about two weeks ago

5 Million Gmail Passwords Leaked, Google Says No Evidence Of Compromise

alexhs Re:OK (203 comments)

FYI, 2fuf was joking.

about two weeks ago

Firefox 32 Arrives With New HTTP Cache, Public Key Pinning Support

alexhs Firefox32 (220 comments)

Will the next version be Firefox64 ?
When will we go back to Firefox ONE ?

about three weeks ago

New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

alexhs Not an open problem. (161 comments)

Retrieving optimized images from the server, based on device (desktop, tablet, phone) and the device's internet connection (fiber, broadband, mobile), has always been an open problem.

Nope. It was already solved by the JPEG's hierarchical mode, more than twenty years ago. You're limited to scaled sizes that are the inverse of a power of 2 of the full size, but on the other hand the client wouldn't even need to inform the server and just proceed with a partial download, up to the point where it has enough data for the desired resolution.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

alexhs Trolling much ? (163 comments)

I need a platform that supports reading flash cards.

What are you trying to do? Referring to? It's a completely different technology!
Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

about three weeks ago

This 'SimCity 4' Region With 107 Million People Took Eight Months of Planning

alexhs Tetsuoooo !!!! (103 comments)

Tetsuoooo !!!!

(Couldn't he have credited the music ?)

about three weeks ago

Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

alexhs Re:Obvious Reason (579 comments)

something must be done to address this glaring example of gender bias.

You're joking, but they're doing exactly that

about three weeks ago

How Facebook Is Saving Power By 10-15% Through Better Load Balancing

alexhs irst Post ! (54 comments)

or those that didn't notice.

about a month and a half ago

Skype Reverses Decision To Drop OS X 10.5 Support, Retires Windows Phone 7 App

alexhs Re:typed that backward. Fingers don't believe me. (99 comments)

It's interesting that the Microsoft announcement is MORE support for Mac and LESS support for Windows.

The next generation of interesting software will be done on the Macintosh, not the IBM PC.
-- Bill Gates, BusinessWeek, 26 November 1984

about a month and a half ago

Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again In Under 2 Minutes

alexhs As the Black Knight says... (69 comments)

When animals lose a limb, they learn to hobble remarkably quickly.

Right, I'll do you for that!
It's just a flesh wound.

about 2 months ago

'Vampire' Squirrel Has World's Fluffiest Tail

alexhs Hmm, let me guess... (54 comments)

Hmm, let me guess...

News for nutters, stuff that squeaks?

about 3 months ago

Venture-Backed Bitcoin Miner Startup Can't Deliver On Time, Gets Sued

alexhs Re:Best Lawsuit Ever. (120 comments)

Well, if Lautaro Cline paid them in bitcoins, maybe CoinTerra didn't get what they expected either...

about 3 months ago

One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

alexhs Clueless article (396 comments)

People talking about "bit rot" usually have no clue, and this guy is no exception.

It's extremely unlikely that a file would become silently corrupted on disk. Block devices include per-block checksums, and you either have a read error (maybe he has) or the data read is the same as the data previously written. As far as I know, ZFS doesn't help to recover data from read errors. You would need RAID and / or backups.

Main memory is the weakest link. That's why my next computer will have ECC memory. So, when you copy the file (or otherwise defragment or modify the file, etc), you read a good copy, some bit flips in RAM, and you write back corrupted data. Your disk receives the corrupted data, happily computes a checksum, therefore ensuring you can read back your corrupted data faithfully. That's where ZFS helps. Using checksumming scripts is a good idea, and I do it myself. But I don't have auto-defrag on Linux, so I'm safer : when I detect a corrupted copy, I still have the original.

ext2 was introduced in 1993, and so was NTFS. ext4 is just ext2 updated (ext was a different beast). If anything, HFS+ is more modern, not that it makes a difference. All of them are updated. By the way, I noticed recently that Mac OS X resource forks sometimes contain a CRC32. I noticed it in a file coming from Mavericks.

about 3 months ago

Evidence of Protoplanet Found On Moon

alexhs Re:I'm ignorant (105 comments)

Given enough data, almost all theories are disproven. The only ones that remain are the ones that fit the data.

Given enough data, almost all hypotheses are disproven. The ones which remain and have not yet been disproven by evidence become theories.

Nope, the AC was right.

By your definition, there is ultimately no such thing as a theory. Newtonian physics don't fit as they've been invalidated by Einstein's general relativity, which itself is known to be wrong as it is inconsistent with quantum mechanics (which are also wrong for the same reason).

You can't claim that former theories that were refined / invalidated never were theories in the first place : The "not yet" in your second sentence is problematic as it only allows theories to be defined with hindsight.

Therefore :

When data doesn't fit current theories, you're forming hypotheses, and test them. If your hypothesis fits the data better than former theories on some domain of validity (whose boundaries might not be completely known at the time of formulation, and will be refined with time and experimentations), good for you: you now have a new theory. It will ultimately be replaced by better theories, usually with an extended domain of validity (data that were missing at the time of formulation and testing).

And that was well summed up by the GP.

about 3 months ago

Winning Algorithms For Rock, Paper, Scissors

alexhs Re:Only most of the time? (65 comments)

It's because you are typing too fast, if you had taken the time to follow all the links in TFS, you wouldn't have posted :)

But who RTFAs anyway, right ? :)

about 5 months ago

Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

alexhs Re:Are you kidding (818 comments)

The problem is people vote for tax cuts for the rich because they think they will be rich one day.

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
-- John Steinbeck

Not only the USA, apparently...

about 5 months ago



alexhs alexhs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

alexhs (877055) writes "As a conclusion to a long-lasting dispute about Mozilla trademarks, Debian is going to rebrand Firefox.

From the article:

The Firefox logo is trademarked, so Debian doesn't consider it to be Free and will not include it as part of its distribution. Mozilla claims that using the Firefox name without the official branding is a trademark violation. [...] While using the Firefox name without the Firefox logo is not permissible, changing the name and calling Firefox something else is permissible."



Triple-booting Vista, Mac OS X and Solaris

alexhs alexhs writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Vista has hit the shelves now, and some people might want to dual-boot it with other operating systems, if only for testing purposes.

But you will see triple-booting with these operating systems isn't obvious.

This journal essentially gives you clues about how to trouble-shooting OSs with incompatible MBRs. The computer used is an Intel Pentium 4, 1.5Gib RAM with a Radeon 9500. It's not a Mac ;) I suggest you read the wikipedia MBR entry.

To sum it up, there are three parts of interest :

  • code area, offset 0x000, the actual boot code
  • disk signature, offset 0x1b8
  • partition table, offset 0x1be

Quick procedure

  1. Make a Mac OS partition with MacOS X partitionning tool,install MacOS X.
  2. Make partitions for Vista (NTFS, 0x07) and Solaris (0xBF), save MBR, unset bootable flag.
  3. Install Vista.
  4. Install Solaris.
  5. Restore MBR.

Alternative procedures


It might be a bad idea to use partitioning tools included with these OSs install disks because of legacy geometry concerns, and because Mac OS X partitionning tool seems to be quite intolerant with filesystems it can't write on.

The quick procedure assumes you don't have a valid standard boot code.

If you already have a valid standard boot, I would recommend doing full partitionning before installing Mac OS X with something like cfdisk. Use a geometry with 255 heads and 63 sectors/track. That's what some OSs are expecting, but Linux doesn't always use it. Force that geometry if needed. The partition id for Mac OS X is 0xAF. Don't set an active partition, the OS installer will set it itself and might get annoyed.

Mac OS X 10.4.1

Only use its partitionning tool if it's the first OS you're installing.
If you did partitionning beforehand, format (Erase) the partition you chose for Mac, then install. Even with a non-compatible boot code, you can boot with the Mac OS X DVD in the drive at boot time.

Microsoft Windows Vista RTM

Vista won't install if a partition is active. Unset bootable flag if needed, then install. Vista should boot as long as the disk signature isn't changed.

Solaris 10 with GRUB

Just install.

Dual-booting with Mac OS X then Vista

Overwrite the boot sector with the one you previously saved. You can now dual-boot (press a key to get to boot options to boot in Vista)

Dual-booting with Vista then Mac OS X

Quite hard. After installs, you need a replacement boot code that works with Mac OS X. If it changes disk signature, you must save and rewrite that disk signature.

Dual-boot Solaris then MacOS X

Just works (tm).

Dual-boot MacOS X then Solaris

Set the active partition on MacOS X and use its own boot menu,
Additionally / Alternatively edit GRUB menu.lst to add an entry for MacOS X.

MacOS X needs to be active to boot, so the entry will look like :

title MacOS X
rootnoverify (hd0,X)
makeactive (hd0,X)
chainloader +1

This will actually make MacOS X partition active for following boots.


Vista relies on disk signature to boot, so you need to restore it. You can either edit it manually from the signature you will find in the previously saved boot sector, or just overwrite the boot sector with the saved one.

What they do and implications (work in progress)

MacOS X 10.4.1

MacOS X doesn't change boot sector if you don't use its partionning tool to repartition, apart setting itsef as the active partition. It will boot with a standard boot code, though, but full boot procedure requires Mac OS X partition to be active. When you use it to partition your disk, it will overwrite the whole boot sector with its boot code, a disk signature, and the modified partition table.

Microsoft Windows Vista

It will write its own code area, and set a disk signature. Its boot code doesn't seem really standard as Mac OS X won't boot, but maybe is it just due to code relocation. Vista won't overwrite disk signature if it finds one. Vista will boot as long as the signature hasn't been changed.

Solaris 10 with GRUB

Write its own code area, overwriting disk signature (with zeros). It's a standard boot code, and not GRUB stage 1, which is located on Solaris partition.
Note that some Linux distributions don't do that.

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