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Is LTO Tape On Its Way Out?

brokenin2 Re:Shyeah, right. (284 comments)

I disagree.

We used to use LTO, and it was OK for a while, but we switched to using removable hard drives and rsync a long time ago and haven't regretted it one bit.

We're every bit as paranoid as the next guy (there *might* be some more paranoid, but not many).

We've pulled 10 year old hard drives off the shelf before and recovered things no problem. Our rotation won't ever require us to actually do that, but we have tested it a number of times and things worked great.

What we do though, is periodically update our archived copies to newer media when we update our removable drives.. Often times, this allows us to merge old archive media onto fewer drives saving us a lot of space in the long run. We do have multiple copies, including 3 sets that are permanently online in different locations, and a number of offline sets.. As our backups age, we reduce the number of copies we keep offline, but never go below 3 offline copies of any given data.

The real reason that this is fantastic though, isn't that it backs up so much faster (it does, because after a drive has rsync'd once, there usually aren't many changed files compared to the bulk of the rest of the data). The real reason that this is fantastic isn't because we save space and reduce our need to have old hardware with SCSI interfaces etc (it does though). The real reason this is fantastic isn't because when you take older/smaller drives out of the loop, you can actually repurpose them (you can though.. what are you going to do with a bunch of left-over too small LTO tapes).

The real reason that this is fantastic, is that in the event of a catastrophe, you can get things up and running very quickly. If you're really in a panic, you can boot off of the drive that is that backup disk because we add an OS to them when we prep the drives. You just need any old POS PC with SATA on it and a copy of the file used for decryption, and you can be up and running in minutes. Even for the lighter weight emergencies random access to your data is still quite priceless. You can go directly to the file you need, or even multiple versions of it, instead of waiting for tape media to scan.

In short, yes. LTO is dead whether it knows it yet or not.

about 2 months ago

Microsoft Rolls Out Robot Security Guards

brokenin2 Re:Robot tipping! (140 comments)

Yeah... Given their cost, they're going to be completely impractical..

City kids that are bored will have a replacement for cow tipping.. They'll go dress to be unidentifiable on video, and then probably do one of the following:

EM van as stated above so they can have a souvenir
Lob it into a lake (maybe making a few holes in it first)
Attack it with a magnet strong enough to rearrange it's innards and then proclaim "Yeah Bitch! Magnets!" (check youtube if you don't recognize it)
Spray paint over all it's sensors, or hit them with something corrosive so they need to be replaced.
Land mine attach with some home made fireworks (manually triggered for safety of course).
How about a nice patch of quick trying foam adhesive so someone has to come chip it back out..
Oh oh.. massive balloon bundle attach.. How many do you need to lift 300 pounds? OK, good... double it..
Hack into it and either make it go rogue, or have it send back looped video and sensor readings so that it's effectively void.
Trebuchet testing?
Potato gun target?
Pool ball from a potato gun target?
How about just putting a picture on a stick attached to it's "head" to keep it from seeing anything.
Home made thermite test?

I'm out of decent ideas, but I'm sure the kids are much more creative than I am..

about 2 months ago

Interviews: Ask Executive Director Andrew Lewman About Tor and Privacy

brokenin2 Darknet takedowns. (61 comments)

Do you know how the takedown of so many "darknet" sites was accomplished recently, or do you at least have some suspicions? The government seems to by lying about how they took down the original Silk Road site, and I'm wondering if you believe this is to: a) Hide a technical solution that they have at their disposal, or b) Hide the egregiously illegal/inadmissable things they did to accomplish this, or c) some of each.

about 3 months ago

Not Just Netflix: Google Challenges Canada's Power To Regulate Online Video

brokenin2 Not just today: Yesterday too (109 comments)

From yesterdays post:

Michael Geist reports that Netflix and Google are ready to challenge it in a case that could head to the Supreme Court of Canada.

There is a tiny bit of new news here. It's gone from speculation to being confirmed, but really, this is just a repost of the same thing.

about 4 months ago

The Site That Teaches You To Code Well Enough To Get a Job

brokenin2 PHP would be nice... (131 comments)

If ever a language needed some help getting people to write *good* code instead of just being able to write code, PHP is it..

about 4 months ago

Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

brokenin2 Re:Down to one for me... (287 comments)

I've always wanted to have a fairly minimal setup.. We don't have a lot of space, and I don't want to waste a lot of energy, so I've always tried to have 1 always on server as my target. I've had two and three at times, but mostly just during upgrades, or while I was waiting to find the time to upgrade..
I have 1 quad core i7 with 32 gigs of ram, and 8 1.5 terrabyte hard drives running in RAID 6. The hardware has two network cards, which allows me to do just about everything I want with virtual machines running under KVM. Things are getting a little tight these days, so I'm looking to upgrade to 3 terrabyte drives for 18 terrabytes usable space, and I'd also like to move up to 64 gigs of ram, but I'm going to wait as long as I can so maybe the prices will come down a bit.
The server runs cool and is pretty quiet as I've chosen to go with a 4U case with the largest fans I could find. I've got a 24 port gigabit switch and an access point to round out my hardware.. Everything else is virtualized.

Hardware Summary:
4U server - 32 gigs ram, i7 9 terabytes usable RAID 6, and dual nics
1U 24port gigabit smart switch
2U rack mount UPS
generic 802.11 b/g/n access point

Firewall/vpn server
File server
Plex server
4x part time windows XP for experiments and various utilities
3x part time windows 7
Vuze server

small footprint
relatively low power (about 150-175 watts most of the time, and during the winter it just reduces the amount the electric furnace runs)
low maintenance

All your eggs in one basket - I have backups, but I'll be down in the event of hardware failure.
VM host is a little weaker than is optimal when I'm running a lot of guests

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

brokenin2 Re:Powershell (729 comments)

I don't think that bash really has it.. It seems like it does, but at least on most systems I've used, that's part of the program "test".

"Test" usually has a symlink to it under the name "[" which is actually what you're running when you type something like "if [ 5 -eq 7 ]"... Note.. the program "test" ignores any parameter of "]" making them completely optional most of the time..

It sure looks like syntax, but I think that "[" is just like any other character in bash.. "if" is just testing the return value from the program "["..

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

brokenin2 Re:Old-school is best (382 comments)

Doh.. and Halo should probably have been on the list..

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

brokenin2 Re:Old-school is best (382 comments)

Per someone else's comment.. I meant Mechwarrior 2.. They're right..

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

brokenin2 Re:Oh come on (382 comments)

We do need this on Slashdot. I don't want the list that people from a gamer site would come up with. I'm sure it would be very different.

It is not news.

It *IS* stuff that matters.

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

brokenin2 Re:Old-school is best (382 comments)

That's s good list.. I'd like to add to it, and make it a little more eclectic..

Portal / Portal 2
Wizball (c64)
Impossible MIssion 2 (c64)
Raid over Moscow (c64)
The old Ultima series (like Ultima IV)
Quake 3 arena
Doom (it's classic, but it is hard to play these days after having gotten used to being able to look and move up and down)
Empire (c64 BBS - You probably can't just keep this one around to play, but it was fun when it was out there)
Legend of Zelda

Hard Drivin (I think that was it.. early car simulator with impossible tracks.. loops etc)
Missile command
The original Tron game
Super Mario Bros
Donkey Kong

Cribbage is good
Uno is nice if you don't want to have to use your brain, or you need something very inclusive
Monopoly is a good staple to have around

Well, that's what comes to mind quickly.. I'm sure I've still missed quite a few classics..

about 5 months ago

Black Hat Researchers Actively Trying To Deanonymize Tor Users

brokenin2 Changes to the protocol? (82 comments)

I wonder how feasible it would be to modify tor, or maybe make a tor version 2 protocol so that the onion layers are determined packet by packet, instead of by the stream.

I'm not all that knowledgeable when it comes to the tor protocol, but it sounds like each stream is bounced off a series of relays.. If you could change that to each packet, or split the stream into a few other streams that took different routes (and let the stream get reassembled from packets from multiple streams at the destination), then it seems like you could make this sort of attack a lot harder..

I'm not sure about people trying to discover the location of the tor hidden service, but it seems like it would help protect the client -> server integrity quite a bit..

about 6 months ago

35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

brokenin2 Re:um yea... (570 comments)

I haven't had a credit card in over 10 years, and my credit is fantastic. Of course, I've had a couple of car loans, and a home loan... all in good standing and/or paid off, but I never had a credit card when I got any of those loans either, so it certainly wasn't required for good credit.

The only thing I even ponder having a credit card for is for emergency purposes only. I'd consider something with no fees (unless used) for a rainy day backup, but instead of doing that, we've chosen to just have our own rainy day fund.

I am very thankful for the credit card companies though. I don't think that I could heat our home for free without their contribution to our junk mail pile. The rest of the junk mail on it's own just wouldn't be enough..

about 6 months ago

35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

brokenin2 Past due not reported by companies (570 comments)

One reason that I'm sure is a factor in the difference, is that companies are less inclined to bother reporting the "past due" status. It's overhead for them to do it, and there's not really any benefit, but when someone hits the collections threshold, they'll go ahead and take the time to report it.

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

brokenin2 Re:PHP is a very solid choice (536 comments)

He was asking about languages and frameworks and developing their web application for the future.

If they're redeveloping from scratch in order to future proof things, it's unlikely that they're going to be wanting to produce the exact same HTML that they always have. A framework to help you develop better HTML easier is something they should be considering at the same time.

It would really suck to rebuild your application, get to the end, and then decide it's time to make it more mobile friendly, at which point they realize they have to do another redesign because they didn't think about how their user interfaces were going to break down.

If they need to ask which server side language they should use, then they almost certainly need to have these things pointed out to them as well. If it turns out that they didn't need any of that pointed out to them, then they can easily disregard the extra information.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

brokenin2 Re:PHP is a very solid choice (536 comments)

Globals have been disabled by default in PHP for a very long time.

"register globals" which allowed post and get parameters to be automatically registered in the global scope was defaulted off a long time ago, and in newer versions of php (5.4+) is not even an option any more. This is historically the feature that got a lot of bad programmers in trouble.

Almost every language has a way for functions to access global scope variables, and PHP is not exception, but to do so now, you have to specify exactly what you're going to access by doing it through _GLOBALS or by calling "global " inside your function.

The default scope for variables is to have no globals, and to direct you toward a more OO programming style. You can still shoot yourself in the foot, just like every other programming language, but you have to at least try a little to do it.

about 7 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

brokenin2 PHP is a very solid choice (536 comments)

PHP of old used to make it very easy to write applications with large security holes, but newer versions do a much better job of preventing developer's tendancies to shoot themselves in the foot.

I think it will be a very viable choice for web applications for the next 10 years or more.

There are a number of frameworks written in PHP that are pretty good as well. For my current project though, I've chosen to write a framework that is geared toward exactly what that project needed. I did choose to use an HTML framework to aid in the UI creation and standardization. For my project I chose "Foundation", but there are a lot of other good ones as well.. If your application has a requirement of being mobile device friendly (is there anything that doesn't?) then I would highly recommend a 12 column HTML framework.. If you don't know why a 12 column framework is the way to go, Google it, there are plenty of write ups.

about 7 months ago

Emory University SCCM Server Accidentally Reformats All Computers Campus-wide

brokenin2 Same thing happened to a school near me (564 comments)

About two years ago, a community college near me had the exact same thing happen. I don't know the excruciating details, but the basics were the same SCCM wiped out all of the servers that it was used to manage..

I didn't work for the college then (I do now), but I did know a few people that did at the time. The person that triggered it is still there. From what I understand what he was doing and the way he went about it, although in hindsight was dangerous, wasn't a really reckless thing.

Our campus is less than 30 minutes drive to Microsoft's main campus, and there was a lot of pressure for us to use their systems. I think the college paid the price for caving to that pressure. Sure, there are other factors involved here as well... A careless employee, an unintuitive result from an interface/script, poor safety mechanisms in both policy and the product, poor design by both the vendor and the college..

From what I understand, one of the most devastating aspects when it came to recovery, was that the server that held backups (Microsoft's data protection manager of course) was wiped out as well.. I think in this particular incident, only system drives were annihilated, so if a server had a "D" drive or other volumes, it was still there, it was just a useless lump sitting on a server with no OS for a while at first.

Having never heard a similar story with any other software product, I'm left believing that SCCM and it's deficiencies are at least partially to blame, and given what I know about the person that caused it here, I'd say that it's a pretty respectable bit of the blame that should be left on SCCM.

Someone realized pretty quickly what was going on (not the person that caused it), and pulled the plug on the process somehow or our college would have been even more devastated. As it stood, it was still pretty bad.. Probably only about 25% of the full destructive power of the mess as averted.

about 8 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy-To-Use Alternative To MS Access For a Charity's Database?

brokenin2 Re:Is Access actually better for them anyways? (281 comments)

Google docs will let you connect multiple people to the same spreadsheet at the same time..

It works pretty well too... as long as the slightly chaotic editing that this creates is OK (like you don't need multi-cell/multi-sheet locking to keep people out of each other's business)..

about 8 months ago



Hal Finney, PGP and Bitcoin pioneer passes away

brokenin2 brokenin2 writes  |  about 5 months ago

brokenin2 (103006) writes "Hal Finney, the number two programmer for PGP and the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction has passed away. From the article on Coindesk: "Shortly after collaborating with Nakamoto on early bitcoin code in 2009, Finney announced he was suffering from ALS. Increasing paralysis, which eventually became near-total, forced him to retire from work in early 2011.""

Bitcoin sets a new all time high

brokenin2 brokenin2 writes  |  about 2 years ago

brokenin2 (103006) writes "Bitcoin has just reached a new all time high after passing the $31.91 prices set back in July of 2011. Since the bubble burst following July of 2011 Bitcoin has been declared dead several times by various news articles."


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