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SSDs Cause Crisis For Digital Forensics

drenehtsral Hard to Erase AND Hard to Recover (491 comments)

Ultimately since the Flash Translation Layer goes and does things under-the-hood that are not externally visible, it is hard to be sure your data were erased, and it's also hard to be sure they were not erased... Essentially since there is an opaque interface at the logical-block level and the device is internally free to behave as it chooses so long as that interface is maintained, it makes it tricky to guess how the internal implementation will behave.
Plain old magnetic disks used a fairly predictable implementation of that interface so forensics goons got used to having an easy task on their plates.

more than 2 years ago

10% of IT Pros Can Access Previous Jobs' Accounts

drenehtsral To lend a hand when needed. (218 comments)

When you work in the trenches with a tight-knit group of geeks sometimes it makes sense to leave a key under the mat. I have only once used my still-active credentials, and it was to shell in from home to help a former coworker in a pinch, at his request. He was half-way driving from one location in the middle of nowhere to another, a good 30 minutes from the nearest network connectivity, so he used his cell to call me and ask me to run an urgent but simple sysadmin task for him. No problem. Part of the professionalism of the job is being willing to stand by your work and your coworkers even years down the road.

more than 3 years ago

Voting Machines Selecting Default Candidates

drenehtsral FAIL! (794 comments)

Yet another electronic voting snafu. *sigh*

more than 4 years ago

SeaMicro Unveils 512 Atom-Based Server

drenehtsral That would sure save rack space... (183 comments)

Imagine how may of these servers you could fit in the space of even a single grain of rice, let alone a standard 1U enclosure!

more than 4 years ago

How Do I Create a Spiritual Game Successor?

drenehtsral Here's what I did... (125 comments)

If it is an individual who wrote the original game, ask them for permission. Both times I've asked, I've received permission.

If it is a faceless mega-corporation, avoid using images, music, or names from the original game, but unless they have a patent on the look-and-feel or game mechanics (never heard of the later), you can just code away.

For my platman (old Amiga game) remake for the GBA, you can get it on my web page. (www.greasybastard.com)

Also see freeciv, and any of the two-or-so decent Wing Commander Privateer remakes.

more than 4 years ago

Amazon Patents Changing Authors' Words

drenehtsral Re:A86, anyone? (323 comments)

That's the first thing I thought as well! Those were the days...

more than 5 years ago

Moving Away From the IT Field?

drenehtsral nice fork bomb (783 comments)

I like your signature.

more than 5 years ago

What Belongs In a High School Sci-Fi/Fantasy Lit Class?

drenehtsral Re:Some More Names to Consider (1021 comments)

I would advocate for Riddley Walker


more than 5 years ago

Porn Surfing Rampant at US Science Foundation

drenehtsral NSFw (504 comments)

I guess they'd better create an internal division called the National Science Foundation Watchdog, or NSFW for short...

more than 5 years ago

Using the Sea To Cool Your Data Center

drenehtsral Re:not a thermal insulator and heat tax (194 comments)

Cayuga Lake is hard to talk about as just one ecosystem, because it has such a strange set of features... It is (like all of the Finger Lakes) a collection of water in the bottom of a glacial valley. Unlike many such lakes, however, Cayuga lake is VERY deep in places (over 400 feet deep), and there are (if I recall correctly) springs or caves or something like that at the bottom in the really deep parts. That being said, it also has a decent sized shallow shelf, and a bunch of small bays and swamps where various creeks discharge. It's the shelf-like area at the south end where the cooling intake and outlet pipes are.

Much of the difficulty assessing whether the heat being pumped into the lake was going to have any negative impact or not had to do with the constant protesting by massive numbers of hysterical but scientifically illiterate hippies (if you've lived in Ithaca for a decade or more, you know who I am talking about). As sad as it is, because anything Cornell released or published was decried as bunk if it didn't damn the project, it didn't seem to matter any more what (if any) case they made to the community as a whole, so there wasn't much effort after some point to communicate anything clearly about this project. I don't blame them, it must have been like trying to piss out the sun getting those damn hippies to shut up long enough to have any sort of rational discussion.

In any case, I doubt it has done nearly the harm that the late '70s and early '80s did when the city essentially pumped any excess sewage right into the lake with minimal if any treatment. In any case, I think a heat tax would be a good idea, but only if it were absolutely universally applied (Apply it to residential, commercial, public sector, and industrial waste-heat and in some sort of a meaningful and constant form (X cents per Y million Joules)).

more than 5 years ago

I am about to select ...

drenehtsral Or you can break the rules... (315 comments)

...if you don't give a flying rat's a** about logical consistency (and many people, even *GASP* slashdotters, don't) then you can participate in the generation of lots of interesting feedback loops by looking at the current results before casting your vote.

more than 5 years ago

How To Keep Rats From Eating My Cables?

drenehtsral Eliminating Food may not do the trick... (1032 comments)

I have worked somewhere with rats, and we kept all food on lockdown to try and get rid of them (luckily, we ran all of our cabling through conduit, so the rats didn't gnaw any of it), but as it turned out the rats were just in the building for shelter during the winter, and their food sources were all outdoors and they had found some way in and out of the building that involved climbing the gutters and going in through an attic vent. Rats are very clever. We also had an office cat, but she did not eat nearly enough rats to make a difference.

more than 5 years ago

Linux Compatibility With VR Goggles?

drenehtsral Cool == Dorky (170 comments)

Y'know, as somebody who has done the whole 'wearable computer' thing, just a warning: We geeks thing wearing a HMD is 'cool', most everybody else things you're a dork. (Some people even took me for a suicide bomber with my battery packs). *sigh*

more than 6 years ago

System Admin's Unit of Production?

drenehtsral Re:Indexes for users and servers maintained (556 comments)

That sounds good. An efficient team of X sysadmins with good procedures in place could keep, say, 20 * X heavy users happy with the state of the network/servers/etc... A team that didn't have as efficient procedure sets in place could maybe expect to keep 10-15 * X users happy. I mean, it depends on your users, what they're up to, and your setup, but it might be worth for your own reasons having a metric of efficiency (sort of like profiling code), so that if you find that you guys are spending a disproportionate amount of time on one particular type of user request it could bubble up to the top of the list of tasks to be at least somewhat automated.

    This should both make the PHB's happy because they'll see you guys getting more efficient over time, and in theory that efficiency should make your jobs easier as well.

more than 7 years ago



What is a good Employee / IT ratio?

drenehtsral drenehtsral writes  |  more than 6 years ago

drenehtsral writes "I have a question I wanted to bounce off of the general SlashDot comminuty. I work for a small but rapidly growing software engineering firm in the Syadmin department. We have about 50 local users, and somewhere on the order of another 50 scattered in remote offices (mainly in Asia).

We have three full time System Administrators (Two old-school UNIX geeks with a little Windows know-how (one of us also knows Macintosh), one very solid Networking / Telephone / User Support person, and a part time guy who is a Cisco genius and knows Windows Servers inside and out, and is fairly comfortable in Unix as well). That's 3.5 Sysadmins for 100 users, scattered around the globe.

We are a mixed shop (NetBSD, Linux, Solaris, Windows NT, Windows Server 2003, and MacOS X on the server side, and Linux, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and MacOS X on the client side). We are responsible for the usual stuff (security, backups, repairs and upgrades, networking, VPN wrangling, Application support, and the lot).

As such, we are streched pretty thin. My question is this: I know a bunch of SlashDot readers are also IT workers, and I was wondering what seems to be an appropriate number ratio of employees to IT department size?"


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