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Comments

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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

ewilts Re:optical media (983 comments)

100 years of your data is absolutely meaningless if you can't read the media.

Do you have anything around that have the ability to read a tape that was written 20 years ago? 5 years ago?

Darn, I can't listen to my 8-tracks!

about 5 months ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

ewilts Re:Go on the internet and find a DLT drive (983 comments)

You're dating yourself. LTO-5 is 1.5TB native, 3TB compressed at $25 per tape. LTO-6 is 2.5TB native and 6.25TB compressed. Both of those compressed numbers are using the built-in compression in the drive.

A 10-pack of LTO-5 tapes is about $250.

You can easily encrypt the tapes and tape them offsite. You can keep a copy onsite and offsite. You're simply not doing that with disk.

Your speed is also off - an LTO-5 can write at 280MB/sec. The limiting factor is not the write time on the media but the read time from disk.

Restore times are typically limited by the write rate on the destination raidset, not the read rate from tape.

about 5 months ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

ewilts Re:If you want to hoard bits... (983 comments)

The dataset isn't that huge. Tape can write at speed at least as fast as disk - LTO-5 writes at up to 280MB/sec - far faster than you can read the source at which isn't likely to be fast disk. The seek for a single-file restore will be slower than disk but after the initial seek, the read will be as fast as from a typical archive disk (no, you're not archiving 20TB to SSD, nor are you storing the source data on SSD either)

However, the change rate for this application is likely to be low. That makes it very feasible to do random testing from the new backups where a minute to do the tape mount/seek is not a problem. You won't be writing more than a single tape in any single run (LTO-5 is ~1.5 TB of uncompressed data).

For $2K, you'll have the LTO-5 drive. Add $500 for 20 tapes and you can back up the entire set (once) plus a bunch of incrementals. I haven't done the math with LTO-6 which is faster and holds more data. If you want multiple generations, tape is a lot cheaper per TB than disk. The initial drive cost hurts but after that, the price is good at $15/TB or so.

about 5 months ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

ewilts Re:If you want to hoard bits... (983 comments)

That's a lousy answer. Tape *does* work. It can be slower than disk, but disk is not the *only* way to have a usable backup. Tape is not dead.

Tape works. Disk works. Offsite replication works. Do the math for how much data you have and how much bandwidth you have or can afford, and do the calculations on how much data you really have to back up. In many cases, recreating the data can be significantly cheaper than backup it up and restoring it. If you have your original CDs and DVDs, put them in an offsite location. If you have a disaster, you can have them re-ripped for a LOT cheaper than backing them up.

I've help run a multi-petabyte data center with backups to tape and they worked. Everything written to tape was restorable. I currently run a multi-petabyte data center and replicate everything to disk in an offsite location. It also works. Neither is cheap.

Figure out what part of the data is important to you and how long you can wait to get it back. If a fire burns down your house but you need the data back in minutes or hours, then tape is obviously not the answer but then neither is DVDs or any cloud provider.

There is NO single answer that's good for everybody. It's a cost/benefit/risk analysis that every first year comp sci student better become familiar with.

about 5 months ago
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Returning a found cellphone?

ewilts Happy ending (3 comments)

I talked to a really nice lady - Andrea - at the AT&T store in Cedar Park, TX. While I was there, she identified the owner and phoned the contact on the account. The contact turned out to be the mother of the kid who lost the phone and explained the situation. They were going to be picking the phone up from the store. Nice job AT&T!

BTW, on Samsung phones (or may be this is a 4.2+ feature) you can define an emergency contact that can be dialed while the phone is locked. Unfortunately the only contact that was defined was 911.

about a year ago
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Returning a found cellphone?

ewilts Re:Police/findmyandroid? (3 comments)

> Can you tell from the messages what the number is?

Nope. Because it's locked, I can only see in the status bar that it has new email and new text messages but not any of the contents. If I could see any email or IM, I could contact the sender and track the owner down. If I could see an email, I'd contact the recipient as well in case the owner is reading via another phone or web.

I'll take it to an AT&T store tonight if I don't get any great ideas during the day today. I don't want to hang on to it any longer than I need to because I'm sure the owner wants it back soon.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should a Unix Fan Look For In a Windows Expert?

ewilts Same questions that you would ask a Unix admin (454 comments)

Whether it's Windows, Linux, VMS or ESXi doesn't really matter. The external differences boil down to syntax. If you find somebody who only knows the syntax, you're not going to be happy unless you're looking for a short term employee or contractor. You don't hire a Unix admin because he knows how to write a bash script - you find somebody who understands the importance of automation, the ability to document and test, and the ability to pick up new technologies. You know technology is changing so you need a person who can adapt. If you can troubleshoot the root cause of a system crash, it doesn't matter what OS you're working on and you'll pick up a different OS quickly. But hire an idiot that can't troubleshoot worth a darn and it doesn't matter if he's an RHCE, MCSE or VCP or holds all three.

If you find somebody that can't tell the difference between they're, there, or their or between its and it's, he's not on the learning curve you need him to be on. It means that in 20 or 30 years, he still doesn't care about quality and is too lazy to look things up. Those aren't good combinations.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Shop For a Laptop?

ewilts Monitor size (732 comments)

Think really hard on that monitor size. A large display will add a lot to the price and make it heavy. If your sister really needs the larger display when it's sitting a desk at home the vast majority of the time, pick a laptop with a small display, add a docking station and buy an external monitor.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Camera For Getting Into Photography?

ewilts Re:Canon or Nikon (569 comments)

Actually the superzooms these days do have manual focus if you want to use it. I've been pretty happy with my Canon S5 IS and my wife just ordered me an SX40 for Christmas. I don't use the manual on my S5 often but it's nice when I do need it. Some objects just won't focus automatically.

more than 2 years ago
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Dropbox TOS Includes Broad Copyright License

ewilts Re:Out of context (213 comments)

That's why that following sentence ends with "to the extent which we think it necessary for the Service."

But what if making money is "necessary for the Service"? The are implying that they have the right to license your work for profit so they can continue running Dropbox.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama's Goal: 98% of US Covered By 4G

ewilts Re:Great for middle-class employed people. (324 comments)

"voice plan: $20 a month" on an iPhone. Really? You are NOT getting a smartphone voice service for $20 per month. Unlimited voice minutes, which is what a landline gives you, is significantly higher. An individual phone line with unlimited minutes is $70 per month - that's $600 added to your cost for the first year alone.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama's Goal: 98% of US Covered By 4G

ewilts Re:Great for middle-class employed people. (324 comments)

It's not just that job search sites don't work well over dial up. You can't even keep up with security patches on your PC over dial up. I've got a relative that only has dial-up access and limited hours per month. Every time she turns on her PC, the patches start downloading and take over the phone connection. The only practical solution for dial-up users is to turn security patching off and that SUCKS. By the time you add up Window security patches, your Acrobat Reader security patches, and your antivirus patches, you'll easily consume hundreds of MB per month.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama's Goal: 98% of US Covered By 4G

ewilts Re:Great for middle-class employed people. (324 comments)

Not even close. You can't get a smartphone from any of the large retails for under $60 per month and that's to talk for 5 hours per month. MANY US citizens are not in an area where smartphone access is even an option - a vast majority of the central plains is dead.

A landline is cheap and gives you unlimited minutes - simply purchasing a dumb phone with unlimited minutes is going to cost easily 5 times as much. Data is significantly more.

more than 3 years ago
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ACLU Sues To Protect Your Right To Swear

ewilts Legal in Calgary, Alberta 20 years ago (698 comments)

I remember this going to court in Calgary, Alberta, around 1990. Somebody had a T-Shirt that said "Fuck off and die" on it and was arrested. The judge's decision at the time was that "fuck" could no longer be considered obscene because it had become everyday use. He did say the wearer demonstrated poor taste but it was unfortunately legal. And this was 20 years ago!

more than 4 years ago
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The Mystery of the Mega-Selling Floppy Disk

ewilts Re:Stitch files (558 comments)

Even single-head sewing/embroidery machines for home use have floppy drives. We've got one and it would cost us easily several grand to replace it with a newer model that uses USB sticks instead.

more than 4 years ago
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3rd Grader Accused of Hacking Schools' Computer System

ewilts Obviously... (344 comments)

...their IT folks are not smarter than their 5th graders.

more than 4 years ago
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Do You Have a Secret Immunity To 3D Movies?

ewilts Re:Not sure about the hype (495 comments)

Not all geeks with bad eyesight can wear contacts. My eyeballs have a funny shape and I'm not a candidate for Lasik nor contacts. 3-D movies with glasses make me want to throw up although I have no problems with 2-D movies. For me, I will *never* watch a 3-D movie.

more than 4 years ago
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Licensing an Abandonware Game?

ewilts YOU take the risk (148 comments)

To create an "open source game", you're giving your customers a license but you would be given them a license for something you KNOW you don't own. You're setting yourself up for a world of hurt. Not only can the original copyright and/or patent holders come after you, but every single one of YOUR licensees could come after you for damages as well. Whether or not you charge a fee has absolutely no bearing on the matter. The real question you need to ask is not whether you'd be in the right or wrong but whether or not you can afford the legal bills if somebody does go after you. You, and you alone, need to decide if you are willing to take that risk. Is the game THAT important that you'd be willing to risk thousands or tens of thousands of your own money on legal fees?

more than 4 years ago
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Home Phone System That Syncs To Computer?

ewilts Re:Why are you so backwards? (405 comments)

Why on earth are you still using a landline? A mobile phone will probably be cheaper

Mobile phones are a lot of things, but being cheaper isn't one of them. We talk to Canada for over 1000 minutes per month. I can easily afford to pay for my Qwest landline with unlimited calling to Canada for just those long-distance charges. Any time you get into many minutes for multiple people, cell phone plans start to suck.

more than 4 years ago
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US Tests System To Evade Foreign Web Censorship

ewilts Usenet? (219 comments)

Sounds like a Usenet to email gateway to me!

about 5 years ago

Submissions

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Returning a found cellphone?

ewilts ewilts writes  |  about a year ago

ewilts (121990) writes "I found a Samsung Galaxy S3 in a public park today. It's an AT&T version, and it's got a screen pattern lock on it. I can drop it off at an AT&T store, but I'm not convinced they'll actually make an effort to contact the original owner (but I'd love to be proven wrong on this).

How can I track down the owner to get it back to him/her?

When I got the phone, the battery was totally dead so it's been a day or two since it was lost. I charged it and it's got lots of incoming email and text messages as evidenced by the alerts and the status bar, so the service is still active.

I'm not looking for a reward, but I know an S3 is a valuable phone and I'm sure the original owner wants it back."
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ewilts ewilts writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Ed Wilts writes "This is a serious Slashdot challenge — hopefully we can make this an annual event. There's a great web site, iGive.com, that allows you to shop and trigger a donation to a charity at the same. YOU get the credit for the taxable donation so everybody wins. My challenge is simply this: let's see if we can get 500 (or more!) Slashdotters to visit iGive.com, create an account, and make one technology (or any other) purchase within the first 45 days from vendors listed in their mall. That triggers a $5 donation per person in addition to a percentage of your purchase. I have selected Bundles of Love as the charity — they are a 501(c) charity that helps babies in Minnesota by providing clothing and bedding to local hospitals and clinics so that babies have something to go home with.

Follow this link to sign up and automatically select Bundles Of Love as the charity. Then enter the mall and buy something from newegg, buy.com, dell, HP, or one of the other stores that support iGive and watch the money roll in for a good cause. You'll pay the same price as always but you get to feel less guilty spending your money because you're supporting needy babies. Since each bundle that is distributed costs about $25, the goal for this challenge will be to support an additional 100 babies. If we can /. news sites, why can't we use our power for good?"

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