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Comments

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Oracle Promises 100x Faster DB Queries With New In-Memory Option

larien Re:32TB of RAM = Everest-sized UPS (174 comments)

*facepalm*

No, you don't use main memory as a write cache, that would be idiotic. You use it for read cache. Any updates will be written to disk (and memory) before acknowledging to the client.

In any case, it doesn't matter how good your batteries/UPS are if your server or DB software crashes for any reason and you have uncommitted writes in memory, hence why caching writes on a database is a Bad Idea (TM).

about 7 months ago
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Nine Traits of the Veteran Network Admin

larien Calling foul on #2 (142 comments)

"Veteran network admin trait No. 2: If we don't know it's down, it's probably not down"

Bullshit. Well, either that or our network admins are numpties. We had a switch go down in a data hall. We knew the switch was fubar as we'd lost connectivity to a number of devices at the same time. Networks wouldn't admit a fault. We eventually got moved to new switch ports and lo, everything started working.

The usual approach to any network fault in our place is "replace your NIC". That has, in my memory, fixed maybe two faults.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Assess the Status of an Open Source Project?

larien Re:Here's how my team handles it... (110 comments)

The issue about ignoring future proofing is that you can invest a lot of time & effort integrating the tool into your environment, writing scripts etc. If that tool gets obsoleted for any reason, it can be a lot of work to switch to an alternative (this goes for FOSS & commercial software equally). You can get locked in to FOSS just as easily as with commercial, you just have a few more options available with FOSS. Some tools can be swapped in & out at a moment's notice, but if you integrate something into your way of working very closely, it can be a nightmare to unpick later.

As for modifying code yourself, that requires a whole set of skills & disciplines many admin teams don't have - I know our team/organisation would struggle with that. There are, of course, 100s of companies who are quite happy downloading source & patching/maintaining it themselves.

Other than that, there's some good advice in there. Version control & release/test cycles are key for any software product.

about a year ago
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Of the Love of Oldtimers - Dusting Off a Sun Fire V1280 Server

larien Re:I must be getting old (281 comments)

V1280s are sun4u and don't support LDOMs.

about a year ago
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How To Use a Linux Virtual Private Server

larien Re:Apt-get install clue (303 comments)

I've done Unix admin for years. I still find it quicker and easier to manage clusters with a GUI because frankly, they're too bloody complicated to manage effectively without one. Yes, you can automate with the CLI (I've written scripts to automate service group creation in VCS), but for a quick dive in to check the cluster status & configuration, it's usually quicker with a GUI to drill down to the setting you need.

about a year ago
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Cisco Pricing Undercut By $100M In Big Cal State University Network Project

larien Re:Cisco what? (220 comments)

Facebook & Google have networks/systems designed to work around failure and data loss is a minor inconvenience. They expect to lose a data centre at various times and continue to Just Work. In those environments, cheap grey boxes are fine provided you design appropriately. If you are designing a critical 24x7 system which cannot spread around in the same way (e.g. financial institutions) may have different requirements.

Now, while I'm not saying that Alcatel is less reliable than Cisco, Cisco generally has the reputation of reliability (warranted or otherwise) and so commands the premium.

about a year and a half ago
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No Patent Infringement Found In Oracle vs. Google

larien Re:If I know my history (234 comments)

And they didn't tend to sue people about it as much as Oracle does.

about 2 years ago
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Linux 3.3 Released

larien Re:Way to go....... (314 comments)

I have, albeit with Veritas. Took about a month of restriping 20TB to change the stripe widths. Just because you don't do it, doesn't mean that others don't.

more than 2 years ago
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Researchers Seek Help In Solving DuQu Mystery Language

larien Re:Perl (131 comments)

Can't be perl. It's far too readable, for a start.

more than 2 years ago
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AMD: What Went Wrong?

larien Re:404? (497 comments)

Site was slow for me (not quite slashdotted), but got through OK.

more than 2 years ago
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Man Claiming He Invented the Internet Sues

larien Re:there has to be some statute of limitations... (326 comments)

See Wikipedia on Submarine patents. Notably:

The ruling was upheld on September 9, 2005 by a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit under the doctrine of laches, citing "unreasonably long delays in prosecution"

So, it seems there's a chance that waiting too long can invalidate your claims.

Compare with trademark law where you have to defend it whenever it may be seen to be infringed (see the case where Hoover corp lost the right to have the exclusive rights to the term "hoover"); the same doctrine should apply for patents. Of course, the whole patent system is a mess these days as it was designed in a different age with different industries. Scrapping patents isn't the solution as they provide valuable protection to inventors who put effort into designing something, but they're horribly abused by various parties.

more than 2 years ago
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Serious Oracle Flaw Revealed; Patch Coming

larien "Interlinked" databases? (100 comments)

The issue seems to be fundamentally down to someone with DBA rights on a database issuing "ALTER DATABASE BEGIN BACKUP" which then causes an "interlinked" database to also increment its SCN; anyone know what the "interlinking" is? I'm guessing DB links but it's a bit vague on details and high on the scaremongering... FWIW, the ALTER DATABASE command will require DBA rights to implement, so I'm not seeing the apocalypse that Infoworld is punting; if you've got DBA rights, you can do lots of stuff like drop user, drop table etc, etc, etc...

more than 2 years ago
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Least worthy tech-world cliches / buzzwords?

larien Re:Tough one (297 comments)

At work, we're being told our website is "in the cloud". To which I respond "you mean it's on some external webhosting? Like people have been doing for over 10 years?"

"Cloud" is being attached to all sorts of things to make them sound hip & trendy.

more than 2 years ago
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MS Traces Duqu Zero-Day To Font Parsing In Win32k

larien Re:WTF (221 comments)

Wrong - if it was in userspace, it would be tied to the permissions granted the logged on user. I'm not 100% sure, but even as admin, UAC should still have blocked the worst of the behaviour. Once you're running code in the kernel, you can pretty much do whatever you want and the user's permissions and UAC become irrelevant.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: When and How To Deal With GPL Violations?

larien GPL is essentially infinite... (151 comments)

If they've released the code under GPL and you still have a copy of it, you're entitled to do what you want with it, up to and including rebranding it and maintaining it as a GPL product for the future. The GPL granted you permissions to do certain things (copy, change, distribute the code) under certain conditions (you had to provide source code if requested). As far as I'm aware, they can't revoke those rights unless you break the other conditions; see Open Office/Libre Office for a similar situation.

more than 2 years ago
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How Can I Justify Using Red Hat When CentOS Exists?

larien Re:Depends.... (666 comments)

Ok, scenario time:

One of your key system daemons has just crashed (SEGFAULT). Restarting it causes yet another crash; what do you do? If you know C coding, you start doing stack traces. If you have a support contract, you call them up. If you have neither C skills or a support contract, you hope like hell that Google can help you. If not, you're reliant on someone on a webforum/mailing list helping you out, possibly including handholding on "how to run a debugger on a core file".

I don't care whether it's 1993 or 2011, the fact is if something goes wrong, you need someone who can investigate, find root cause and recommend a fix. That pretty much has to be a skilled internal admin with C skills or a 3rd party support contract.

It's easy to maintain an OS (Linux, Windows, Solaris, AIX, whatever) when things are working, the problem is what you do when things go wrong. That's when you need the support.

more than 2 years ago
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How Can I Justify Using Red Hat When CentOS Exists?

larien Depends.... (666 comments)

This very much depends on the organisation and the risk appetite.

If you have a technically skilled support team who are willing and able to get into a bit of C coding, the "free" linux distros are viable. If your support staff are pure admins and don't do C coding much/at all, they'll struggle to maintain Linux without someone like Redhat backing them up.

Also, it depends on the app - if it can fall over for 2 days at a time without much of an issue, who cares about support? If an hour of downtime is a big issue, you need someone who is able to fix it Right Now (TM). If your local team is good enough, that's fine, but mailing list/forum support of free software is down to the goodwill of the community. They don't care if your app is down, they have day jobs and social lives as well. With Redhat, you can get someone on the end of the phone 24x7.

more than 2 years ago
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Doctors Recommend Against TV For Kids Under 2

larien Re:As compared to... (210 comments)

Bastard... I only just managed to avoid coating my monitor with coffee...

more than 2 years ago
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Tens of Thousands Flee From BT and Virgin

larien Re:Used both - will leave both (258 comments)

BT are pretty notorious about their self-renewing contract. Sometimes if you shout at them loudly enough you can get out of it, though. I think Oftel had raised some concerns about it with a view to stopping them doing it...

more than 2 years ago
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A Multitasking GUI, Circa 1982

larien Re:cool (203 comments)

On another note, I like the look of the portrait oriented monitor. It looks to be so much better suited to documents, and probably coding, than the mostly landscape orientations that came later.

I suspect you can blame the early cinema pioneers for that... they decided on a "landscape" format for movies which then became the standard for Television sets. In the 80s, most home computers (Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad 64 and even the Atari ST & Amiga) used the TV as a monitor so a generation of kids grew up assuming monitors must be in portrait layout.

about 3 years ago

Submissions

larien hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Kings of Chaos

larien larien writes  |  more than 11 years ago A site some of you might like; Kings of Chaos is an online game where you try to amass armies and attack/defend against others. If you're interested in joining in, click here.

Oh, yeah, you can pledge your allegiance every 24 hours, see keep on clicking! :)

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