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Ask Slashdot: Advice On Building a Firewall With VPN Capabilities?

mathew7 OpenWRT (238 comments)

Just as a heads up, I measured 18Mbps (that is 1.8MB/s) with my OpenWRT TP-link WDR4300 (with AR9344 @ 560MHz) . I don't think off-the-shelf routers have any openVPN support, so no HW encryption engines.
If you need higher speeds, forget off-the-self routers (at least for the VPN end-points).

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux-Friendly Desktop x86 Motherboard Manufacturers?

mathew7 Re:Sucks but... (294 comments)

I think Linux support differs from model to model (as opposed to manufacturers). I'm using a Gigabyte Z87X-UD3 and I've had no trouble. I boot Xen with debian-testing since spring and using a Windows 7 guest as gaming platform (VT-d for those who wonder).
Previously I used Asrock Z68 for the same purpose.
However, my MB pre-buy research was based mostly on VMWare E??? (the one which supports PCI passthrough) feedback since VT-d was an "elimination" criteria.

about two weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

mathew7 I have 2 installed (502 comments)

Well, I'm insignificant to statistics, but I do have (and use) 2 add-in cards in my gaming system (all others systems use onboard).
Reasons (1 for each):
1. Onboard sound circuit detects multiple headhpone connections/disconnection (multiple times/second, without having headphones....search Gigabyte Z87X-UD3H headphone problems)
2. I use virtualization for my gaming platform (Windows on Linux, with VT-d a.k.a. IOMMU for GPU, Sound, NIC, USB) and I need sound. (Warning: non-OP details following:) From 4 tested cards (+2 onboard +AMD5850 HDMI output), 2 of them work flawlessly (Xonar DGX/PCIe and Hercules Fortissimo IV/PCI) and Creatives are no-no (Audigy 2 and X-Fi Titanium PCIe...although the latter works pretty good in HDA emulation, without Creative drivers).

about 2 months ago
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Intel Removes "Free" Overclocking From Standard Haswell CPUs

mathew7 Re:Sales Pitch (339 comments)

Well, Ive been doing it since 10.11.11 (one day before Skyrim). Since then I did not follow the progress of the hypervisors (since virtualbox and vmware had it on their todo list). Still using debians Xen 4.1.x (I see right now in the repository it's 4.1.4) .

about a year ago
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Intel Removes "Free" Overclocking From Standard Haswell CPUs

mathew7 Re:Sales Pitch (339 comments)

VT-d is not only for servers. I found it's use because of my countless cycles of attempts to dual-boot windows and linux (as in I eventually ended using just windows...repeat afte 6 months).
Now I boot linux, do the web browsing and stuff, but when I want to play, I just start my VM and play.
Linux: i5-2500 IGP
Windows: Radeon 7950 (started with 5850)
My over 80 hours of Skyrim are Xen exclusive. DeusEx HR was maybe 20-30h native, followed by more than 50h in VM.
This is my original post (closed since then): http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/336186-33-full-gaming-virtual-machine
This is another thread that I joined and posted some benchmarks: http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1039531303&postcount=27

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is GNU/Linux Malware a Real Threat?

mathew7 Re:Not as real a threat as on Microsoft Windows (252 comments)

Just bear in mind that there are maybe 20 kernel binaries for Windows (XP, Vista, 7, 8, each with their own service packs), which represent ALL of the windows installs, whereas we have thousands of binaries for linux at a certain moment (each distro with at least 1 kernel update/month from maintainers, but maybe not everyone applies it at the same time).
So again, why would anyone target linux?

about a year ago
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Some Windows XP Users Can't Afford To Upgrade

mathew7 Re:Helps but not a complete solution. (953 comments)

While me and you would be able to handle a VM, think about medical personell that have no idea of a VM. How do you explain them that "you start your PC, but to use the application for work, you need to start your VM which is actually like another PC". Not to mention if each person needs to be logged-on with their own credentials.
Also, since we are talking medical, isn't there any HW involved?

about a year ago
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Microsoft Creative Director 'Doesn't Get' Always-On DRM Concerns

mathew7 Re:Better answer (572 comments)

(1) A vacuum cleaner is almost a necessity, a console is a luxury. While there are other ways to clean a carpet, they are generally much more effort intensive.

I would add the psychological factors:
- vacuum cleaners reduce an unwanted-in-the-first-place repetitive actions time (you have to clean, every week of the year doing the same thing, for years...which is depressing)
- consoles increase enjoyment during "normal"/boring times. You could do other things, but usually they don't increase your depression.

The problem with the consoles (and games in general) is that too long use raises the enjoyment requirement, thus increasing the depression factor. Let's be honest, games don't increase your creativity...they go as developers planned (I mean...instead of playing, go build something...which is more creative?).
And that is why people tend to look at it as "necessity".

PS: I am a game addict, and I got to a point that I want the enjoyment now....I don't enjoy the path anymore, just the destination (which is too short). I don't even have patience for watching movies.

about a year and a half ago
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Spanish Open Source Group Files Complaint Over Microsoft Use of UEFI Secure Boot

mathew7 Re:I hope they make the right decision.... (154 comments)

As a completion, BitLocker may be another reason for the small boot partition.
But the concept of UEFI booting is not to use the 1st LBA to load the OS. That still remains but it's called BIOS-emulation.
You know the old "installed OS menu" concept where one OS has to know about another (like dual/triple-booting)? With UEFI that is gone, as each OS will add it's own booting instructions (description + bootloader file + UEFI parameters) without erasing/changing the others (well, it can, but it's against the UEFI specs). So now the UEFI loads a FILE which can reside on the 20th HDD.

PS: My previous server MB (Intel DG45FC) seems to freeze the boot process when I have a HDD with a linux partition (ext3) and extlinux installed on it. It seems to me that it ignored the MBR partition ID and started probing the FS and basically treating the boot code as FS parameters. I mentioned this because UEFI tries to read all partitions for known filesystems (mainly FAT).

about a year and a half ago
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Spanish Open Source Group Files Complaint Over Microsoft Use of UEFI Secure Boot

mathew7 Re:I hope they make the right decision.... (154 comments)

Will do, but it's pointless now as I converted to MBR BIOS emulation booting. In the process I learned that Win7 links UEFI booting to GPT and BIOS emulation to MBR. Linux can do any of the 4 combinations (if you know how to set it up).

about a year and a half ago
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Spanish Open Source Group Files Complaint Over Microsoft Use of UEFI Secure Boot

mathew7 Re:I hope they make the right decision.... (154 comments)

That's just it: fat32 is known & used. Haven't you seen those 100-500mb boot partitions that win vista & newer create? Those are because of uefi.

about a year and a half ago
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Spanish Open Source Group Files Complaint Over Microsoft Use of UEFI Secure Boot

mathew7 Re:I hope they make the right decision.... (154 comments)

That kind of virus protection was present in older BIOS implementations, while win9x/ME was still present. With Win2K/XP, no such protections work (for MBR booting) because other drivers are accessing the HW directly (and you cannot enforce on HW because that would prevent repartitioning).
For UEFI-booting, the UEFI firmware has a complete path to a partition+file. There is no way to protect a single file with a compromised OS.

about a year and a half ago
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Spanish Open Source Group Files Complaint Over Microsoft Use of UEFI Secure Boot

mathew7 Re:I hope they make the right decision.... (154 comments)

My experice comes from Lenovo with Win8 consumer preview.
Used win7 (from lenovo) and debian, both through UEFI.
Installed win8 CP over win7. 1st problem: i could no longer change the boot order. I could boot both OSes, but I could not boot linux without boot menu.
So I used the UEFI tool from debian to change the order.....debian booted by default...but win8 refused to boot.
No option to disable secure boot.

So my opinion, MS is to blame only for forcing secure-boot, leading to OEM delivering incomplete implementations.

about a year and a half ago
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Lawmakers Seek To Ban Google Glass On the Road

mathew7 Re:HUD (375 comments)

Yeah....but those HUDs are certified by the same lawmakers. And they are implemented by car makers that risk the entire car being delayed because of "too much info" in the HUD.
As for after-market HUDs, they also should be certified, as laws don't allow anything uncertified between head and windshiled. But these uncertified devices are easier to control (like fines for using them uncertified) because once installed, they are not easily removed (like Google Glasses).

about a year and a half ago
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Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

mathew7 Re:Better question (749 comments)

I wonder who selected the test music? Like many already commented, some music sounds better than other at same rate of lossy compression. Not to mention the encoder itself.
Just make sure you listen to one tune from your original CD is a quiet room and then switch to it's mp3. Difference comes from comparison, and if you can't accurately remember one sample while playing the other, you can't make a comparison. Oh...and you can test them with you 2$ earbuds. If there is something to be found, you will find it.

Do remember that any statistics can be skewed to show one result or the other, when infact the truth is right in the middle.

PS: the article you point to has only a few paragraphs for lossy compression, with no conclusion. Nice read (I already agree that CD-quality is enough)...but....

about a year and a half ago
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Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?

mathew7 Re:Better question (749 comments)

Please stop comparing analog reproduction with digital artifacts. Lossy compression brings artifacts. For example take a single note on an instrument which produces a range of frequencies, something like a gauss curve. The lossy compression in this case would just cut the ends of the range. This is related to low-amplitude (low-volume) frequencies. This can be heard even on cheap gear provided the ambient noise is low enough. But the question is: do you actually know how the instrument has to sound?

If you listen to just mp3s, then ok...you say mp3s are as good as the original. But did you listen to the original as much as the mp3? Did you listen to it in a low-noise ambient (something like goind-to-sleep enviroment)? Even the cheapest gear can show you the artifacts. And once you found them, you will always hear them.
Ok...maybe I sound like I say that cheap vs. quality equipment makes no difference. That is not true. Reproduction quality does make a difference of how you spot the artifacts, but the idea is that the difference is not that big. I think most artifacts can be spotted in low-ambient noise enviroment, which is usually not associated with cheap equipment. Compact PC speakers? Gaming/office computers (where focus is on the screen, not audio). Earbuds? Portable on the (noisy) street (to exchange enviroment noise with music). Hi-fi gear? Dark, silent HT room.

As a side note, while many people cannot differentiate lossy vs lossless (or did not have the right enviroment), I noticed very annoing artifacts on recompression: I made a local-network radio station (because I got tired with 3 devices with it's own playlist) with 320Kbps MP3 streaming, and when I got to hear a 128Kbps song, I had to stop it after 10 seconds (I'm talking about rock which some say it's hardest to spot). The original 128Kb song was good enough, but recompressed (even to higher bitrate) was terrible. Now I have 2 streams, one flac for devices that support it, and one 320Kbps mp3 for those that don't or when I want to listen away from home (well, Logitech insists on checking my private streams, so I had to make them available outside). And I avoid mp3 files as much as I can.

about a year and a half ago
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Embedded Developers Prefer Linux, Love Android

mathew7 Re:Low end, in house? (104 comments)

I work in automotive non-UI enviroment. And I can tell you that the OS is very minimal. It hooks to a timer interrupt and executes predefined tasks based on timer. It has no memory sharing, no drivers, no filesystems. It just handles context switches.
So me knowing about it, I can tell you that yes, you can make a working OS in one afternoon.

about a year and a half ago
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A Wish List For Tablets In 2013

mathew7 Re:Here's a nickel kid, buy yourself a real laptop (453 comments)

Fine.

The tablet he describes may appeal to several hundred to several thousand people worldwide [given the current tablet market largely filled by iPad's, Kindle's, and Samsungs].

For it to be worthwhile [as it takes time, money and effort to pack all those electronics into a reasonably sized package], it'll probably need to cost several thousand dollars to break even for the manufacturer.

And at that price, the market for the device is right about ZERO.

Actually no...the features he's requesting, except for the offline maps (which is entirely SW solution and I remember the WM5 prices) would not raise the price, let's say of the nexus 7, by more than 100$. So that would be 250 raised to 350....much lower than 1000$(were you start). Remember, the HW design phase is long and costly, but starting with those added goals will not increase the cost per unit very much. The HW cost of components is much larger (especially in todays global economy) than the development.

I personally love the N7 construction except for the missing card reader and HDMI output. Those were my deal-breakers. But just because someone bought it and never complained, does not mean he/she would not have paid 50$+ to get those features. And if you say they'd never use them, you'd be surprised of the difference between requirement and usefullness (what was that quote: better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have). I'm sure N7's sales would not have been affected by +50$ for those 2 features, since it had virtualy no competition at it's price (maybe Galaxy Tab 2, but that require you to carry proprietary adapters).

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Test Your New Hard Drives?

mathew7 Re:dban followed by smartctl (348 comments)

Now that I searched for it, it seems I used dd. But anyway, here it is:

#!/bin/sh
hdparm -i $1
smartctl -a $1
date
time dd if=$1 of=/dev/null bs=1M
date
smartctl -a $1
time dd if=/dev/zero of=$1 bs=1M
date
smartctl -a $1
time dd if=$1 of=/dev/null bs=1M
smartctl -a $1

I run the script followed by "| tee result.txt". In case you want to change to dd_rescue, bear in mind that it outputs a lot of data (progress) which should not be redirected.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Test Your New Hard Drives?

mathew7 Re:dban followed by smartctl (348 comments)

I actually do read-write-read tests (dd_rescue because it can keep going after an error), with smartctl in between each and judge by myself what changed. I did it so often that I bothered to make a bash script to do everything and run overnight (I think it takes 3 hours for each step on my 2TB drives).
The idea for the 1st read is to update the "pending" list (if it needed), followed by writing to rectify it. A final read to see everything is ok (no pending increase).
Although I has several HDDs, I only had 1 pending on a new HDD, and that was on a 2TB 4KB/sector WD green drive when I played with the 63-sectors compatibility jumper. I still have that after 1 year.

about a year and a half ago

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