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Book Review: FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials

phoenix_rizzen Re:Not really for mastery ... (75 comments)

it's slow unless you through massive hardware at it,

Ran my home file server / desktop PC on a 32-bit Intel P4 with only 2 GB of RAM. Booted off a pair of 2 GB USB sticks (/ and /usr installed there, RAID1 via gmirror), and a 4 GB USB stick for L2ARC, while using 4x 160 GB SATA1 harddrives in a raidz1 vdev. Ran XBMC locally to catalogue all the shows into MySQL, and then to stream the videos to the other two XBMC systems in the house (10/100 Ethernet). No issues watching 480p and 720p shows while others were downloading.

Later, migrated to 4x 500 GB SATA2 hardrives in two mirror vdevs, running same XBMC setup. No issues there, and was even able to remove the L2ARC device as the pool was now faster than the cache.

This past summer, I migrated the system to an AMD Phenom-II X4 system with 8 GB of RAM, and a zfs-on-root setup using 1 TB SATA3 drives (no USB sticks anywhere). Switched to a 64-bit install at this point (no changes to the pool). Switches to Plex everywhere instead of XBMC, and added a bunch of extra services like CUPS. Also does real-time transcoding for the little one's tablet (she uses Plex on the tablet).

No issues to report. No performance issues, even when multiple torrents are downloading while we're watching shows on the tablet and the TV. The pool migrated along between each upgrade (with the exception of the first raidz->mirror conversion that used zfs send/recv). And it's all backed up to an external 3 TB drive via zfs send/recv.

ZFS is only as complicated or as "slow" as you make it.

about two weeks ago
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Book Review: FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials

phoenix_rizzen Storage Mastery 2 will cover ZFS (75 comments)

I said that this covers *almost* everything you need to know, and the big omission here is ZFS. It shows up, but only occasionally and mostly in contrast to other filesystem choices. For example, there's an excellent discussion of why you might want to use FreeBSD's plain UFS filesystem instead of all-singing, all-dancing ZFS. (Answer: modest CPU or RAM, or a need to do things in ways that don't fit in with ZFS, make UFS an excellent choice.) I would have loved to see ZFS covered here â" but honestly, that would be a book of its own, and I look forward to seeing one from Lucas someday; when that day comes, it will be a great companion to this book, and I'll have Christmas gifts for all my fellow sysadmins.

That's planned as another book in the Storage Mastery series (with a possible third on networked storage). But, whether that book is written depends on how well this first book is received and what his schedule is like for other books. If the first book doesn't sell enough or garner enough attention, then it will be the last one in that series.

There's a bunch more detail on Michael's blog about this.

about two weeks ago
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The Next Decade In Storage

phoenix_rizzen Re:Technologically maybe... (93 comments)

Going from an IBM PC-compatible system with a 4 MHz CPU and a Hercules Monochrome graphics chipset (16 shades of amber FTW!) over to a friend's house where he had a dual-speed external CD-ROM playing Wing Commander 3 with FMV was a quantum leap in computing power (I think it was a 486?).

Going from that IBM PC-comptabile system to a Compaq Presario all-in-one with a 486sx2 66 Mhz CPU, VGA graphics, onboard SB16-compatible sound, and a 19.2K modem was the next quantum leap. Using the computer to browse BBSes and talk with people over FIDOnet around the world blew my teenage mind.

Going from a SoundBlaster 16-compatible sound chipset to a Gravis Ultrasound ACE (and all the extra cables that required) in my own 486dx4 133 MHz system was another quantum leap in computing power. Playing MOD trackers and MIDI files off the Internet just blew my mind. A sub-512 KB file that sounded like a full symphony of real instruments? Mind ... blown!

Going from a 19.2 K modem to a K56Flex modem (the non-standard 56.6 Kbps setup) and connecting to a K56Flex modem pool at the local college and hearing those extra beeps at the end, and actually connecting at 53.3 Kbps was mind-boggling. Under 10 minutes to download 1 MB (or something like that)! Web browsing was now a thing!

But storage hasn't really blown me away. Sure, going from dual 5.25" floppies (under a MB of storage) to single 3.5" floppies (over a MB of storage) to CD-R/RW to DVD-R/RW to USB flash stick was interesting, but not mind-boggling. Going from a 40 MB HD to a 20 GB HD to multi-TB HDs is awesome, but not "mind ... blown" territory. Progress has been steady over the past 20 years without any real giant leaps.

About the only thing in storage that has really amazed me is ZFS and how easy it makes managing storage systems in the 10-100 TB range with disks spread across multiple JBOD chassis. But even that was done in a steady progression over the past 7 years or so, without any real giant leaps.

Maybe if MRAM, RRAM, memristors, and all that other non-volatile RAM stuff actually appears, then storage will be existing again. Otherwise, it'll just continue to plod along, slow and steady, with capacities increasing each year, and prices slowly coming down, and speeds increasing slowly. Storage is actually one of the least exciting areas of technology right now.

about two weeks ago
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Chevrolet Unveils 200-Mile Bolt EV At Detroit Auto Show

phoenix_rizzen Re:I hope they succeed, but... (426 comments)

First, they'll need a high-speed charging network that will allow for long-distance road trips.

Tesla has publically made it clear that anyone can use their SuperCharger network. All the other car companies have to do is follow the Telsa standards for SuperCharging, and not charge their customers to "fill up".

about three weeks ago
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Is Kitkat Killing Lollipop Uptake?

phoenix_rizzen Re:Why do I want to upgrade? (437 comments)

Yes, they have. It's not yet available to everyone via OTA, but 5.0.2 install images have been released publicly for the wifi and LTE variants of the original Nexus 2012 (grouper and tilapia).

about three weeks ago
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Is Kitkat Killing Lollipop Uptake?

phoenix_rizzen Re:Why do I want to upgrade? (437 comments)

SMS is single-sender to single-recipient. That's the nature of the protocol. There's only room in the headers for a single sending phone number and a single recipient phone number. If you have an SMS app that supports sending to multiple recipients, it's actually sending separate messages to each single recipient (the same way BCC: works for e-mail).

MMS is single-sender to multiple-recipient. And that shows you all the recipients of the message. But, telcos tend to charge for MMS separate from SMS, and you have to do weird "manual downloads" of MMS messages on older devices (even for plain text messages), and it can use your data connection, and and and.

IM systems are better suited for multi-recipient conversations, than SMS/MMS.

about three weeks ago
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Is Kitkat Killing Lollipop Uptake?

phoenix_rizzen Re:Battery life and speed (437 comments)

Dalvik optimisations stopped with 4.4.

Android 5.0 doesn't support Dalvik (at least, not without a lot of hoop jumping and head bashing and gnashing of teeth), it's ART-only.

about three weeks ago
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App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"

phoenix_rizzen Re:Portability? (131 comments)

A single book is portable. A pair of books is doable if you have large pockets or a bag. A selection of books for a long trip is not. Especially if going by bus, plane, or train where you pay by the weight/size of your bags. And it's much easier to pick up new ebooks to read while you are out and about than trying to find a bookstore or suffering through the "selection" of books in gas stations.

There's also several waterproof ereaders and tablets out there, some that are even usable underwater (like the Kobo H20), making them better than paper books.

And ereaders now come with front lighting that makes it easy to read in the dark, without affecting your nightvision too much, or your sleep cycles.

about a month ago
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App Gives You Free Ebooks of Your Paperbacks When You Take a "Shelfie"

phoenix_rizzen Re:So... (131 comments)

I take it you didn't read the message from the app developer that was posted 8 minutes before you posted your pointless post.

about a month ago
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Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

phoenix_rizzen Re:Wheel Group (118 comments)

What are you smoking?

Debian installer specifically asks for a root password, won't let you install the system without a non-root users, and there's no wheel group in /etc/group. There is a sudo group that the first user created during the install is added to.

What Debian system are you using?

about a month and a half ago
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Grinch Vulnerability Could Put a Hole In Your Linux Stocking

phoenix_rizzen Re:Grinch is not a flaw - has no CVE!!! (118 comments)

Which Linux systems include the wheel group? Haven't come across that on Linux systems in years (if ever). That's a BSD thing, where GID 0 is "wheel".

On Linux, GID 0 is "root". Or, at least, every Linux system I've used in the past 10 years (none of which are RedHat, though; they do weird and not-so-wonderful things over there)

One of the first things we do on our Linux systems is create the "wheel" group as a system group (UID under 100), and add our admin users to that group. No users go into GID 0. And sudo is configured to only allow group wheel access to things they need access to.

about a month and a half ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

phoenix_rizzen Re: Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (156 comments)

It's only expensive if you want it to be, or don't know any better.

ING Direct (now Tangerine) offers free banking.

PC Financial offers free banking, and access to all CIBC ATMs.

Valley First Credit Union offers free banking, and access to all credit union ATMs.

There's a few others that offer free banking, but I stopped paying attention awhile ago.

I also stopped banking at the big banks a long time ago (RBC, Scotia, TD, BMO, etc) when they started nickle-and-diming their customers. There's a lot of other banks and credit unions that provide the same or better service for way less fees (or no fees).

It always amazes me how the big banks bring in record profits every years, in the tens of billions of dollars, and still find a need to reduce staff and raise fees every year. And they wonder why they keep losing customers to the smaller banks. :roll-eyes:

about a month and a half ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

phoenix_rizzen Re: Unless it has support for Bitcoin... (156 comments)

Sounds pretty much the same as the Canadian system. We stopped getting paper bills and using cash for anything a couple years ago. Only thing I haven't enabled yet is NFC payments on my phone.

It's really just the poor Americans to the South who are still in the banking dark ages, not North America in general. :)

about a month and a half ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

phoenix_rizzen Re:Congratulations you've invented the credit card (156 comments)

We can do that here in Canada, using Interac via e-mail. Money leaves your account, goes into the Interac escrow account, the recipient gets an e-mail. They login to the Interac website, put in the password you gave them offline (or over the phone, SMS, whatever), and the money is transferred into their account.

It's not instantaneous, but nearly so. The recipient chooses when it's most convenient to receive the money. And the sender always has the option of revoking the transfer.

AFAIK, there's no reason you couldn't do a similar transfer to/from a business.

about a month and a half ago
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

phoenix_rizzen Re:Sounds like Interac in Canada (156 comments)

And via e-mail (person to person transfers). The list of participating banks is still fairly small, but covers all the major Canadian banks, most of the regional banks, and several credit unions, with more joining all the time.

You don't realise just how powerful and pervasive the Interac system is, until you try to do anything banking related in the US. It really is like the banking dark ages down there.

about a month and a half ago
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LG To Show Off New 55-Inch 8K Display at CES

phoenix_rizzen Re:What's the Motivation? (179 comments)

Most people can't tell ... if there's nothing to compare against.

It's *very* easy to tell the difference between two monitors if you have them side-by-side. But stick one monitor into one room, and the other into another room, and ask people to pick the best one after walking through the two rooms, and it'll be a lot harder.

It's like comparing DPI on print jobs. Anything under 300 DPI looks like crap. But go over 300 DPI on a B&W laser, and it gets very hard to tell which is better ... unless you have them sitting side-by-side.

about a month and a half ago
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The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

phoenix_rizzen Re:You're Doing It Wrong (567 comments)

Every window manager released in the past 5-ish years supports "snap-to-side" features.

Move a window over to the left side of the screen, and it automatically resizes to take up full height and half the width of the screen, touching the left side of the screen.

Move a window over to the right side of the screen, and it automatically resizes to take up full height and half the width of the screen, touching the right side of the screen.

Several even include support for snapping into quadrants.

Move a window over to the top-left side of the screen, and it automatically resizes to take up half the height and half the width of the screen, touching the top-left side of the screen.

Repeat for the bottom-left, top-right, and bottom-right sides of the screen.

Move a window to the top of the screen, and it maximises to use the whole screen.

Even Windows 7+ does this (not sure about Vista). KDE 4+ does this. No idea about GNOME or Unity as I avoid them like the plague.

IOW, what you want, already exists.

about a month and a half ago

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