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5876  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: insightful post on gui design, and why it can be faster than the command line on: September 08, 2011, 09:30:02 AM
+1 w/ StoicJoker and JavaJones.

For some people it's: GUI if you can; CLI if you must.

For others it's: CLI if you can; GUI if you must.


Geek posturing aside, a well designed GUI is a major productivity booster for one-off and small day-to-day things. Especially when it serves as a memory jogger for things you don't do often enough that you remember the exact command syntax.

For me, the fundamental difference is that CLI will always be more flexible. Because no GUI can anticipate every scenario.

And the single biggest advantage CLI holds is that it's scriptable. And that alone is what guarantees the continued existence (and need for) the command line.

Generally, that flexibility is less an issue in the Windows world, where user-generated scripting isn't a widely practiced art. Or at least not on the desktop level.


It's a totally different story in the server room. But everybody knows BOFHs like me and JJ and Stoic are evil six-fingered mutants. So they don't allow us to have our own GUIs. For obvious reasons. (see above)

In the NIX world however, scripting is a very important productivity tool. So users, who are serious about getting all that the Unix derivatives have to offer, soon make the modest effort that's required to learn basic shell scripting. Those that really miss a GUI sometimes also wrap a quick & dirty visual interface around a collection of commands so that the user isn't even aware that the GUI they're running is just a wrapper. In the Windows world, the well-known Super media file utility does exactly that.

The other big advantage to CLI (for me at least) is that it can be scheduled. Because a CLI command is not "interactive" (i.e. it just does the one thing it it says) once it's written - it's written! And once it's saved, it can be easily scheduled (via scheduler, chron, etc.) to run at set times or in response to a system event. For people like me who spend far too many hours in front of a monitor, anything that let's me quickly and easily pass important (but boring and repetitive) work off to a machine is a godsend.


GUIs generally don't let you do that. They're 'interactive' critters. Kinda like one of our dogs. It has to be his time, and his time alone, if you want to play with him.

So while I think the author of the article has made some interesting points, I don't think he made a convincing case for his core argument that CLI is no longer necessary or desirable.

Just my tuppence. Cool
5877  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 07, 2011, 06:30:28 PM
OK, forget the unraid thing.  I'll just go with a normal windows server.  I'm close guys, I'm close!!

@StoicJoker - Aw man! Now look what we've gone ahead and done. We wore SBoy out! Cry
5878  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 07, 2011, 04:07:54 PM
I also noticed how there were some possible GPL violation questions that had been brought up about Lime Technologies and unRAID.  undecided

Does anybody know what the status or resolution was on that point?  huh

Because if there's an unresolved GPL issue, that's a total showstopper for me no matter how good a product might be.  Sad

5879  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 07, 2011, 01:23:06 PM
re: unRAID

Interesting concept. There are a few caveats. Not sure I'm totally wild about some of how this works. But since it's primarily being used as a media storage server (where there's nothing that can't be replaced) it seems to be an OK compromise. Definitely not a good choice for a standard data server however. But who cares? As long as you understand what it is - and what it's good for - there shouldn't be any bad surprises. I'd definitely want to run it on new and good quality hardware. This isn't one of those "raid your junk closet for parts" projects.

@SB - thanks for sharing. I'm generally clueless about this type of product so it's always great when somebody points something like this out to me.

Note: Revision 3 did a segment w/walkthru on unRAID a few years back. Look at it here. It's 2+ years old so some of the commentary may be (likely is?) out of date with the current release.


Getting this (see below) when attempting to go to http://lime-technology.com didn't exactly give me the warm fuzzies.  Grin



5880  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: software to write gamebooks ? on: September 06, 2011, 03:45:40 PM
Take a look at the Brass Lantern and The Interactive Fiction Archive websites for tons of information, examples, and links.

A google for "interactive fiction" will identify many additional things to check out.

If you're more heading towards a long novel, there's a product called Storyspace from Eastlake Systems that was once THE hypertext writing system. It's largely disappeared from view (along with the general public's interest in interactive e-books and hyperfiction) although it's still available. Be forewarned - it's pricey. And to be honest, there's nothing it does that you couldn't do better with the more recent editions of Acrobat - or a visual web design tool like Dreamweaver. Take a look at it if you like. But don't bother buying it.

+1 w/Ampa's recommendation for Inform 7. I think that may be exactly what you're looking for if Colossal Cave or Zork type adventures are what you have in mind.

Luck. Thmbsup

5881  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Cnet's Download.com and the installer scam on: September 06, 2011, 05:49:57 AM
I have complained about this many times, going back as far as 8 months. Every time one of these sites is taken down, another springs up. In many ways, what CNET did was legitimize their business model - making them much harder to deal with in the future.


Why does the word 'anonymous' start popping into my head all of a sudden?  Wink

5882  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Linux kernel.org hacked on: September 04, 2011, 12:33:02 PM
Good software is never "final"!

I wasn't saying "final" - just "finally out."  Cool
5883  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 04, 2011, 12:28:33 PM
In fact - do this.  You already have a really beefy machine, right?  Use VMware and build your servers as virtual servers.  Build bunches of them if you want, they are only software, so you can create and destroy VM's as often as needed.  Create specialized ones and general purpose ones.  Create machines that work with alternative solutions. Once you have everything working the way you want using test files and test data (you can add data storage later to do the same thing over and over again) sit back and see how it was done.  Determine the relative performance of each option. Did it require certain server software?  Did it require multiple machines that specialized in specific tasks?  Was it flaky and temperamental?  If the answers here are generally yes, then a server may well be the way to go.  But if you want simple elegance and set and forget features, you will likely find better, more refined answers on a workstation where everything runs in one box with a single client OS (or a consumer grade Home Server if you prefer).  Regardless of which answer you come up with though, the beauty of setting it all up in a hypervisor is you can then roll it up and drop the entire system pre-set onto the new box and be running in minutes using something like ESXi on the new box instead of windows.

Oh man! Brilliant! And so obvious...(40hz smacks forehead and laughs at himself for being so blind.)

Steel's suggestion above is some of the absolute best advice I've ever read here.  

Steeladept!!! Come up here and take a bow! Thmbsup

Before you buy anything I'd definitely give virtual a try to get a better handle on how to implement this project. No need to worry about hardware right away. They'll build plenty more by the time you're ready to buy something.

Who knows? It might even end up staying in a virtual environment if it works for you. smiley

5884  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 04, 2011, 12:14:02 PM
100Mbps is unusable

Except in the USA where most connections to your ISP don't even get to use all of that.

Ain't leaving something as important as your Internet connection completely at the mercy of private corporate interests a grand thing? The competition was supposed to make things better. Instead it resulted in higher prices and less bandwidth than what's found in many other industrialized nations. And lets not even talk about the joke the US cellphone system has rapidly become.

5885  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Linux kernel.org hacked on: September 04, 2011, 11:42:07 AM
^Mach was pretty rad for it's time when microkenals were all the rage.

I think the main reason Jobs liked it was because that's what they used for his ill-fated NeXT machine (Jobs never admits he backed the wrong horse) - and the license allowed them to use the code without needing to give anything back.

So I'd hesitate to call Mach3 a bastardized kernal.  It's just a different approach than the one more commonly used by most of today's production operating systems.

But who knows? GNU Hurd is based on the Mach kernal - and there's some chance Hurd may finally be out in the near future after 20 years of waiting. A "Hurd variant" of Debian is slated for release with version 7.0 (aka: Wheezey). Beta downloads are already available for it. (Note: this is seriously beta so don't bother unless you're really curious about it.)

5886  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: People just don't understand... on: September 04, 2011, 11:25:33 AM
Personally, I think Steve Jobs may be in a lot more serious a medical condition than they're letting on.

Because some of that essay smacks of pre-eulogizationCool

From the 40hz Dictionary:

Pre-eulogization: (vt) The act of writing a eulogy in advance of a controversial person's immanent demise,; done with the intention of furnishing an apology or positive spin on said person's behavior before the journalists and biographers have a field day showing just how much of a dyed-in-the-wool bastard said person truly was.

Either way, I genuinely do wish him all the best with regards to his illness. Because as much as some of his actions have annoyed me over the years, I still can't find any justification in wishing him pain or suffering.

5887  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone else using Ramdisk in Windows 7? on: September 04, 2011, 11:09:29 AM
I guess having the perfect swap setup is quickly approaching the snake oil status, pretty much like all the optimization tricks that no longer bring quantifiable benefits today.

Well said! And likely very true too. Thmbsup

5888  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: Can anyone tell me how to lift my open-source project off the ground? on: September 04, 2011, 11:07:19 AM
First, welcome to DonationCoder. Glad you came by. smiley

Second, there's a very good chance you might get the ball rolling here. Drop mouser a personal message and introduce yourself when you get a chance.
5889  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Linux kernel.org hacked on: September 04, 2011, 11:00:56 AM
Nope. They want nothing to do with us nixers.

Yet it's amazing the amount of open source supporters who run a Mac, though sometimes out of spite tongue

I thought it was more out of pity they did that...

Poor little Mach kernal being held captive by Apple like that. What did it ever do to them? Grin

5890  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 04, 2011, 07:31:28 AM
I was just thinking...

Since this will be a personal server with most likely only a few people accessing it at any given time, a single 1GB network link on the LAN side should be sufficient for anything being streamed to the users. That's more bandwidth per user than most people get already - and some have multiple family members streaming (via wireless no less!) simultaneously.

Most playback software is aware of this, so its gotten very good at buffering and caching to avoid any stutters or freezes.

If there are problems after that, then it becomes a QoS issue - and that's a whole 'nother tweak&tune discussion we'll leave for another day.

But if the actual scenario is one (or three) people mostly pulling from the server (even HD) I doubt you'll ever see a problem there.

If it does, I'd first try "multihoming" the server by enabling a second NIC LAN port, and point some users to that as their IP gateway address. Put yourself on your own port and let everybody else share the second. Because you paid for the damn thing so "screw them" right? (kidding...just kidding...)

On the WAN side, even a 100Mb port is usually sufficient - unless some ISP is finally allowing faster backbone connections for it's customers.  Because most ISPs throttle or lock your link throughput somewhere in a range any 100Mb NIC can easily handle. If you actually can benefit from having 1Gb on the WAN side then use a 1Gb NIC for that too. No big deal.

So if you're letting your server handle most of the heavy-lifting, and basically only using your LAN side to pull files down, a single (or dual) switched 1Gb network on the LAN side should be plenty.

If you take a look at many preconfigured servers, you'll see one 100Mb and two 1Gb NIC ports built in.

Now you know why.  smiley
5891  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: September 03, 2011, 05:15:30 PM
We have not experienced much in the way of flooding where I live.

We do not have a large number of trees or wires down.

Our streets are not in a rural area. We are in the center of suburbia.

Our utility services 22,194 customers in my town.

There are currently still 1134 customers without power in my town as of 5:55pm September 3rd.

All the streets adjacent to mine have had power since Tuesday.

Our street has been completely out since 9:22pm August 28th for a total of six days.

And since the United Illuminating Company does not see fit to have human beings answer their phones, or provide any information beyond "we're trying very hard" and "thank you for your patience" I was wondering if someone in that company might like to respond here as to what's actually going on?

Because we haven't seen a utility truck on our street since Tuesday night when a little pickup with the UI logo drove slowly down and back up our street once without stopping.

So how about it United Illuminating? Got any concrete information you'd care to share beyond the hang-dog excuses and thank-yous you've been offering?

Because back in 1985 after hurricane Gloria, we had everything back to normal in 3 to 5 days. And that was despite the fact that the town looked like it experienced a cruise missile attack with the amount of trees and wires that were down.

So whassup guys?

5892  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Should I Get A Divorce? on: September 03, 2011, 08:03:41 AM
I forgot who said it, but rather than getting a divorce, it's easier to just find some attractive woman who doesn't like you very much and buy her a very expensive house. Especially since it amounts to much the same thing.  

5893  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 03, 2011, 02:49:12 AM
I don't understand how this is different than the configuration I posted on the previous page.  I don't mean technically, I mean conceptually.  Isn't this a rack/server type setup just like the one I posted from Stallard?

It's not. I think SJ was arguing for going with a standard server as opposed to a NAS device and worked up this configuration as an example of what could be gotten for similar money. (Hope so anyway - because that's why I was agreeing with him. Grin )

re: high-speed backbone

I think what's being said here is that a NAS is usually strictly a storage device. You can't log onto it and do things to the files stored there. So any file manipulation operations (i.e. conversions, ripping, directory management, etc.) need to be done on a PC and pushed/pulled over the network as opposed to being done directly on the server. Same with directory management and moving files. So with huge files, the speed of the network can become a bottleneck. And since a standard Windows server is also a workstation, you could further avoid network overhead by running things like a DVD rip directly on the server.
5894  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 02, 2011, 09:07:56 PM

Only to the person that created them. Because only they know the (true) reasoning behind whatever deviation(s) has/have been used to achieve said target number(s). Statistics are projections of what might be if ... All of the other formulaic assertions used fall into place in accordance with the known factual parameters used, and nothing odd happens. To anyone else there simply an educated guess, that leverages their level of trust in whom ever ran-the-numbers.

You're drastically oversimplifying. And you know it too! (I say that because I'm assuming you took at least two semesters of college-level stats.)   Grin

Besides, you're mixing sociological and political arguments in with a discussion of a branch of mathematics. Nothing good ever comes from doing that.  ;)Cool

@superboy - Scampering back on topic myself, I'll +1 w/SJ on that 2U/6-slot bang-for-the-buck opinion. The config he specc'ed gives you 12TB (or 8 usable w/RAID-5) plus a set of Xeons for a very good price - with room for an additional three drives if/when it turns out you need them. Getting that licensed copy of Win2k3 Server thrown in as part of the deal is an extra dollop of sweet sauce.

Nice work SJ! Thmbsup

5895  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Looking for very light IM (ICQ) client on: September 02, 2011, 02:49:09 PM
+1 w/skwire on Miranda IM.

IMO the best of the bunch for Windows.

5896  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone else using Ramdisk in Windows 7? on: September 02, 2011, 02:39:12 PM
It's almost unbelievable Windows has done nothing in all these years regarding swap.

Oh...I wouldn't be surprised if they did. They're probably just not sharing it.

In some respects I can understand why. In a well designed system, the system itself should take care of that without the user needing to get involved. And considering the number of Windows users who aren't "technical" (one of the drawbacks of being The Desktop of the Masses), maybe it's better that it's been dumbed-down at the user level.

And in all fairness, you can either view the ability to screw around with swap as a feature of Linux. Or proof positive that it wasn't implemented properly to begin with - hence the need for its tweakability.

Once again it's: [glass half empty | glass half full]  depending on who's doing the talking. Cool

5897  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone else using Ramdisk in Windows 7? on: September 02, 2011, 02:23:52 PM
If they improved swap file that's fine but by the very nature of file systems I would tend to guess the partition swap is a lot closer to the low level calculations that file systems use to manage the files. Therefore it's awfully likely there's another layer on top of that for the file system that's not there for the partition management.

Actually, swap in Linux is a lot more accessible and tweakable than it is in Windows. And better documented. If you have multiple swap spaces you can prioritize which gets used first. You can  temporarily or permanently tweak what set of conditions triggers a swap ("swappiness"). You can also very easily enable or completely disable swap from the command line. I tend to do that on machines with a lot of RAM. I'll enable swap only if I'm doing something that needs it. Then I'll disable it afterwards.

Good two part article on it here. Part-1 gives the main details. Part-2 gets into tweaking.

You can also temporarily or permanently swap to either a swap partition - or a swap file on a regular partition. That comes in handy if you ever discover you didn't create a big enough swap partition for your requirements. A swap file fixes the problem very nicely until you  around to resizing some partitions (also easy to do in Linux) to give you a bigger space if you prefer to keep swap on its own partition.

Yessir! Swap is a whole 'nother beast on Linux.  Thmbsup

5898  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Linux kernel.org hacked on: September 02, 2011, 01:20:48 PM
But isn't the mac crowd sort of mixed in with the *nix crowd now?

Nope. They want nothing to do with us nixers.

As far as they're concerned we're just wannabe Mac users that don't have enough education (or contacts) to get a job that pays well enough for us to afford Apple hardware. Which makes us just a bunch of techno-hippies, slackers, and eurotrash losers - in short,  nothing like the upwardly mobile and incredibly hip "beautiful people" that make up the Macintosh culture.

So please don't lump us in with the Mac crowd.

Because the Mac crowd certainly doesn't.

5899  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 02, 2011, 01:14:25 PM
They are mathematically bases guesses, or assumptions if you will.

Actually, they're a lot more than that. The only problem for the general public is that statistics is such a little understood branch of mathematics that most people neither respect nor 'get' what it's about.

And considering how widely misused and misquoted statistics are, it's small wonder.  smiley
5900  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Linux kernel.org hacked on: September 02, 2011, 11:02:07 AM
^Sorry to disappoint. But zridling and 40hz are serious and unapologetic Linux users.  tongue

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