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5901  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 01, 2011, 06:29:19 PM
The schism/stepping off point is (or seems to be) cost. For the cost of 10TB of BestBuy class NAS boxes one could easily just get a refurbished commercial server that will always have parts available, is designed to take 100+ times the beating you'll ever give it, and it has a proper true hardware RAID controller ... With a year warranty ... For roughly the same price.




Amen. Exactly right!  Thmbsup

5902  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anyone else using Ramdisk in Windows 7? on: September 01, 2011, 05:50:50 PM
Dunno...maybe I'm just lazy (or stupid) but starting with XP I just set a fixed pagefile size to the maximum amount the system automatically determines when it's allowed to manage memory. And I have never experienced an OOM situation doing it that way.

As Stoic pointed out earlier, Windows is actually very good at managing it's memory space. So unless you have some very unusual requirements, most tech voodoo and deviation from the basics seldom nets a benefit worth pursuing. And with an operating system as locked down (and with so many undocumented subsystems) as Windows, it's not like you can always know what your mucking around with system and low level settings will do.

To me, life is far too short to bother with most of that unless I need to fix something that's broken. And most times, throwing in some additional RAM accomplishes the same thing faster and better anyway.

Ramdisks are another story. I use them (on servers) for rapidly updating temporary file caches and logs. But that's not something most people (except engineers or graphics pros) would ever need to worry about on a workstation. My feeling is that if you really do have a legitimate use for a ramdisk, you already know when, where, and why you need to set one up.

The people who do America's Test Kitchen  and Cooks magazinehave a philosophy I apply to much of the system tweaking I do. They're always asking." What does the extra work get you?" When Cooks publishes a recipe, they try out every variation (ex: 'milk heated' vs 'at room temperature' -or- should you use plain yogurt or sour cream) they can get their hands on. When they're done (they once tried 35 different recipe variations for sugar cookies!) they can tell you exactly what matters and what doesn't. What's a legitimate concern, and what's just old-wives tales.

Some of the most interesting and beneficial comments come when they find something fussy and persnickety that does make a difference. Because at that point, it becomes necessary to decide if it's worth the extra time and money. One recipe called for some extra steps and a seasonally hard to find ingredient. Their conclusion? It was the best recipe - but not really worth it for the added expense and inconvenience it entailed. The runner-up recipe gave the taste testers 99% of what the ideal recipe did - but with considerably less work and fussing. Conclusion: go with the runner-up for most occasions.

I approach system tweaks and optimization the same way.

In my field of business there's a saying: The first 90% of a project consumes 90% of the budget. The last 10% of the project consumes and additional 90% of the original budget.

I found that to be pretty much the case.  Grin

Just my tuppence. Thmbsup
5903  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: GOD IS DEAD~! =P on: September 01, 2011, 04:57:16 PM
where those lyrics are taken & twisted from

Heresy by Nine Inch Nails?  smiley

5904  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: September 01, 2011, 03:56:30 PM
there is no commercial grade NAS

Hmm...

There's a huge market for something bigger than a file server that doesn't entail the complexity and expense of implementing a SAN solution. That's where NAS really shines. Several of my corporate clients already use NAS appliances. And several others plan on getting one.

So...perhaps somebody better inform NetApp, HP, Hitachi, and a host of other manufacturers, that there's no such thing as what they're selling?  tongue

5905  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Centurylink is on CracK on: September 01, 2011, 03:39:17 PM

[attach]

Hmm...

Shibboleet.

Make a note of it.

Just in case it really isn't a joke.  Grin
5906  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Truecrypt forced dismount and filesystem corruption on: September 01, 2011, 08:17:34 AM
4 minute reboot? Wow... tellme I can run a full integrity check on my Linux filesystem in less time than that.  undecided
5907  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive on: September 01, 2011, 07:35:26 AM
Groovy! Let us know how you make out.. smiley Thmbsup

5908  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive on: September 01, 2011, 07:31:46 AM
Yes. Unless Macrium imposes a 4GB max filesize/segmentation rule for compatibility or technical reasons.

I could see them doing that to cut down on the number of support calls from people wondering why they can't get a 5Gb video file to fit on an empty 500Gb drive they just bought, not realizing most external drives come preformatted with FAT32, and what that means for filesizes.
 Grin

5909  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Truecrypt forced dismount and filesystem corruption on: September 01, 2011, 07:20:19 AM
[attach]

Maybe I'm excessively paranoid, but whenever I have a problem like that with an encrypted volume I just do a quick restart rather than get fancy with switches and forced quits. I'd rather let Windows "do the paperwork" if there's a chance of data corruption when mounting or unmounting storage devices.
 Cool

5910  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Macrium Reflect Question In Re: To FAT32 drive on: September 01, 2011, 07:11:01 AM
Under Windows the maximum size for a single file using FAT32 is 4GB. No getting around it. smiley

Wikipedia has a very detailed (and unusually clear) article on the FAT filesystem here.

Quote
FAT32

In order to overcome the size limit of FAT16, while at the same time allowing DOS (disk operating system) real mode code to handle the format, and without reducing available conventional memory unnecessarily, Microsoft expanded the cluster size yet again, calling the new revision FAT32. Cluster values are represented by 32-bit numbers, of which 28 bits are used to hold the cluster number. The boot sector uses a 32-bit field for the sector count, limiting the FAT32 volume size to 2 TB for sector size 512; compare the size limits given below.[17][18]

FAT32 was introduced with Windows 95 OSR2, although reformatting was needed to use it, and DriveSpace 3 (the version that came with Windows 95 OSR2 and Windows 98) never supported it. Windows 98 introduced a utility to convert existing hard disks from FAT16 to FAT32 without loss of data. In the NT line, native support for FAT32 arrived in Windows 2000. A free FAT32 driver for Windows NT 4.0 was available from Winternals, a company later acquired by Microsoft. Since the acquisition the driver is no longer officially available.

The maximum possible size for a file on a FAT32 volume is 4 GB minus 1 byte or 4 294 967 295 (232−1) bytes. This limit is a consequence of the file length entry in the directory table and would also affect huge FAT16 partitions with a sufficient sector size.[1] Video applications, large databases, and some other software easily exceed this limit. Larger files require another filesystem.[/quote]

 Cool

5911  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Donation gamer: Games to give on: August 31, 2011, 10:35:49 AM
Against my better judgment (I have way too much I should be doing to start playing games again), maybe I'll try a go at Portal if there's still cake left.  Thx. smiley
5912  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Even the best of us burnout on the things we love doing on: August 31, 2011, 06:39:16 AM
I think you need to look into the entire story behind that message from Cox and also the context in which that argument came up before identifying Torvalds as a root cause for somebody's burnout.
 smiley

To my mind, there's a big difference between: (a) being burned out (b) giving up on something; and, (c) knowing exactly how much you're willing to put up with. I think Alan Cox's stepping down as TTY maintainer was far more a case of option-c than burnout. Most people that have followed Cox's career doubt somebody as prolific and as much of a character as he is could burn out.
 Grin
5913  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: August 30, 2011, 06:43:35 PM
SJ does make a good point about rack mounting. Resting it flat on a sturdy shelf is suboptimal since most rack enclosures are designed to have a few inches of airspace all round them. If you do go the sturdy shelf route (since equipment racks are expensive and generally unsightly in living spaces) try for one of those open wire shelving units that usually come in chrome or black. Get the chrome if at all possible since it absorbs less heat than a dark finish will.

Note too that most rackmount servers are NOISY because they have multiple high-velocity variable speed fans. The fan speeds are likely something like high and turbocharged. But they're designed for server rooms installations where noise levels usually aren't a consideration. I'd plan on keeping your rackmount beastie in a spare room - or down in a cool dry basement - unless you like the sound of fan noise.

The rest of your configuration is an absolute bear for a personal server! The phrase 'massive overkill' does not begin do it justice.  I have business clients that aren't packing half of what your rig has. And they're running serious business functions on them.

I don't think you'll really be needing that remote access card unless you plan on doing a lot of out-of-band system management. That's more for remote service management types (like me and SJ) who might need to diagnose and reboot servers without going to a client's site. Read a bit more about it here. So unless it's required for your support contract, I'd forgo it if it will save you some decent money. It may not affect your price much since I'd guess it was part of the unit when it came in for refurbishment. In which case I'd just leave it in. (You might also want to play with it. Out-of-band management isn't a bad thing to have some experience with.)  But it's normally an expensive accessory to buy - so it might be worth thinking about how much you'll really use it.

As far as storage capacity goes, SJ again makes a good point. But with what's happening (OMG! 3.0 and 3.5 TB drives now coming) in the marketplace it's kinda moot. Get what you need for now. You can always backfill and regroup if you actually do end up needing that much. I'd go with a separate basic OS storage server if I ever needed that much. By the time that came around we'd finally be using btrfs or a similar "super" file system.

 Cool

5914  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Building a home server. Please help, DC! on: August 30, 2011, 03:45:00 PM

OK server experts, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the configuration...




[attach]

 Cool Wink
5915  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 30, 2011, 12:47:40 PM
^ I know. I use that train regularly going in and out of NYC. It switches over near Greenwich CT.   smiley

Regarding the conversion: the way things move around here, I'll believe it when I see it.  Grin
5916  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 30, 2011, 12:25:19 PM
@40hz - Man I've done the why don't they put this stuff below ground rant myself a few times ... But in seems that in a contest between Technology and Mother Nature ... Mom wins every time.

No argument from me on that point. You're 100% right.  Grin
5917  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 30, 2011, 10:48:49 AM
Buried electric lines don't help when you have mostly flood damage, and may actually have contributed to the problems with Metro-North commuter rail lines and Amtrack in the areas surrounding New York City.

[attachthumb=#]

In CT (New Haven Line) it was mostly downed trees and power lines that were the main problem for MetroNorth.

The NH Line commuter trains use an overhead catenary wire/pantograph combo (like a trolley - see above) rather than the more common third-rail system for train power. (And the NH rail power mains are all above ground AKAIK.)

Local flooding and the storm debris in and around the stations didn't help either.

As of 8/30/2011 11:30am we still have about a half-million customers (45% of the state) without power.

But we're still better of than the folks up in VT from the news we've been hearing. The VT flooding situation is beyond anything we've seen down here. Best of luck to all those up in green mountain country.

 Sad

5918  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 30, 2011, 02:29:24 AM
@J-Mac - I'm gonna have to check. I'd suspect you are correct (and I'm wrong) since you've been "in the business." I'm probably guilty of oversimplifying and mixing up two (or more) completely different but related utility regulation issues. Because now that you mention it, I do seem to recall something about how the profitability was fixed but there were some major disputes as to how that profit was being calculated. Which is what steeladept was saying in his comment about it being all about costs rather than earnings.
 smiley
5919  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 29, 2011, 08:14:00 PM
I disagree for the simple fact that earnings could be increased through tactful negotiations with the PUC.
.
.
.
earnings are limited by the maximum charges the PUC allows.

Our PUC doesn't have absolute say any more. We're part of a "regionalization" plan that they're insisting (with some success) falls under federal rather than state regulation.

And their negotiations are seldom tactful. It's more like: if we don't get what we ask for you can expect outages.

 Grin
5920  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 29, 2011, 07:44:20 PM
Don't get me wrong, I believe underground is THE way to go for mostly aesthetic reasons; but the original post was why are they still above ground.  And the reason is cost.

It's not so much an issue of cost as it is earnings.

[attach]

The utilities won't make the investment because they are operating like standard corporations even though their semi-monopoly status and favorable tax treatment begs the question as to just how much the public benefits from their continued "favored son" treatment.

Don't know how it works in other states, but in CT the favorable tax breaks some utilities were given in order to modernize their systems following Hurricane Gloria (1985) - and later on the big winter blizzards in the early 90s - largely went into replenishing pension plans that (illegally) went underfunded and boosting paper earnings.

It's only been recently that our Public Utility Commission started standing up to them by denying these companies rate increases that previously used to be "rubber stamped" whenever they were asked for.

What can I say? For the most part, the United States has the finest government (national, state, and municipal) that money can BUY.

 undecided

5921  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Reporting myself to a moderator on: August 29, 2011, 04:34:55 PM
Ways and means?

Time was when those were called war crimes.  Cool
5922  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Reporting myself to a moderator on: August 29, 2011, 07:34:14 AM
Report myself?

Hey...I ain't ratting myself out for nobody, Coppas!

[attach]

You think you got something on me? Then prove it!
 Grin
5923  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 29, 2011, 07:22:22 AM
Well...it's a beautiful sunny and cool Monday morning in SW-CT. Perfect weather for a lot of cleaning up. We lost about 6'-10' of beach from storm erosion. And a couple of houses down by the waterfront collapsed due to the tidal storm surge. But other than that, the damage is about Nor'easter level. Lots of trees and debris to be removed from roadways. Minor to moderate home damage.

Unless you were by the beaches:  tellme

[attach]

Our biggest problem right now is power. During the storm there were a reported 770,000 customers known to be blacked out. At 7:30 this morning, it was down to 585,000 (47% of all CT electric customers) - so a standing ovation to the electric company's (there are three in CT) road crews for what they've done overnight to get power restored. thumbs up

Still begs the question as to why utility lines are still being hung on exposed poles in this day and age. C'mon USA - it's 2011! Let's get these things underground and out of harm's way. If we can drop $1 billion every three days being in Iraq, we can spend a little money here. Make it a project for the military if that will get it funded. Electricity is a strategic resource so it shouldn't be hard to justify it with all the "homeland security" legislation that's been passed. Call it an anti-terrorism measure if that's what it takes to get the ball rolling.

Oh well...off to get my GF into work. She's a field operations manager for one of our lovely State agencies. Our newly elected and overly vocal (to say nothing of micro-managerial) Governor has ordered all personnel in for 8:00am. She's not part of an "essential service" or "first responder" agency - but Connecticut's 'child of a lesser god' has spoken! Grin

Onward! Thmbsup

5924  DonationCoder.com Software / Mouser's Zone / Re: Im going to be mostly away from the internet this week (Aug 29 - Sep 2, 2011) on: August 28, 2011, 03:48:55 PM
Have a nice trip! We'll hold the fort while you're gone Wink

Hold the fort? That's the code phrase for 'stage a coup,' isn't it? Grin

5925  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Centurylink is on CracK on: August 28, 2011, 03:17:56 PM
Flowcharters!!!  Angry "Step one. Then step 2. Don't ever think - just do."

Last time I dealt with someone like that they brushed what I was telling them aside, netted in, and then proceeded to remotely "brick" my client's main data switch. ("Yes Rashmi - ALL the friggin' panel lights are simultaneously blinking on and off - and NO, holding in the reset button and cycling power isn't fixing it. C'mon! We've already done this five times in a row....What?... What's that?..."We" need to try doing it one more time just to be sure?  Ok...)

Good thing (for them) it happened after business hours on a Friday.

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