2200 posts • joined Monday 31st May 2010 16:59 GMT
@Audry S Thackery
As I said earlier... I find it quite interesting who dismisses the science as hokum. A.O.'s reaction is more or less expected. If he knows the science as he claims, he is guilty of the very same "rejecting that which doesn't fit his worldview" as we all are about various and sundry topics.
People’s reaction to the article is always interesting. The gut reaction for nearly everyone is that it has to be absolute hokum; they are in fact correct about everything, it is the entire rest of the world that has it wrong and just doesn’t understand. The folks I choose to drink beers with are the ones that come back to it a few days later, after the gut reaction has worn off, look at the science and see that the dude is in fact on to something.
That said, I am very curious about A.O.’s claim that some of "the best empirical science is being done by those evil "deniers"." That’s a hell of a claim, and one I would need proof for – peer reviewed papers – before I could do anything but dismiss it as a troll or a crank.
You see, I do know the science here. My hobby is going toe to toe with some of the best trolls on the internet. I’m an Arsian; fighting these battles is what we do.
But contrary to Andrew’s take that I have a "side," or that I am pushing some agenda that (obviously!) is counter to that of the (surely correct!) deniers, my motivations are not so cut and dried. My motivation is to see science done. To see facts, evidence and a through understanding of statistical significance spread far and wide.
I don’t care if your misperceptions are "liberal" or "conservative." I don’t care if you are wrong about evolution, climate change, vaccines or cell phones. What matters is that you be able to prove the sh*t you are shovelling.
Climate change is a great example. The scientific consensus exists for a reason. It is not some massive overarching conspiracy; it is the net result of an overwhelming preponderance of evidence. I am capable of understanding this; of seeing that this true despite the fact that it irritates all sorts of elements of my personal philosophy and I something I simply don’t want to be true.
I would love to buy into the "teach the controversy" tactics employed by deniers and believe that there actually is a controversy over the science. But there isn’t. NO more than there is a controversy over HIV Causing AIDS.
Are there still scientists who believe with their heart and soul that the entire rest of the world is wrong? Yes. Are they statistically significant? No. The only controversy that exists is that which is manufactured by those who so very desperately need AGW to not be true.
In some cases, the people involved are smart, intelligent people who put a great deal of effort into their work, and try very hard to disprove modern scientific consensus with actual hard science. So far, they have each and every one of them failed spectacularly, but the few among them who aren’t outright cranks guilty of everything from plagiarism to outright fraud are scientists I have myself donated a significant chunk of my personal income to.
The best science comes from those who struggling to disprove the standing consensus, and I very much so want that consensus to be wrong.
But so far, it has stood up well.
One thing that the Ars Technica forums have taught me is how to spot someone who doesn’t really understand the science, but is willing to latch onto anything that sounds scientific and supports their worldview. Climate science is a great litmus test here.
If the individual’s arguments can be ticked off one at a time from Anthony Watts’ page then they are unquestionably full of sh*t. Every single thing on that site has been thoroughly debunked a dozen times over. Yet the arguments persist amongst hardcore deniers because they sound scientific. They can cling to it and say "see, this has to be real! It’s all quite scientific sounding and it says what I expect/want it to say!"
Life doesn’t work that way.
I don’t have a horse in this race either way. I have no children. No plans for children. No genetic linage to leave to the ages. I live in the Canadian prairies; it is pretty much impossible for the climate to change rapidly enough for this to hurt me, personally.
But the debate is interesting to me. I have taken the time to learn the science. To learn about the scientists themselves, who funds whom, who is a douche to whom and why. I have taken the time to talk to hundreds of scientists from around the world on the topic, and have friends in both camps.
I have taken the time to do experiments on my own, run the numbers on my own, and have indeed designed and flown scientifically valid tests of my own design. I hold no degree on the topic – and thus make no claim that my own view on the topic are as/more valid than a proper scientist – but I feel I know enough about something I have studied my entire life to have a solid understanding of the truth of the science.
I don’t like what the science says. I like how the science is spun by the protestant anything-that-is-pleasurable-is-a-sin uber-NIMBYs even less. (Left wing douches get on my tits as much as right-wing ones do!)
But the ability to understand this particular bit of science quite well allows it to serve as a fantastic barometer for one of my other hobbies:
Climate change is an interesting intellectual puzzle to me. Nothing more. But oh, does it tell me a great deal about other people.
But it isn’t about politics. It isn’t about economics or what "side" you are on. All of the neat little boxes society makes around people are vulnerable to this. Left, right, black, white, USian, Canadian, You name it. Each "crowd" is guilty of clinging to some belief against all evidence.
I do it; my belief that "objectivity is the single most important philosophical concept ever" can and does get me into trouble. Awareness of the science does not make you immune to the reality of the phenomenon!
I could go on, but I believe my point is made. We are all guilty of letting our beliefs override our judgement. And the reaction to a hyperlink speaks volumes.
Subitting in word
Submitting in word is bad. (.rtf or drew bludgeons you!) But some of us old geezers still use it for writing in. (Spell check with 20 years worth of custom dictionary...)
Suspect users will be harder to bead into compliance than the few straggling backwards writers. (And by few, I suspect that is only me. >_> *fleeing*)
My Mooney is only reporting on the peer reviewed science. There have been a number of different papers relating to the topic, all of which seem to come to the same broad conclusions.
I always find it interesting to see who thinks the article is utter bunk and who doesn't however. Especially in light of the ongoing research in the area. (Seriously, it's a great topic, and Google scholar is your friend.)
I suppose it’s a natural topic for me to be attracted to; my entire family is full of shrinks. Group dynamics, observational bias and confirmation bias are all topics I am absolutely fascinated with. They combine to create people like this guy. Otherwise sane, rational and logical people who nonetheless reject some aspect of science because it deeply conflicts with their beliefs. Even in fields they themselves pioneered!
That particular case is sad; people accepting his bunk take on science resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands, possibly more. But is climate science – or the hype around renewables – any different?
Climate change is real. Humans are causing it. This isn’t a debate excepting amongst those who must believe it because it would otherwise harm their belief systems. And yet this drags on. And on. And on. The zealotry with which some deniers are attached to the concept is frightening!
The other side is guilty too. Wind power? Are you kidding me? Photovoltaic?!?
We all cling to our beliefs in the face of hard science. We look for any loophole, any crack, any moral argument or unexplained phenomenon. Seven pages in to this thread, and we’ve still not moved past the basic denier argument of "evolution hasn’t yet explained everything, therefore intelligent design must be considered!" (There’s even a whole bit about "fluorescent cats, therefore god.")
Let’s completely bypass the part where "no biology has yet been discovered which evolution cannot explain." No…the mere possibility that something might exist which evolution cannot explain means that Intelligent Design absolutely must be considered as a valid alternative to evolution!
The mind-warping logic is truly stunning.
We could cover virtually anything. Cell phones causing cancer to vaccines causing autism, to "Fukushima was worse than Chernobyl, and all of Japan will have mutant babies OMG." Climate change deniers to creationists, or economic/political/psychological extremists. It’s all bunk. Life isn’t so black and white as we seem to need to believe.
Science is hard. It’s hard to understand, it’s hard to even dip your toes into the many and varied disciplines that exist enough to even be able to reasonably comprehend how very, deeply wrong most of us are about most things. We all have misperceptions and misconceptions. We all have these ingrained beliefs and prejudices.
One misconception in this area over here can cascade into a lack of understanding here, there and there. Suddenly, you become absolutely convinced in the overwhelming wrongness of everyone else because your entire string of logic makes perfect sense…all the way back to the one tiny misunderstanding somewhere in a completely unrelated field.
Tracking these down is hard. They are usually taught us as at a very young age. Identifying these flaws in our understanding of science is difficult. Correcting them may well be impossible.
So all of us – even the most distinguished of scientists – are vulnerable. Even those of us who know that we are and accept that we are. How then are we to overcome our human weakness and move forward?
I don’t have an answer. The only solution seems to be "in aggregate."
Sometimes what is needed for science to advance is for old scientists to die.
This is why I study this. All of this. People. Group dynamics. Psychology. Astrophysics. Evolutional biology…science in general. I want to correct my misperceptions. I want to learn everything I can learn. I want to know as much about the world as possible so that I might better contribute to it.
I don’t want to be one of those people whose greatest contribution to the species was to simply get out of the way.
The interesting part is that this desire in and of itself provides a source of bias and a perceptual filter through which I filter information.
Some days, its just not worth chewing through the straps…
Spell check, Word, and “
A lot of people type comments in word. When they do so, they will create their HTML in word as well. (This is done because word = quick-and-dirty spell checker.) It is known that the CMS doesn't turn word's stupid “ or ” quotes into ". (As per my having to clean articles of such cruft before submission.)
While that’s find and good for us writer types to have to pay attention to when submitting an article, it is going to cause some consternation amongst the masses when it comes time to submitting a post with HTML.
I think we need some parsing enabled on the CMS to convert any instances of “ or ” into ".
That of course assumes that this post goes through and the crazy word quotation marks are properly represented on screen...
Single entity fanbois
"Single entity fanbois" seem to be far more rare. They occur when (usually) when someone is so deeply impressed with a product/ideology/etc. that they quickly incorporate it into their own personal "image." These can occur “in a vacuum;” for example when someone is entirely unaware of any alternatives but encounters the New Shiny that does the thing they want it to do.
A great example is my own sweet salient self and Plex. I am a Plex fanboi. But the reality is not that this occurred within the context of “competing products or brands.” Rather it occurred whilst I lacked exposure to any competitive products whatsoever.
Plex did the job, it did it well, it impressed the hell out of me. Only afterwards did I really go hunting for alternatives. (I was aware that things like XBMC existed, but honestly had never really played with them much.)
It was after running across Plex that I decided to go hunting for all the various alternatives – I was bored! – and the deeper down the rabbit hole I went, the more I respected Plex. I ended up being a bit of a fanboi for the product, something which translated to the brand as a whole when I finally had a chance to talk to their CTO as part of an interview for my article. (Great guy. We ended up yakking for hours after the actual interview on any number of topics.)
So fanbois can develop without the competitive factor, but my research into the science of the matter indicates that the statistical significance of such events pales in comparison to the importance of brand/product competition to personal identity and the subsequent creation of "fanbois."
And if you still thing the above is all hokum...
...I really recommend you take some time to peruse the science of why we don't believe science.
It's relevant to the topic, and quite fascinating when applied to pundits, commenttards, politicians and more.
The design of a comment/mail system depends on the methodology used to cache session variables. In typical modern forum software, session variables are not stored in cookies. Instead, cookies are used only to store a session identifier. The variables of relevance are actually stored in the database.
This is critical to implementing a mail-back system because it allows the forum to keep track of "when the last time you visited the website" was.
Assuming that the El Reg forums employ such a system, it should be a moderately difficult – say 4 of 10 – item for Murray to implement a system wherein the individual monitoring the forum receives an e-mail that a post has occurred in a forum they are following, but in which they receive no subsequent emails until after they have viewed that forum.
I suspect the groundwork for this is already in place due to the behaviour of the “posts since you last ‘starred this forum’” system that Murray had in place shortly before holidays. (This functionality has since been retracted and replaced with the older code of “posts since you last posted.”)
This indicates that at the bulk of such a notification system already exists in the code base, but that tweaks must be made before it is ready for prime time. That said, once Murray has the “posts since you last starred/visited” ironed out, implementing the single-email/multiple-comments functionality will be trivial.
And yes, I am a giant nerd. I sadly do spend my time inferring all sorts of things about software design from such trivial minutia.
Apparently I need more hobbies.
Worth a read on the topic:
Additional reading that is related:
UI issue: "open forums."
Two UI issues related to "create a new forum."
The first is an issue raised by Mr. Mellor; namely that "create a new forum" seems to be a single path to creating both "user" forums and "moderator" forums. Perhaps these should be separated into two "links" in an effort to more firmly create distinction between user ("visible to all") and moderator ("restricted visibility") forums.
The second issue is closely related. When a "moderator forum" is created, this forum is listed under "open forums" in the "my forums" page. From the perspective of the moderator-as-end-user I find that a little disconcerting; at first glance it would appear that the forums I created in the moderator section are "open" to all.
Thoughts from everyone else on the topic?
Any new product has some issues. Behind the scenes flaws as well as UI elements that have been overlooked. If you run across them, drop them here. If it is particularly egregious, and you feel it must be dealt with ASAP, please email Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Cookie JarIn every forum I've ever moderated, there are threads both for mods-only praise and alerts regarding specific community members. These are generally important concepts; the “owner” of a site – or the primary mods in the case of large forums – doesn’t always have exposure to the totality of the community. Different topics attract different people. As The Register moves towards a more self-moderating platform, we’ll need a place to nominate individual commenters for “elevation.” (Either to superuser or to moderator.) This thread will give Drew a single place to visit when looking to bolster the ranks. If you have a commenter you feel has proven over time to be “above and beyond;” level-headed, reasonable, aware of The Register’s culture and so forth, mention them here. Eventually, the cookie jar may dispense them a cookie.
People rejecting saturation advertising isn't really a different phenomenon though; these are people identifying with *dislike* for a product. Look at how many people are Apple anti-fanbois, and that very hatred of the brand is part of what they use to define them.
Indeed; saturation advertising has been used in the past in order to achieve just this effect; a polarisation of the “fan base.” It ends up making your own “fans” more insecure about themselves such that they then “retreat into the brand” all the more.
It’s all group psychology. As a competitor you can cause something similar by simply mentioning the opponent brand repeatedly. This can cause saturation of the opponent’s brand name and thus the creation of a group of people fiercely loyal to anyone who isn’t said brand.
The thing that gets me is that so many people mistakenly treat this all like voodoo. “Oh, that’s cute, but it’s all lies and speculation.” Etc.
We’ve spend over 100 years refining this into hard science. You can get multiple flavours of PHd in group psychology, mass manipulation and so forth. We not only know how this stuff works, we have actual laws that ban various types of it! (For example: pheromone use, subliminal messages of various types in auditory and visual media, etc.)
Fanbois aren’t happenstance. They aren’t a deficiency of the individual; an abnormality of personality that sets them apart from “normal.” Fanbois are made. They are carefully crafted en masse by people who know damned well what they are doing and why.
Zealots of any type only very rarely spontaneously appear. (Think Tim McVey.) Zealotry is not something that normally occurs in isolation. Quite the opposite; it requires a social context. It requires a “high priest” of some variety pushing the faithful towards ever greater heights. It requires a community that is deeply insecure, feels it is “the underdog” and is given the repeated message that they are “better” than others for some reason.
There is little difference between the creation of a pack of religious nutters willing to slaughter millions and fanbois fawning over the latest iPud. The differences that do exist are in the end goal of the techniques used to create the zealtory, not in the techniques themselves.
Apple – or any corporation – doesn’t want an army of the faithful willing to blow up others. They want money out of the wallets of the faithful. So instead of training martyrs, they train fanbois. But the evangelical nature – the cult, if you will – is no different. The techniques, the science of the group manipulation is the same.
That isn’t to say we aren’t responsible for constant vigilance against this. We should be as wary of the shysters at $megacorp as we are the clowns trying to sell us a sky fairy. But it also means the deck is stacked in their favour.
I’m not psychological superman, and neither are you. No matter how much you think you know, no matter how prepared you are or how ardently you believe in your own mental defences, they know more.
The best we can hope for is to pick elements of social identity – from brands to beliefs to politics – that do the least amount of damage. As for the rest, we shall see…
Always thought it was "fangurrl."
Also; I think you're off base. No "buying the wrong thing and getting bitten" required. It's far simpler: we all like to feel like we belong. We exist in a consumerist culture. What we buy - or don't - defines us. (Corporations have spent trillions on creating culture over several decades.)
It is perfectly natural then to polarise around a brand. We are taught since birth that this defines us. The more insecure we are, the more we cling to the identity provided by the brand.
But even awareness of the science behind tbis does not make one immnune. We are pack animals; we need that social bond. We all of us - even those who are aware of it - fall prey.
I should point out also that awareness of the sciences relating to propaganda and subliminal suggestivity also provide no immunity. Humans are sheep.
Moi aussi. Baaaaaaaaah.
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font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;
Who here doesn't know about my TASTY PI?
Dual cans of RAID.
Several years ago, ZDnet ran an excellent piece; Why RAID 5 stops working in 2009
I posit that the advent of the 4TB hard drive has in fact done for RAID 6. I am unsure that ZFS is ready to pick up the slack, and Microsoft's promised new storage tech in Windows 8 doesn't even do dual disk redundancy!
Have we really no alternative to RAID 6 excepting RAID 61? Are some of the proprietary methods the solution to our woes?
Your thoughts and insights are appreciated, fellow commenttards.
RAID card and a ball of twineSystems Administrators need a place to...unwind. Whether your network is textbook perfect - or verging on Rube Goldbergian - we all need somewhere to get down to the bare essentials: cattle prod design. *kzert*
@Audrey S. ThackerayIdentical specs, runs 2x PVMs, and a CentOS LDAP DC + Samba DFS for 10 people. (Front ends about 25TB of storage.) It's not enough. The RAM requirements for the Samba DFS really should be abotu 16GB on its own. If you upped it to a Micro-ATX board with 32GB of DDR3, you'd be gold. The CPU/network isn't the limitation. The two SODIMM slots are.
Machine countHousehold machine list: 2x HTC Desire 1x Galaxy S II 1x Moto Droid. 1x Galaxy Tab Classic 2x Transformers 2x Samsung NF210 1x Alienware MX18 1x Virtual Server 1x Ridiculous over-the-top Core 2 Quad gaming desktop 1x Holy [bleep] Dual CPU 8-core, 64GB RAM Server --> Gaming Rig Of Doom 2x NAS 2x Wifi Routers 3x Consoles As much as that may sound like a bit of a list...it covers 3 people's worth of stuff. Considering that I probably maintain upwards of 1000 endpoints and 5000 servers in the field - about 200e/50s of them with the help of another sysadmin - the home setup is pretty small potatoes. Still, it's nice that it all "just works."
Microsoft's literature explicitly says this is unsupported. They say that in theory anything that is DX10 with real RAM should work, but lay out the caveat that driver support and hardware delta make it nearly impossible to make a positive claim for this.
Indeed, I have been able to get *some* desktop-class cards to work, but others that should meet the specs flat out don't. Even similar generation gear (4870 x2s) from two different manufacturers are different. Some work, others don't!
It should also be noted that Microsoft explicitly states that there are some nebulous “minimum performance requirements” for this to work. (I.E. your Radeon 5500 probably won’t work, real RAM or not.)
I expect that the recent mid-high to high-end cards from both nVidia and AMD should work, as they have been billed as being “GPGPU capable” cards.
The officially supported list however contains only workstation-class cards, and the desktop class stuff is still very hit-or-miss.
Curious to see if the new 7000 series work; better than any workstation card I know of for performance!
My understand is that "rendering" is in fact done as FPU calcs in remotefx, as opposed to more traditional methods. But that was extracted from one demo video, and isn't what I'd consider "reliable evidence of how it works" yet.
But lines up with the MS propaganda about desktop cards "not meeting performance requirements." More research is required.
Vote on this!
Ah, but thanks to RemoteFX, that enormous render farm made out of sex and gold CAN play Crysis. That’s where I snagged a demo box from for a night.
Additionally: coffee first, /then/ pull out cell phone to add comments to thread. *wince*
It would be really cool if version 2.0 allows me to build the system out of common one-o-r-two-steps-down-from-top-end desktop parts. The modern equivalent of an i5 2500 /w 16GB of RAM and an AMD 6990.
Moving the specifications past “servers made out of sex and gold” would move this from “cute toy for the enterprise that allows your RDP workers to go back to wasting time with solitaire” into something I can legitimately see being useful. I.E. the ability to buy one gaming PC per refresh cycle and let anyone in the house “jack in” to that horse power when they wanted it.
We shall see…
I will use XP and Office 2003 until it either stops working at an acceptable speed, or stops doing what I need it to do.
Give me one good reason to switch?
"Be cause X is newer" isn't a valid reason.
It simply isn't slow or otherwise getting in my way.
If, in the very unlikely event my well defended XP setup gets a virus, I can revert to a previous copy.
There are zero apps I have encountered that require anything newer than XP and which offer even a remotely compelling reason to switch.
I have some businesses on newer OSes, and I have moved most of them to the latest Libre Office. But there are business reasons for that. Usually tied to increased Active Directory awesome.
For my personal workspace, you will have to do a truly epic amount of work to convert me to the religion of "new because it's new."
I don’t spend money or expend my time unless there is a solid business case on the table. If you have one, let’s hear it. Al you’ve presented is fearmongering about old installs that in no way reflect the reality of the past decade or so of my professional experience
I have thousands of XP systems in the field. I still have some 2000, some NT 4 and the odd Mac from the late 80s! If you are doing you job right, you can certainly have these things just hum along for decades.
I don’t upgrade because Microsoft wants more money. I need a damned good reason.
Software: Windows Server 2008 R2 / hyper-v.
I used to use esxi, but went to hyper-v after the licence change. Now my vhost is not only a vhost, it is an htpc as well. (Hooked up to my projector). The thing plays a 1080p video on the projector whilst the PlexServer VM is transcoding 2 720p videos for other members of the house to watch and still serves our personal virtual machines just fine. Total hardware cost: $750.
I absolutely adore Sandy Bridge.
As to dual screen RDP; the issues you mentioned have not been sol ed. When you access the VM from so many different devices, the windows will end up in odd places on the next device.
I wish I had a better solution; I hear Windows 7 has much better multimon support than XP.
I should check that out some time...
That's a tough one.
But I’ll try. The initial setup would be a pain, but my first instinct is to create two VMs, largely identical. (Start with clones.) One local to the laptop, one hosted on the internet/at home.
These would both dropbox the data back-and-fourth, and use cloudy services like the firefox sync doohicky. It would never keep settings 100% the same between both environments, but if you can fit all your data into dropbox - or similar - then you should have two mostly identical "digital office" VMs.
You could even periodically overwrite one with the other to ensure that they are kept as close to "the same" as possible.
Also serves as a backup of you "digital office" if your laptop gets nommed.
Second instinct: Win 7 can back up to vhd. Can you just automate that from your notebook? Regular images dump a vhd onto a home vhost, then mout it for your use? Add dropbox to sync in-the-field file changes and this would let your notebook do the thing without a VM on it.
Again; bit difficult to set up, but could work.
You could go old school; domain with roaming profiles and "offline files and folders." But lose the notebook, you lose the environment.
Yep; I am using a 2004-ish XP vm. Works fine. Speedy and homey.
As to your personal assessment of the "necessity" or not...well, to each their own. I've explained my reasons and detailed the processes elsewhere in this thread. We are going to have to agree to disagree, sir.
Netgear WNDR3700 v2 /w Openwrt.
The Big Guns. :)
Scripted install? For an image-based OS? (Windows 7 is image based!)
Then you have to write a script to kill aero snap with fire, install classic shell, set the folders to visible, make sure extensions show up, kill simple file sharing, beat IE9 into shape, yadda yadda yadda.
Then I have to import my bookmarks. Set up outlook. Import my dictionary for Word, move over my chat logs, install all the things on Ninite. Install mIRC, remember that nnscript is broken on modern mIRC. Uninstall mIRC. Spend an hour hunting old mIRC, then install nnscript. Copy over nnscript configs. Set up Trillian. Configure Feed Demon, Dropbox calendar sync and every single browser.
Desktop shortcuts have to be created or migrated. Quick launch configured. I have to punch in every single password for every single website or network device all over again. (If I remember them.)
I have to map my H:\ drive to my homefolder on the Synology diskstation and then “move” my “My Documents” folder to the diskstation so that dropbox and all the rest of the stuff works the way I want it to, and so that a document saved in one location will actually make it to the other computers I use. (My homefolder is ~2TB, so no, I can’t just use dropbox to syncronise files.)
Every. Single. Time.
So I am supposed to SCRIPT this? And have those scripts remain valid for more than 6 months and a handful of application versions? What a truly monumental pain in the ass!
I set up my VM seven years ago. Years. Seven of them. That is the before time! It took me a grand total of 8 hours. (Because that is what doing all of this and patch, patch, patch, patch, patch takes.) I haven’t had to reinstall it or reconfigure it, migrate it or otherwise putz around with the thing since.
It isn’t the most secure. It isn’t the most highly available or done according to a white paper or set up to never ever fail with added !!!111!!11oneoneone.
Instead, it is really – really – convenient. It requires next to no maintenance beyond periodically migrating the VM from host to host as you upgrade the hardware. (Move file. Press “play.”) The backup widgety thingamabob backs it all up once a night and so if my house burns down, I lose only a day’s worth of data. (Less; the hyper-critical stuff like financials, El Reg articles, etc. are all in Dropbox.)
Maybe what I am describing is slightly more labour intensive than setting up a single new computer. But when you look at how many computers I plough through in the course of a year, and then realise this has worked for SEVEN so far…
…the sheer laziness this has enabled gives me the happy.
Click "email the author" at the top of the article and I'll be happy to answer any questions you have!
Even VM's need updates
Too true. :(
38 updates pending. I should care about that at some point...
The endpoint OSes handle things like watching video. Actually, they're rather good at it. I haven't even had to install VLC in quite some time.
RDP supports multi-monitor just fine.
"Out of the house" experience has thus far been positive. I use the setup from my smartphone using 3G for a couple hours a day.
You just don't really do any video-intensive stuff in the VM unless you are at home. (BTW, 720p video seems to work just fine over RDP as long as I am on the same local area network.)
Is this “reinventing the thin client?” Sure; to a limited extent. It’s a halfway point between traditional thin client and a fat client. Some tasks (gaming, video) are typically handled by the endpoint. But the central location stores most of your “daily work.’
It is about making things easy to use and configure; about being to access from anywhere without a big power expenditure. It’s about the ability *not* to nerd about the details and the Linux this or the image that or the “just use 15 lines of perl to get the job done!” As stated in the article: I do this sort of stuff for a living. I know a dozen other ways to skin this cat, but almost all of them require some form of upkeep.
This is the zero upkeep system. It doesn’t require thought. I doesn’t require care, or planning, it doesn’t require backing up your endpoints or migration or any of that crap. It just works. Anywhere. From any device. It backs itself up into the cloud.
If I drive over my laptop, I can just not care. If I want a new computer, I can go get a new computer. The power of the endpoint determines the games I can play, or the videos I can watch.
But I can get work done from a $10 android phone over a crappy 2G connection if I need to.
Someone needs to package this and sell it for a yearly fee. If I didn’t already have the setup in place, I’d be the first customer! Just because I can do all the various Linuxy things or build my own domain and group policies or manually move this and configure that doesn’t mean that I want to.
Fixing computers isn't my hobby. It's my job. I refuse to do it at home.
I5 2500, 16GB RAM and Vertex 2 120GB SSD. It is in a tiny little case with an 80+ gold PSU and I am pretty sure the whole thing didn't cost me more than $750 at the time of build. (Which was some time ago.)
I regularly run with 120+ tabs of Firefox open, 50+ rdp sessions, 25-30 SSH sessions, 12-15 Notepad sessions, Outlook, Trillian, FeedDemon, Dropbox, 3 or 4 Word sessions, a pair of Excel spreadsheets, Google Calendar sync and MSE. (Give or take, that's my PVM setup.) That fits just fine a VM with 3.5GB of RAM. I have not had a problem with it in 7 years.
My wife's Windows 7 VM has 2GB of RAM, hold more or less the same loadout of programs (but nearly as many open at a time) and I haven't heard complaints. My roommate's CentOS has 4GB of RAM; no blitting from the back buffers there.
I don’t see how that “isn’t good enough for most people.” There’s gobs of free RAM for little widgety VMs to run in the background and still have lots left for the host.
The whole thing consumes next to no power (I think it averages less than 50W consumption during the day,) and the exhaust from the fans actually blows into the cage for my Geckos, helping to keep them warm.
Cheap, does the job…fast enough for three people’s work with overhead to spare. Where’s the issue?
As to Windows 7 image-based backups; my success rate with them is only about 70%. Oh, like hardware to like hardware, sure. But if the southbridge is too far out, the thing just doesn't seem to like to go.
But even is Microsoft fixed that, it is still only part of the puzzle. I own more than one endpoint! I have a desktop, notebook, netbook, two tablets two cell phones and that’s before I start counting work computers or trying to get the things I need done while over at a friend’s house or on a client’s site.
The VM solution puts everything I need on the other end of an RDP session for 50W of average electricity usage. I don’t have to leave some monstrous desktop running 24/7. I don’t have to synchronise profiles/bookmarks/settings/sqrt(-feet)/whatever between all these different devices.
I just need an RDP client. Then work gets done.
Pano logic doohicky would be cool. Don't have a Pano Logic 18" notebook, don't have a Pano Logic cell phone. Etc.
Pano is great if I want fixed desktop access points. Less awesome for writing articles under a tree overlooking the lake full of ducks, or a quick RDP in to check some financial data or an address.
Plus – and here’s the bit that still sort of gets me – I periodically go places on vacation that don’t have internet. Indeed, I have a lake lot where the cell phone signals don’t reach. (It is why I have a lake lot there.)
I do enjoy taking the Alienware full of games though. Most of them don’t require access to steam to play some single player.
That said; Pano can do some really Neat Things regarding multimedia and 3D playpack centrally processed and delivered to a zero client. I'm just not that tied to a desk anymore.
But WHO CARES what steam wants to do with the endpoint.? It OWNS the endpoint. There is nothing on it excepting the OS, Steam and the RDP client. I dont' ask steam what its doing, or why. It doesn't tell me. I can play any of the games in my library. My workspace lives in an RDP window.
Also: you aren't "creating other systems that you need to manage." The virtual host can be - and usually is - some random box that i find on sale that runs ESXi. ESXi takes all of 5 minutes to install and requires zero configuration.
This has worked for 7 years. Life is easy.
I fail to understand how this is remotely harder or more scary than reinstalling and reconfiguring every tiny thing each time you get a new endpoint...
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