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* Posts by BingBong

83 posts • joined 7 Jun 2010

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Apple 'orders 12 petabytes of storage' from EMC

BingBong
Joke

Too easy ...

You guys are too easy to wind up!

Sorry I'll get back to my Beowulf cluster in the shed .. working from home is great.

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BingBong

12 peta is not a huge amount

when you have over 200 million itunes customers even factoring in deduping. It could archive the Large Hadron Collider data for 9 months I guess.

Plus 12 PB is only 705 times more than I have on my home servers (that's 17 TB of ZFS raidz on FreeBSD with writes peaking at 240 MB/s 8-)

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Teens who listen to music a lot are at high risk of depression

BingBong

I was looking for a job, and then I found a job

And heaven knows I'm miserable now

In my life

Oh, why do I give valuable time

To people who don't care if I live or die ?

---

NOW! that's what I call music.

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BingBong

@Dvorak

I could never get on with them ... all the right keys but just not in the right order.

0 I C .. you meant Antonín Dvořák

Nah, 80's electro-pop best for coding and dancing.

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April Fools Day's Finest

BingBong

ThinkGeek

Have a reputation for thinking up products that you can't get but really want ...

http://www.thinkgeek.com/stuff/looflirpa/

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Acer boss quits after board disses his future strategy

BingBong

Two Acer Aspire Ones here

and they are fine pieces of kit especially for the price (e.g. an Aspire One with *built-in* 3G modem was bought for £189 inc vat and it works great with Ubuntu).

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Game stocks shops with Tesco 3DS consoles

BingBong

If ("God"|deity|pink-fluffy-fairies) had meant us to see in 3D ...

s/he would have given us 2 ey... oh wait, scrub that.

In the land of the Nintendo, the one-eyed person is King or at least they don't get eye strain.

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Steve Jobs bends iPad price reality

BingBong

@AC 13:14 - noisy imac G5

The G5 processors run hot and so need a good air flow over them. This sounds like you have a dust build up on the bottom air intakes ... take the back off and vacuum it all out and you will see a huge drop in temperature and fan speed ("iStat Menus" is your friend get it for free from http://bjango.com/mac/istatmenus/ ).

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BingBong

Yes I've made 4 Apple 'warranty' claims that I can remember (all in UK) ..

The first Mac I bought was a secondhand G3 iMac on eBay which was 10 months old .. it arrived with a dodgy HV CRT video board fault and so I took it to the local Apple dealer who said they needed original purchase invoice to have it covered under Applecare .. the old owner did not have it but remembered where they bought it from and I contacted this other Apple dealer who gave me the original purchase details and these were accepted by my local Apple dealer and Apple and after 10 years it is still in working order and running OS X 10.3.

A new iMac G5 that turned up with a line of stuck pixels down the LCD [dodgy video card or LCD] .. Apple sent a new one immediately without requiring a return to happen beforehand. The new and old ones were swapped through UPS [worlds finest couriers in my experience!] .. Apple have a DOA return policy for the first 14/28 days I believe. 6 years on and the wife still uses it as her design workstation with just a single disk drive replacement (before it completely failed).

In-ear headphones broke after a few months of use .. Apple sent replacement ones (via UPS) and picked up the old ones (via UPS) no questions asked.

Bought a G3 iBook discounted at the local dealer .. after 3 years of use it developed a video fault .. screen would freeze ... checked online and it was due to a motherboard bending issue and Apple had issued a free repair program for up to 5 years after purchase .. got it repaired for free and 8 years after purchase it still gets used occasionally as its still a neat 12" laptop.

CD/DVD writers just fail regardless of manufacturer .. I've found dual-layer DVD burning to be the first to go and then its downhill ... still a Samsung DVD-DL burner is only £12 to replace these days.

So in 10 years of buying Apple kit .. I've had nothing but excellent customer service from them .. sorry if this does not fit in with people's own opinions but these are my actual experiences and I would be the first to moan about bad service or crap kit.

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BingBong

Oh I C

I did forget the smiley in the first post !! LOL GR8 ;-{

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BingBong

@bluetooth is just a starter!

Huh? Usability is fantastic, have you actually had real hands-on time with an iPad? Bluetooth also appears to work fine with my keyboard and stereo headset.

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BingBong

Oh yes I bought an iPad Wifi+3G with 64Gb

Actually I bought an iPad on the day it was released in the UK ... I had not planned to buy one, just to go and look at one as I was in the Shopping Mall on the day but after an hour of using one in an Apple store (just hands-on no interference from Apple staff).

I have been buying gadgets / portable computing devices for over 20 years and have been through Palms (III, IIIc, Abacus), Psions (3a, 7, MC400), Tandys (Pocket PCs, Model 100), 1 x WinCE, (bought as a handheld GPS but with 'full' wincing functions - shudder), 3 x Netbooks (2 now running as embedded systems with the other 1 complete with built-in 3G modem as neat mobile Ubuntu lappy), iPod Touch/iPhone and even a gloriously wonderful Sinclair Z88 (upon which I typed up my Computing PhD) [All of which I still own and use on different occasions] ... for this long I have been wanting "ubiquitous computing" to come to the fore and have been after an always-on, multi-touch, intuitive GUI, portable device with full-time connection to the Internet (online since '89) ... I hate to say it here (expecting the downvotes) but the iPad is the best device that I have seen/used that comes closest to my own personal mobile computing Nirvana.

Is it the /perfect/ mobile computing device? well .. not quite there yet but a massive step in the right direction and damn close .. for me it needs to fold in half in a seemless manner [no join] and have a retina-level display .. the iPad2 cameras are a great idea (quick snaps, facetime, barcode scanning [really useful]) ... Over the last 8 months I have found that large on-board memory actually is not a big requirement for me as I have 9Tb of ZFS'ed home server disk space and streaming is excellent (and surprisingly good even over 3G with variable bit-rate HTTP streaming) ... although an increasing amount of onboard space is being used for PDFs (it makes a great technical library ereader).

I will drop in to the Apple store on the 25th to look at the iPad 2 .. although I currently don't see a need to upgrade but a hands-on might prove decisive 8-). I suspect that the iPad 3 (coming sometime between Sept'11 and Mar'12) will have a level of functionality/usability/design that is different enough to make the jump a simple upgrade decision.

So yes .. I have done over 20 years of research and the latest purchase was an iPad as it meets my needs, is a great upgrade to a smart phone. I suspect some people may have failed to see the smiley 8-)

- BingBong AvonCalling

PS: Expect an update from Lewis as BBC (from AFP) are just reporting "extremely high" radiation coming out of Reactor 4 because its lost its cooling water and Reactor 3 radiation is stopping staff getting to R4 .. so the saga continues and Japan is not out of the woods yet and there is still potential for a bigger disaster than the natural ones.

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BingBong

All marketing is bull

So? Only idiots believe marketing hype .. but there are millions of idiots out there.

Personally, I don't trust salespeeps at face value .. I weigh the overall cost verses specs verses usability and then .... then I decide to buy an ipad.

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Feeling heat from Macs, Microsoft sells PCs sans crapware

BingBong

@I find doubtful that MS has "Apple Macs in its sights" with this...

Where can granda joe or yummy mummy sal by a PC with Linux pre-installed? Sorry? Can't quite hear you there? Now compare to what joe random-user can buy on the high-street / Amazon / eBuyer .. see the difference is clear .. its a basic choice of Windows XP/7 + crapware or OSX ... and with the Apple iPod/Phone/Pad/Stores halo effect it is driving more people in to the hands of Apple as a one-stop "it just works"(tm) solution for THE GENERAL PUBLIC ... not the Linux Geeks (or BSD if you are a purist) that lurk around here or even the Enterprise Freaks that roll their own Windows SOE.

So as Microsoft has always secretly envied the Apple consumer lock-in this is yet another "photocopying" event naturally following on from their Microsoft Stores presence (or in strict timeline it might have come just before the stores were ready) that they are trying. So it does seem obvious that this is again about de-tarnishing the MS 'Winblows' brand which suffered badly under Windows ME and Vista.

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HP uncloaks wristwatch 'aggregation point'

BingBong

Sounds more like ...

Sony Ericsson Liveview

an Android display widget in watch form .. much more sensible with the phone as the hub than the other way around.

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Microsoft tablet OS to see light of day in 'autumn 2012'

BingBong

of course they will ..

but after December 21st-23rd 2012 .. well that depends on the accuracy of the Mayan calender.

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Microsoft blows Windows Phone update, again

BingBong

This is a CONSUMER DEVICE

People just want the products to work .. they don't expect them to easily break during an update .. Apple know that .. Microsoft should .. it does not matter if its a Samsung phone its running Microsoft Windows and its the Microsoft brand that gets damaged, so they should care about the user experience if they want people to buy the products.

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Locked iPhones still got their ears on

BingBong

Yes it still allows ipod control and ..

if you look at the screendump IT TELLS YOU THIS.

So you steal someone's iphone and listen to their music until they remotely clear it (assuming it gets a signal).

This is a minor issue. It is detailed in the iphone user manual both under "security features" and "general settings" ... of course if people don't read manuals then they get the defaults which for most consumer devices has a tendency to be open and lets everything work without lockdowns. Whether it should be fully secured by default is up for debate .. I would prefer a big "go secure" switch (much like "Airplane Mode") which sets secure or insecure defaults which can then be finely tuned.

It amounts to a non-issue compared with malware infested apps downloadable from non-curated App Stores though 8-}

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British Airways IT worker found guilty of plotting terror attack

BingBong

@AC - I think you misunderstand me and we are saying the same thing..

The password that protects the key is typically the weakest element .. i.e. you might be using a randomly generated AES-256 bit symmetric encryption key but if you protect the key's use with a password of <20 characters even if its complex it is possible to brute force the password given enough raw/distributed CPU and time. That does not mean TrueCrypt is easy to break-in to .. it means that people need to understand where the real weak point lies (hint: its the end-user and decisions they make 8-) and use the encryption tool effectively.

So strength of password that protects the actual encryption key is typically the most important element of this type of file encryption mechanism .. obviously if you use an encryption algorithm or tool which has known flaws or technical limitations (e.g. DES) then you don't need the password to brute force the encryption key itself.

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BingBong

It does not matter the tool, algorithm or strength of the encryption key ..

if they brute forced the user's password that protects the key as that is the weak point.

What is more interesting is the password(s) that was used as 9 months is a pretty good time to hold out against today's distributed brute force methods.

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Binatone HomeSurf 7 Android tablet

BingBong

They beat Amstrad to it.

Yeah, the race to the bottom is on!

£100 is a lot for so little ... I just thought WinCE netbook and did.

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Acer shows laptop lid look tablet

BingBong

Ipad does not have a camera ..

although ipad2 might though.

A rear facing camera is useful for ...

+ Augmented reality apps ... kinda fun when linked with a GPS and a gyroscope

+ Barcode scanning

+ Google Goggles

+ snapshot note taking or document "scanning"

+ Things we haven't thought of yet

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BingBong

Battery life is the key

It looks a nice product but if (like their early netbooks) the battery life is dire then it will fail to sell in large numbers (just to the early adopters and gadget freaks - which could include me 8-).

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Sandy Bridge MacBook Airs inbound

BingBong

Give them a backlit keyboard and I'm sold.

The Airs are lovely kit but my 2009 MacBook Pro still beats them on one important thing for me, a backlit keyboard. Fix that and I'll consider them for a future upgrade - I do not want to buy another laptop without the back lighting its just so useful.

The Airs are the future of laptops, lightweight, small, good processors, unibody solid metal build (imagine what the Liquidmetal version would be like!) and SSDs.

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Hack reveals passwords from locked iPhones and iPads

BingBong

Doesn't necessarily have to be a problem ...

Remember the issue is that at certain points (e.g. boot time, plugging in the connector) any application can call the API to decrypt the keychain without requiring user interaction and that is where the real problem lies (its the smartphone equivalent of autorun). Make it so that any NEW application instance to run and access the keychain MUST be when the device is unlocked and you *should* neuter this particular attack vector. At boot time the device should wait until it has been unlocked before running the main applications (including mail) or performing a sync. The tricky part might be how to recover a locked device .. simple, treat it as a blank device and rebuild it from scratch erasing all the user data.

Background running applications have, at this point, been started in an unlocked state and so would either have access to their entry in the keychain cached in RAM (and maybe have iOS clear this location each time the device is unlocked - forcing a reread of the keychain) or would keep open a TCP connection session to the remote service (ala iOS Push Notification) and therefore not needing to reauthenticate (but suffers if you lose network connectivity). The keychain itself would be locked and unlocked when the device is locked and unlocked.

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BingBong

you just set autolock

problem sorted.

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BingBong

Yes they need to be ...

because they are being presented automatically to other systems which require plaintext username/passwords (hopefully over SSL - for those services which allow it). This is no different to browsers remembering user credentials for websites and performing auto-fill of logon forms.

The difficulty is that the master password to unlock the keychain is not being set by the end-user (its probably generated randomly at firmware install time [and hidden somewhere in eerom] or locked to a hardware id) but instead is accessed automatically through API calls ... If Apple enforce the same keychain unlocking functionality found in OSX and the problem goes away (well it gets harder to break and requires brute forcing .. which should cause autowiping of the data after 10 attempts).

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BingBong

A good analysis but simple for Apple to fix ...

The key point appears to be that iOS allows access to the keychain through standard API calls without prompting the user to enter a password (which is what happens on OSX) ... Apple could fix this by requiring the user's unlock passcode to be entered on to the device and using it to unlock the keychain ... turn the passcode on by default and require it to be entered at boot time and when connecting to a PC.

Hopefully Apple's new head of security will get on to this one asap.

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Should Apple enter the flat TV market?

BingBong

HDMI CEC anyone?

Look at the HDMI spec and pin 13 labelled CEC or Consumer Electronics Control .. looks like a lot of potential ... the major limitation with HDMI seems to be the +5v 50mA on pin 18, not enough to power much, just enough to wake the device up.

Personally I like the Apple TV2 approach .. its is amazingly tiny and if you use the Wireless N interface then you only need the power lead and HDMI connection plugged in to get full functionality (okay only 720p 8-) .. for a "hobby" device it is extremely professional and I can't wait to see it added to the App Store in the near future.

I don't see the point in Apple bothering with TVs themselves, they don't need to and they would not sell enough to justify the investment.

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Delete all you like, but it won't free up space

BingBong

Reference or link count?

Surely this should be a non-issue if each deduped data file/block/bytes has an associated link or reference count (like the hard link count in UFS) and you free the associated file/block/bytes when the reference count drops to zero.

I guess you may still have fragmentation issues and so need to defrag in the background at lower priority.

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Apple's app store policies: What will they provoke?

BingBong

Too right .. teacup meet storm

To quote AllThingsDigital ...

"-- “We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines,” [Apple] spokesperson Trudy Muller told me. “We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”

In other words: You don’t have to buy books, or music, or other media that you consume on iOS apps from Apple. But developers must offer you the option to buy that stuff through Apple and its iTunes-backed system. --"

So basically its a good thing for consumers as it gives more choice!

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'You don't even know what change management is'

BingBong

it's no joke

it's a Venn Diagram ... from the Joy of Sets

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BingBong

absolutely

yes get rid of paper pushers, pen pushers and drug pushers. Wot you need in Payroll is button pushers to ensure changes to the payroll system get entered correctly and your pay gets sent through to the automated BACS gateway 3 days before the end of the month.

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CodeWeavers pours Wine for the masses

BingBong

Lotus Notes

Why bother with a Windows version of Notes running under a windows emulator when you can run the Notes native client on both Linux and Mac instead.

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Apple posts dev-only iOS 4.3

BingBong

@isn't Three offering free tethering?

Well let's just say that they have not blocked it yet!

It is neat though. At the mo I can tether using an iphone on 3 but not via a 3G iPad .. so if this means I could tether through an iPad then all the better.

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iPad's biggest rival? Microsoft's dead Courier

BingBong

@accented characters

Of course you can typed accented characters on an iPad ... here are some examples ... éëöôå ... typed on an iPad B-)

Just hold down the character and choose the accent from a popup menu.

Although hover typing might be what novices do on an iPad or even so called open source bloggers, it is certainly easy to touch type on the iPad.

Whilst the courier was a nice mockup .. that is all it currently is .. bit like the Apple Knowledge Navigator / Future Shock videos of the late 80's.

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Intel unveils itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny SSDs

BingBong

nice netbook upgrade

These would make rather nice netbook drives. My only problem is whether I should replace the 3G modem or wireless N PCIe cards in my acer aspire one to accommodate one .. obviously I'd rather not lose either but with these SSDs and 6-9 cell batteries they look good for mobile use.

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Asus Eee PC 1015PEM

BingBong

3G was an option on the original Aspire One

I bought a rather fetching golden brown A110-A in August'09 which came complete with 16Gb SSD, 1Gb RAM and 3G modem for £197 inc vat and delivery from eXpansys complete with a version of linux pre-installed - I think this was an EU import version. I've added an extra 512Mb of RAM (tenner), a huge 7800mAh battery (30 quid), Intel Wireless N pci-e card (4 quid!), Bluetooth (£2) and installed Ubuntu netbook remix ... topped off with a Three £5/month for 1 gig of 3G usage SIM card .. sweet.

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Amazon blames hardware – not hackers – for European outage

BingBong

I thought that ..

I did wonder when BBC News made a noise about it as my wife and I were both browsing amazon.co.uk most of last night and neither of us noticed any slow down or outages, so I assumed it was a localized issue rather than a DDOS.

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Samsung dangles £200 lure at iPad-eyeing punters

BingBong

Yes and no

Completely agree that the "free" media is rather pointless and is typical of bundled "extra value" ... bit like bundled software.. Marketing at it's worst.

However, the sales on eBay don't surprise me as there are loads of punters on there who pay over the odds for all sorts of things that are cheaper on the high street or even on internet retailers. Caveat Emptor.

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Three tots up iPad subsidy

BingBong

Yep agree

I have a 2Gb/month usage for £5/month from Three (as a existing customer I got 50% discount) and they will even give you a micro SIM card for free .. that does me fine on my iPad and most people can get a 2% discount off an iPad (through Apple EPP or Student online shops) .. so for the penny pinchers (like me) buy from Apple online and haggle with Three 8-).

Of course if you want an iPad now then consider that the iPad 2 will come out early next year so if you can wait 6 months (after having waited 6 months since the iPad 1 came out) then hold your fire and get the next generation (thinner, faster, longer life and facetime ready .. or so the rumours have it!).

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Apple says no to Android-oriented iPad mag

BingBong

Let's see the email or it didn't happen ...

A cynic (aka an Englishman) would say that this sounds like a good marketing ploy by the "publisher".

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Yamaha RX-V767

BingBong

How much?!?

I'll stick with the Sony STR-DE475 I picked up for £21 on eBay a few months ago .. Blu-Rays and my Mac Mini sound great through it .. and it goes up to 11.

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iOS 4.2 multi-tasking comes to the iPad

BingBong

Silly AC

It's 21st centry multitasking that is fast app switching with CPU time-slicing for specific API functions ... iOS itself is of course fully time-sliced multitasking and always has been ... Apple are rightly more concerned with the smooth running of the device, its interactive speed and enhanced battery life .. I couldn't agree more.

They took time to think through touch-cut-and-paste and multitasking and did a good job on both.

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Toshiba ships Folio Android tablet

BingBong

Exactly

After years of buying and using cheaper gear and suffering from mediocre experiences as a result I now spend more on better quality kit. I'd rather use "limited" hardware but get the most out of it then spend more for extra hardware features which are badly implemented or have crap software support. I also find the more expensive stuff lasts longer and has a higher resale value (although I prefer to keep most kit for sentimental reasons 8-)

Value for money is in the eye of the beholder and cheaper does not necessarily mean better - I would not bang on to people to only buy Apple or Sony kit etc but I would suggest that they have a play with the different kit and make up their own mind. Buy what you like but only if you will like what you buy.

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The terabyte iPad is coming

BingBong

I'll stick with my 9Tb of ZFS RAID-Z HDD-based file systems thank you very much.

If you value your data you back it up or duplicate it in as many places as is practical .. for anyone who has been in operational IT for more than a few months this is a no-brainer. I find ZFS to be a superb file system and combined with good quality hard drives it represents the best value for money for secure storage .. I would certainly not be surprised to see more consumer oriented HDD based raid boxes with ZFS to provide a set and forget approach for local "digital life" backups (forget Linux as the embedded OS and use FreeBSD/FreeNAS instead and you get ZFS for free!).

You should also consider an HSM approach and archive old files rather than completely delete them just in case you later realize you need it ... this is similar to the approach Time Machine uses and is really rather good .. I would software RAID1 a pair of USB drives and let Time Machine use that as a single volume ... USB drives are so cheap that it makes sense to combine physical redundancy with an automated backup system for home users. If you are a Mac and iPad owner then it only takes a few clicks to achieve this and you get automated backups for both the iPad using iTunes and then Time Machine for the whole machine and hardware redundancy.

I backup my file server OS on to DLT just in case I need to perform a platform rebuild.

Oh and backups are only as good as the last time they were read .. so like UPS's test them regularly 8-)

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Hands on with the new Apple MacBook Air

BingBong

it's just you

It is extremely nice and follows the MBP styling. The keyboard has been around for a couple of years on the MacBook pro and is great to use and not cheap looking at all. The only downside to the new air keyboard is the lack of backlighting which is a shame.

The machine feels rock solid and the Airs and MBPs are clearly the finest physically engineered laptops around.

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Robot goes berserk in Balkan lab: 6 boffins given dead arms

BingBong

photos or it didn't happen...

I bet it didn't look like Simon from the Tomb Raider movie 8-)

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KeyCase iPad Folio Deluxe

BingBong

Write your own apps and install them...

You can install any app you want ... if you write it that is (personally or within a business environment) .. no restrictions on that and no need to put them through the Apple app-approval process.

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