153 posts • joined Thursday 3rd February 2011 20:35 GMT
Re: We don't need them anymore, but thanks anyway
Take it you don't actually do any work then. Phones and tablets are fine for reading the odd email or browsing the web, but doing writing complex spreadsheets or documents? Desktop publishing? CAD? Programming?
They're toys and nothing more. They're fine when you spend most of your time looking at the screen, or if you're a two-finger typist anyway. But those of us who need computers to do our jobs need computers, not toys.
Bring your own devices? Why don't they just fill in the answers?
I've got shit handwriting. It's barely legible. I still managed to get through school and university though. Being able to stab your finger at a tablet is not a skill that any employer is going to value. In fact, if someone sent me a CV saying that they were able to use a tablet or laptop, I'd laugh.
Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade
It depends on how much the OS is using the hard drive. If there's sufficient RAM then you won't need swap space. Type "free -m" on your Linux system. Your swap usage should be 0%. If you're constantly starting many different applications then you will notice a huge difference with SSDs. If you're playing games you'll notice a pretty big difference. However, if you have your web browser, email client, office suite and whatever other applications open, and all of them sit in RAM with plenty to spare, you will notice no difference between SSDs and HDDs. Windows is different. It uses the pagefile even if there's plenty of RAM.
SSDs don't offer noticeably better throughput than HDDs. They have vastly superior access times. So for many small random I/Os there will be a huge difference. For large, sequential I/O there will be much less difference. If there's little or no I/O there will be little or no difference.
Re: 100% of the desktops we buy at here at work use SSDs..
Well you did say it made no sense to have HDDs in your systems. There are cases where people need a fair bit of storage on an internal hard drive though. With current networks, these cases are fewer.
If I were to buy a new machine now, and the SSD was of sufficient capacity and at a low enough price, I'd do exactly what you do.
Re: 100% of the desktops we buy at here at work use SSDs..
HDDs still make sense if you need a lot of storage. But if you don't, there's not much point, as you say. Making sure you have a decent network, and giving users CIFS/NFS makes more sense.
Re: SSDs, I believe, have now overtaken memory as the single most cost-effective upgrade
>Sticking one in a laptop that's maybe 3 or 4 years old and already has 4GB of RAM
Eh? That doesn't mean it's overtaken memory. If you said you had 256 MB of RAM and decided to install an SSD then you won't get as much benefit as you would have if you had upgraded the RAM, making the SSD upgrade the second most cost-effective upgrade. If all 3 or 4 year old laptops came with 4 GB of RAM (they didn't) then you could state that it's the most cost-effective upgrade.
I know I'm being a bit pedantic, but RAM is always going to be the first thing to do. If adding an SSD makes such a difference, then you're either using heavily I/O intensive applications, or you're using the HDD too much. This could be overuse of swap/pagefile (which shouldn't be used at all if possible).
Most people who do the SSD upgrade talk about the vastly improved boot times. Chances are the excessive boot times are caused by the amount of crapware installed, which starts up on boot, and company IT departments are some of the worst culprits for putting this crap on. Besides, why do people reboot anyway? I suspend mine and reboot maybe once a month at most.
You're right that the cost is still coming down a lot. If you don't have a need for a lot of storage capacity, then go for the SSD.
People aren't ditching desktops
People aren't ditching their desktops. They're just not replacing them. Ditto laptops. If there's nothing wrong with the one you've got, then why buy another.
Contrast that with those who absolutely must thrown their money at the latest thing. They're the ones buying the tablets, along with those who simply see the value of having a tablet as well as the existing laptop/desktop/whatever.
There's also he stupidly inflated price of HDDs to consider. They're still not back to pre-flood levels.
>We in the West have to be tolerant in this age of multiculturalism and have to bend over backwards to
accommodate every 'johnny foreigners' foibles.
Is that why we go to 'johnny foreigner' land, get drunk, fight in the streets, get naked, etc. etc. in our thousands?
If you go to a foreign country you should live by their rules, or fuck off home. This includes covering up when you go to a conservative culture, and not demanding the right to do exactly that in a western culture. If you don't like someone else's culture, wherever it is, put up with it, or don't go there.
Re: Gates vs Politician
>I hate your post but I had to up-vote anyway.
And I down-voted it. A lot of politicians go into the job because they do actually want to contribute to society, rather than just serving their own interests.
At the same time, a lot of engineers are dicks.
Re: The Saudis used Lambos too...
I saw that Italian Lambo a few years ago in Verona. It cruised into one of the main squares, stopped and dumped the contents of its sump onto the cobbles underneath it, accompanied by a cloud of smoke. Oh, how we laughed.
Still, I'd love a shot of one.
Re: Lived in the UAE..
Goodness, no. Monaco's not classy. Some people there are, but most are pretty crass about their unsubtle displays of wealth. Although they do tend to stick to wearing the gold in a crass way, rather than plating their Ferraris with the stuff. So comparatively speaking, yes, you're right.
The accidents on Sheikh Zayed Road are partly due to it having slip roads that are far too short, which result in traffic queuing on the highway, but mostly down the the generally low standard of driving.
The cops will have bought a Lambo for the same reason as every else who has one in Dubai, to crawl along at 15 mph revving the engine and generally looking like a twat.
Re: Windows Security Patches + Anti-Virus considered Harmful
"Well that or Eadon is talking utter bollocks of course."
You reckon? :-)
Eadon, a lot of people here agree with you that Linux is "better" than Windows. What it isn't is immune to viruses, or other malware, seeing as you're now determined to make the distinction. Most of us run software on our Linux computers. That software may be vulnerable to viruses or other malware. The exposure depends on what privileges the software runs at. Personally I would be a little bit miffed if some malware destroyed my OS so it couldn't boot, but it wouldn't be the end of the world. If it zeroed out all of my photos I'd be more annoyed (and that's why I back them up).
Do you really think Linux is immune? Really?
Re: Windows Security Patches + Anti-Virus considered Harmful
Eadon, you've excelled. I don't like Windows particularly, and currently run Slackware 14 on most of my computers, including the laptop I'm using to type this. I'm pretty confident I'm in control of them because I installed all of the packages myself, although I'll admit I only built a few of them myself and read and verified each and every line of source of fewer (i.e. none). Do I think it's virus-immune? Do I think it's secure? Of course not.
As others said, Windows is only subjected to malware because it's the most common OS out there. And most malware is distributed through phishing nowadays anyway. Assuming Linux (or any other OS for that matter) is secure is naive to say the least.
Comments like yours really don't help your cause. They're entertaining though, I'll give you that.
Me too. Although external drives don't appear to have been hit so much, to the extent that it's cheaper to buy a drive in an enclosure than to buy the drive on its own.
In the enterprise, compression and thin provisioning are reducing the total number of drives sold, as are SSDs and automated tiering. Few people buy drawers of 15K drives and short stroke them when compared to just a few years back.
It's pretty slow. However, a lot depends on the application. If it's single threaded, i.e. the application waits for the I/O to complete before doing anything else, then 60 ms of latency per I/O is going to significantly slow down the application, especially when compared with latencies of a handful of ms.
However, if the application and the OS are capable of sending multiple I/Os without waiting for the previous I/O to complete, then the difference will be a lot less noticeable. If you reach the point where the interconnect between the host and the storage device is saturated then there will be no difference at all, and this should be the cases with large sequential I/O. Note that multi-threaded applications are useless when the storage is on a single disk drive as you will get a lot of drive head movement. Not an issue with SSDs.
Databases tend to rely on small I/Os and while they may be able to do multiple things at once, application threads using them are often single-threaded (get something from there, do something with it depending on what it is, put it there, etc. etc.) and in an ideal world disk latency would be zero or as close as possible.
It's quite a big subject.
Re: Apples & Oranges ?
Indeed. Four drives, each with their own dedicated connection are always going to outperform a single drive, no matter how it is partitioned.
Re: I know its not fashionable
You forgot to say that those four ad breaks are each 10 minutes long, sometimes repeating the same commercial within the same break.
I often feel like going out to buy a gun when watching TV in the US. Just to shoot the TV.
Re: not catching up
I'd pay the TV licence just for BBC4, Radio4, 6 Music and the occasional programme on BBC 1 & 2. I'd also pay to get rid of BBC 3 (aka the Family Guy channel) and just buy the box sets.
I would also like the BBC to stop paying self-promoting so-called "celebrities" unless it was a real-life version of the Running Man with these people in it. That would be good.
Re: Is this workable?
Be careful with this. One issue they have had with the Pi is USB compatibility. My external drives used to be problematic but they fixed that with a firmware update. The cheapo USB camera I bought still has issues though.
There are some cams that do work, and they are working on the USB issues. Just bear it in mind.
Re: Is that it? @Jason
I have a collection of old PCs in the loft and I use them mostly as a dumping ground. I often thought about leaving one on so I could connect to it remotely but could never justify it down to the cost of the electricity (even though it's not a huge amount) and the fact that I can hear the fans when I'm lying in bed.
The Pi has allowed me to do just this. It has a couple of 2.5" external drives connected, giving me 1.5 TB of storage, and I can always wake the others with a magic packet if I need to. I've got one port open to the outside world which is for openvpn, so I can usually only get in from my laptop, although I've set a friend's PC up to connect automatically too, so I can log on there to help him out (he's not a techie). His files are also backed up on the Pi.
I have an ftp server too, which I enable if I need to and it also has qbittorrent so I can download torrents when I want, wherever I am in the world.
The drives sit idle most of the time, as does the CPU. It's silent and consumes hardly any power. In short, it does exactly what I wanted my PCs to do, and it takes up very little space. I can't bring myself to throw the PCs out because I'm an electronics hoarder, and it's useful to have native i386/amd64 boxes every now and again. I wouldn't buy an old PC to do the job though. Not when the Pi is so cheap.
The marketing guys would call this set-up a cloud probably.
So you rsync your data once a day. What happens when your production SSD fails a few seconds before that backup starts? Your RPO is 24 hours. Most organisations wouldn't put up with that.
Doesn't the lack of more than one undo/redo level not annoy you?
Re: Maybe a friendly prirate has come up with a "Fix" for it.
I use a "fix" for Sim City 4 as it happens. I do own it, but you need to put the CD in to play it, which isn't much use when you have a laptop without a CD-ROM. And even when I did have one, I didn't want to carry the CD around with me.
Re: Glad I read the reviews!
As others have said, get yourself a copy of Cities XL. It's very cheap nowadays. It's limited in many ways, like the only transport networks you have are roads (which are good with the unofficial addon), a poor subway implementation, and an equally poor bus implementation. It's been keeping me occupied though.
Or there's always Sim City 4, with the NAM and thousands of other unofficial mods and addons, which has kept the game alive for more than a decade without needing any internet connection (other than to download the mods, obviously). I could count the time I've spent playing SC4 in months I expect. Train and plane journeys disappear. As do conference calls, admittedly.
Re: Internet should be free from meddling by the media cartels
> thats like "hey i fixed your computer, now you have to pay me everytime you turn it on and everytime you use it for something".
No. It's like "I got myself some education, followed by numerous years of experience, so that I can charge you to fix your computer and use the money for food and houses and stuff, rather than just doing it for nothing and living on the street and starving".
If you think it's that easy to make an album, why don't you go and do one this evening? We'll all look forward to listening to it tomorrow.
Or maybe "proper artists" (as opposed to manufactured) spend years or even decades touring the country in a van in the hope that one day they will get signed and be able to afford to pay for a recording studio, sound engineers and so on. All while they put up with various dead-end part-time jobs in the hope that they will make it, knowing fine well that they might not.
And yes, I know many people who have done exactly this. Some have made it. Some haven't. It's a big gamble but I don't begrudge those who are now wealthy because frankly they did it off their own back through hard work.
Re: People will pay for music if it is sanely priced
There is still good music being created today, but it tends to be put out by independent labels, often backed by larger distributors. Most bands nowadays expect people to download their music, but they also know that their actual fans will go out and buy it, just like they always did. These people will also buy tickets to the gigs which is where most bands make their living nowadays. They are also the people who know fine well that an mp3 is crap quality and would rather have the CD or vinyl and make their own mp3s.
Then on the other side, there are those who listen to what they are told to by their peers or by mass media. They have always been there. They used to tape songs from the radio or buy compilations. Now they lease them individually from itunes.
Well, if you really need to have office, just stick with an old copy, or install it in a VM running Windows. I find that I need it for some office docs that simply won't work properly in Libre. So it's in a VM running a minimal install of XP.
Re: Clueless security
Well, you do make some good points, and I agree regarding where the data is encrypted, and that's pretty much my point. If you have data that is at rest here in the UK, and you give access to that data or the systems on which that data resides to somebody outside this country, then that person is able to steal that data no more or less easily than they would be able to if that data resided abroad.
So there's various places where data can be at risk. If someone has access to a server, then they're going to get access to the data on the server. And as you say, that's where the number crunching is done and the data needs to be unencrypted. So you want to restrict that access, so that no matter where that server is physically located, whoever is able to reach a login prompt can't get in. It doesn't matter where it's physically located, unless there is no access to the outside world at all (in which case your argument stands).
Then there's the underlying systems. Things like SAN-attached storage systems. The easiest way to steal data from one of those if you have access is to take a flash copy of the data, map that data to a host, and it's yours. If you want to be sneakier, you'd migrate the data via some disks, create a new volume on those disks and then map it somewhere "for testing purposes". Incredibly easy to do and to hide. How do you stop this? Encrypt it at source.
I'll retract the idiot comment though as you provided a reasoned response. I don't think your data would be any safer in this country than it would abroad. Assuming that it would would be naive.
Re: Clueless security
If you really believe that, then I presume you don't have a bank account. All of our banks are accessible by workers who have remote access. In fact, I have online banking, so I can get into anyone's bank account in my bank and steal their money, by your reckoning.
You're right that all data accessible through the internet is not protected. That's exactly my point. You need to make whatever data that is accessible to the internet worthless to anyone who gets their hands on it. Put something on a computer and you have to assume someone else can get to it.
Did you even read my comment? Did you stop to think about what what I was actually saying? Or did you assume that I was yet another person picking you up on one of your stupid comments? For the record, I don't think your comment was necessarily a bad one. I just disagreed. By simply stating that my argument is meaningless is doing nothing other than showing you up for the rude idiot that you clearly are.
Re: Clueless security
I disagree. If data is accessible through the internet, whether through an encrypted channel or not, it doesn't matter in the slightest where it is physically located.
Data should be encrypted at the earliest possible opportunity and should be decrypted at the point at which it is needed.
The industry is banging on about self-encrypted hard drives, in-flight encryption across networks or SAN fabrics and so on, all of which is absolutely useless when the person after that data has access to those systems.
Re: "Not a real OS" but........
I've gone through my own consolidation. I have a bunch of old PCs of various vintages in the loft space all of which I now use for long term storage only now. I replaced them all with a single model B Raspberry Pi with a couple of 2.5" drives running Slackware 14. It's got a printer attached and all the other PCs are set up with wake-on LAN so I can get stuff off them if I need to.
That and the 6 42U racks full of crap I have at work. Their electricity bill, not mine.
Re: Nice article!
They have a single brand name across high streets, stations and airports. And in airports they seem to do a thriving business in selling bottled drinks, which you can't take through security.
They're not going to replace corner shops (Tesco are doing that) but they always seem to have people in them, and they seem to be buying stuff.
Personally I only ever use them at the airport to look at magazines, usually decide against buying one, and just get the free paper from the gate or the lounge. I'm so cheap.
Re: Dear Customer
I think his point is they shouldn't be allowed to put that into their contract. Virgin have a monopoly over cable TV/broadband, and they know it. This is positively encouraged by this country. Sure, you have an option to use ADSL, where multiple ISPs get to use BT's lines, but for some reason, Virgin get to have a monopoly for cable.
It'll be interesting how this all plays out, but I can't for a minute imagine this deal will bring about any sort of competition whatsoever. Why would it?
You're talking far too much sense for this comments page.
Yes, there should be a way to update firmware using a booted operating system of some sort. Ideally booting from the firmware itself should be the only way.
The Linux haters seem to have their daft opinions, but there's no reason why an MS driver couldn't have done this, or malware for that matter. Someone at Samsung needs to rethink their implementation.
The Linux haters in this case are idiots. They're no better than the Linux lovers and Apple bitches who can't see through their own prejudice and insist that malware and bugs are only found on Windows.
The problem's the firmware. It will be fixed.
I had to listen to some wanker giving a sales pitch yesterday and he banged on about being able to all of his job on his ipad. Given i had seen most of his slide deck before because he'd pinched it from someone else I came to the conclusion he didn't do any proper work and spent most of his life attempting to achieve twat perfection.
If a tablet had a keyboard and you didn't have to touch the screen and get bloody fingerprints all over it then I might consider buying one. Until then I'll stick with the free laptop my employer gave me.
Yeah OK so I can't fit my laptop in my handbag, but then again, I'm male, don't have a handbag and buy new crap when the old crap breaks not when I must have yet another ******* pair of shoes, like my girlfriend does.
That said, If someone didn't have a laptop and wanted an easy way to access the internet then a tablet seems like a reasonable choice to me. Wouldn't get one myself because I use my laptop to work but I could see my mum with one for example, except she already has a laptop (running Linux - ha!) so doesn't need one, and has better things to spend her money on, like shoes.
Re: Doesn't seem racist to me
The middles classes in many Asian countries appear to want to make themselves whiter by using skin whitening creams. Perhaps they're racist, but they're probably just a bit daft.
>> I believe "Liberals" is the term for that lot....
I think in the US, "Liberals" is the term for right wing fascists who just don't want to shoot each other with guns.
More seriously, being liberal means that you're prepared to tolerate others, including those who want to create and use a harmless application like the one being discussed. In other words, not people like you.
Yep. The more they're stolen, the more they sell. Same reason they're not built to last.
Re: The Adam and Joe Show
Re: Line rental
Line rental is a hang-up from the days when you actually rented your telephone from BT. What it should really be advertised as is a support and maintenance contract, because that's what in effect it is. Whether that should be part of the cost you pay for your broadband is another matter. It could be argued that if you have a telephone line which you use for the phone as well as for the broadband, and you have a single support phone number then you shouldn't have to pay twice for this service. Which is in effect what happens when you subscribe to so-called "packages".
It would be nice if the companies would just be up-front and state that this is what you're paying for. However I suspect that if they did they would scream "Free Line Rental Forever!!!!!*"
* When you subscribe to a support and maintenance contract. Not available to existing customers.
Absolutely. Anything advertised as "free" should be forced to be free. So if you get the broadband for 6 months free, then you should be able to cancel it after 6 months and pay nothing. If something is "buy one, get one free", you should be able to claim the free item without buying the other one. Otherwise, it is not free and is a bare-faced lie. You should at least be able to take one for half price.
All offers should be forced to display the actual price you end up paying, and nothing else. Then it would be fair for all and we'd be able to distinguish between competitors. They'd save a fortune in advertising their fibs too.
And supermarkets should be forced to say "we selected a bunch of products, which at the time happened to be cheaper than competitor X. That doesn't necessarily mean we're cheaper overall". Or be forced to say "if you believe this shit you're an idiot."
I can get quite angry sometimes.
Noise cancelling in cars sounds like it might be a good idea, but I'd like to be able to hear if I've got a flat tyre, a worn bearing, etc. etc.
I'd rather they weren't cancelled out.
I also tend to find that on a decent stereo the best setting for tone controls are everything at zero. Anything that "adapts" is bound to sound crap.
I would be up for adaptive controls that turn down knob-ends' headphones on trains, and give out high-voltage electric shocks to people who play their crappy tinny music out of their phones in public. After stabbing them in the eye.
Re: In the US, they can use the ZIP code as a PIN
Same thing happened to me last week in the US. In the past you could put in any old zip code, as long as it was 5 characters. This time round I had to pay at the till. Only had to sign on one occasion, and that time the clerk didn't bother checking it, as I already had the card back in my wallet, which is standard practice in the US.
Really, you can use anyone's card in the US. Nobody checks, and most department stores use screens like those that couriers carry. Your signature ends up looking nothing like it's supposed to, even if you do try.
I don't know why any Americans watch TV
The constant advertising is so annoying. I've just got back from a couple of weeks holiday in the US and apart from the countless adverts, all that was on was college football. Yawn.
If I lived in the states I would maybe get a PVR but would probably just rely on bittorrent. Or PBS. Not that I watch a lot of TV anyway.
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