* Posts by oddjobz

12 posts • joined 13 Feb 2010

The Register making life difficult for readers ...


Re: The Register making life difficult for readers ...

Yeah, Ok, I'll drop Flash support and break the functionality of 20 odd other sites I use that all require flash to provide the features I want, just so I can survive the advertising regime for one news site .. what a great idea!


The Register making life difficult for readers ...

Seriously guys, I know you need to advertise, but do we really need FLASH ads on the site? I've just had to switch to Firefox because whatever is inserting itself at the top of the page is breaking the site to the extent that eventually Chrome pops up a message telling me that the page has stopped responding.

(together with the obligatory "Shockwave Flash has stopped responding")

5 mins later and I guess I'm getting a different Ad selection, and Chrome seems to be working again, but for around 5 mins I repeatedly loaded, reloaded, killed the tab etc etc and failed to get a working Register home page .. and I'm guessing that Ad is still out there somewhere in the ether just waiting to pay me another visit ...

Intrusive ads are one thing, but ads that prevent the side from displaying, whole other level ...

Ubuntu 13.10: Meet the Linux distro with a bizarre Britney Spears fixation


Please please PLEASE ...

Can someone tell Mr Shuttleworth that PC's and Tablets are two different things! Putting a tablet interface on a PC is not a smart thing to do - if it were, people would be running Android on their PC's (!)

Production-ready ZFS offers cosmic-scale storage for Linux


Re: But ...

"If you turn of the checksumming there is no point of using ZFS. The hype with ZFS, the main point of using ZFS, is because it protects your data via checksums. If you dont do that, then use another filesystem together with hw-raid instead."

So you think checksumming is the only reason to use ZFS? And you think hardware RAID is a good solution?


Not only can I read the documentation properly, I've been using it on production Linux systems for the last couple of years, so whereas in an ideal world adding loads of RAM would be great, SSD caching doesn't (on a live system) make all that much difference - and I actually value my RAM.

One of the issues I didn't raise in my earlier comment is that ZFS on Linux does not use the system page cache but instead uses it's own pre-allocated memory. Two problems here, if you use the default settings then after a while it *WILL* deadlock and crash your system - badly - this is a known issue. Second, if you try to set the allocation "too high" the same thing will happen - problem being that there is no hard and fast definition of "too high". (and of course it's a chunk of your memory now available for other apps!)

I really don't care what an investment bank have to say on the matter, if you try to use checksumming there simply is no comparison, without checksumming and if you stop ZFS from using it's dedicated memory for caching, if you compare ZFS mirror to EXT4, you're not going to see better speed .. the better speed comes from ZFS's heavy use of RAM for structure caching.

Just to ice the cake, and the reason I'm browsing at the moment and trying to slow my heart rate, earlier I rebooted my workstation to find my entire system had reverted to a copy from ~ two weeks earlier. I have absolutely no idea what happened, but absolutely everything had revered, and all my snapshots from the last two weeks had vanished, leaving only snapshots from prior days that should no longer exists.

After much fiddling I noticed zpool was reporting one of the two disks on the mirror as being offline .. so I rebooted the system in the hope that it would come back and magically recover things. On booting up it did magically recover things, all my files are back, the old snapshots are gone and all my recent snapshots have reappeared .. yet zpool is still showing the same disk as offline ...

So .. I've just backed everying up (again) and ordered 2 x new 2Tb drives .. this is one of my last ZFS based machines and it's going back to LVM + SW RAID10 as soon as the disks arrive !!!


But ...

Ok, yes it's very flexible and yes it's been stable, and I did commit to using it on a number of systems, but please take the evangelism with a pinch of salt.

For a start, if you want performance then you won't be using all the frills like Checksumming and compression because they simply don't perform in a real environment - that's not to say it could be done better, it's just turning this stuff on can decrease your throughput by 75% or so - which is going to make many baulk.

Then there are still some issues, I was drawn for example to the block device functionality, which (in theory) gives you an elastic, compressed sparse block device which is ideal for sitting virtual machines on top of. Two problems however, (a) so slow it's unusable, and (b) it causes problems with a number of things, specifically, over time block device references go missing and you have to unmount / remount the partition to get your links back. Then there's the issue of the zfs-snapshot tool creating snapshots in the block device link folder. It may be stable, but it's certainly not bug-free.

What really worries me is that if people are prepared to shout from the rooftops about how great all the features are, when some of the features really aren't that great (because they're not usable for whatever reason) , when they also shout about reliability and integrity .. just makes me nervous.

For my usage, I'm actually in the process of moving all the ZFS systems back to raw LVM, the features I wanted I've ended up not being able to use, and ZFS *is* slower.

Review: Google Nexus 4


Not a Google phone

Worth pointing out here (unless someone already has) that this is an LG phone rather than a "Google" phone. I purchased on the basis that as it had Google's name stamped on it, and as I was buying direct from Google, that Google would take some sort of responsibility for product quality and customer care.

Apparently not so. As soon as you drop it, they'll hand you off to LG.

Whatever you do, don't treat it like your old Nexus S, and certainly don't drop it, you'll be without it for a LONG time! And you'll need another phone and lots of minutes if once you've send it back you ever want to see it again ..

Steve Jobs vindicated: Google Android is not open



I was holding out for Honeycomb tablet .. not sure I see the point any more .. isn't the iPad2 out today?

UK.gov drops £6m on Google


So if they have all this money ...

How come it take them so long to pay their bills? Making us poor contractors wait 6 months to get paid grates a little when we see things like this posted ...

BT workers get strike ballots


Fat Cats and Cream ...

Whereas you look at the BA stikers and think "what idiots" , their company is losing a fortune and the net result of their action is that many of them will end up out of work, I think it's different for BT. Whereas I've never been a member of a union and would generally not support any kind of strike action, I think in this instance BT staff have a very valid point.

At the end of the day, BT workers are not asking for a huge pay rise because the company is making a profit, they're asking because they can see the money is there and that others are getting it. From my perspective as someone who has to walk into a shop on occasion and 'buy stuff', the actual rate of inflation is already over 5%, so their request doesn't seem to be that unreasonable.

If BT management were smart (something that's been in doubt for quite some time) they would have kept their own pay rises and shareholder payouts down to the level they could afford to pay their staff.

Although a strike could really hurt my business, but I think the Union is right ...

(nice to see a Union getting it right for a change .. ;) )

Microsoft clutches open source to its corporate heart

Gates Horns

Qualification needed ...

Sorry, my comment was incomplete, when I said "can't make money", what I meant was "can't make the sort of money they need to make it pay the sort of salaries they're used to and pay their shareholders the level dividends they're used to ..."

You are of course quite right in that many companies make money from Open Source, we do and have done for the best part of 20 years. We don't however have the same sort of financial appetite as M$ (!) and if M$ could make the sort of money off OS that it's making off it's own software, I'm pretty sure it would've spotted the angle previously (!)


So "now" they want to play nice ...

I'm reminded of the expression "keep your friends close ..."

They seem now to think that they can make money from Open Source, I wonder what'll happen when they discover that they can't?!

Racist content on US server 'within UK jurisdiction'


Without viewing the material in question ...

It does seem a little ironic that people can be prosecuted for writing something on the Internet that might offend a class of people labelled "a minority" when so much by the way of erroneous content, blatant lies and personal attacks go unchecked.

Personally I find it offensive every time I hear a politician claim we have "freedom of speech" when we clearly do not. There may be a lot of flexibility with regards to what we can say and get away with, but this is a long way from freedom .. maybe people don't actually want freedom of speech? This is effectively the argument for our current situation. I'd be interested to see the results of a poll here to that effect.

One day I believe we'll get a politician who will actually tell the truth and admit that we don't have freedom of speech and probably never will. What I hope is that one day we'll get a politician who promise to give us freedom of speech AND deliver on that promise - maybe then it'll be worth voting again.

I know the earth is round, but I don't want to live in fear of being prosecuted for saying something that might imply I think it's flat ... and if someone else says it's flat, I'd rather try to show them they're wrong than lock them up.

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