* Posts by Ben DAMET

21 posts • joined 7 Jun 2007

2TB Caviar drive too good to be true?



IBM disk were sold till 2000 in heavy Gb (1024^3 B.)

The stopped that as I believe they were the last ones and loosing business form it. I do believe I still have 120 GB drives in Heavy GB while the 250 are if I remember right light Gb (10e9 B)


Eee PC: better with Windows?



NTFS reading is absolutely fine (I usually salvage NTFS disks with a linux machine).

Last time I had a look, writing and journal file management was still experimental. As I do not need it, there is good chance that it has evolved.

I want to react on the fact that there is no decent FS (excluding fat32, as it does not fit decent anymore) handler supported by both Linux and windows natively. Wonder if there is still no solution to mount ext2/3 partitions on windows (and without it being a pain).

Not that I really need it, but I remember being very frustrated when formatting my external USB HD, wanting to make it ext3 and then thinking about how much pain it was going to be when actually visiting still using windows friends. final solution was ntfs and keeping an old windows computer (and transfer trough samba, or ftp). It is not specially pleasant but you cannot decently ask people to get a ext fs mounting soft on their machine before you visit them.

Ok, I'm OT but I don't care :)


Phone phreaks spoof LSD-induced multiple homicide

Paris Hilton

You have to admit they were good enough....

to keep that up for 5 years ... It is quite impressive.


EU TV laws are coming


That sounds great,

The disable signal can be used to remove adverts from the stream automatically ....

Guess they are not going to give HDMI secure accreditation to that kind of products, but as HDMI controllers can very well be external in the design, a so crafted product with a very common external decoder would be commercially impossible to deactivate. Am getting exited about that actually and if this is ever implemented will probably try to design such a device myself.

Keep the tech coming networks


IBM sues seller over alleged fake ThinkPad batteries


People are stupid...

IBM/Lenovo is and will for the time being only sell trough its limited and very controlled channels. They would never sell new products through a dodgy website.

I love calling the IBM helpdesk for Thinkpads, they are nice and competent. Wanted to point that out, I really like these guys. they sound like Miro/Turtle beach engineers in the late 90s, which was my reference before calling Lenovo (I am not implying they got bad, I am just not using their products anymore)


US navy's robot carrier plane building fast


Automated comercial flight

is nearly the case. Autopilot and ILS systems, combined provide auto-landing systems and they are nearly as good as a pilot landing with good visibility. They have existed for quite a while now and are commonly used for low visibility landings. They apparently were originally not too good with strong winds, but I guess they can cope now.

Autopilot does the bulk of the work after journey decision by the pilot. I would not be to amazed if the journey was calculated by computer to minimize fuel usage using wind force (specially for east-west oriented flights). The pilot probably still has the chance of driving his enormous winged taxi in the traffic jam before take off.

Both planning and taxi could be automated. I am strongly for keeping a couple pilots on airliners, as shit happens and some crew is needed anyway. Manual pilot will probably be a sign of emergency in the coming years.


Botmaster owns up to 250,000 zombie PCs


@David Wiernicki

You have a point there. Much more so than if all the half computer saavy users were using linux ...

However, this is quite OT. Please avoid using this kind of treads as linux advertisment.

It is in this case more of a application problem, storing passwords in order to replay them back in clear form without some form of secure cryptographic protocol is security wise as storing them clear. This is not an acceptable action for any software, but users want the feature.

Linux / bsd / Z os would be no solution to that problem.


iPhone auction fakes swindle the impatient


] Mike

I think the French law is something like :

An operator is forced to give a simple way to unlock the telephone after the end of the contract time (for iphone it is probably 24 month term only), whether the contract is terminated or not.

It is easily bypassed by renting/lending the equipment rather than selling it.


Seagate's US customers get refund


A long long time ago

disks from IBM were the right size. Since a bit before they turned in Hitachi, the got into the 10e3 instead of the 2e10 definition. A longer long time ago all disks were using the 2e10 notation, and it was quite fine.

It is a fact for all drives that the 10e3 notation is used for had drives, and is written on all hard drives I can remember as 1GByte = Byte. Or so I tend to remember. Everyone knows also that formatting a drive you lose some capacity, that FSs

Dunno about seagate, the only thing I liked in them was thier plastic enclosing for EOM market, which lead to a greater density of disks per standard size delivery box.

(I am not saying that seagate disks are bad, I just happen to have installed a bad series of them some 4 years ago and gotten all the customer support that went with the failing disk on me)


Microsoft sharpens Visual Studio with functions

Thumb Up

F# is great

I am a strong supporter of functional languages, be it OCaml, Haskell or F#. I reckon I do not understand why they are not more widely used.

I had the chance to develop a bit in F# a bit more than a year ago. It is a wonderful language. It is much nicer than traditional OCaml as it has operator overloading, and has the ability to import classes from the .NET framework really efficiently. I've had some problems with modularity, which I had not in OCaml. Did not investigate too much about those.

For a scripting language it is nearly overkill, but it is certainly very capable. The interactive frontend is very capable. It is also a full fledged application development language. Support for quotations was the reason for me to use it. I do not know how the quotation module evolved in the past 6 months but it was very good already back then.

I strongly recommend using it. And it is not because I had the chance to meet Don Syme, I promise.

links :



Sun grabs patent for magneto-hydrodynamic heatsink

Paris Hilton

Just an evolution on the heatpipe principle it seems

To understand the usefulness of such a heat dispersion device on has to know the principle of the chemical heatpipe (whatever thay were called in the days).

Wikipedia has a nice article on the subject.

The idea is more to move heat away keeping the cooled object at nearly constant temperature.

For that it used a fluid that vaporised at desired working temp (which is a value depending pressure, let's assume pressure is constant). Fluids when vaporising have a tendency to absorb quite a lot of energy. The vapors would go up and be cooled on the walls of the heatsink using any technique (natural air convection, forced air, water. Latent vaporisation energy is very high compared to thermal capacity of material (i.e. : it takes much more energy to vaporise a gram a water than to have it's temperature rise by a few degree). Water is a bad candidate, you don't want your components running with T>100°C, unless you are dealing with very special electronics. Alcohol would be better is not flammable, cooling fluids are probably nicely inert high latent vaporisation energy fluids like for example the ones used in fridges.

I've seen one of these heat pipes couple weeks ago when moving things around a lab, and the chemical heatpipe from Sun looked just the same as the picture in the article, but without the wired sun cap for heat sensors.

I've heard that the in server rooms at some IBM office some decade ago, mainframes were using large chemical heatpipes to cool their CPUs, the noise of the fluids flowing back to evaporation zone made the room sound like the bottom of a waterfall.

So I guess it is only relatively silent.

Consider this intervention as the result of my remembering different more or less trustworthy/sober sources, so please anyone feel free to correct me.

Yeah, and what is the Paris Hilton angle in this article?? It has been a while ...


BT prepares for superfast broadband investment chinwag


@ alphaxion

I undersand that multi band needs some recent repeater, with no optical/electrical conversion to be interesting. Else the mux/demux process is wy too costy.

I guess most of the intercontinental lines do not use yet this technology even I would not bet on it. I would guess they are very long range monomode fibers, to reduce the amount of repeating machinery. I might very well be wrong though, feel free to correct me.


Intel chief waves wafer full of 'world's first' 32nm chips


Color change.

Out of the clear fact that these two wafers are not the same (some global routing or some pattern in the chip layout maybe make the two wafers very different).

I would say that the 32nm chip probably is better at trapping non green light, maybe because the base track patterns light interfence capability. Or it is just a change in production chemicals.


Google's PowerPoint beater beta is go



on Page :



Sorry, but this browser does not support web presentations.

We recommend you try Google Docs on:

* Mozilla Firefox: or higher

* Mozilla SeaMonkey: 1.0 or higher

* Internet Explorer: 6.0 or higher

All of these are FREE and easy to download and use.

If you are working to fix problems with a specific browser and would like to bypass this check, just add ?browserok=true to the end of the Google Docs url.

Please note that it is a violation of intergalactic law to use this parameter under false pretenses, so don't let us catch you at it.

And, it won't work very well -- really.

These google people are so coooool :)

Well, maybe not their recruitment from what I've heard, but do you see hotmail(live whatever the name now is) having funny pages like that, and also I do not see hotmail (live.....) giving you the a simple bypass to browser check.

No flamable content here, and no troll to feed :)


Missing DNA fails to kill mice



Do I need to get licenses on cell basis, or can I get a site license for my whole body. How do you manage cell exchange. Plese provide pricing ASAP as I do not wish my body to be targetted by a takedown request from the HIAA.

Not that I really care due to my current location, but well, one never know where one ends up.

In the first case, I'll make sure to return you every single cell epelled form my body in any form as to not let licence renewal fees grow too fast.

Best regards :)


Could Linux become the dominant OS?



@Steven Hewittt:

This is so much BS. I am no Linux fanboy, but I am a linux user sice 97.

I used it first for my nat/firewall/server. Was nice, you had managed distros which made the install a breeze, which it was NOT on any windows flavor at the time.

For my windows machines, at the time, I had a 95, I was quite a gamer, I used a bit visual studio 6, and it was about OK. had 98, 2000 workstation, XP

2000 workstation was the bes one IMHO, was relatively stable, very lightweight, worjing like a breeze. Only problem wasthe lack of support for game/Multimedia and taht at that pooint linux was doing that for me, and that all distro had a package management system which allowed to have application faster from a safe source and directly integrated in the system.

At some point in 98 I installed a slackware, which i did not like to much, and didmanage with my very little experience to get it running, X, some apps, ... veryinterestign but not fitting my needs, Quake 2 support was a bit low, I passed.

Then I started having a less game aoriented use of machines around 2000; and Linux/Debian became my faithful friend. emacs then vim, gcc, full shell capabilities, simple configuration (yes click and pray is something I hate)

At that point I had 4 machines running, and I could not be bothered to have an homegenous farm, so I continued to have mixed windows, Linux, even some Open BSD at some point. I am now thinking about some solaris x86 to be put on the old dual P2 motherboards I scavenged.

The point being that, since 2000, each and every time a Linux/BSD machine went down, I felt compelled to repair/replace it. Each and every time a windows machine goes down, it is stripped for parts and never replaced. nowdays only have a windows machine left, and that is only because I cannot be bothered to install a linux on it (which would be 40 minutes somehow)

What is the value of an OS that does not even have a proper file system management. And for all the user groups and things, I do believe that this is a simple copy of very old unix technology. I am not a windows specialist

But is it not something like

Active Directory = LDAP if Iremember well?

DNS ... well DNS has been on unixes for soooo long

Group policies : Uhuh, did I miss something, I believe that the concept of groups have been there on unixes sice before fire was invented.

I might be off the point here, I have not seen a windows server since I stopped working as a techy in corparate and institutional machines parks as summer job.

Exel spreadsheets are a joke, and should be discouraged at all cost. I have seen some guys using exel spreadsheets whith very small fields to do some graphic rendering. Well, doesn't it say it all.

And honestly, for offcial documents, there is no better output than a latex compiled document.

And I did work with IIS/Oracle/Asp and I was really happy to leave after finishing the mission (10 weeks), any more would have lead me to a painful death.

My current project manager has created a linux distro that is able to install trough network and boot fresh in less than 30 seconds and it is able to cope with heterogeneous hardware. It is using some semi permanent NFS cache to do that. It is used on 500 + machines and have shown so reliable that even the institutions servers are using this system : if the server crashes it gets a full reinstall in some minutes (for availability reasons, servers do not used the NFS cached install and need to download binaries)

I have never seen that with windows networks, where it was either a ghost and a full disk image for each kind of machines, or a recovery disk with streamlined installation.


US Navy seeks hydrogen-powered forklifts


DoD R&D bugets.

Who still believes that these budgets are anything else than state funding of research ... This is a good thing, maybe not the nicest way to fund research I must say, as the first application of all research is millitary, but still state funding which is good (state takes more risks than industry, what is a milion in US budget, probably what it would cost for a 10 ms delay of the plane retreiving troops from Irak :) )

USA are doing that all the time, and with fat loads of money.

So what, you have to keep the illusion of free competitive market to force it around you... which is very profitable, but mostly for US.


Desktop Linux: That dog will mount


Linux as a professional OS

I have been working on linux machines for 6 years now, and have been using linux at home since 9. I tried quie a bit of distros, from one click like corel linux or some gateway specific things, to 'leet' slackware (in the days). I settled for debian finally.

I had the opportnity to work with some researcher who built a full nework deployed flavour of linux, which is in my opinion what all SysAdmins should have around, as hardware failure is not an issue anymore, you swap the machine it is back to normal after a 30 seconds network boot. (an it works fine for servers too).

I do happen to do some quite advanced Hardware design related research on FPGA and ASICs, and last time I touched a Windows machine was when I had to use the now happily buried Altera "Clickodrome" -- as we say on theother side of the channel for an app where you have to change mouse halway trough the startup-- Max2 + to do some CPLD fitting on a device from the 80s(UVerasable, 32 memory points Altera MAX CPLD device MAX5032 possibly, I could be mistaken).

I ve hapilly used Linux for all Xilinx related applications with absolutely no problem, and the nearly native ability to use Makefiles and comandline tools for everything, only firing the GUI on very rare occasions to be able to visualize the schematics of circuits infered form the input descriptions. I could have probably done that invoking the right application from commandline but just could not be asked to look in the poor documentation of comandline utilities. ive used mentor tools on Linux and Solaris and some analog simulation tools on some older sus server (SonOS 5 possibly, would not bet anything on that)

Let's be honest, I kept a windows box until past month, when the bloody thing died. It was solely for gaming. As I was not realy gaming anymore, it has not been replaced.

For media, what VLC does not read -whithout external codecs - is not worth watching. Plus VLC nicely streams everything to my media box and allow a remote control interface from it. Really, it is really really priceless (lke in free beer) :)

For media editing, I think you have some quite good mastering apps under linux, even though it might be for some other UNIX flavor. As these things are pure serland, they should not be to hard to port.

Anyway, without being a troll, I think anyone praising Microsoft Visual Studio 6 should be forbidden to touch a keyboard. icc agains gcc is an issue, gcc against msvcc6 is a joke.

And I am saying that not hating microsoft, some of their guys in Cambridge, and probably in other labs, are doing wordeful work. F# for example is now my favorite functionnal programming language -- with haskell -- and has repalced OCaml in many cases. I think C# is not that bad, evn though I do not have expericence with it.

On the matter of driver, the kernel comitee offered to write any driver for a hardware anufacturer who would provide enough hardware info to do so; I do not think microsoft or Apple is close to that.

The article is crap -- there is no reason to deny that -- but what is more a matter of concern is the obvious motives behind that or the terrible incompetence of the reporter, both far off of what used to be the register standards.


Broadband claims mislead on speed


on the otherside of the channel

In Paris,

we are slowly geting 50Mb symetrical optical links with bundled TV (50+ channels, some HD), free landlines calls (national and international, heck even USA mobiles are free), telephone bridging capabilities (free call from China to USA mobile, as both are free in the contract using you as a middlepoint) for 30€ a month.

This is an evolution from the 28 Mb ATM (so some 24Mb IP) Adsl2+ lines, which gave the same serice with only a coulpe megs uploads. You even have acess tothe Adslinterleave modes to chose from so you can geta faster less reliable line (What I use), or a slower less error introducing line (chich somehow is beter fr VoIp and TV). I currently have the 24M service and get 2.8MB own quite often, using high troughput servers as source, our multiple parralel souces (as Bitorrent).

If you are not happy with this kind of speed you can also get dedicated server with low spec hardware but with 100Mb symetrical link for 30€ a month.

You can even stream media from a VLC application to your TV box, which is separated from the model and can communicate using WiFI with the standalone router/modem. Tehre is a user moifiable interface working with the TV thingy to control taht fromwherever ou wish. All of that is provided for free in the contract.

Knowing that I a moving to Britain in the next months, I feel really abd about he quality of service. No provider would cap ther lines in France, and no provier would have a customer (well maybe AOL customers but they ought to be banned for the Internet) would nowdays accept 'reasonable usage' conditions in the contract.

I wonder why Proxad is not going to UK, they would bury the rest of the market in no time. I guess the network infrastructure is not good enough, or maybe they are already behind one of the operators and getting exessive amounts of cash through the lack of competent concurrence.

Ps : Food is better on this side of the channel too, even though coleslaw is seriously nice :)


100Gbps Internet2 link spans US


That is not too impressive

IMHO the info is not too much about the possibility of downloang inter college pron at high speed. The article is more aout a political will to use some of the dark fiber [1] for academic experiment on high troughput dependent, remote services. It might well be that the line will be partially or totaly reserved to some academic projects and that no college pron will go on it at all, let alone some low quality college party music (I've been there).

Max theoretical throuput of a single fiber with optical amplifiers is 1.6 Tbit/s [2] (160 colors @ 10Gbit/s per color)

There is nothing technically impressive abot this perticular connection if I may, but politically it is a nice investment.

I believe articles

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Fiber


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DWDM

could be of great interest so some readers around.


Chip start-up could ignite Blade PCs


Reinvented the passive X terminal?

I remember working on passive thin clients, with a screen, a keyboard and a mouse not so long ago.

Ok, there wasn't any sound coming back, and ther was no dual DVI links on the back of the box.

At the time I used them they were already things from the past, but nontheless I used them, because a server is more reliable than a desktop machine, and the passive clients never failed (and in this case because NFS was much much faster working on the server)

With the very high core count servers available around those days, would it not be much more interesting to have people using common ressources, even for diplay level tasks. I am pretty sure that massive smp machines could well handle tons of clients, as long as network is beefy and that there is some hardware for compression and possibly stream encryption.

Most of the time, you do not need massive horsepower from you machine, even when working hard, most of the time you need a framebuffer and not much more. Unless you are using external hardware there is no need for a full box at all. And if you are using extrnal hardware, either you are the only expert on this bit in the company/service/world and you should be granted a machine, or this should be shared. I understand that this would kill the market of USB rocket launchers, but well....

I was blessed never having to work on a Windows network for too long, so I do not know how multi client on a single server is performing but for UNIX people, thin clients have been used for as long as I can remember.



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