* Posts by Vath

6 posts • joined 27 Jul 2015

Sysadmin hailed as hero for deleting data from the wrong disk drive


Re: 512 MiB of misery

Two 512 MiB flash disks on a student budget back in the early naughties would have been an indefensible indulgence!

I've also fell foul of the power supply killer, as always my PC was plugged into an extension bar that was lost down the back of the desk, needing to unplug it I reached in as far as I could and tried to pull the plug. The plug got half way out before slipping out of my overreaching grasp, cue some buzzing noise as the contacts arc across the small gap shortly followed by a loud bang from the PC case.

Lesson #2: unplug leads from the PC end first, then reach behind the freaking desk.

Icon for what the disk replacement and redundant backup budget was actually spent on.


512 MiB of misery

Back in my university days I couldn't quite afford to replace a slowly dying drive so every few weeks when Windows ME decided it was too corrupt to boot I'd reinstall it.

Now, being a savvy if inexperienced CompSci student I kept a backup of my work on a USB stick, these frequent formats had taught me the value of such very quickly. I tended to leave my backup USB plugged in at all times when I was working at my desk so I could take very very regular backups of my project code while working on a PC with the inherent stability of a US President.

Back then the first step in installing Windows was to format the disk, this is before it checks to tell you if your disk is going to be big enough or not. So away I go, performing the regular chore of reinstalling secure in the knowledge that I'd done this a dozen or so times already and the C drive is always the first on the list. It'll take half an hour or so to do that so off I wander to fetch a cuppa. On returning to my desk 10 mins later I find drive 1 nicely formatted and integrity checked, ready to install Windows, that was quick but oh well I won't complain. Hit next (was it space key or enter, I can't recall), select the freshly formatted drive 1, next again.... insufficient space!? Hmmm, reach for my trusty calculator and convert the huge number of bytes into something comprehensible. 512 MiB, but my C: is 40 GiB, it's my flash drive that's... OH F$@K!!!

In hindsight I suppose it wasn't the platter that was failing but the controller, and when it finally failed completely the disk wasn't even enumerated by the BIOS. Lesson learned: always check that the backup media is disconnected when not in use.

Get over yourselves: Life in the multiverse could be commonplace

Big Brother

So, you think someone should sit all the science types down and explain to them that for the greater good they should be studying this other thing instead of what they've chosen and are presumably passionate about? Sounds eerily familiar but I can't quite put my finger on it...

'First ever' SHA-1 hash collision calculated. All it took were five clever brains... and 6,610 years of processor time


Re: In the spirit of unit-y...

The need is seconded.

I'd like to point out that although the need is great so too is the task. It is my opinion that measurements of computational exertion can only be divided into the number of operations required or the time required for such operations to complete on a known set of hardware. With this assumption I'd like to make a few suggestions:

* The Moon Mission (estimated total processing power used in the Apollo 11 mission)

* The Colossus (estimated total processing power used by the Colossus machine to break enigma during WWII)

* The BlockChain (estimated total processing power required to mine all 1 million BitCoin)

These are just my suggestions.

BBC bypasses Linux kernel to make streaming videos flow


Re: Alternative title

Oh come on, the Linux Network Stack could use some work but it's still a heck of a lot faster and much more sane than the pile of crud that is the Windows Network Stack.

Hurrah! Windfarms produce whopping one per cent of EU energy


Re: dealing with waste from nuclear power

Don't forget about thorium cycle reactors, we could have this tech inside 5 years, it's basically ready to do final testing on.


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