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Comment Re:Density is nice, but what about longevity? (Score 1) 179

That bothers me too, but I'm starting to think that manufacturers are deliberately avoiding a read-only failure mode for security reasons: if your drive enters a permanent read-only state, how do you erase it before recycling? I imagine having used crypto from day 0 would be your only safeguard at that point, but even good crypto gets broken eventually, so how do you safeguard the data on that read-only drive in the long term? Is physical destruction the only answer?

On the other hand, maybe the total-failure mode that current SSDs enter is just a false sense of security. It's possible that the data on those chips is still available to someone who can bypass the controller. I don't have an easy way to check.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 65

Thank goodness. It's embarrassing how long my desktop machines have had the habit of looking completely locked up whenever they're asked to copy a large file in the background. It's especially bad when a slow-ish NAS server is involved. I've tried the existing optional IO schedulers, and they don't fix the problem.

Comment Bit by Bit, and Designing My Own (Score 2) 132

I self-host and encrypt where possible. For other things, I use providers as trustworthy as I can find.

Email privacy is a tough problem, but a solvable one. I'm working on a project that will give me gmail-like convenience without entrusting my data to Google, and might eventually grow automated/transparent encryption capabilities. It's going to be a while before it's usable, though; nobody is paying me to work on it, so it doesn't get enough of my time. (The mailpile project overlaps some of my goals in this area, and might be worth a look to anyone interested in the topic.)

A Facebook replacement is another tough one, perhaps even tougher than email, but I believe it's also solvable.

Please keep asking questions like this, and sharing what you discover. The more of us we have thinking about these problems, the more likely we are to work out their solutions.

Comment wire wrap serial interface (Score 2) 210

The Commodore 64 had a nonstandard serial port, meaning that I couldn't connect my standard RS-232 modem directly to it. Being just a kid, I couldn't afford the $50 or so that an adapter would cost.

My solution: I borrowed a family friend's RS-232 adapter, opened it up, examined the components and circuit board traces, bought the parts from a local electronics shop, and built the same circuit with perfboard and wire wrap. I cut a slot in the back of my C64, mounted a DB-25 connector in it, wired it to my frankenboard, and stuffed the whole thing into the free space inside the computer.

It worked like a charm. I was the only kid I ever met whose C64 had a standard serial port on the back.

Comment Re:Experts... (Score 1) 345

C++ gives a nice balance between high performance and relatively good safety.

Huh? Relative to what?

C++ was my primary language for quite a few years. I was very good at using it effectively while introducing far fewer bugs than most coders I encountered, but I would never call that language anything near safe.

Maybe you're talking about a subset of C++ that does not include things like pointers and arrays?

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