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Comment: Yup. (Score 1) 264

by aussersterne (#47943091) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

Same conclusion. It's too easy to feel that precarity from the early computing age (not enough storage! not enough cycles! data versions of things are special!) if you were there. I think there's some of that going on here on Slashdot a lot of the time.

People in love with old Unix boxen or supercomputer hardware. People that maintain their own libraries of video, but all that's stored there is mass-market entertainment. And so on. It's like newspaper hoarding.

Storage and computation are now exceedingly cheap. 8-bay eSATA RAID cases run a couple hundred bucks, new. 4TB SATA drives run less than that. With 6 raid ports on a mainboard and a couple of dual- or quad-eSATA port PCI-x cards, you can approach petabytes quickly—and just for four digits. The same goes for processing power—a dual-processor Xeon setup (in which each processor can have core counts in the double digits) again just runs $couple thou.

And data is now cheap and easy. Whatever you want—you can have it as data *already*. Movies? Music? Books? Big social data sets? They're coming out our ears. The investment of time and equipment required, all in all, to put yourself in a position to rip and store a library of "every movie you've ever rented," and then actually do so, is much larger than the cost of simply licensing them via streaming. The same goes for music, ebooks, and so on.

There's just no need. Even my desktop is now starting to feel obsolete—for the work computing I do, there's a good chance I'll just go to Amazon cloud services in the next year or two. At that point, an iPad, a wireless keyboard, and a couple apps will probably be all the computing power I need under my own roof. If I have a desktop, it'll just be to connect multiple monitors for screen real estate.

Comment: Re:"forced labor" (Score 1) 182

by Opportunist (#47943015) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

I'm advocating social peace.

Sorry, I don't believe in compassion and charity. Never worked, never will. Aside of stripping needy people of their last remaining dignity, it's also something you simply cannot rely on once time get rougher, i.e. exactly when those in need feel it the most.

That the supply side can fix problems is a myth. Sorry. It cannot. Mostly because there is no incentive. The economy is in the slumps because the demand is missing. And that in turn is something you can only fix if people HAVE TO spend when the economy would make it more appealing to refrain from doing so, i.e. exactly when the economy would need you to spend to keep it running.

Now, whether people spend money depends mostly on two factors: First, whether they want to. And second, whether they have the means to. You might notice that the economy actually kept going for a while even after the steam was off. That's because people still had money to spend. The recession came when this was over, when people could no longer spend because they had nothing left.

Our whole economy in the west is very heavily dependent on services. Services otoh are also the first thing people cut back on when money gets tight. What's higher on your priority list: Haircut or food?

There is a very easy reason why countries with traditionally "socialist" systems were hit far less heavily by the recession. Mostly because even poor people still have money to spend.

Comment: Re:There is no "almost impossible" (Score 1) 224

by Opportunist (#47942885) Attached to: Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

It's trivially easy to do that. All it takes is a redefinition of the value of numbers. Or have some fun with subclasses.

I know what you're trying to say, but you're dealing with people here who do math for fun. If anything I dare say that you should have someone coming up with at least five ways to prove you wrong before the sun goes up today over California.

Comment: No datacenter. Just a desktop computer (Score 1) 264

by aussersterne (#47942863) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

with 20 cores, 128GB RAM, 48TB online storage, and gigabit fiber coming in.

Yes, I use all of it, for work. But it's definitely not a "data center." These days, I don't know why anyone would want one—even moderately sized enterprises are increasingly happy to pay someone else to own the data center. Seems nuts to me to try to bring it into your basement.

If you just need the computation and/or the storage, desktops these days run circles around the datacenter hardware from just a few years ago. If you need more than that, it's more cost effective and reliable to buy into someone-or-other's cloud.

Comment: Why do this? (Score 4, Interesting) 264

by aussersterne (#47942793) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

I sort of don't get it. White box PCs with many cores, dozens of gigabytes of RAM, and multiple gigabit ethernet ports cost next to nothing these days with a few parts from If the goal is just to play with powerful hardware, you could assemble one or a few white box PCs with *many* cores at 4+ GHz, *tons* of RAM, gigabit I/O, and dozens or hundreds of terabytes of online RAID storage for just a few thousand, and plug them straight into the wall and get better computation and frankly perhaps even I/O performance to boot, depending on the age of the rackware in question.

If you're really doing some crazy hobby experimenting or using massive data storage, you can build it out in nicer, newer ways that use far less (and more readily available) power, are far quieter, generate far less heat, don't take up nearly the space, and don't have the ugliness or premium cost spare parts of the kinds of gear being discussed here. If you need the features, you can easily get VMware and run multiple virtual machines. 100Mbps fiber and Gigabit fiber are becoming more common and are easy to saturate with today's commodity hardware. There are an embarrassment of enterprise-ready operating systems in the FOSS space.

If you really need high reliability/high availability and performance guarantees, I don't get why you wouldn't just provision some service for yourself at Amazon or somewhere else and do what you need to do. Most SaaS and PaaS companies are moving away from trying to maintain their own datacenters because it's not cost effective and it's a PITA—they'd rather leave it to specialists and *really big* data centers.

Why go the opposite direction, even if for some reason you really do have the need for those particular properties?

Comment: Re:"forced labor" (Score 1) 182

by Opportunist (#47940887) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

The problem is that in a market where supply outmatches demand by a sizable margin, capitalism cannot provide an equilibrium. And workforce is such a market. Supply outmatches demand by at least tenfold. And the usual market instrument of capitalism will not produce a sufficient solution, i.e. the supply simply vanishing because there is no demand.

People refuse to simply vanish because you don't "need" them. They'd probably rather kill you to get your money than die off peacefully.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.