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Comment: Re:You can probably thank Microsoft for this... (Score 1) 272

by WuphonsReach (#46782361) Attached to: Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?
Access is still causing businesses to slowly go bankrupt.

For small ad-hoc databases or situations where you need to pull data together from 3 different sources, massage it a few times, then output it to a 4th format... MSAccess is a wonderful tool.

LibreOffice still can't easily import from a CSV. In MSAccess, we can pull in a CSV file quickly, and MSAccess will either create a table for you or let you append to an existing table. There's even the "make table" query type which will take your SELECT statement and create a new table with the proper field names and data types.

Linking to multiple data sources in LibreOffice is difficult, at best.

There is no way to have LibreOffice help you write an update / insert / append query. Instead you have to write it in the bastardized version of SQL called HSQL, where every field and table name has to be enclosed in double-quotes.

As a front-end to a database server like PostgreSQL, LibreOffice Base is passable, but not great. While being less of a toy then it was 3-4 years ago, there's still things that it does not do well, that are needed on a daily basis if it is going to supplant MSAccess.

Comment: Re:Why is "power" supposedly an issue? (Score 1) 241

by WuphonsReach (#46781705) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon
The $/GB ratio between 15k SAS and enterprise SSD is now under 2.0. Which is really squeezing the profit margins on 15k RPM SAS. I think that is where old-style HDs are going to die first in the market, once enterprise SSD can reach near price-parity with the 15k RPM SAS drives.

Comment: Re:RAID? (Score 1) 241

by WuphonsReach (#46781549) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon
In terms of serial throughput, yes.

In terms of raw IOPS, hell no. You would need to get up into a 15-48 spindle 15k RPM SAS array before you can match the sustained IOPS of a simple RAID-1 across a pair of enterprise SSDs.

For smaller servers, that need IOPS, but not a lot of space (i.e. 0.5-2TB of data), SSDs make a whole lot more sense then building out a 12-24 drive 15k RPM SAS RAID 0+1 array.

Comment: Re:Simple math (Score 1) 245

by WuphonsReach (#46740793) Attached to: PC Gaming Alive and Dominant
Quite simply to have a halfway decent gaming rig you are plunking down a minimum of $1200 with many doing a multiple of that. Thus these are people who are proven willing buyers.

$1200, maybe... if you include the screen and things like the keyboard / mouse.

But you can build a very decent gaming rig for about $900 or so.

- $80 motherboard (not bottom of the barrel, not top of the line), a budget gaming rig only needs to support a single video card
- $60 for the PSU, should be 80+ silver/gold at around 500-600W, avoid the $30-$40 PSUs with cheap components which may fail and fry your other internal devices
- $180 for the CPU, a lot of games are CPU-bound still, so you need to do a trade-off between individual core performance and having more cores
- $50 for RAM, not hard to get 8GB of DDR3 1600, go with 16GB if you are going to spend up-front for the amount of RAM you'll want 3 years from now
- $150 for the video card, this is the sweet spot (give or take $20) for the decent price/performance cards
- $100 for a decent case. A good case without any funny bells and whistles will last you 10-15 years or more.
- $100 for a SSD, $100 for a big 2TB drive
- $40 for a DVD writer
- $100 for the Windows license

That brings us to $860, add in $40 for S&H / taxes, and you're at $900. There's some room in there to shave off $100-$150, or spend another $100-$150 in places.

Using that as a base, if you are spending more then $1500 on the box itself (not counting displays, mice, keyboards), then you are probably spending for the sake of spending. A $600 video card is not going to get you 3x the performance of a $200 video card. A $1000 CPU will not get you 4x the performance of that $200 CPU.

Comment: Re:Amazon Phone = NSA Backdoors (Score 2) 38

by WuphonsReach (#46734909) Attached to: Amazon Reportedly Launching Smartphone This Year
1. medication, because pills are small and light enough. Ideal candidate for the first phase using very small, low-cost lightweight drones.

Huge liability risk if your drone crashes and an unintended person gets hold of the pills/medications.

You'll never see drone-delivery of medications in a heavy regulation / frequent litigation country. Especially not prescription medications.

Comment: Re:Replace the backend first (Score 1) 451

by WuphonsReach (#46722155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?
You will save yourself a lot of trouble by migrating the backend (servers, database) to linux first, and only then start on the frontend (workstations, user interface). You will also enjoy a larger benefit immediately, as the backend is where linux will really save you time and effort (once you have it configured).

That's really the best approach.

- Switch to using open-source Linux-based tools on your servers wherever possible. Start with the easy stuff like PostgreSQL, Apache, BIND, IPCop, Postfix, Dovecot, SpamAssassin, AmavisD-New, Clam, Squid, OpenLDAP, Samba 4, etc. Don't let yourself get locked into proprietary windows-only software like SharePoint or an ERP/CRM system.

- Switch to using open-source applications (which are cross-platform) on the desktop. Thunderbird/Evolution instead of Outlook, Firefox/Chrome instead of Internet Explorer, Pidgin/Spark instead of some proprietary chat client/server solution, Git/Mercurial/Subversion instead of some proprietary solution. Identify any custom Windows-only software and turn it into a web application that runs across multiple platforms.

Don't buy hardware (printers, copiers, scanners) which don't come with good Linux, OS X and Windows support. Or which adhere closely to standards.

After a few years, when 90% of your servers run Linux and 90% of your desktop applications are cross-platform, you will be ready to switch. Whether you switch to OS X or Linux will be up to you at that point. Which O/S you use won't matter, because all of your software is already cross-platform, so pick the best tool for the task.

Comment: Re:JUST USE POSTGRES (Score 1) 272

by WuphonsReach (#46704933) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which NoSQL Database For New Project?
Wish I'd gotten on the bandwagon 10 years ago.

Mmm, 10 years ago you would have been using 7.3 or 7.4. Which was not all that fast unless heavily tuned. It wasn't until the 8.x series in 2006-2008 (roughly) where they started focusing a bit more on performance. These days it is quite powerful and a definite competitor to the high-end paid offerings.

There was also the issue that 7.x was a PITA to run on top of a Microsoft Windows system. The 8.x and 9.x series run natively and integrate far better with the Windows O/S, which makes it easier for desktop developers to get their feet wet.

(We ran PostgreSQL on a Windows server for the first year or two once 8.0 came out, then migrated over to running it on Linux.)

Comment: Re:obsolete (Score 1) 147

by WuphonsReach (#46695965) Attached to: Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium

* 7200 RPM drives are in the $0.08-$0.12 per GB range.
* 10k RPM are around $0.23-$0.30 per GB range
* 15k RPM are around $0.50-$0.57 per GB range
* Good enterprise SSDs are now down to $1.00-$1.55 per GB.

SSDs are definitely putting the squeeze on the 15k RPM drive market. Price difference is now only about 2x between 15k SAS and SSDs. So for any application where you would short-stroke the drive to get more IOPS but less capacity, SSDs edge out the 15k RPM drives.

Unless the prices on 15k RPM SAS drives drop by a factor of 2x or 3x, there's potential for enterprise SSDs to overtake them by next year.

Comment: Re:obsolete (Score 4, Informative) 147

by WuphonsReach (#46690941) Attached to: Seagate Releases 6TB Hard Drive Sans Helium
Does anyone buy platters of very slow piles of rust anymore?

For bulk storage (measured in terabytes and petabytes), platters of spinning rust are the only economical solution. So for a secondary storage SAN where capacity is more important then IOPS, you fill it out with spinning rust. A 4TB enterprise SATA 7200RPM drive is about $330 right now, or about $0.08/GB. The cheapest enterprise SSDs are about 10x-20x that price.

Rust is also better for drives (or tapes) used as backups. It has better shelf stability then a SSD. Most SSDs will start to lose data after a few months of being disconnected (maybe as few as 6 months). Barring mechanical issues, traditional magnetic media holds up well over the span of years (at least a decade in most case).

Now I just wish WD would come out with a 2TB 10k RPM SATA Velociraptor 3.5" drive...

Comment: Re:Max RAM? (Score 1) 353

4GB for Win7 is borderline minimum. Figure 500MB-1GB for an email program kept open all day, plus 500-800MB or more for the browser (also probably kept open all day) plus 100-300MB for instant messenger or other communication tools, plus the 1.0-1.5GB that Windows wants for itself...

Open up 2 more things and you are bumping into the swap file.

8GB of DDR3 is a good minimum these days. Buying 2x4GB sticks is pretty inexpensive and the 2x8GB sticks are getting there quickly.

Base load for me with a handful of things open is about 3GB, which doesn't leave much headroom on a 4GB system. I have 8GB on this laptop, which is enough to get me through another year or two. My next laptop will definitely need 16GB (which also gives me enough RAM to run some VMs).

Comment: Re:So very true... (Score 1) 353

SSD is why I am still using my Thinkpad T61p from 2006 or 2007 (going on 7 years old now? 8?). Boosted RAM to 8GB, tossed Win7 Pro on it and a 300GB Intel SSD.

Now the CPU is the bottleneck, as it's a Core2 Duo 2.2GHz.

But I still use it as my primary work machine (I have access to other machines if I need raw CPU horsepower or lots of disk space).

I was ready to toss it in the dumpster 3-4 years ago before I put a SSD in it. That SSD was in the $2.50/GB price range, but was cheaper then buying an all new machine. Now I'm thinking that maybe I can push the purchase of a new laptop off another year or two still.

Comment: Re:Automatic SSD caching of spinning disks in Linu (Score 1) 353

And none of those solutions are quite ready for prime time, unless you set them up at the same time you setup your machine and you don't need to cache multiple file systems...

(I think they're on the right track, but there are a lot of gotchas and "oh, you can't do that" cases with those solutions.)

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"