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Comment: Cheap desktop PC with 5 or 6 hard drive slots? (Score 1) 983

by rklrkl (#46471849) Attached to: How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Assuming you don't need RAID on the backup device itself, then a cheap desktop PC (usually from a custom white box builder - most OEM PCs don't come with enough SATA connectors/hard drive bays) with 5 or 6 4TB SATA hard drives does the trick. Sure, it'll cost you a fair amount for the hardware (in the UK, probably around 1,000 pounds or so), but it might be the most flexible solution (e.g. could be located offsite if you're paranoid, though you'd need a fast connection to it - at least 100 Mbits/sec I'd have thought - for that amount of data).

Of course, if you then want to keep multiple archive copies, then you'd have to look at compressing the backups and/or perhaps using backup software that does incrementals (e.g. Amanda on Linux or whatever). Another much pricier alternative is multiple spanning Ultrium 5 tapes in 24-slot autoloader attached to a machine with little local storage (1-2 TB free for holding space), but we're talking 5,000 pounds or so for this solution.

Comment: Anaconda needs love... (Score 1) 128

by rklrkl (#45949243) Attached to: Fedora 21 Linux Will Be Nameless

I don't know about you, but I really don't like the redesigned Fedora installer (Anaconda) that's turned up in recent Fedora releases. It's quite SHOUTY (yes, headings in full capitals and bold too!) and the disk partitioning section is frankly awful (very non-obvious, mixed units and it took me ages to work out how to create a partition that used all the remaining space - answer: put a huge value for the size and it'll round it down to what's left).

Fedora with the MATE desktop isn't too bad, but sadly that's the not the desktop that's the default selection. I also seem to remember a couple of releases (18 and 19 I think) that were incredibly show to both show the login screen and the post-login desktop in VirtualBox (20-25 secs for each on an i7 machine with a couple of CPU cores allocated!), though it looks like Fedora 20 fixed this. Many people will install Fedora in a VM first (particularly if they're Windows users) and if it performs poorly there, it won't get installed on the bare metal.

I basically gave up on bare metal Fedora from 15 onwards - no coincidence that the frankly dreadful GNOME 3 came out at the same time. Once I saw how bad it was in a VM, my preferred OS became CentOS 6, whose combo of GNOME 2, GRUB 1 and SysVInit scripts (all of which are much easier to use than their "better" successors) remains probably the peak combo we've seen to date in a mainstream Linux distro.

Comment: Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (Score 1) 186

by rklrkl (#45896117) Attached to: Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS

The RHEL/CentOS kernel does get security and bug fix backports from later kernels, but the reason it runs such an "old" kernel is for stability reasons. Most Windows desktop users never upgrade their OS to a newer major release during the lifetime of their PC (because it costs money and can be a hassle - remember most of the world's desktops are running the OS that was pre-installed when the machine was bought), but apparently most Linux desktop users are constantly chasing the bleeding edge if you're to be believed.

The problem with most Linux distros is that their support window is very narrow - usually less than 18 months and definitely less than the lifetime of a typical desktop PC. This is where CentOS scores heavily against Ubuntu - 10 years of updates to the OS, so *you* decide when to jump to the next major OS release and you're not effectively forced to jump releases half-way through your PC's lifespan.

Also note that it's not the kernel version that's a problem with CentOS, it's the older system libraries (particularly glibc, X11, Gnome etc.) that cause issues, particularly if you want to run closed-source binaries. Google Chrome is probably the highest profile casualty of this, which is why I cooked up a script to install the latest Google Chrome on CentOS 6.

Comment: Not that exciting... (Score 1) 107

by rklrkl (#45844247) Attached to: NVIDIA Tegra Note 7 Tested, Fastest Android 4.3 Slate Under $200

I saw the specs for the Tegra Note a while ago and got a bit bored with them because:

1. It's not a Nexus device, so is already behind with its Android version. Now it may be with the many updates to the Nvidia Shield, we might see speedy updates to the Note as well, but until this actually happens, I'll err on the side of caution.

2. I would prefer an 8" display in the same dimensions and weight as a typical 7" tablet (e.g. reduce the bezel width). 7" displays aren't just quite large enough, IMHO.

3. The screen resolution is 1280x800, not 1280x720, but even so that only matches the 2012 Nexus 7 from 18 months ago and partially explains why its graphics benchmarks are so good.

Having said all that, Currys in the UK are selling it at 129.99 pounds ($215), which is actually a very good price for a decently spec'ed tablet in the UK.

Comment: Why not make the app to do a download/install/run? (Score 1) 255

by rklrkl (#45549695) Attached to: CyanogenMod Installer Removed From Google Play Store

One thing to try to appease Google Play is to change the app, so it's a set of instructions/downloads as follows:

* If Unknown Sources isn't ticked on, the first screen tells the user to go to Setttings/Security and tick on Unknown Sources (maybe that screen could be loaded by the app to make it even easier?).

* Next, the app downloads the apk from the CM site and installs it.

* Ask the user to uncheck Unknown Sources if they had to check it on in the first step.

* Run the downloaded app (exiting the original app at the same time if possible).

Would *this* violate any terms of service of Google Play (written down or otherwise)?

Comment: Re:Fire-Who? (Score 2) 152

by rklrkl (#44879211) Attached to: Firefox 24 Arrives: WebRTC Support and NFC Sharing On Android

Replace "FF" with "Google Chrome" and you'll see that Google beat Mozilla to the punch :-) Remember that Chrome is on version 29 (5 ahead of Firefox) and now uses more RAM than Firefox! You've also conveniently forgotten the Firefox ESR release (Chrome has *nothing* like it, so is a complete disaster for corporate use). Also, the performance gap has been gradually closing between Chrome and Firefox in the last year or so. For the first time in a couple of years, Firefox recent actually beat Chrome in Tom's Hardware Browser Grand Prix.

The lack of extensions on Android Chrome is utterly appalling, which is why Firefox on Android basically destroys Android Chrome. Now if Mozilla could fix the dodgy graphics issue with Firefox on the Nexus 10 (pages often half-rendering and needing a screen rotation to render them properly!), then I wouldn't have to double-rotate my tablet so often :-)

Comment: Re: Matlab and a few games (Score 1) 222

by rklrkl (#44737997) Attached to: What percentage of the software you use regularly is open source?

> although to be fair your Linux distro should be less than two years old.

Er, who said that had to be the case? "Your Linux distro should be supported" would be a more accurate statement to make surely? Some of us actually don't want to have to update our desktops every 6 months to a new release (which often requires a cold install) and prefer longer support than a year or so. If Windows users can have lengthy support for their desktops, why can't Linux users too?

I use CentOS 6 at home and work, which is actually supported all the way through to November 2020 and yet Google Chrome 28 or later *does not work* out of the box with it. I've managed to work around this with some Fedora 15 libraries - see - but I really shouldn't have to. Sorry, with Firefox and Opera both working fine on CentOS 6, Google really have no excuse for their recent drop of support for any distro more than 2 years old.

Comment: Surely it's the price? (Score 1) 323

by rklrkl (#44528951) Attached to: Have eBooks Peaked?

OK, I haven't RTFA'ed, but the summary here makes no mention of the price of e-books, which is hugely relevant considering that an e-book cartel has been caught price-fixing! My classic example of e-book overpricing was the e-book version of hugely-selling Steve Job biography, which turned out to be more expensive than the hardback. How can any bookseller justify that situation - it *surely* costs more to ship a hardback (this price diff was on Amazon) than an e-book?

I did eventually buy an e-reader once the Nook Simple Touch hit 29 pounds here in the UK and it's quite hackable (runs an old Android that you can root/install apps on), but I ended up putting Droidfish on it and playing chess (it's really a rather good dedicated chess handheld :-) ) and using my Nexus 7 for document reading.

Comment: Re:Who Pays? (Score 1) 140

by rklrkl (#44469059) Attached to: YouTube Co-founder Calls For Global Access To TV Online

Good luck on finding some of those sports covered fully live on the BBC. Only half the F1 races in a season are shown live on the BBC any more (the half they don't show, they have highlights of qualifying and the race hours later). "Soccer" matches (aka Premier League) aren't shown live at all on the BBC - they have highlights shown in the evening (MOTD/MOTD 2 shows). There's only limited rugby on the BBC as well.

The BBC are weak on most sports, though they do cover world championships for swimming, athletics (Diamond League too) and skiing (though Ski Sunday is an appalling effort now - more apres-ski than actual racing). Sadly, in the UK, it's Sky who dominate most sports coverage (and charge a *lot* for it), though BT have muscled in with football and rugby recently.

Comment: Er, there's loads of apps that do this already (Score 1) 80

by rklrkl (#44463969) Attached to: Google Announces Android Device Manager For Later This Month

Considering this is an optional app that you have to download (rather than being baked into an Android release), what does it offer that loads of similar free apps on the Google Play store have offered for years now (OK, apart from the fact that it's an app from Google of course)?

I'd have been more impressed if this had come with the Android 4.3 release to be honest and might actually be one of the very few pre-installed Android apps that could be justify being uninstallable.

Comment: Does any country other than the US celebrate it? (Score 1) 200

by rklrkl (#44393091) Attached to: How Are You Celebrating National Sysadmin Day?

I'm in the UK and I can pretty well guarantee that virtually all non-IT people in the UK have never heard of "National Sysadmin Day" (or "Secretaries Day" for that matter). Is there any country other than the US that's heard of it amongst non-IT people? I'm raising all this because the article doesn't mention which countries honour it, so by default that means more than just the US to me. Please don't use "National" in an article title if it means just the US.

Comment: Re: Helpful guidelines from EFF (Score 1) 391

by rklrkl (#44083891) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Most Secure Browser In an Age of Surveillance?

You'd be surprised how many CMS's store many absolute URLs (with base URL being the same) rather than relative ones in their DB - it's not just Wordpress! There's a useful generic search and replace tool that I've used successfully a fair number of times (not just on Wordpress) to replace URLs when moving a site from dev to staging to live. Just remember to delete it immediately after use (the more paranoid amongst you would put the PHP script in an .htaccess protected area or at the very least put it in your Web tree with a random filename).

There is absolutely no excuse for sloppy CMS coding that puts absolute URLs everywhere when relative ones would work just as well. A DB for a CMS should have its top-level URL present *once* in some config table, not thousands of times. Just dump out a populated Wordpress DB and grep its SQL for the top level URL if you don't believe me.

Comment: Installer a little better than F18's (Score 5, Interesting) 83

by rklrkl (#43534439) Attached to: Fedora 19 Alpha Released

They've fixed a few annoyances in Anaconda in F19 Alpha including actually offering MATE as a desktop option (F18 never showed it in Anaconda - you had to know to groupinstall it later on). Still no package version numbers or install time remaining when the packages are being installed though - both blatantly obvious requirements!

The Anaconda interface is still LUDICROUSLY SHOUTY (yes, much of it is fully capitalised and even adds bolding on top of that!) and the custom disk partitioning still needs further work. It has a nasty mixture of size units (yes, it's possible to see K, MB and GB all on the same screen) and the option - if it exists - to "use all remaining space on device" when creating a new partition (which you're surely almost always going to need?) didn't jump out at me.

Comment: Re:XBMC is great, but linux is a bad platform for (Score 1) 147

by rklrkl (#43383153) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Linux Friendly Video Streaming?

I'm using tvheadend for a backend (on a beefy desktop PC with TV cards, SSD and TBs of storage) and an Acer Revo 3710 (a "little atom based box") with XBMC on Ubuntu 12.04. No problems with hardware acceleration (uses Nvidia ION 2) once I installed the proprietary nvidia-current driver or sending 5.1 audio to my 5.1 setup (obviously use the Sound section in Ubuntu's system settings to test the audio before doing the same in XBMC's audio settings). It should be noted that everything is connected HDMI (Revo -> receiver-> plasma TV) and I was worried HDMI audio might not work, but it seems to be fine.

My only beef with XBMC on my setup is that it can hang at "exit points" periodically (either stopping a video/live TV stream from playing or trying to exit XBMC completely).

It should be noted here that I don't watch movies on Youtube - it's about the last place I'd think of looking! I tend to watch local or LAN-networked files from a DVD or Blu Ray rip - any streamed video is useless IMHO (it buffers unless your connection is perfect and can't picture search FF/REW or even position jump at decent speeds),

Comment: Non-rounded, often obscure and "deathdays"... (Score -1, Troll) 104

by rklrkl (#43141517) Attached to: Google Doodle Celebrates Birthday of Douglas Adams

Google Doodles like this do rub me up the wrong way. For a start, the person concerned is often an obscure one (or at least obscure outside the US - the US-centric doodles end up on Google UK, where they probably don't belong). OK, Adams isn't obscure because of Hitchhikers', but an awful lot of Doodle people are.

Secondly, if they're going to choose to celebrate someone's life, do it on a rounded number of years either since their death or birth. Not "161st birthday of <insert_obscure_Hungarian_physicist_here>". In this case, why wasn't the 60th year since Adams' birth celebrated last year, rather than the 61st this year?

And, finally, I must take massive umbrage with the Google tooltip that says "Douglas Adams' 61st birthday". I'm sorry, but once someone dies, they can no longer have birthdays after their death. It should be "61st anniversary of his birth", but I guess that's too long and not so catchy. I now call them "deathdays" when Google does this :-)

Now get off my lawn!

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis