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Comment Re:Upgrading in place from the previous LTS? (Score 4, Interesting) 164

That is a recipe for tragedy. The operating system itself upgrades perfectly well, but the GConf schemas are subtly incompatible and the GNOME people couldn't care less about solving this problem. If you're going from Hardy to Lucid I highly recommend a nuke-and-pave install and copy your homedir from a backup, without any of the dotfiles.

I had a great deal of mysterious behavior on my laptop that was upgraded to every Ubuntu release since Hardy, and all of that stuff disappeared when I reinstalled and got rid of all my dotfiles.

Comment A solid review (Score 4, Insightful) 164

I never read Tom's any more, but maybe I'll start. I appreciate that they tracked down the cause of a performance regression between Hardy and Lucid. The only other site that routinely benchmarks Linux distributions is Phoronix, and those guys are prone to just throwing weird results out there with no explanation. The number of inexplicable, unrepeatable benchmark results posted over at Phoronix is huge and ever-growing. This benchmark from Tom's is much more useful.

Comment On blackberry? Not so much (Score 4, Informative) 186

Any app on the blackberry requires user intervention before it's allowed to fetch URLs, open raw sockets, read email, dial the phone, get your location, manipulate the address book, or do any other damned thing. And 90% of the APIs require the developer to be vetted through the app signing process. It actually seems much less vulnerable to trojans and spyware than a PC.

Comment Re:Transfer switches suck? (Score 2, Interesting) 250

The answer is "yes". Transfer switches often fail and are rarely tested. This is also true of other power equipment. If it's rarely used the probability of it working in an emergency are somewhat low.

However, in this case the transfer switch worked fine, but it had been misconfigured by Amazon technicians. According to their status email from yesterday (posted in their AWS status RSS feed) the outage was a result of the fact that one transfer switch had not been loaded with the same configuration as the rest of the transfer switches in the datacenter. The "failed" switch performed as configured and powered down.

Comment Re:not surprising really (Score 1) 159

Not just quieter, but using just enough acceleration to get the head there in time for the data to come around also reduces power consumption and -- back on topic -- minimizes contributions to environmental vibration.

One of the things you should take away from all these papers is that "enterprise" disks have hardware and software that compensates for this type of thing, while "consumer" disks don't. If you fill a rack full of Seagate Savvio 15K disks and another rack full of Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB disks, you'll find that the latter suffers mightily from neighbor vibration while the former handles crowding much better.

Comment Re:Interesting! (Score 1) 159

Wrong. Vibration impacts seek times because the head has to settle over the track. If the track pitch is wider, the head has a bigger target and can settle sooner, but the capacity is less. If the tracks are smaller and closer together, the head takes longer to settle, but the capacity is more. In general disks of a given diameter with fewer tracks will be less impacted by environmental vibration.

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