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Comment Re:Code versioning and deployment? (Score 2) 151

Here's what I did, pre-git:

Create svn repo, e.g. svn.company.lan/systems
Create structure ./trunk, ./branches, ./tags
Create a directory for each hostname e.g. ./trunk/sql1, ./trunk/web1, ./trunk/web2, etc.
Then you can svn import configuration directories on the host into the repo, e.g. svn import svn.company.lan/trunk/sql1 /etc
Then check out svn co svn.company.lan/trunk/sql1/etc /etc
From that point forward if you make changes locally you can svn ci OR you can make them externally (i.e. in a test environment) then svn up to update your local conf
I keep the same directory structure, so if I have some tomcat conf like /opt/jira/tomcat/conf it will be in svn as svn.company.lan/trunk/web1/opt/jira/tomcat/conf

With some scripts, I automated the process and since then it's been really easy to maintain. I understand that cfengine is quite a bit more complex and can do a lot more, like verifying your configuration and that sort of thing, but for a small shop this is good enough to prevent Oh Shit moments with minimal extra work and almost no maintenance.

Need to make a change? First, check in to make sure repo has latest version. Make your changes, restart your daemons..if it works, check in. If it doesn't work you can keep working or svn revert back to the previous version.

With git, you'd have a similar thing but the repo would be local and you'd have to find a way to back it up, or you could have something like stash running to be a central hub. DO NOT use github to store configs out of habit, because sometimes conf files have private keys and stuff and it is extremely likely that github will be targeted by crackers at some point. Svn is real easy to set up on a random utility server or even a workstation...

Comment Re:Your first server, in 2012 (Score 1) 152

Well, assuming you're just doing file stuff, one of the commonly available NAS solutions with a box full of disks and multiple file protocols would work great. If you're tiny, your external webserver will be at dreamhost or something (I might have said GoDaddy here in 2008), because you're not going to have a real network connection. More likely your network will be on par with your server equipment and it'll be a cable modem or DSL. Personally, and this has been my business niche a LONG time, so I hate to say this, but if you're under 25 employees, you can get by with just a great internet connection and Google or Windows Live or one of the other cloud apps services. If, and this is a big if, you don't need the data to do your work. For instance, if you're a plumbing company, and you can just do the work and then account for it later with paper slips or something, cloud apps are probably reliable enough.

The thing is, Dell and HP were never in this niche in a big way anyway. I mean, Windows SBS (Small Business Server) never sold many units, and it was designed to be a single server OS in a small office. I think what's really going on is that we've been in a recession, and so big companies have been buying fewer servers. Secondly, computers have gotten too powerful for the standard business workloads and if you combine this with the tendency over the past few years to do horizontal scaling in the CPU (i.e. more cores, not faster clock speeds), you have a lot of unused capacity if you stick with the old "one server per service" mantras. So, people have been virtualizing, building the "private clouds" where you have fewer more powerful hardware units and you split them up in software.

What's crazy is that this has been IBM's like bread and butter since the late 80's when AS 400 and then later zOS came out. For them it's always been about one big hardware unit and cutting it up. Hell, you can go back to the 60's timesharing computers and see "cloud" computing.

So, there you have it. Dell, HPaq have probably been selling fewer servers, and IBM is probably selling fewer due to the recession. On the consumer side, there's obviously Apple to blame for a lot of the desktop erosion, but again, we've been in a recession, everyone who wants a computer probably has one, and there hasn't been a compelling reason or need for new faster hardware.

Comment Re:If Google sold servers... (Score 1) 152

Cloud computing is a fad. The reason why is BGP. BGP means that there's nothing but statistical luck that your connection to your data will go through. The biggest companies in the world (and the largest purchasers of IT equipment) will not ever use it. It will always be relegated to the consumer and the small business, who don't have much to lose if they can't access the data.

At some point, some genius will invent a new internet protocol that will enable the data to be stored local to the owner but can also be securely and easily shared with everyone. And it won't depend on border routing arrangements but instead will be a true autonomous mesh. At that point, the 2010-2012 "cloud" (e.g. outsourced managed software/storage/hardware? as a service) will become the 2016 "cloud" of distributed services and storage. It's just right now there's a flood of computer illiterate who "grew up" on Facebook and the web and don't know any other way. The idea of having to deal with files and names and stuff is just too hard. And god forbid having to teach your devices to talk to each other rather than one parent in the sky. Pft. Get off my lawn.

Comment Re:CRC (Score 3, Informative) 440

For the lazy, here are 3 more tools:
fdupes, duff, and rdfind.

Duff claims it's O(n log n), because they:

Only compare files if they're of equal size.
Compare the beginning of files before calculating digests.
Only calculate digests if the beginning matches.
Compare digests instead of file contents.
Only compare contents if explicitly asked.

Comment Re:Field dependent requirement (Score 1) 1086

I agree with your post and I want to add some comments. I think the applied calculus such as that used in economics (Lagrange multipliers, etc.) are far more useful to the majority of programmers (or anyone, really) in a business setting than the applied calculus such as that used in physics. Even if they are almost the same (or are the same) mathematically, it's the linking of the math to the real world to do practical problem solving that is useful in business. Unfortunately, the need for calculation of physics is fairly limited these days, with most of that constrained to the gaming programmers. Rather than attempt to describe the physical world, as physics does, economics is more concerned with social problems such as resource allocation and the like. Say what you will about the dismal science but we ALL buy things, use money, and pretty much live our lives in the pursuit and consumption of resources. Very few of us (although at Slashdot this is less true than in most circles) need to calculate electrical fields or magnetism or orbits or oscillators, nor would being able to understand those phenomena have any real impact on our lives.

That being said, I hold the great physicists of our time and time past up for their often pioneering practical applications of mathematical theory, proving they have worth in the most tangible ways. Their efforts have blazed the trail for other disciplines to use advanced mathematics to attempt to further describe our environment. But I think physics (the what) is pretty much done and we have to start looking at relationships and resource needs to further advance society (the why), and the calculus is just as useful there. Of course at the end of the day our brains are chemical machines subject to the laws of physics but I'm assuming it'll be quite a while before we need to take human behavior all the way back to the physical realm and get a value equal to what we could get from a more economic and systemic analysis.

Comment Re:Into the wild? (Score 1) 76

To clarify what I specifically wrote in my post, Amazon.com (Amazon's application, where they make the money), has not been down in a long time. The Virgina EC2 outage only affected the excess capacity they resell to AWS customers. I'm not singling out Netflix and I'm not saying that this is a bad or horrible or un-useful tool. I appreciate all the stuff Netflix is open-sourcing.

Comment Re:Actual title should be (Score 1) 397

You can drag a file from your File Open box to the new finder window and it'll go to it's location. Also, you can drag the little icon at the top of an open document (provided it's fully saved) to any finder window, or to file fields in the web browser. You are forced to get into this mentality of not worrying about where shit is while you're moving it around, just about where it's going. Which can be nice sometimes and frustrating other times.

Comment Re:Actual title should be (Score 1) 397

Too bad Time Machine has been broken on Extended Permissions on AFP shares since like Snow Leopard. I've noticed that the most arrogant fanbois don't actually use Macs so it's "fine for them". A typical reply to my first sentence would be "Well, why don't you just not use Extended Permissions?" AS IF I HADN'T THOUGHT OF THAT! Going to any Mac/Apple forum is like walking into a room of zombies and asking if anyone has the time: "What do you need time for?" "Time works fine for me, I know what time it is already." "Dude, can't you afford a watch". Meanwhile Apple is walking away with record profits. Profits and monopoly power that Microsoft could only DREAM of back in the years when they were labelled a monopoly and everyone hated them. They are fleecing you and taking your money but you're too snowed by a computer that kinda works to realize that they only want your money, that is their goal, that was Steve's goal, and you should not forget it. I like the fact that part of that goal was to push the limits but at the same time we are alienating millions of people who can't afford the better technology because we're (mostly) white, (mostly) rich, and we deserve it and others don't.

And that's the difference between Apple and Microsoft. Apple is like Mercedes Benz, you'll turn your head while they help Nazis kill Jews because most people can't afford one and it gives you status and it's of course a good product, because you're paying for it, and they are taking as much of your money as you are willing to spend and thus are willing to sell less quantity. Microsoft and Bill wanted to make money a different way: put a useful, cheap computer in front of as many bodies as possible, and then sell them software, the car analogue probably being Ford or something.

I have to admit that as I get older and richer, and my game grows bigger, and you get busy with kids and work and all that... you don't want to spend your sunday fixing your computer. And I'm glad that Apple has proven that it's mostly possible to do that fairly well and have a kindof useful computer. But if you go a little deeper you will find 2 frustrating FACTS: 1. Shit is hacked and a lot of their Core UNIX OS crew left after Snow Leopard leaving mainly IOS people 2. When you find stuff that is broken, and you will--all the time--they will never admit it, never offer a solution and you will just have to wait for it to be important to someone or the feature removed or no longer in style. The two of these things working together mean lots of shrugging your shoulders when your boss asks questions about something not working. It also means you spend a lot more time on the Unix side, where you can actually make stuff work. But then they release an update, move Java, remove important or at least fairly universal UNIX tools, and you're left having to redo or patch the work all over again. Take a few years of this and you're about to have a nervous breakdown.

Finally, and thanks for letting me vent, but the fucking window close button is on the WRONG SIDE if you are one of the 75% of humanity that is RIGHT HANDED, and that's a fact.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman