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Comment Go Embedded (Score 1) 565

I live in Longmont, Co and there are a *ton* of harddrive companies around here. Many of them hire for embedded programmers (mostly C and C++). If you know Pascal, C is not a big jump away. Also, I used to work at a weather research facility and there are tons of scientists there that all write Fortran to do their weather modelling. You'd still be very useful in both of those fields. Search harddrive places and harddrive controller places - all very 'embedded programming' friendly.

Comment Just remember - use the right tool for the job (Score 1) 291

The best advice that I can offer is:

* Use the best tool for the job (don't use SQL for everything, key/value DBs are better for *many* tasks)
* Index smartly (don't index on the whole string if needed, try just the first few chars sometimes)
* Make sure your indexes fit in memory
* Other than that, just log long-running queries and optimize those.

- Steve

Comment Re:No! (Score 1) 216

I agree. Scripts and "patchwork" and "duct tape" is easier to maintain for an IT person than a huge program that may be more robust and more well though-out, but if something breaks in the large application, you need to re-design, and get the developer to change things, QA, deploy, etc ... With duct tape and scripts, an IT guy can make a quick change and be back up and running in no time. It's all about maintainability for me. If I can't get into the tool and get my hands dirty and mess around with it, it's a black box to me and unmaintainable. K.I.S.S. - keep things as simple as possible if you want to be able to maintain them. The more complexity that you introduce into an infrastructure the more documentation you need, the more people you need, and the slower your response will be to fix it when it breaks (and things *always* break).

Comment Roll your own or SATA SAN, then store offsite (Score 1) 411

LTO tape is $50/400GB ($125/TB) - PAINFULLY SLOW, SEMI CHEAP
Disk is approx $150/2TB ($75/TB) - CHEAPEST AND PRETTY FAST
S3 is $153/TB/mo + xfer fees - SLOW, NOT CHEAP

Buying your own harddrives and storing them yourself is the cheapest option and probably will have very good retention. Since you're doing this frequently, it seems that it might be worth it to buy a SATA SAN that you can mount several drives in and a *bunch* of SATA drives. Put in 3-4 drives, raid them, copy your data (might take a while). Put the drives somewhere safe. If this is customer data, you can charge them a fee for data retention, so you don't have to eat the whole cost, but you'll have to put some money into the platform to begin with. If you roll your own, ZFS might be a better option instead of Linux's software raid because you can turn on compression and move data around if you need to. Getting something going with hot-plug drives (a PC chassis or SAN or whatnot) might also be a good investment. You may be able to re-use the drives after a while. Drive costs will also drop over time and you'll be able to buy 4TB and 8TB drives for the same price in a year or less too. After a year or two, we're talking a few bucks to store this amount of data on your own, fast media.

As far as storage, a safety deposit box will only work for so many drives. Might look into for secure off-site storage, or just encrypt the data and take it home (off-site) with your or one of your employees so it's physically in more than one location.

Comment Depends (Score 1) 414

I ran a whole IT department by myself with hundreds of servers. Life was great. I used tools that I understood, was confortable with, were tested over time. Everything ran smoothly. Then new management came in, changed everything, now it takes > 4 admins for twice the number of servers, and we're always behind with tickets and our support is worse. So my answer is "it depends".

Comment It depends on the failure type of the drive (Score 1) 399

I used to do occasional linux recoveries for a place called Reynolds Data Recovery in Colorado. They weren't a mega-huge recovery company, but they got a few dozen drives every day and did good business. They used a collection of software - some proprietary utilities from the drive manufacturers, some commercial utilities. Also, some drives overheated, so they had a freezer that they could put a drive in, so it ran long enough to copy the data off it, also, they had clean rooms, so they could re-seat heads onto platters if they came off somehow, then they'd run the drive "open" until they could copy the data off. Other times, the electronics (controller card on the drive) were dead, so they had a huge shelf of working controller cards from every possible drive that you could think of. They'd pop the old card off, put in a known-working card, then copy the data off. The data would normally be returned on a 'loaner' drive that the customer would return or a new drive that the customer would pay for. RAIDs were hit-and-miss and sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn't. I'm not sure of any of the names of the software that they used, but it varied depending on how difficult the recovery was.

When I had to do linux recoveries, I slowly built-up a little distro of my own which had tons of tools on it. I'd have my 'distro' on a disk that they could plug in when they needed me to work on a linux disk, then I'd ssh into the machine remotely and work on the disk without having to drive in. I'd fix the partitions or the disk if it was possible and copy the data off onto a backup disk. There are some good tools availble in linux to do recoveries of things, but with the newer filesystems nowadays, it's more and more difficult to get anything off now. I'm not sure about SSD. Never had to deal with them yet. :) ext2, fat, vfat and memory cards, easy. reiserfs & ext3, much more difficult.

Comment Server Headers (Score 1) 530

% wget -S -O /dev/null
Connecting to||:80... connected.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response...
    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Connection: keep-alive
    Date: Fri, 06 Mar 2009 17:24:49 GMT
    Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
    MicrosoftOfficeWebServer: 5.0_Pub
    X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
    Content-Length: 26447
    Content-Type: text/html
    Cache-control: private


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