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Submission + - Little boxes around the edge of the data centre?

spaceyhackerlady writes: We're looking at some new development, and a big question mark is the little boxes around the edge of the data centre — the NTP servers, the monitoring boxes, the stuff that supports and interfaces with the Big Iron that does the real work.

The last time I visited a hosting farm I saw shelves of Mac Minis, but that was 5 years ago. What do people like now for their little support boxes?

Comment If you can't do it with Slackware... (Score 2) 867

...is it worth doing?

At home I've only ever used Slackware, from 1997 (Slackware 3.1 aka Slackware '96) to the present day. I did my thesis on a Slackware box, initially a 486/66, upgraded to a snazzy (?) Pentium 233 MMX. My personal development/play machine at work is Slackware.

The Powers That Be insist on RedHat for production, but tolerate us using CentOS for development. So be it.

I've played with Debian on Sun UltraSPARC boxes, but the novelty has since worn off.

...laura

Comment Been there, done that (Score 1) 1080

Over the last couple of years I've been quietly replacing my incandescent light bulbs with CFLs.

The only issue I've had is the ones with the warmest colour take the longest to come up to full brightness. The one in my kitchen is full brightness pretty well immediately, but has a blue cast. The ones in my bedroom and living room take about 30 seconds from turning on to full brightness, but have a much nicer colour.

...laura

Comment Show them! (Score 1) 298

I grabbed a PC that wasn't doing anything, loaded my favourite distro (Slackware) on it, plugged it in to the network, and showed that it could do useful things at an interesting price compared to the Sun hardware we mainly used at the time.

Now we use Linux for all new development. The suits insist on RedHat for product stuff. So be it. We use CentOS for development. My personal box remains Slackware.

...laura

Comment Re:You can still fly this way if you want to (Score 1) 382

I'd think a lot of people who fly recreationally and are not commercial pilots, have licenses that don't allow them to do any sort of for-hire work. They'd lose their licenses if it ever came out that they did. So that's not quite nice to those pilots, it's like waving a lollipop and enticing them to do stuff they shouldn't.

Sharing expenses is OK for a private pilot. Making money is not. Be careful how you divvy up the bills and you'l be fine.

...laura

Comment I download from YouTube (Score 1) 141

There. I said it.

I have indeed downloaded a few things from YouTube. But only as a last resort, after exhausting all legitimate ways of obtaining the content. Some stuff just doesn't seem to exist anywhere else, like this energetic ditty which I downloaded, peeled the soundtrack off, and added it to my workout playlist. It just doesn't seem to exist anywhere else. I like Kim Wilde, and I'd happily pay for a legit copy.

I used to use FileJuicer, but the live streaming YouTube now uses makes it less useful. For audio I guess I'll hook up some cables. People will always circumvent stuff like this.

Me? Yes, I have some silly videos on YouTube. As always, if anybody can make money from what I'm giving away for free, they are welcome to do so.

...laura

Comment Me! Me! I was there! (Score 3, Informative) 137

How many people on Slashdot were around during Minitel's heyday? Perhaps half of us? How many people on Slashdot are hearing about Minitel for the first time in this article?

I was very much around, and followed Minitel's development with interest. I've used Minitel on visits to France. It filled a need. It worked.

Lots of people at the time thought teletext was the way to go. In a sense it was, in the days when 1200 baud was considered a fast modem. Remember Prestel (U.K.)? Remember all the hype about Telidon (Canada)? And how little we have to show for it?

At one time all the ads in French magazines and stuff quoted Minitel codes, almost invariably 3615. Now they all have URLs.

...laura

Comment Who needs threads? (Score 3, Insightful) 305

I've never been a fan of putting multi-threading/multi-tasking in a programming language. You get one abstraction of threads/tasks, and that's it. If you want to do it differently, you have to do it yourself with library calls. So why not leave it that way and keep the language simple?

Unless there is an awfully good reason not to (and I haven't encountered one yet), I use pthreads.

...laura

Comment I do just fine (Score 1) 321

I do through-hole and SMD without any difficulty. It helps to be near-sighted. It helps to have a steady hand and slender fingers. It helps to be a girl.

My favourite technique for SMD stuff is to tin one pad, use a long fingernail (the girl part... :-) to hold the component down while I reflow that pad, then solder the other pads. Works like a charm.

...laura

Comment One, most of the time (Score 1) 380

I always have my drivers license, because it lives in my purse with all my credit cards and stuff.

If I'm travelling I take my passport with me. There's two. I refuse to use my passport as ID for domestic flights. International flights only. It has the usual passport picture, i.e. if you look like the picture on your passport, you do need a holiday.

My pilot's license in in process at Transport Canada. It looks like a passport. I may or may not carry it with me all the time. Dunno. It may be fun the first time I use it as ID to check in for a flight. It has a passport-spec picture.

...laura

Comment Neat (but flawed) technology (Score 2) 188

An outfit I used to work for had a go at doing peripherals for Palms, back in the Palm Pilot days. I found the devices amusing, so I bought a newer Palm to play with, one of their ARM-based Tungsten units.

I found the general design of the unit to be good. Decent graphics, good selection of applications, the handwriting recognition basically worked. I had a go at writing my own apps for it, using the free gcc-based toolchain. Again, it basically worked. The programming environment was idiosyncratic, but mobile devices always are.

What killed it for me was the shocking battery life. With the fun bonus that since all your apps and data were in RAM, if the battery went dead, you lost everything.

Sigh...

...laura

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