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ZFS + More (Updated 15/12/05 - primarily silly typos)

Wednesday 14 December 2005 at 10:00 am I've been reading more about Sun's ZFS - theres a great Presentation PDF as well as some discussion on its ability to prevent data corruption at Fatbits and the article it links to here. Theres a flash demo available here. If ZFS really delivers this type of capability with just a bunch of normal disks thats going to make life a whole lot easier for everyone (except the big storage vendors like EMC of course).

I guess one thing ZFS doesn't seem to do (based on my very very cursory research) is the funky data replication / caching that many of the SANS do - eg you can have a caching server that doesn't actually contain a file until its requested and it will then make a local copy of the file available and ensure it stays consistant - very handy if you have a bunch of files you need to make available to a variety of different locations separated by varying speed/quality links. Don't know what happens when a link goes down and a file is updated in two different locations though...

An excellent overview of iSCSI including a real scenario in which storage equipment is chosen based on a particulare requirement. The SAN stuff still sounds way over the top - they also don't seem to acknowledge the crappiness of Exchange storage / clustering either. I guess if you're a big company you can afford to implement $1.5million solutions with $100k yearly maintenance bills. The unseemly haste with which they ditched a $40k NAS box was also pretty interesting. Was it the technology itself that was the problem or again was it about trying to make Exchange mail storage viable ?

Useful Windows admin advice over at The Lazy Admin.

LinuxJournal has some useful SSH Tips.

ArsTechnica has an indepth review of the Nokia 770 Web Tablet.

A Guardian review panning The Lion the With and the Wardrobe on purely non-technical grounds (essentially the book/movie is a thinly vieled religious/chirstian allegory). Note in the same site the movie does get five stars as a film.

On the other hand the reviews for King Kong look pretty encouraging.

Looking at the statcounter referer logs I couldn't help but be amused that this site features on the first page of hits for Spleen of a Dinosuar. I kid you not.

Funny as ever - Jeremy Clarkson reviews the Bugatti Veyron. His reviews are genius - even the one for a Toyota Corolla Verso.

Its also interesting to catch some of my favourite things reviewed recently - the PopMatters has a recent review of the 1993 Mike Leigh film Naked, and Dusted has a recent review of the Tall Dwarfs reissue of Fork Songs/Dogma and Weeville.

The statcounter logs also have a few people looking at Neomem and Keynote - I have to say I'm leaning more towards Keynote as Neomem seems to crap out on some basic thing like search and it doesn't do pictures. Keynote also has its flaws (the encryption doesn't seem to work reliably and it slows to a crawl when you paste images in) but I haven't had it corrupt anything yet. Neomem certainly looks promising and very customisable but I think I'll wait til the next version before trusting it with my data - as per this Neomem forum thread it looks like adding images is high on the to-do list. Sadly it looks like Keynote development has stalled but hopefully Neomem will pick up some of its features (I note Keynote import is also mentioned in the forums).

While searching for good note taking alternatives I stumbled across this guide to Windows note keeping apps. Which pointed to WikiPad which I'm going to have a bit of a play with.

Oddly there seems to be a plethora of decent OS X note taking apps - Notetaker, VoodooPad (from the brilliantly names 'Flying Meat Software'), TinderBox, DevonThink and Notebook. Mostly all commercial though there is a free VoodooPad Lite.

Theres a good Guardian article on the failings of OpenOffice. I just installed OO v. 2 and have to say it feels sluggish and its interface is clunky (certainly under win32). Its understandably a huge project and if you use a Linux/Unix its really the best option in terms of a productivity suite but it still has some issues to work through. Maybe v. 3 will be the killer.

A nice article on setting up an ISP in a box - the box being a Mac Mini. The article is more of an online notebook keeping track of efforts to build something suitable to host family/friends websites and email.

Nifty Myst-like Flash game - Samorost 2.

A little light on content at the moment but Portable Apps will track applications that can be run from a memory stick.

Some nice examples of Rapid Prototyping - eg essentially 3-D printing.

This is all over the interweb - 10 System Admin Truths. He also updates with End User Troubleshooting. All of this stuff is pretty much spot-on.

This slashdot post on Linus discussing KDE vs Gnome would seem to be indicative of the problem with Linux and most open-source software. The majority of these applications and operating systems are designed by and for geeks - very few applications are designed for the joe-average user. In one respect he has a point - dumbing down the interface to the point where it frustrates power-users is annoying. However a power-user is likely to be skilled enough to customise their OS/application to do what they want it to do in the first place and transcend any enforced limitation - average people are in the majority so it makes sense to cater to them first.


Yet another blog about stuff.

The image in the header is mine.

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