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13747 clicks; posted to Geek » on 06 Feb 2007 at 5:32 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite   |  Watch    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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  2010-08-13 10:56:40 PM  
When figuring out what to get to do this kind of experimenting, the things to consider are(in no particular order):
1. HDD space- virtualization requires that you designate how big (rather how much) of the HDD you are going to allocate for that particular device.
2. Memory: How much can you afford to allocate for the virtual device. Too little and its slow, too much and the main or host OS may slow down. Unless you have an OS that can handle more than 4gb you will have to allocate carefully.
3. video/audio/other devices: If you are planning to test games in the virtual device, you will need to share the video/audio with the virtual device not to mention the Internet connection. Make sure your video and audio devices are up to snuff for the games you are planning on playing.
4. Processor speed: dual and quad cores in a single socket should be sufficient (as Mike said) and even a single core can handle most virtualization if you do not tax them too much. Obviously the faster the better.

having said all that and if I had the money, I would go with a quad core 2.5ghz or better, 4gb or better memory, 500gb or better HDD partitioned to make space allocation easier and finally a top end video card. Who you get em from is just a matter of personal choice and cost. If you are strapped for cash, just get any old puter off of craigs list or ebay and leave it as a stand alone, but use VNC to control it from your main box. no need to buy a monitor/keyboard/mouse for it. Ubuntu is free and works fine and can be used remotely or for virtual sandboxes.

/tada!!
 
  2010-08-13 11:06:51 PM  
Any HTML5 early adopters? I've seen 2D vector graphics & a vector based game for it, what sort of API do you use for that? Was going to look into Flash for various reasons, but I think I'd rather use HTML5 if I can figure out how.
Also trying to learn HTML5 in general, if anyone knows a good starting point. Just reading the Wiki' page on it and a couple tech articles. Like Multitouch it's hard to not get a bunch of buzzword crap when looking...
 
  2010-08-14 12:45:05 AM  
Barakku: Yup, that's the video I saw, looks like it's just to allow web development FOR multitouch, doesn't seem to be any interface for it. With Fennec being made for smart phones I had hoped they would have an interface too.

You do realize that any touchscreen IS the interface, what they are doing is using the events generated when you touch the screen to hook into the API's? MozTouchDown, MozTouchMove, MozTouchUp are the events that occur when you touch a screen.

event.streamId: don't forget, it's multi-touch, which means that you have to deal with several events from several sources. So each event comes with an id to identify the input.

event.mozInputSource: the type of device used (mouse, pen, or finger, if the hardware supports it). This is a property of mouse events.

event.clientX/Y: the coordinates.

You could use dual mice to do the same thing as resizing a photo or a touch screen by telling the program where the events are expected to come from (aka the interface)

anyway if those are not the commands you are looking for then look here Link (new window) where felipe shows more examples of how to capture the events and use them. Even though these are intended for an HTML use, they are getting the information from the touch screen on your computer.
 
  2010-08-14 06:13:37 AM  
Dimmy: Can anyone recommend a good workstation-esque dual CPU motherboard?
I'm currently entertaining the thought of possibly considering to maybe invest in a workstation for home use to mess around with virtualization (and gaming).


Even my cheap dual-core laptop does virtualization.

You'll be happier with a CPU that supports VT-x (which includes all of the current generation Intel processors).

I'm currently using VMWare Player. Mainly because it's easier to set up than Virtual Box.
 
  2010-08-14 11:08:01 AM  
I will tell a short story about my recent computer problems.

I was building a new personal fileserver on the cheap. None of this Supermicro dual-processor stuff, just a $40 processor, a $50 motherboard, and six terabytes, all stuffed in a case that wasn't designed to hold that many hard drives.

First boot with four of the six drives, only two were detected. Everything was plugged in, I fiddled with the cables a little. Reboot. Now I had four drives, so I shut down and installed the last two drives. The fans spun up, but it wouldn't POST.

I had a more powerful, but very loud, power supply lying around so I swapped it in. The thing booted, but I had lost a couple of drives. Fiddled with the cables again. I could get each drive to appear, but never all six at once. The randomness was always in the four drives in the lower drive cage.

Both of the power supplies I had tried are a few years old, so I cracked them open, and of course they've both got a couple of bulging capacitors. I cursed the thought of spending money and ordered a new one. Predictably, it did not solve the problem of the randomly disappearing drives.

Because of a lack of room in the case, I had bought some relatively expensive (about $12 each when you include shipping) SATA cables which combined the power and data connectors into one 90-degree angled connector, with some nice sleeving on the power wires. I had used four of these in the lower drive cage, zip-tied together to avoid clutter.

I pulled those cables out and replaced them with some free-with-mobo SATA cables. Problem solved. The weight of the fancy cables was breaking their connections without unplugging them. They didn't feel loose, but they were.

And I suppose the moral of this story is, computer problems are sometimes caused by the parts you would least expect to make trouble.
 
  2010-08-16 03:06:07 AM  
CSB

I can agree with this one. I had no end of issues with having 10 SATA HDDs and for some reason towards the end (plug one in, turn it on and check POST or SATA controller BIOS) one or two would occasionally just drop off on random boots, and other times they'd be fine.

Came down to the SATA cables being bumped and stuff while I was setting it all up and they were coming just a tiny bit loose (especially true for the ones where I'd used old, non-locking ones).

Ended up solving the problem by getting a couple of multi-drive bays. Saved me a tonne of hassle, and if one keels over now I can just eject it and chuck a new drive in. Not cheap, but recommended.
 
  2010-08-16 08:48:37 AM  
Seconded. Once you get over 2 or 3 drives, getting some hotswap bays makes the cabling simpler and more reliable. Icy Dock and Supermicro have some decent ones... 3 drives in 2 CD-ROM bays, 5 drives in 3 CD-ROM bays, that kinda thing.
 
  2010-08-16 04:57:51 PM  
paleryder69: When figuring out what to get to do this kind of experimenting, the things to consider are(in no particular order):
1. HDD space- virtualization requires that you designate how big (rather how much) of the HDD you are going to allocate for that particular device.
2. Memory: How much can you afford to allocate for the virtual device. Too little and its slow, too much and the main or host OS may slow down. Unless you have an OS that can handle more than 4gb you will have to allocate carefully.
3. video/audio/other devices: If you are planning to test games in the virtual device, you will need to share the video/audio with the virtual device not to mention the Internet connection. Make sure your video and audio devices are up to snuff for the games you are planning on playing.
4. Processor speed: dual and quad cores in a single socket should be sufficient (as Mike said) and even a single core can handle most virtualization if you do not tax them too much. Obviously the faster the better.

having said all that and if I had the money, I would go with a quad core 2.5ghz or better, 4gb or better memory, 500gb or better HDD partitioned to make space allocation easier and finally a top end video card. Who you get em from is just a matter of personal choice and cost. If you are strapped for cash, just get any old puter off of craigs list or ebay and leave it as a stand alone, but use VNC to control it from your main box. no need to buy a monitor/keyboard/mouse for it. Ubuntu is free and works fine and can be used remotely or for virtual sandboxes.

/tada!!


Thanks for the info pale, although I should of mentioned before that computers are my trade; was simply looking for some hardware recommendations.

I was thinking more along the lines of having some virtual machines running in tandem to whatever else I'd have up and open typically (eg: set the affinity for any workload on the VM's to the second cpu). Obviously this would mean having a HDD or two set up solely for the VMs.

Then again one could go ESXi, but that's an entirely different animal (and I believe there's no 2nd cpu support for vanilla ESXi 4.1).My non-concrete plans are rather fickle, by next week it may end up something completely different.

/Oddly enough my company is a huge proponent of virtualization
//'cept I've never gotten to touch it :(
///I get stuck with the "special clients"
////I think this may all be an excuse to get a motherboard that works properly with my raid card.
 
  2010-08-16 06:08:54 PM  
We only do operating system level virtualization here, just because we don't scale in the usual direction :)
 
  2010-08-16 11:03:18 PM  
Same here (FreeBSD Jails FTW).

The fact that there is (practically) no slowdown or hardware VM support, plus ZFS has Jail support now too.
 
  2010-08-16 11:36:39 PM  
oh yeah, cloning copies of a test database into multiple jails using ZFS snapshots is awesome
 
  2010-08-17 01:00:50 PM  
Legios: Same here (FreeBSD Jails FTW).

The fact that there is (practically) no slowdown or hardware VM support, plus ZFS has Jail support now too.


Mike: oh yeah, cloning copies of a test database into multiple jails using ZFS snapshots is awesome

That's actually pretty damned cool. Something else for me to mess around with.

/Weeeeeeee
 
  2010-08-17 06:29:01 PM  
Mike: We only do operating system level virtualization here, just because we don't scale in the usual direction :)

He's either bragging or trying to tell us Fark looks kinda fat in those pants.

;)
 
  2010-08-17 10:28:23 PM  
Evening Geek Forumers.

I have a drive question... SSD to be exact. I might play with a Solid State pc build, running 2 in a RAID0, Win 7 Pro, i7 quad core, 4 or 8 gigs ram (not sure yet) & a nice graphics card.

I've been asked about building some designer pc's for work. Not "designer" like fashion... they will be used by our designers. (cad based/similar software) We just had 2 i7 machines built and sent by 2 different Vegas based pc builders...

i7, win 7 pro, 1 64 bit... :), the other 32 bit, 4gigs on 1, 8 gigs on the other... both with dual 1gig video cards. Pricing out parts for a machine close in build... but with SS Drives... I can still do 2 cheaper that what we paid for these 2 machines.

Anyways... I've noticed Newegg and the likes will/have offered 2 SS drives AND a SATA magnetic drive in bundles. Whats the reasoning for the regular HD?

Just storage?

Or is it to be used as a 'sync drive' in case of SSD failure?

Anyone dabble with SSDs ? thoughts ? ideas? suggestions?
 
  2010-08-17 10:32:07 PM  
oh, and thank you in advance!
 
  2010-08-17 10:32:54 PM  
Just storage, I'd think, unless the SSD's are being used for a Readyboost type of thing? (Kinda like ZFS's L2ARC for the FreeBSD and Solaris crowd)

I hope the 8 gig machine was the 64 bit one.

I'd have put 64 bit on the 4 gig one too, anyway.
 
  2010-08-17 11:46:06 PM  
I'm thinking storage too. From what I've read around... you don't want the SSDs used as storage. It will wear them out faster.

And yeah, the 8gigs went on my... er, the 64 bit machine. :)

Windows 7 32 bit doesn't see more than 4 gigs I think.

Should work nicely... since we run 2 servers and a Tera-Station for storage on the network, the SSDs will just be for OS & apps on the workstations.
 
  2010-08-18 12:11:58 AM  
1 question that comes to mind though with SS drives... do you really need a lot of RAM ?


I mean, basically the solid state drive is a large batch of RAM... right?
 
  2010-08-18 12:33:00 AM  
32bit OSs only see about 3.25 gig of RAM due to the nature of memory allocation on x86 architecture unless you run Physical Address Extension.

As for the SSD/RAM thing, you don't really want swap on an SSD due to the high number of writes. Windows is pretty aggressive with its swapping as I'm sure we've all experienced. :)
 
  2010-08-18 09:49:17 AM  
It's a large batch of flash, not ram. Flash doesn't perform anywhere close to where ram performs.

You still need the same amount of ram that you'd need w/ a spinning disk.
 
  2010-08-18 11:34:18 AM  
In my case at least I've used my SSDs for OS/applications/games strictly. Anything that can be mapped off the OS partition drive has been. Application response is damn near instant, and game loading is fairly quick as well (with 4xSSD Raid 0, I'd hope so). Bootup is quick; the AHCI and Intel Raid config utility do slow it down some, but once you reach the animated splash screen for windows 7, it takes less than 10 seconds to reach a fully loaded desktop and be able to run programs.

I'd assume as well that the mechanical drive is bundled together for storage. Although if you do go Raid 0, please rethink and go Raid 0+1 (that's the Raid 0 array mirrored to either another disk). At least then you'll have some fault tolerance in the machine (not a backup solution mind you) in case one SSD decides to mess up somehow.

A slightly stupid thing to point out, make sure you can actually mount the SSds somewhere. Not all cases come with 2.5" - 3.5" adapters, and if they do it may only be a single one. I picked up one adapter that could hold to 2.5" drives in one 3.5 bay, a nice space saver. Or you could just stick them to the side of case with double sided tape or something :P
 
  2010-08-18 06:32:16 PM  
I bought an adapter to mount my SSD in a 3.5" bay, but could have saved the money and just let it dangle :P Tape would work, too.

Or as my friend from college might say, Command Adhesive makes everything better.
 
  2010-08-18 10:47:54 PM  
I recently purchased an OCZ Vertex 2 drive and I love it. Windows 7 boots in about 12 seconds and shuts down in 2. Running programs is instant. I load maps in multiplayer games within 2 or 3 seconds now. It took 45 seconds or so before the upgrade.
 
  2010-08-19 12:26:13 AM  
DLCI WTF BBQ (new window)

Can't figure out the description of the DLCIs... especially this "serial port 3" business. Huh? Where?

//frame relay and I don't exactly get along
//headOffice to isp1 is PPP link, which is working fine... frame relay to be implemented on the routers attached to the Frame Relay Service
 
  2010-08-19 12:28:55 AM  
i.e. just when I thought I more or less understood it, I encounter this and now can't think straight anymore. What DLCIs are on what interfaces on what routers?
 
  2010-08-19 02:19:39 AM  
Looking at that picture makes me remember why I got out of networking...

Can't help you with that one sorry..!
 
  2010-08-19 10:09:47 AM  
Yeah, that's a badly drawn map, I don't see a "3rd serial port" on any of those -- unless they mean s0/0 on remote1 as it's one of three office ports overall... so
remote1 s0/0: port 3
headoffice s0/1: port 2
headoffice s0/0: port 1
...but then if the ISP link (port 1) is running PPP instead of Frame Relay encaps... that kinda blows that theory out.

I used to use frame relay switching all the time, 10 years ago... it's a little simpler to config than ATM is, but clunkier.
 
  2010-08-19 01:23:52 PM  
Got an explanation from someone else... it had been worked to be something else at some point, and they forgot to take all the labels off.

*Insert angry-looking text icon here*

Erm, thanks anyways.

Did well in the academy coursework and exams today, just have to write my certs in September.
 
  2010-08-19 02:46:33 PM  
sweet.

thanks for the feed back on the SSDs guys.
 
  2010-08-19 11:09:52 PM  
You know I haven't opened up a desktop in forever. Tried to install a 3.5 hdd as a slave to parent's old computer, was room for it and everything, only one SATA cable. I figured it would be like with IDE, spare connector on the ribbon (except it's not a ribbon) Cheap enough to get a new one but there was ALWAYS a second connector...

Dimmy: In my case at least I've used my SSDs for OS/applications/games strictly. Anything that can be mapped off the OS partition drive has been. Application response is damn near instant, and game loading is fairly quick as well (with 4xSSD Raid 0, I'd hope so). Bootup is quick; the AHCI and Intel Raid config utility do slow it down some, but once you reach the animated splash screen for windows 7, it takes less than 10 seconds to reach a fully loaded desktop and be able to run programs.

Disable GUI boot in MSconfig. It really, really shouldn't, but somehow it cut 5 seconds off my boot time (by rough estimate.) There might be timed fades or something on the animation which slows it down. I had never realized how slow the Windows typical animations (min/max a window, ect) were until I tried turning them off. I figured the operation time would be about the same (because I hadn't thought about it) but nope, instead of 500ms it's like 10 ms.

vegasj: 1 question that comes to mind though with SS drives... do you really need a lot of RAM ?
I mean, basically the solid state drive is a large batch of RAM... right?


Lots of RAM helps, since you can avoid using a pagefile, pagefiles add lots of I/O that is technically bad for the SSD, but from the lifetime read/write #s I've seen, no consumer use would ever ever run out of I/O operations in a practical lifetime (one quote was 15 years running for 8 hours a day at max I/O). Anyway, using RAM instead of the drive is always a plus, and you can do neat things like store Firefox's cache in RAM. Though if you do need a pagefile of course the SSD is 10x better than the HDD. It's just 1/10th the speed of what RAM would be.
/I wish I could keep the whole damn OS in RAM, 4 GB is getting close to holding Win7 if you trim some fat, isn't it?
 
  2010-08-20 12:22:47 AM  
paleryder69: anyway if those are not the commands you are looking for then look here Link (new window) where felipe shows more examples of how to capture the events and use them. Even though these are intended for an HTML use, they are getting the information from the touch screen on your computer.

I mean the firefox GUI, I had hoped they had made changes/buttons/whatever specifically for touch. Middle clicking isn't possible and a couple other things are a little annoying as is (and Win 7's right click action needs to be faster, at shortest still takes about a full second). I know Fennec is supposed to be optimized for (small) touch screens. Anyway, ability for pages to read touch input is a very nice step forward.
/Apparently they have a win 32 version of Fennec, trying it...actually not quite as intuitive as I had hoped, but I'm not on a phone.
 
  2010-08-20 12:32:03 AM  
Barakku: You know I haven't opened up a desktop in forever. Tried to install a 3.5 hdd as a slave to parent's old computer, was room for it and everything, only one SATA cable. I figured it would be like with IDE, spare connector on the ribbon (except it's not a ribbon) Cheap enough to get a new one but there was ALWAYS a second connector...

Serial ATA is serial.
 
  2010-08-20 07:05:10 AM  
Barakku,
One tihng I did neglect to mention was that during the back and forth with Gigabyte support on a Raid card issue, they had asked to update the BIOS to the most recent.

Forgetting that it would reset all settings I updated it, tried to boot into the OS, saw the raid was gone. I managed to recover it up without resorting to restoring from a recent backup, but it jams ~10 odd seconds at verifying DMI pool data. I could fix it but I just never got around to it.

I'll give the no GUI boot a try, not like I'm staring at the thing boot up.


Oh and I run without a pagefile on this setup. I haven't seen (or had) any issues since disabling it.

Providing you have enough RAM, one could setup a RAM drive (think of it as a section of your ram that acts as a partition). Should preform well if the pagefile can be set up in it. Not entirely sure if it is possible though.

Back when I had an Asus eeepc 701 4GB, someone over at the eeeuser forum managed to trim the W7 beta to under 4 GB, allowing it to fit onto my netbook. Mind you there were no official drivers from Asus for it, but I did manage to install it, only issue was I ran into a rather bad graphical glitch.
 
  2010-08-20 06:27:31 PM  
I was looking through a Gordian's knot of cables in a box and I found this. Does anyone here know what it is? I have no idea where it came from and what it goes to.

i66.photobucket.com
i66.photobucket.com
i66.photobucket.com

There is no information on the back of the device at all.
 
  2010-08-20 06:34:47 PM  
I forgot the side view of the round part. It has a port in it.

i66.photobucket.com
 
  2010-08-20 08:01:03 PM  
It seems to be a "Game Boy link cable".

Whatever that is.
 
  2010-08-20 09:18:42 PM  
Maddogjew: I was looking through a Gordian's knot of cables in a box and I found this. Does anyone here know what it is? I have no idea where it came from and what it goes to.

There is no information on the back of the device at all.


Looks like a gameboy advance to gameboy color link cable. Oh lord the days of cabled portable multiplayer...pokemon was about the only game I ever bothered with.
 
  2010-08-20 11:03:53 PM  
Thanks y'all! Funny, I've never owned any kind of gameboy. I wonder where it came from?

/this is why I love Fark
 
  2010-08-22 01:53:20 AM  
Dimmy, Barraku et all,

I am so used to breaking it down so a 5 year old can understand, that sometimes I do not consider the audience level. Its not often that there are a lot of true professionals that ask questions in the Fark geek board. I bow to those who were kind to me when I was off the mark. Of course it wont stop me from trying to answer a question when I think I know the answer hehe.

/just keeping my hand in so technology doesn't leave me in the dust
 
  2010-08-22 09:03:17 AM  
paleryder69: I am so used to breaking it down so a 5 year old can understand, that sometimes I do not consider the audience level

I feel your pain. I do quite a bit of computer training to earn some extra income. Almost all of my customers are between 65 and 80 and explaining basic concepts can mean hours of irritating (yet billable) time. Some of them take to computers really quickly and well. There is a 76 year old man that after one two-hour lesson was downloading torrents, converting avi's to DVD, hiding his pron from his wife of 47 years on an encrypted thumb drive and he absolutely LOVED playing Battlefield 1942 on public servers.

I've lost what ever point I was trying to make. The wake-and-bake this morning was brutal;)
 
  2010-08-23 01:24:15 PM  
Paleryder, no worries dude. You did not come off as an bunghole or with a "holier than thou" attitude so it's all good.

Here's something for the masses, my friend's brother's laptop is freezing when passing the second step of chkdsk. Wouldn't be such a problem but he gets chkdsk every time when starting up Windows.

After running fsutil, the volume is flagged dirty. Skipping the chkdsk the laptop would boot normally into Windows without a hiccup.

At the moment I've popped the drive into a two slot toaster/replicator (oh so stupidly useful) and trying to do a clone of the drive. Due to the speed it's going at, I believe the disk itself is at fault. Hopefully letting it run overnight will be enough time.



What does everyone else say?
 
  2010-08-23 05:13:26 PM  
Most likely bad sectors, yeah.
 
  2010-08-23 11:30:24 PM  
If you've got a *nix box you can try and move the data off the damaged sectors using dd (or one of the 'wrappers' around dd). It might be quicker to do that then try to recover the disk.
 
  2010-08-24 10:46:30 AM  
Once a hard drive starts losing sectors, it's done. Time to send it back and get a new one, if it is under warranty.

You can check with a program that reads the drive's diagnostic data, like Speedfan.

i218.photobucket.com

(from earlier this year- that's not good)
 
  2010-08-24 12:37:39 PM  
or for the command-line folks, smartmontools (smartctl)
 
  2010-08-24 07:07:25 PM  
Well, here's the fun part. Using our two driver replicator toaster, it would stall out early, even when left over night.
Attempted to use a usb to sata/ide adapter, but heard the lovely ticking of doom. (as of right now i blame the power supply of the adapter)
Last resort was to throw it into a simple sata dock and see if it can be read, and it did in fact show up properly.
Was able to pull off ~14 gigs of data; having it only give an I/O error at one picture, a large rar file and one song. Going to finish it off tomorrow when possible.
 
  2010-08-24 10:22:22 PM  
dd has an option to continue (after returning a block of 0's) when it hits a bad block...
 
  2010-08-25 07:13:07 AM  
Quite right Mike, did a bit of research after Legios had mentioned dd.
Only thing is at work we have no readily available *nix/Linux machines (beyond our firewall). So to throw together a box and get a flavor of *nix on it would end up being more time consuming than using any of the methods I used so far.
 
  2010-08-25 02:06:42 PM  
paleryder69:
/just keeping my hand in so technology doesn't leave me in the dust


Trying to understand (and being receptive to input) is the most important thing. I wish most people put in at least that much effort, a lot simply don't. I have to constantly explain what an SSD is, what a 'tablet' is, what informatics is, ect.

/And I ask questions here because I don't really know where else to ask, without creating more accounts I'll never use...
//Can't know everything, that's for damn sure, that's where information systems come in
 
  2010-08-25 03:54:58 PM  
Dimmy: Quite right Mike, did a bit of research after Legios had mentioned dd.
Only thing is at work we have no readily available *nix/Linux machines (beyond our firewall). So to throw together a box and get a flavor of *nix on it would end up being more time consuming than using any of the methods I used so far.


If you can find an idle computer there, blow a Linux LiveCD/DVD image on an optical disc or USB drive and boot from that without the hassle of installing anything. dd is a good buddy of mine.
 
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