Links September 2008

RAM is the new Disk [1] – interesting post about using a distributed network of servers with RAM for main storage. The concept is that RAM on another machine can be accessed faster than local disk and that disk performance for contiguous IO has been increasing steadily at a greater rate than random seek performance. So disks can be used in a similar manner to tape drives (backing up data) and RAM can be used as main storage (2RU machines with 1TB of RAM are predicted soon). It is interesting to contrast this with the Rubik’s Cube solver which uses disk as RAM [2].

Interesting Sun Blog post about how ZFS uses flash based SSD (Solid State Disk) for read caching [3].

Yahoo has released a Firefox plugin named Yslow to tell you why your web site is slow [4]. This complements the Yahoo Best Practices for Speeding Up Your Web Site document [5].

Amsterdam now has cargo trams [6]. This reduces pollution and traffic congestion while allowing efficient transport of cargo. The cargo trams tend to follow passenger trams so they don’t provide any additional obstacle to traffic.

Interesting article by Cory Doctorow about how the standard formats limit creative content [7]. He makes the unfortunate mistake of claiming that “no one tries to make sitcoms about stories that take five minutes to tell” and “no one tries to make feature films about subjects that take 30 seconds to elucidate” – I think that the majority of sitcom episodes can be described in considerably less than 5 minutes and a significant number of movies (EG every one that stars Jean-Claude Van Damme [8]) can have their plot described in less than 30 seconds.

2 thoughts on “Links September 2008”

  1. k3ninho says:

    RAM? I use a RAM disk to speed up my kernel compiles on my laptop. In place of a 5400rpm disk, I have 1GiB of DDR400 RAM in my laptop dedicated to the kernel tree’s filesystem. (I got the idea from Linus, some mailing list he said his personal kernel uses a RAM disk to compile for his hardware in around 15 seconds. I’m still at 12 minutes, but that’s an improvement in power consumption and I/O’s.)


  2. tomás zerolo says:

    Ob cargo trams: back in the eighties or nineties, in St. Petersburg (former Leningrad) it was not uncommon to see cargo trams transporting loads of logs. So… back to the future, it seems?

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