Laptop Computer Features

It’s not easy to choose a laptop, and part of the problem is that most people don’t seem to start from the use of the laptop. I believe that the following four categories cover the vast majority of the modern use of mobile computers.

PDA [1] – can be held in one hand and generally […]

Noise in Computer Rooms

Some people think that you can recognise a good restaurant by the presence of obscure dishes on the menu or having high prices. The reality is that there are two ways of quickly identifying a good restaurant, one is the Michelin Guide [1] (or a comparable guide – if such a thing exists), the other […]

Efficiency of Cooling Servers

One thing I had wondered was why home air-conditioning systems are more efficient than air-conditioning systems for server rooms. I received some advice on this matter from the manager of a small server room (which houses about 30 racks of very powerful and power hungry servers).

The first issue is terminology, the efficiency of a […]

Variable Names

For a long time I have opposed single letter variable names. Often I see code which has a variable for a fixed purpose with a single letter name, EG “FILE *f;“, the problem with this is that unless you choose a letter such as ‘z‘ which has a high scrabble score (and probably no relation […]

Label vs UUID vs Device

Someone asked on a mailing list about the issues related to whether to use a label, UUID, or device name for /etc/fstab.

The first thing to consider is where the names come from. The UUID is assigned automatically by mkfs or mkswap, so you have to discover it after the filesystem or swap space has […]

Advertising a Scam

Below is a strange Google advert that appeared on my blog. It appeared when I did a search on my blog, it also appears on my post about perpetual motion. It seems quite strange that they are advertising their product as a scam. It’s accurate, but I can’t imagine it helping sales.

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I Just Joined SAGE

I’ve just joined SAGE AU – the System Administrators Guild of Australia [1] .

I’ve known about SAGE for a long time, in 2006 I presented a paper at their conference [2] (here is the paper [3] – there are still some outstanding issues from that one, I’ll have to revisit it).

They have been […]

Shelf-life of Hardware

Recently I’ve been having some problems with hardware dying. Having one item mysteriously fail is something that happens periodically, but having multiple items fail in a small amount of time is a concern.

One problem I’ve had is with CD-ROM drives. I keep a pile of known good CD-ROM drives because as they have moving […]

Smoke from the PSU

Yesterday I received two new machines from DOLA on-line auctions [1]. I decided to use the first to replace the hardware for my SE Linux Play Machine [2]. The previous machine I had used for that purpose was a white-box 1.1GHz Celeron and I replaced it with an 800MHz Pentium3 system (which uses only 35W […]

big and cheap USB flash devices

It’s often the case with technology that serious changes occur at a particular price or performance point in development. Something has small use until it can be developed to a certain combination of low price and high performance that everyone demands.

I believe that USB flash devices are going to be used for many interesting […]