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March 23, 2010
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New monitor

Journal Entry: Tue Mar 23, 2010, 9:34 PM
I just ordered me an NEC LCD2490WUXi2 monitor, the better to look at your pictures, dear reader.

The next step is to have me built a new computer, as I am outgrowing the old one. My price range seems to coincide with dual quad-core Opterons. Right now I have an early model Athlon64 that doesn't support current AMD64 binaries, a few of which I do use; I am running 32-bit Flash, for instance, instead of the 64-bit build for Linux. Also there is no hardware virtualization. Also I can't simultaneously update my software (which in most cases is compiled from source code) and play videos, without the video failing to keep up. The bigger screen area means I won't have so much trouble putting a tiny video in the corner of my screen while making fonts or whatever, even with this older computer, or so I hope. My current video card is several years old but it was one of the better ones available at the time. :)

I'm thinking of buying from Thinkmate.com. I like their on-line configurator. Taking into account pricing, I would probably get the slowest clock rate of the CPUs, but I would get 8GB of memory instead of the default 4GB. I'm thinking maybe getting a terabyte drive with Windows and Ubuntu on it, and a second such drive with nothing on it, so I can partition it up and install Gentoo in a leisurely way. A different scheme may make more sense, if one takes into account RAID, but, egads, if there is anything I hate thinking about, it is hard drive layout. I've always ended up just shoving these issues aside.

I do have little idea of how I am going to do backups. DDS-4 tapes are another thing I have outgrown, though there does remain the possibility of my putting a SCSI card in the new box so at least I can do it. The tapes have saved me before, but I haven't used them sufficiently, especially since I started putting things like my fonts and programs in public source code repositories and so backing them up that way. Those things are backed up, with the result that other things, which would have gone onto a tape along with them, are not being backed up as often.

:iconaspartam:
Aspartam Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2010
What is wrong with external drives for backups for you ? I dont speak of archives, that are another thing also (better to have several media for data you really want to keep).

My current machine is fitted with high quality server memory. It was a bit more expensive to buy, but considering I had no defect at all in 3 years now, to compare with many on the others computers of the house, it was wise choice.

On the other hand, both my man and me are very desapointed with the LaCie drives, that were supposed to be high-end and both crashed miserably like no-name-what-the-fuck chinese shit. At last there was a warranty.
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:iconchemoelectric:
chemoelectric Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2010
I do use DVDs. I just did that yesterday with the current state of my font collection and mailboxes. But, yeah, I want something to give me the ability to recover easily from an equipment breakdown or the like.

The tapes are good but they'll only hold about 20GB uncompressed, more with compression turned on, but I'm obsessive-compulsive, and so worry about What if the compression were zero percent? The old arrangement was okay except for slowness, until I started using lvm and making filesystems larger than 20GB, being tired of dealing with so many distinct filesystems. I have come to regret that and so am likely to break things up again, though sticking with logical volume management. It's nice to be able to back up by one filesystem at a time, and maybe I will play with lvm snapshots to make it even nicer.

What I really would be happiest with is much faster tapes with much higher capacity and greater longevity, but I know this is not where the future lies, and it was too expensive in the past. Also DDS tapes are quite compact, being glorified offspring of digital audio tape (the technology that promised to make it possible to erase the music you purchased, and which gave an improvement in reproduction of the scratches on the record from which the digital master was derived after filtering -- what's not to love about that?).

The most precious data to me, that wasn't something like an expensive font collection or e-mail boxes, was whatever software or fonts I was developing. I imagine losing all that work. It was when I started putting these into public repositories that I stopped worrying constantly about the need to make tape backups, and wasn't constantly copying snapshots to Kristy's machine and my ISP account storage. Also I have gone to using mercurial and git for all that stuff, so I have a complete copy of the repository on my machine. This all has brought greater peace of mind.

One thing I could do is more carefully separate what is valuable from what is not. To a large degree the OS is made that way, because most configuration is under /etc, possibly augmented by a /usr/local/etc. I don't have a good arrangement like that in my personal files. Maybe that is something on which I should concentrate. (Qmail had its configuration under /var for some reason, but I've switched to using sendmail with configuration in /etc.)
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