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tallship 06-04-2010 03:22 PM

Oh! Pretty! - and Pretty Demanding of System Resources ;)
 
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I guess I'm fortunate. Except for the postage label affixed, someday my LJ collection might have some intrinsic collector value considering I have the first few years uninterrupted beginning w/issue #1.

The first few issues were printed not on glossy, but just heavier bond paper - the magazine looked like a low budget throw away, something akin to sample voter ballots that get sent out prior to elections, except bigger.

Anyway, and this may predate many of the readers here, but back in the day when we would low-level format our MFM HDDs as RLL to gain a smidget more space out of those buggers, storage and memory were critical concerns - CPU speed was the future, but the immediate factors were RAM and hard drive space, and therefore some serious planning choices had to be made.

For the past twenty years, we've all been seeing those posts like the one that goes, "What is the best way to partition my hard drive?".

These questions, asked by the n00bs we help out, even though they don't know it, are typically nonsensical, with the correct answer being, big swap, and one big / partition until you know the answer yourself.

What follows though, is an esoteric forum thread about LVM, /home on NFS, /boot partition size, whether to go /swap or SWAP, and breaking up things like /opt, /var/, and /usr/local into partitions as well.

Again, most of it nonsensical, since the n00b doesn't even really grasp those concepts yet (besides the fact that there is twenty years of this question being asked over and over again to Google from).

Way back when LJ #1 came out though, it was a very important question - even for, and perhaps especially for, n00bs.

"Gosh, we're working with a Connor 80 Meg IDE drive and a whopping 128Meg of RAM - and going into production with it."

----------

"Memory is cheap nowadays, at about a buck a MegaByte."

heh.

To run a modern Linux Distro on a machine like that now would require substantial work LOL!

Anyway, as I was thumbing through my LJ #3 today I couldn't help but fall out of my chair laughing when I read the following passage from one of the articles, which I would like to share with my fellow *NIXers here at LQ:

Quote:


But the price for beauty is more memory and disk space. Mosaic consumes over 1.3MB of disk space, and will use about 2MB of RAM while running.

Just thought that I'd share that, almost comical commentary on just how far we've come, and yet still we complain about not having enough money to hobble together the machine we'd really like to to build for our next personal *NIX box.

Years ago, I had a girlfriend that worked in a bar in Thousand Oaks called, Red Robin or Round Robin or something like that - just a little hole in the wall place behind a Taco Bell.

A couple of nights a week I used to meet this old retired, greasy haired dude for a couple of budweisers and talk about his days when he worked for IBM and the Apollo Missions were the hottest thing going in the scientific community.

Windows 3.1 was the bloatware of that era that would hardly fit onto the PCs at the time, and we would discuss the trend toward a complete lack of regard for space and memory requirements with respect to the current generation of software coming out of the Redmond pipe.

And after a couple of beers (or three or four), when we parted ways at the end of the night, he never failed to remind me:

Quote:


"Remember Bradley, and Don't ever forget this! We put two men on the moon with 8K of memory!"

And I never have...

posixculprit 06-04-2010 04:06 PM

A very interesting post indeed. Unfortunately, the users of today do not care about their system's resources. Satisfaction is achieved through pretty colors, 10K features they never use, transparent windows that do funky things when you move them around on your workspace. Most of my colleagues and professors from computer engineering college seemed to favor programming languages such as Java and C# because "it's easy". Assembly/C/C++ are "so last year" and one is to use them only if one is forced to do so.

I noticed you (claim to) use Slackware. Slackware's package management system makes it fairly difficult to perform 'minimalistic' installs. When I made this claim to various Slackware users I've "met" online and in real life many a time I received a response along the lines of: "Why do you even care? Just make a full install. Hard drive space is cheap!". Indeed.

I still do not use X (nor install it) on as many of my machines as I possibly can. I'm running a bunch of rxvt-unicode terminals and firefox on this machine and over 100 MB of memory are reported as being used (so little because I just flushed the cache).

tallship 06-04-2010 05:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by posixculprit (Post 3992801)
A very interesting post indeed. Unfortunately, the users of today do not care about their system's resources. Satisfaction is achieved through pretty colors, 10K features they never use, transparent windows that do funky things when you move them around on your workspace. Most of my colleagues and professors from computer engineering college seemed to favor programming languages such as Java and C# because "it's easy". Assembly/C/C++ are "so last year" and one is to use them only if one is forced to do so.

LOL! Yes! My point exactly :)

But by the same token, you know that we both take advantage of being able to take this for granted ourselves nowadays... at least to some degree on our personal workstations ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by posixculprit (Post 3992801)

I noticed you (claim to) use Slackware.

Slackware and Sorcerer Linux for the most part, on the Linux flavors of UNIX anyway...

Quote:

Originally Posted by posixculprit (Post 3992801)

Slackware's package management system makes it fairly difficult to perform 'minimalistic' installs. When I made this claim to various Slackware users I've "met" online and in real life many a time I received a response along the lines of: "Why do you even care? Just make a full install. Hard drive space is cheap!". Indeed.

Yeah that's a sad commentary, but for those of us who have been using Slackware since it existed, we won't give you that answer at all.

You simply pick the minimal base install packages to get a system up and running and take it from there. i.e., software sets "A", "L", "N", and perhaps "D" and "AP".

Those choices can be made in about 10 seconds and the install is blistering fast from an NFS mount.

But then again, you are right. Just because we "can" we don't - we take memory and storage for granted and tend to install everything anyway.

Why? coz in Slack you need to enable just about everything you want, as opposed to the typical RPM based distros where, even if you trim things down, you have to go in and start disabling all kinds of junk before you let that box become forward facing.

That's basically why you tend to get that kind of response from Slackers ;)

Quote:

Originally Posted by posixculprit (Post 3992801)

I still do not use X (nor install it) on as many of my machines as I possibly can.

I recently ranted about an old client of mine that called me after a few years of not providing service to him, telling me he would like it if I could assist his new IT contractors in migrating over to the shiny (Pretty) new servers they upsold him ;)

The problem was that these spikey-haired point-and-click WynBoZos had sold them with their dog and pony show, but in reality prolly couldn't read a manual - "Just keep pointing and clicking! It'll prolly work eventually guys!"

The Sun E-400 had been sitting in their closet, running as a SAMBA enabled file/print server, domain controller with home/public directories and custom kixtart logon scripts for the windows workstations for over three continuous years without ever needing to be serviced, and never having been downed.

All they had to do was put in a new tape each night (Which you know they were remiss in performing, but that's beside the point).

I left his CFO with specific checklisted instructions as to how one goes about adding new users and workstations to the network/domain, and the root password to the Sun Enterprise Server in an envelope in the owner's office safe.

They actually had no need to ever touch the Sun Box (except for tape changes).

Well, I imagine that after a few years it needed a good can of air to blow off the dust LOL!

So anyway, here come these point-and-click WynBoZos and they can't for the life of them figure out what to do with this big box, sitting in the closet, with the monitor disconnected, no mouse, and the keyboard prolly hanging by the cord off the side of the box.

Mr. Rogers would prolly interject here, asking, "Can you say SSH?"

Plugging in the monitor would yield little more than a blinking cursor.

He wanted me to provide him with gratis support for these guys, who could only serve to destroy the mans enterprise, so I told him, I would be glad to help but he would be invoiced accordingly for my time.

Not what he wanted to hear. So I gave him a bit of free advice before ending the phone call.

"Raffi, please call Oracle, and ask them to refer you to a certified Solaris engineer or you'll be sorry. They commonly bill at $120.00 - $150.00/hr. If you let these guys touch that machine you will probably lose all of your corporate data, and at the very least, you will be down for several days or weeks."

I like bells and whistles, but in the enterprise, there's just no place for it, and people that have to point and click to get where they're going are dangerous.

I too, do minimal installs on production machines, tending to go the purpose-built route, without any extraneous crap that will never be used and has no business on those machines.

But alas, that's not the way the new wave of techs are wired.

So @posixculprit... heh. ;) Always remember, and never forget, we put two men on the moon w/8K of memory :)

k?

Kindest regards,

jiml8 06-04-2010 05:58 PM

Back in the day, Anthony Fokker would take off in his new prototype airplane (which an assistant had started for him on the ground by manually flipping the propeller, then getting out of the way really fast) and he would fly that airplane around, while manually reaching up and moving the rear of the top wing up and down to change its angle of incidence. When the plane seemed to fly right, he'd use a wrench to lock down the position of that wing, then land the plane. He'd then measure the angle of incidence, and this is the value that would be used in his production aircraft.

30 years later, one of the most successful fighter aircraft of world war II, the P-51, went from concept to production in 90 days.

Today, the development cycle for the latest generation fighter has extended over 10 years, cost billions of dollars, and kept hundreds of engineers busy.

Things change. Technology advances. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it isn't. I'm with you guys about the "point and click" computer system "engineers" - they don't know squat and they cause a lot of problems.

My first computer was a 6800 computer with 16K of RAM that I wirewrapped together back in the mid '70s.

I remember my first "big" computer system. It was an Amiga 1000 that I extended to 4.5 Megs of RAM, AND an 80 Meg Seagate hard drive. I needed a system that large to do my scientific modeling work; prior to that I had been restricted to mainframes, and that was just a hassle. Prior to that I had played around with a lot of home computers, but it was just playing; they didn't have the horsepower I needed.

I'm sitting here now on my quad-core workstation, with 4 Gigs of RAM and about 2TB of hard disk space scattered across a total of 7 drives, using my full-up KDE4 environment, with transparency and wobbly windows and all that, listening to music the computer is playing, with two virtual machines running - one Windows 2000 and one Windows 7 (with full Aero support) - and my system is just idling along. I like the toys, and I've actually gotten rusty with emacs (though I still use it sometimes) because I like Kate a lot better.

Next to me is a target environment for an embedded system, based on Centos5 and running only what is needed.

In the garage is a 1968 BSA 650 motorcycle. It doesn't run anymore. The shifter and rear brake are reversed over what is common today, and it has a kick starter. When it ran, I had to constantly fiddle with it. If I rode it 200 miles, I probably would have to fix something if I wanted to ride it any further. Next to it is a 2005 Yamaha Venture motorcycle. Electric starter, running lights, water cooled, four speaker stereo, iPod dock, CB. It now has 43,000 miles on it (34000 of 'em in the last year) and all I do is change the oil and replace the tires.

Things change.


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