Dear Santa, thank you for the dolls and pencils and the fish. It's Easter now, so I hope I didn't wake you but... honest, it is an emergency. There's a crack in my wall. Aunt Sharon says it's just an ordinary crack, but I know its not cause at night there's voices so... please please can you send someone to fix it? Or a policeman, or...
Back in a moment.
Thank you Santa.

Wednesday, November 05


Yeah, Uh, Well, I Guess That Will Do

Signed up for a $5/month virtual server to test a new provider.

Ran a disk speed test.
[root@chiriri install]# hdparm -t /dev/vda1
Timing buffered disk reads: 4994 MB in 3.00 seconds = 1664.55 MB/sec
1.6GB per second on a budget virtual server.  Yes, I think I can find a use for this.

Update: Caching disk controller.  Tried it again, and I got ~200MB/s on the first run, but it ramped up quickly to nearly 1.8GB/s on subsequent runs.

CPU performance seems good too; a little slower than my VPS at Vultr, but about in line with our physical servers (which are slightly older, E3 Xeon V1/V2 chips).  RAM is a very healthy 4GB.

The reason it's so cheap is that there's no SLA or redundancy; it's a virtual server on a single physical server, and if it goes down, it goes down.  Also, it "only" comes with 1TB of bandwidth.  An equivalent VM on their redundant hardware is $18/month, but that comes with 5TB of bandwidth - and they charge $10/TB, so if you need the bandwidth, it's still a bargain.

Same provider does Amazon S3-compatible file storage at 2.1¢ per GB per month for storage plus 1¢ per GB for bandwidth.  That's 30% cheaper than Amazon on the storage side, and 90% cheaper on bandwidth.

They also offer a 176-core IBM Power 8 server, but that's a little on the expensive side.  I did run up a 6-core Intel-based VM with 24GB RAM and 240GB SSD for half an hour of testing, and that worked just fine.

So far my testing has cost me 7¢.  Except that they gave me a $5 credit for signing up, so it hasn't cost me anything at all.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 09:37 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Tuesday, November 04


The Dam Breaks

Computer monitors have been stuck at around 100 dpi for the past twenty years.  There have been a few exceptions like IBM's legendary T220, but that cost $10,000, so not something likely to show up on the average desktop.

The new wave of ultra-high-definition (3840x2160) monitors started showing up last year, beginning with Sharp's $3500 32" model, and Asus and Dell's versions, then followed by a range of cheap 28" TN panels and the occasional 24" IPS model.  LG showed up with an ultrawide format 3440x1440 34" screen.

And then, just in the past few weeks:
  • Dell teased a 27" 5K monitor for around $2500.
  • Apple shipped a 27" 5K iMac for around $2500.
  • Dell leaked new 24" and 27" 4K IPS monitors, and a 25" 2560x1440 monitor.
  • Acer also have a 27" 4K monitor and a 25" 2560x1440 monitor.
  • LG, Dell, and Samsung all announced curved 34" 3440x1440 displays.  If you remember CRTs, these are curved the other way.
  • LG have a 31" 4096x2160 (Digital Cinema 4K) IPS monitor going for about half the price of the various 31" 3840x2160 monitors based on Sharp's IGZO panel.
  • And Philips called all the others a bunch of pikers and announced a 40" 4K monitor for under $1000.  (With DisplayPort, 60Hz refresh, and a good quality VA panel with 176° viewing angles, so a big step up from the Seiki 4K TVs that have been popular in this size.)
I was saving for something new, and the Retina iMac looked perfect for my needs.*  But I could get three of those Philips 40" 4K monitors for that price, and plug them straight into my existing PC.  Or I could get the 5K iMac and a Dell 4K 27" monitor; with Apple's auto-scaling on high-definition displays, there would be little apparent difference between the two screens.  Or the iMac and the 27" Dell and a 40" Philips, and watch my credit card curl up in a little crispy ball of pain...

* Programming, web design, documentation, and the occasional bit of gaming.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:47 PM | No Comments | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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