Wednesday, April 15


Daily News Stuff 15 April 2020

That's Not How It Works Edition

Tech News

  • Fuck Dropbox.

    Seriously, if your cloud storage solution requires me to worry about keeping offsite backups you are doing everything wrong.

    My plan was to map Dropbox onto a Synology shared folder that gets snapshotted regularly so I could instantly recover the next time it decided to randomly delete all my files.  Of course, Dropbox doesn't let you do that (there is a reason, but I don't care) and it's madness anyway.

    I might try Microsoft's storage - whatever it is they call it - since I'm already paying for it with my Office 365 subscription.

  • AMD has released three new EPYC processors in the F series.  (Anandtech)

    These are large cache, high-frequency, low core count parts, up to a maximum of 24 cores.  They're a good alternative to the Threadrippers we just deployed at work if you're willing to lose a little clock speed (3.9GHz max instead of 4.5GHz) for more memory, more memory channels, more cache, and dual sockets.

    They also cost more, of course.

    Serve the Home has more.

    And so does Phoronix.

  • Western Digital Red NAS drives between 2TB and 6TB have shingles.  (Tom's Hardware)

    That's not necessarily fatal.  The real problem is that Western Digital didn't bother to mention that anywhere.

    SMR (shingled) drives behave weirdly during random writes, being bimodal.  They typically have a WAFL cache of 20GB or so, and random writes in that area are faster than any other mechanical drive, up to 2000 IOPS.  Outside that area though performance plummets to as little as 30 IOPS.

    It can also be a problem when replacing drives in RAID arrays - random writes can be so slow that the RAID controller (hardware or software) marks the new drive as failed and kicks it back out again.

    And RAID arrays are the entire target market for the Western Digital Red.

  • Both Samsung and TSMC are delaying 3nm GAAFET mass production until 2022.  (WCCFTech)

    Considering that AMD has just blown Intel out of the water with 7nm parts, and 5nm production is already ramping up at TSMC, a six-month delay in the next generation after that is not the end of the world.

  • GitHub is now free for private development.  (GitHub)

    If you need enterprise features or direct support you will still pay for that, but if you just want the standard GitHub features for private projects, that is now free.

    The Team plan, which includes a few extra features and more storage over the free plan, is now just $4 per user per month, which considering developer salaries is basically noise.

  • Python is turning into Node.js.  (Fly, Crash, Raise Exception)

    Most of our code at work is still Python 2.7.  This blog is Python 2.6.  While Python has served me well for a long time, I am considering abandoning ship.

  • regex2fat is a utility that converts regular expressions into FAT32 filesystems.  (GitHub)

    A: Haha OS-driven regex engine go brrrrr

    Do not try this at home.

  • I think I may just have to learn COBOL.  (The Verge)

    I've used what, 25, maybe 30 other programming languages over the years; one more isn't going to break me.  And the job security can't be beat.

Disclaimer: I'm back on Twitter now, so incoherent rants other than those focused on specific technologies will mostly go there.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:54 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 "I might try Microsoft's storage - whatever it is they call it - since I'm already paying for it with my Office 365 subscription."
I believe it's called XboxDrive or XboxOneDrive or something like that.  Or maybe Drive 10.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, April 16 2020 01:05 AM (Iwkd4)

2 "If you need enterprise features or direct support you will still pay for that, but if you just want the standard GitHub features for private projects, that is now free."

Over on Arse, someone was griping about that.  Apparently charging people less for more features is a bad thing if Microsoft does it somehow.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, April 16 2020 01:08 AM (Iwkd4)



Libraries on Windows share an interesting feature with VMS:  they're an abstration that lets you join multiple physical directories into what looks like a single one.  Unlike the similar VMS feature, though, I'm not sure if you can open a command prompt and CD into a library.  If you could, the output of "dir .." could be interesting to see.  I don't recall what VMS did when you tried it, but you could CD into a joined directory or whatever it was called, so you could probably try the equivalent.  Of course, VMS directory syntax is weird.  It had something that I always thought of as effectively similar to drive letters, but that's not what they were, and the path separator was different, so a legal path to a file might be something like $DISK$1:[home.users.rick]something.txt;23.

Posted by: Rick C at Thursday, April 16 2020 01:17 AM (Iwkd4)

4 [note: attempt to comment earlier led to a failure with the post URL being ""]

Synology's dropbox-alike Drive syncs well, but I could never get it to handle two Macs at once; it couldn't distinguish between the two, so the second one never synced. Multiple iOS devices, no problem.

Their OneNote/EverNote-alike, on the other hand, works great, and the backend storage is a bunch of itty-bitty Git repos, so you could knock together a script to reconstruct every version. The biggest annoyance is that it stops syncing every 90 days and asks you to confirm that your new Let's Encrypt cert is valid. And for some reason, you have to quit the Mac client twice.
As for COBOL, I learned it over a weekend when I got hired to maintain a school accounting system. Of course, that was COBOL-74, and current legacy systems may be all the way up to COBOL-85 by now!


Posted by: J Greely at Thursday, April 16 2020 02:02 AM (ZlYZd)

5 Libraries annoy the heck out of me, because the file system seems to default to your Libraries, so you can't be absolutely where where exactly you're saving your file. Plus it's slower and less functional than the rest of the file system. (Once I was trying to consolidate folders and it wouldn't let me drop identical files into the same folder and overwrite the older one, because I was accessing those folders via Libraries. And there's no easy way to convert your view of a folder into an actual directory window.)

Posted by: Mauser at Thursday, April 16 2020 08:59 PM (Ix1l6)

6 It seems like Microsoft is giving up on Libraries anyway--in Windows 10, displaying them is off by default, for example.
Your example of being unable to overwrite identically-named files might have something to do with the default settings for file conflicts?  IIRC, it's "don't notify me", which probably means the only option is for it to simply disallow it.  But that's just a guess.

Posted by: Rick C at Friday, April 17 2020 01:00 AM (Iwkd4)

7 Librar[y|ies] is such a stupid term for the (painfully bad) concept of multihomed directories that it makes perfect sense that the idiots at MS would adopt it.  It's not like there's already a term like that in the namespace, right?  Someone should ask the idiot who came up with the name what a Dee-Ell-Ell file is.

Posted by: normal at Friday, April 17 2020 01:12 AM (obo9H)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?

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