Sunday, February 02


Daily News Stuff 2 February 2020

02/02/2020 Edition

Tech News

  • I re-enabled Dropbox over the weekend.  And...  It did the right thing.

    In fact, it did the clever thing.  It said to itself, aha, I lost 5400 files that you didn't really delete - and it put them back.  It didn't need to upload them again first, it just pulled them out of the ether.

    On the other hand, it did delete them all from my iMac (which also has Dropbox installed) and then resync them.  So that part was dumb.

  • I also wiped my Lenovo Ideapad and reinstalled Windows from scratch.  Which basically, surprisingly, just worked.  I managed to free up enough space to do the latest Windows update - which was a chore since it only has a 32GB eMMC drive in the first place (which was why I was able to buy it for less than A$200) - but then it got stuck in a boot loop where it would try to undo the upgrade, fail, reboot, and try again forever.

    If you have a 32GB device like that, don't even try to upgrade to new Windows 10 releases (though the regularly monthly patches work fine).  When the time comes, backup all your files - I mean, it's only 32GB, how many files can you have - wipe it, and reinstall.

    I tried installing the 32-bit version of Windows 10 since that's supposed to save a significant amount of space but it said no no no.

  • Also pulled all the drives out of my old desktop PC (Nagi), stuck them in USB enclosures, and plugged them into Tohru.

    Interesting point is that they all worked perfectly.  SSDs are supposed to have a limited power-off lifespan and Nagi has been turned off for two full years, but the two SSDs came right to life with all their previous contents.

    I am now in the process of scanning 40TB of disk and doing SHA-256 sums of every file so that I can start pruning the duplicates.

    There are a lot of duplicates.

    At least WSL makes things like that fast and easy.

  • On the new server front, $150 per month gets us either:

    • One Ryzen 3900X server with 64GB RAM and 2 x 1TB NVMe SSDs, or

    • Two Ryzen 2600 servers each with 64GB RAM and a 1TB SATA SSD

    The advantage of the former is that (a) all that CPU is available to anything that needs it and (b) super fast NVMe drives.

    The advantage of the latter is that (a) we'd have twice the total RAM and (b) no single fault can take everything down.

  • Happy World Palindrome Day!

  • Intel is dropping Nervana for Habana which sounds like they're abandoning Buddhism for Communism with a broken spell-checker. (Tom's Hardware)

    These are two AI startups Intel acquired for $350 million and $2 billion respectively.  This change means that the NNP-T and NNP-I chips I've mentioned here previously are now expensive and not particularly effective paperweights.

  • Investors betting against Tesla lost their shorts. (WCCFTech)

    Unless they didn't.

  • All major web browsers support HTTP status code 451, Unavailable For Legal Reasons. (

    But then, they all support code 418, I'm a teapot.

  • Free is a C-like language that compiles to SMPL. (GitHub)

    SMPL is a variant of Brainfuck that supports pointers.
    Honestly, I'm not sure I still understand the complete scope of how the entire compiler works.  A lot of it seemingly works by magic.  Nevertheless, I'll still try to give a meaningful explanation.  Do not trust this software because I honestly have no idea why it works.

  • There is no reason for a mail server to run as root in the first place. (ZDNet)

    Yes, there are workflows that require it. Stop using those workflows.

Disclaimer: Thunderbolts and lightning are kind of a relief after two days of 35C and 100% humidity.

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