30 Dec 2006

Ubuntu is just too good !!!

Pending my previous post, I tried Ubuntu on my desktop system, and I am impressed :) !!

The reason ? Well I believe the most important reason is that 'It Just Works !!'.

Besides, on a macro scale, I found the following reasons as to why I am pretty impressed with Ubuntu:
  • There is only one application for each task. (for e.g. There is one music player, one video player, one browser, one email client. And all of them just work out of the box).
  • Things that shouldn't bother me, don't. (for e.g. I am never enquired about my IP address, gateway, workgroup name, dns server, mouse name, screen refresh rates, ... hufff, ... or the scores of things that linux distributions commonly ask)
  • It Just Works !!!

If you need to try a 'powerful' linux distribution, please try Ubuntu (version 6.10)

If browsing, email, songs and movies is all you do. You'd probably love it. And me a programmer, if I am beginning to really like, I think you can understand why you ought to try it out.

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I did learn quite a few things along the way, and I'd be posting everything that I learnt in the upcoming posts.

... till later.

14 Dec 2006

Software RAID and other storage options

When it comes to disks, I have used a Samsung, Seagate as well as Maxtor and (without any bias ...) nowadays, almost all of them conk out pretty soon. Sometimes I wonder if they all make the hard-disks in Taiwan… Just like they say in Armageddon …
American components, Russian components … they are all made in Taiwan’.
I still have those 4 Gb disks that were a prized possession a long time back (and that still work flawlessly !!). And now when all the 160Gbs and the 320Gbs are falling like dead rats, I am seriously contemplating installing my Windows on that old 4 Gb partition … !! 

Well … I almost was going to… when I saw a software RAID (on a windows partition) work pretty well! Slurp... :) 

So, my next experiment was with two 20 Gb Hard disks paired as a (software) RAID disk, with Microsoft Windows installed on them. What I also contemplated was to make use of the motherboard’s hardware RAID feature and get two large hard disks to pair up and provide (relatively reliable and) large storage. This had the added advantage of more reliable RAID support, albeit at the cost of the fact that those extra RAID drivers ‘may’ be flaky …

The tests worked out barely fine, but the basic idea of data-safety still lurked around. Seeing one of the 'proprietary' cheap motherboard RAID cards drop dead suddenly in office, the mere thought about losing sleep over an untested system seemed unreasonable. A similar idea about using Software RAID on Ubuntu setup was tried, but its performance was not up to the mark. Further, it still had some administrative work to be done in order to get down to 'business', and its utility then proved questionable.

What I require is a data-storage solution, which lets me be, and gets me to do 'my job' rather than worry about data-safety and costs associated to it.


Update
: (2012/01/29) Over the years, at least now I know what solution would do the job. Its detailed a little more in another post on this blog.