Sun, 5 Dec 2010
10:33 AM - 4K drives
I found additional links that I used to work with the new hard drive after Thanksgiving. I should explain what the problem is with these new drives. For a very long time, the standard sector size was 512. It's been that way so long that computer bioses, operating systems, and software programs assume this to always be the case. Due to legacy issues with DOS and tricks used to increase drive capacity over the years, many hacks have been implemented that further limit options. In order to pass the 2TB barrier, drive vendors have decided to make the drives use 4K sectors internally and then expose 512 sectors to the OS. The drive has a firmware that converts between the two. WD calls these advanced format drives. Since the OS is lied to, it's hard for it to properly align partitions on the drive. What does alignment matter? If a partition is created on a boundary, it lines up with how the drive reads and writes data (in blocks). This makes it run fast. If it has to write to two blocks because of an alignment problem, it slows the drive down significantly. Windows XP can't handle these new drives without some hacks. Windows Vista and 7 can if the drive is formatted by them. (not an upgrade from XP)
Linux until 2.6.33 can't fully handle these drives. FreeBSD can't handle these drives without manually partitioning to set the alignment. It's a pain.
More on the problem:
10:27 AM - More useful information on ATA 4k sectors
Anything before 2.6.33 doesn't support 4K very well. Distros with tools dated after April, 2010 can handle alignment of 4K drives properly.
Performance issues exist with the defaults selected in FreeBSD. Matt Dillon made some comments about what to do with UFS to get it to perform well.
This program lets you test performance differences with different alignments (sectors) of the drives in FreeBSD and MidnightBSD.
This patch makes Glabel align properly when using a certain flag for 4k drives.
Sun, 5 Apr 2009
2:31 PM - FabBSD?
I was just reading the FabBSD website. They seem to be forking OpenBSD for use with controllers and other machinery related projects. That means there are at least two forks of OpenBSD now, one fork of NetBSD, two of FreeBSD (plus some commerical variants and distros), and zero for DragonFly, MirBSD and MidnightBSD. it's getting crowded. :)
At least BSD is getting popular.
Thu, 21 Aug 2008
1:48 PM - work work work
I realized I can't put off updating mediawiki any longer at work. I'm in the process now. It's taking forever to install all the dependancies for the new version. I'm going from like 1.9.3 to 1.12 or something like that. Ugh I hate complex webapps.
The newer portupgrade versions suck. portversion doesn't report the version you have installed currently. I hate that. It was handy to check how out of date freebsd ports were and for comparison with mports. It make look simple now, but it's not useful. I don't get toning down command line tools. Stupid people won't use them anyway.
I still need to check the os x boxes for updates, although after last time i'm favoring leaving them unless there is a big patch. I'd rather be there when I do it. This remote stuff is for the birds.
Thu, 24 Jul 2008
I had a problem with a server at work recently. I used to use a hint from the macosxhints site to reverse ssh into my home mac. However, I can't do that anymore because my mac is behind NAT. What I needed was a way to connect to the mac at work which was behind a firewall (but not nat). I had another machine running FreeBSD with SSH open.
Connect to machine one
ssh -C -4 -L 5901:127.0.0.1:5900 remotehostyouwant Connect to work mac:
ssh -C -4 -L 5900:127.0.0.1:5900 macatwork