Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:December:04 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
 
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2008/12/4-8 [Science/GlobalWarming] UID:52159 Activity:nil
12/4    This is pretty cool: (oldest animal)
        http://tinyurl.com/6q39cf
        \_ "Despite his old age (176yr), locals say he still has the energy to
           regularly mate with the three younger females."
           Hugh Hefner is nothing, man.
2008/12/4-8 [Recreation/Computer/Games] UID:52160 Activity:nil
12/4    Anyone got a Wii fit?  How do you like it?
        Also, please weigh in on the etiquette of giving your fat brother
        a Wii fit for X-mas?
        \_ I used it for about a month but right now I've lent it to my fat
           brother-in-law (275lb) and his kids. I'm going to get it back
           after Christmas. How fat is he?
2008/12/4-8 [Recreation/Dating] UID:52161 Activity:nil
12/4    i love you guys, i love the motd, i love berkeley, i love poltitburo,
        but seriously guys, you should be able to run a LDAP server on
        just about anything successfully.
        \_ So far as I know we do. The problem is that when NFS is down (due to
           keg), soda waits on NFS, because that's where the .ssh directory is.
           --toulouse
2008/12/4-9 [Politics/Domestic/President/Clinton, Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:52162 Activity:kinda low
12/4    Regarding the Somalian pirates, how about sailing some decoy
        ships back and forth around there, clandestinely armed, and
        give the pirates a very nasty shock?
        \- this is not a hard problem to solve. there just inst much
           interest in solving it on the part of the us govt. i.e.
           it's a issue of priority, not technique.
        \_ Does a decoy ship work?  How do you make your decoy ship more
           attractive than the hundreds of ships out there?  I don't think
           pirates choose the ships the same way pick-pocketers choose their
           victims by picking a seemingly vunerable one out of random
           victims by picking a seemingly vulnerable one out of random
           passers-by.
           \_ You put out a big sign that says "I'm just a poor undefended
              freighter loaded with gold.  And poor me without any crew to
              guard me.  Please don't hijack me."
              \_ Just say "Parlay"
        \_ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q-ship
        \_ The obvious thing to do is to take over the Somalia government
           for a regime change, put in a puppet ruler of your choice
           or better yet, hold elections so it looks like it's their
           own fault for picking a leader nobody likes. Then you write
           constitutions in the new government, and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
           \_ You mean like what Clinton tried to do with Aidid?
              \_ Yeah, something like that, except O will have to stick
                 around long enough to make sure it is done right.
           \_ how about "encouraging" a friendly neigbor, say, Ethiopia,
              to invade and install a suitable government...
              \_ Which country would want to invade a devestated messy country
                 and set a foot into the mud?  "There is no other country like
                 America!"
                 \_ The UN, with US leadership, would do it. This is a great
                    opportunity for Obama to start to rebuild the shattered
                    International community, that Bush so badly damaged.
        \_ Although I still think the international community should do
           something about this problem, once I read up on WHY the Somalis
           resort to piracy things made more sense.  Many of these Somalis
           were fisherman, but the factory trawlers that scraped their fishing
           areas clean of fish have destroyed that livelihood -- first they
           tried attacking the trawlers but the trawlers fought back -- now
           they just make their money from piracy.
           \_ And they fight back against evil fish sailors aboard the Flying
              Dutchman, yarrr..
2008/12/4-10 [Computer/HW/CPU, Computer/HW/Drives] UID:52163 Activity:nil
12/4    A question to you old crufy alumni: So lately we've suggested
        VMs, and been asked why it's necessary. We've suggested top-of-the-line
        hardware and been told we don't need that much power. So I'd like to
        ask -- what exactly do you think the CSUA is supposed to _be_?
        \_ Noone said VMs weren't needed.  They suggested you use the
        \_ No one said VMs weren't needed.  They suggested you use the
           there is quality, free VM software out there that you could
           use.  Asking for the for pay stuff is fine, but you aren't
           likely to actually get it, so take what's free and works.
           \_ I guess...would it hurt that much to ask for the expensive stuff,
              though?
              \_ When the company supplies a free version that works quite
                 well you will get a lot more traction towards getting the
                 expensive version if you have used the free version, shown
                 that it's actually getting some use beyond "we installed
                 it cause it was kewl" and that there would actually be
                 some advantage to having the pay version.  VM stuff IS
                 really cool and worth playing with.  The free version
                 exists because really, until you have a large install
                 there's really no need for expensive management tools.
        \_ Offering a rant, then an answer for my own question:
           Sure, VMs aren't strictly necessary, or people can go to
           OCF if they want access to computing resources or practice
           with sysadminning. But they'd be supported by OCF, which
           has basically nothing to do with the CSUA (anymore), not
           to mention they're bound by whatever the OCF is willing to
           allow/install/support on their servers. VMs let us tinker w/o
           worrying about giving root, or a bad program taking down the
           server or monopolizing server resources. As a consequence
           it is also useful for stability's sake, independently of
           offering students VMs, as we can separate services out and
           move them between servers as load necessitates. Do we need
           the speed? We'd certainly see some benefit. Mail processing
           is pretty laggy, and even with my donation of vermouth (with an
           Athlon 64 2800+; it replaced a 500Mhz computer) it struggles
           to keep up. Upgrading away from our failing 16-disk ~5TB array
           to something newer and less failure-prone may not be manly -
           but it certainly seems sane to me. If we're going to spend
           $2k to replace our servers, why not spend $3k to replace our
           servers and move the CSUA forward?

           I doubt anyone objects to getting equipment so the servers
           suck less, but I think that in order to keep the CSUA from
           stagnating, we need to seriously move forward in what we offer
           students. Attendance to helpsessions isn't what it once was,
           and the computing services the CSUA currently offers simply
           aren't as attractive to students anymore. Anyone can find a
           UNIX login server offered by the campus with webspace (w/
           CGI) and shell access. Most people now join the CSUA as a
           social group or to use the office machines and hang out. At
           this rate we're going to lose our technical relevance,
           and what then? Regardless of overlap with the OCF, we
           need to move our technical resources forward and attract
           technically-minded students again, because at the moment,
           we're not. The CSUA is wandering at the moment, without a
           clearly-defined direction. If you guys are suggesting that we
           don't need to do more for students in this area, then I'd like
           to hear your thoughts on what we do (other than the obvious
           'build better student-alumni relations' line).
           \_ I dunno, the CSUA hasn't had a clear direction since I joined
              in '98.  (Web and email hosting wasn't terribly relevent then
              either.) We started mentoring in 2002, but I it always seemed
              either.) We started mentoring in 2002, but it always seemed
              like a bit of a flop to me.  I've noticed video games have been
              more important since I left.  Anyway, the CSUA is always trying
              new things.  I don't think that's a bad thing.  I just don't
              know if we need an i7 fileserver.
              know if we need an i7 fileserver.  I guess I don't really see
              how improving the HW -> more members.  I don't mind, really,
              I'd like soda to work better, but I don't know who's going to
              join because we have a nice fileserver or VMs for sys admining.
              It's not a bad thing, but it's all stuff people can do at home
              now.  It's good for current members, but I don't really see it
              as attractive to new members.
           \_ I already talked about this down below.  The primary function
           of the CSUA is to be a social, community-building organization.
           The machines exist to support that function.  It used to be that
           the services the CSUA provided on its hardware were directly
           contributing to the community--there was a time when having an
           email server and web hosting was a really cool thing, and people
           would join the CSUA just for that.  Then they'd get sucked into
           using wall and MOTD and become part of the community.  But now
           most of the services the CSUA historically provided are no longer
           interesting; everyone's got more email addresses than they want,
           web hosting is free and better elsewhere, and wall and MOTD are
           dead.  Providing virtual machines isn't an inherently bad idea,
           but what's the upshot?  How will you use it to help build
           community?  What services will you provide that contribute to
           community?  -tom
              I guess I don't really see how improving the HW -> more members.
              I don't mind, really, I'd like soda to work better, but I don't
              know who's going to join because we have a nice fileserver or VMs
              for sys admining. It's not a bad thing, but it's all stuff people
              can do at home now.  It may be good for current members, which is
              fine, but I don't really see it as attractive to new members.
           \_ I already talked about this down below.  The primary
              function of the CSUA is to be a social,
              community-building organization.  The machines exist to
              support that function.  It used to be that the services
              the CSUA provided on its hardware were directly
              contributing to the community--there was a time when
              having an email server and web hosting was a really cool
              thing, and people would join the CSUA just for that.
              Then they'd get sucked into using wall and MOTD and
              become part of the community.  But now most of the
              services the CSUA historically provided are no longer
              interesting; everyone's got more email addresses than
              they want, web hosting is free and better elsewhere, and
              wall and MOTD are dead.  Providing virtual machines
              isn't an inherently bad idea, but what's the upshot?
              How will you use it to help build community?  What
              services will you provide that contribute to community?
              -tom
              \_ perhaps having VMs available would make more interesting
                 helpsessions feasible, as we could go in-depth on some topic
                 and provide an avenue for students to go further in-depth
                 after the fact (i.e. helpsession setting up X piece of cool
                 software and giving them a sandbox to play in). --toulouse
        \_ As a crufty alum, I think the CSUA should encourage undergrads
           to learn about software, cs, computing, &c. by providing ugs
           with opportunities to try out and develop new things in a friendly
           setting.
           When I was an ug there were several CSUA projects, such as the
           lottery scheduler, that offered such opportunities.  I think
           that the VM proposal would offer a similar opportunity and should
           be pursued.
           Re VM software - I agree with a pp that setting up a free sol'n,
           such as Sun's virtual box, is probably a better idea than asking
           for a VMWare donation. IMO, the process of learning how to make
           free software work for one's needs teaches one about much more
           about software and computing than installing and configuring a
           pre-packaged commercial sol'n does.
           Re HW - While I understand the attraction of getting the latest,
           1337est hardware, my experience suggests that going with a sol'n
           of the previous gen hardware is always preferable in terms of
           maintainability and reliability.
           maintainability and reliability. -crufty-alum
           \_ :| Well, the Core i7 Xeons as I understand it will be coming out
              some time after the Core i7 has been out, so perhaps that will
              positively affect their quality? I see what you're saying, but
              I've never really been burned by new hardware, other than lack
              of drivers and the like. Care to share some stories? --toulouse
              \_ Well, mostly the problems I've had are with the drivers for
                 the motherboards that are required to run the most recent
                 cpus.  We had no end of problems with an Intel MB for the
                 first round of Xeon chips (there were no reliable linux
                 drivers for the onboard gig-e ethernet, the sata controller,
                 the scsi controller, or the lights out management module).
                 I had similar problems with nforce boards for AMD chips and
                 recall similar problems when the PPros and P2s first came
                 out as well.
                 For the record, I'm not opposed to the CSUA buying the latest
                 hardware.  I'm just not convinced that the projects you want
                 to do (e.g. VM) require it, i.e., what is the difference btwn
                 getting a 4 core C2D system (or 2 C2D systems) and getting one
                 Core i7 system?  [If there is a big difference, I apologize
                 for my ignorance - I am not an engineer anymore and have lost
                 touch with the details of recent cpu performance] -crufty-alum
                 \_ It seems practicality and wisdom are prevailing over our
                    nerd-rections, and we may go with a Dual C2Q Xeon server. We
                    await final word from the pupp--er, President. While we're
                    at it, we'll probably get new, better hard drives.
                    nerd-rections, and we may go with a Dual C2Q Xeon server.
                    We await final word from the pupp--er, President. While
                    we're at it, we'll probably get new, better hard drives.
                    --toulouse
2008/12/4-8 [Transportation/Car] UID:52164 Activity:nil
12/4    "Even in Michigan, Not Everyone Wants a Lifeline"
        http://www.csua.org/u/n1l (finance.yahoo.com)
        \_ I'm curious: why so much discussion and public gnashing of teeth
           about a little bailout for the automakers, when a ginormous bailout
           for the banks was barely even discussed?
           \- because the narrative is "investment bankers are masters of
              the universe" and "american autoworks are lazy and overpaid".
           \_ How about banks are critical to the functioning of the economy,
              and the auto makers are not.
           \_ How about you still get to keep your goods (you still have the
              car and it still runs) when auto makers go bankcrupt?   You lose
              the warranty and any pre-paid maintenance visits, but those are
              small compared to the car.
2008/12/4-8 [Recreation/Computer/Games] UID:52165 Activity:nil
12/4    "Threat of Punishment Works, Study Suggests" - Yahoo! News:
        http://www.csua.org/u/n1k
        It says punishment works even after taking into consideration the cost
        of carrying out the punishment.
2008/12/4-10 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA, Industry/Jobs] UID:52166 Activity:nil
12/4    Maybe you should have the CSUA initiate an ongoing CS project it could
        be known for, and thereby have more of a raison d'etre for the hardware
        choices.  For example a game development thing open to any and only
        members.  It could perhaps offer experience/tutelage in more practical
        aspects of CS than the academic stuff, but not just pointless IT
        exercises like you guys seem to be focused on now.
        \_ Not a bad idea, but last time we started projects, they died from
           neglect. --toulouse
           \_ So do something small.  Get an ipod touch and have an iphone
              development contest.  Give people 1 month to come up with
              something cool and give away the touch to the top prize.
              The CSUA should be all about getting people interested in
              CS.  There was a time when "having a unix computer that was
              on the internet" was a good way to give people an incentive
              to learn about cool computer stuff.  That day is long gone.
           \_ The lottery scheduler was the last project I remember. What
              other projects were there? -crufty-alum
        \_ Didn't help the XCF.  (RIP)
           \_ Well, maybe their project and club is too boring.  CSUA starts
              from being a social club; a project like this would have to
              be lightweight enough to keep people interested as an aside from
              their school work.  I don't think some OS research project is
              appropriate, for example.
           \_ XCF had other problems, but honestly, CSUA is getting less
              and less relevant these days.
        \_ Maybe you can start by organizing small groups interested in
           contributing some feature to an open source project. People working
           alone or towards a non-well-defined goal tend to be unmotivated.
2008/12/4-10 [Computer/SW/Languages/Python] UID:52167 Activity:low
12/4    FORTRAN, er, Python 3.0 / 3000 is out:
        http://www.python.org/download/releases/3.0
        \_ As someone who tried out Python and disliked it, is there a reason I
           should take a look at it again?
           \_ Not really. Why'd you dislike Python? I love it.
              \_ The whitespace was a killer, other syntax a bit clunky,
                 regular expression syntax was hideous.  Once I found Ruby, I
                 never looked back.  The problems with Ruby are: 1) threading
                 and 2) performance.  That's what they're dealing with in the
                 next release.
                 current release.
              \_ Passing around "self" alot and usage of convention in class
                 syntax shows that the OOP was added as an afterthought no
                 matter what guido says.  Also they are going to keep that GIL
                 forever which hurts their multithreaded performance.  Maybe
                 jython will fix that but i'm not hopeful.
                 \_ Ugh, not this again, there was a lengthy argument on the
                    Python mailing list on this. It's not that self was *added*,
                    but that an explicit self disambiguates variable resolution.
                    I happen to agree, and this is one of the reasons I'm so
                    fond of Python. It's a matter of personal preference. I have
                    little to say on the GIL since I either don't do parallel
                    with Python, or use processes to do it. --t
                    Python mailing list on this. It's not that self was
                    *added*, but that an explicit self disambiguates variable
                    resolution. I happen to agree, and this is one of the
                    reasons I'm so fond of Python. It's a matter of personal
                    preference. I have little to say on the GIL since I either
                    don't do parallel with Python, or use processes to do it.
                    --t
                 \_ Let me expand a little. There's nothing keeping them from
                    making 'self' implicit *technically*; however, this was
                    debated several times over for Python 3k and the consensus
                    (not decree) was that Python is better with it than without.
                    (not decree) was that Python is better with it than
                    without.
                    Also, if you want a multithreaded app, presumably you are
                    targeting performance, or you'd be writing it with processes
                    instead. At that point, why not use the Python API with C
                    or something to do threads? (This is an honest question, not
                    a hypothetical question.) I use Python for the speed of
                    development and the clear (IMO) semantics. Besides, isn't
                    Stackless Python what you're looking for? --t
                    targeting performance, or you'd be writing it with
                    processes instead. At that point, why not use the Python
                    API with C or something to do threads? (This is an honest
                    question, not a hypothetical question.) I use Python for
                    the speed of development and the clear (IMO) semantics.
                    Besides, isn't Stackless Python what you're looking for?
                    --t
        \_ I always found regexp in Python to be insane.  Is this better in
           Python 3?
2008/12/4-10 [Uncategorized] UID:52168 Activity:nil
12/4    we were all so very very wrong
        http://csua.com/?entry=50214
        \- everyone implicitly voting for "none of the above" werent wrong
        \- everyone implicitly voting for "none of the above" wasnt wrong
        \_ yourmom
        \_ !psb was correct
2008/12/4-10 [Computer/HW/Drives] UID:52169 Activity:nil
12/5    In RAID 1, when I write, is it a synchronous write to both drives?
        In another word, is my write complete upon verifying BOTH drives
        have written (indicating the slowest drive = bottleneck)? How about
        read? Does RAID 1 require reading both drives, comparing results,
        then returning them? Or can it do striping read?
        \_ Write completes when it has written to both so RAID1 writes are
           usually a little slower than writing to a single disk. Reads are
           from one only, which is why RAID1 has very good read performance.
           You can read different data off of both drives at the same time.
           Remember, RAID1 doesn't stripe at all. Your drives should be
           identical to avoid one being much slower than the other.
           \_ What if the first read gives me bogus data (or data that
              is different than the second data because a neutrino particle
              changed a few bits)?
              \_ You don't use RAID1 to protect against that. If the two
                 bits were different how would the system know which was
                 correct? There's no parity information with RAID1.
              \- hello, YMWTGF(zfs, merkle tree). btw, if you see this happen
                 i'd recommend focusing on the neutrino changing some bits
                 and forget about the integrity of the data. --psb
        \_ We should start up that Silicon Valley CSUA blacklist again, since
           CSUA has a hammerlock on the economy.
2008/12/4-10 [Uncategorized] UID:52170 Activity:nil 75%like:52173
12/5    Markie Post is looking HOTTT for 56
        \_ actually she is 58
        hubba hubba
        \_ here you go
           http://preview.tinyurl.com/5cmct7
           \_ Probaby push-up bras.  Those weren't that big before:
              http://images.celebset.net/pics/M/2388Markie%20Post.jpg
              \_ dude that was 28 years ago.  28 years, 2 kids, lots of
                 fatty American white woman diet, you get some growth.
                 \_ I thought in general breasts sag over age.
              \_ Markie Post has always been very well endowed.
2008/12/4-10 [Uncategorized] UID:52171 Activity:nil
12/5    ugh House is gonna do it.
        \_ Do what?
2008/12/4-10 [Computer/HW/Memory, Computer/HW/Drives] UID:52172 Activity:nil
12/5    What would you guys think of this?
        TYAN Tank barebone
        http://tyan.com/product_barebones_detail.aspx?pid=353
        2x Intel Quad Xeon E5420
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819117147
        16GB ram
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820134633
        SAS hard drives
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822116058

        Total cost <$3000, and it seems like this would be an ESX supported
        configuration if we ended up going that way (and there's no reason
        that it would preclude any other virtualization option either)

        The goal here would be to eliminate the other servers in various states
        of 'broken' (scotch, screwdriver, lifesaver) and replace it with this
        one.  Once it was up and tested, we'd migrate soda there and then reuse
        the hardware from Soda for something else.  Thoughts?
        \_ Why do you believe soda would not run on a $1-1.5k machine:
           3gz proc + 1tb disk + ~4gb memory. I suppose something on the
           higher end of this range with two slower processors might be
           better than a 1proc. I'm guessing you'ld be better off with
           one two lower end machine. Especially if you want one to play
           around on.
           \_ He's talking about replacing 4 servers with 1 server, not
              just replacing soda.  Soda is already way overpowered for
              what it's doing right now.  It doesn't need to be a dedicated
              machine anymore.
              After that I really can't tell what you're trying to say.
2008/12/4 [Uncategorized] UID:52173 Activity:nil 75%like:52170
12/5    Markie Post is looking HOTTT for 56
        hubba hubba
        \_ here you go
           http://www.sitcomsonline.com/photopost/showphoto.php/photo/92707/size/big/cat
2017/09/23 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/23    
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:December:04 Thursday <Wednesday, Friday>