Deleting too fast

Here’s an interesting side effect that came up in Hammer 2 development: deleting files can potentially require modification of only one parent element.  If I’m reading it right, that means deletion always takes about the same time, independent of the amount of data being deleted.  Your ‘rm -rf /largedrive’ could complete, removing multiple terabytes of data before you realize it.  I suppose it’s silly to complain about speedy results.  Of course, being Hammer, it would still be available in history.


How low can you go, with RAM?

Is it possible to boot with only 48M of RAM in a DragonFly system?  Probably not.  128M would be better.  I usually talk about the lower memory limit for Hammer, since it’s so relatively low for a snapshotting file system, but the converse applies here.  128M is probably the comfortable lower limit, though it’s pretty hard to find a system that would limit you that way without doing it on purpose.  128M sticks of RAM are practically disposable these days, really.

Lazy Reading for 2012/02/26

Hello new DragonFly 3.0 users!  This is my not-about-DragonFly weekend link roundup.  I’ll be back to regular DragonFly-ish stuff tomorrow.

  • Vim anti-patterns, Gnuplotting, and Computing History At Bell Labs.  I’m combining what would normally be 3 separate points because I stole them all from Christian Neukirchen’s blog.  I wish I had found them first.
  • I mentioned Dungeons & Dragons last week, which led Michael Lucas to point out Dungeon Crawl Classics in the comments.   Along that same theme, here’s some 70’s role playing game illustrations.  (via)  There’s a parallel between computing in the late 1970s and fantasy; expert programmers were called wizards, understanding computers was an esoteric art…  I could develop the heck out of that thesis, but let’s just look at the pictures and feel nostalgic instead.
  • And then everything got a lot more weird-looking, 20 years later!  (via)
  • Hey, that time zone lawsuit mentioned here before was dismissed.  That’s good news.  (via lots of places)
  • Hyperpolyglot: Scripting.  Look for your favorite scripting language and compare it side-by-side with others. (via ferz on EFNet #dragonflybsd)
  • The text of the DragonFly 3.0 announcement gets copied around to a lot of sites, far more than I’m linking here.  However, I found this one entertaining because it kind of makes it sound like DragonFly is just what I happened to come with.
  • Custom 3D printing is becoming accessible enough that I’m trying to think of things I could get printed that way, even though I don’t need it.  (via I lost it, sorry)

Your unrelated link of the week: Quigley’s Cabinet.  Read her books if you have a fascination with old dead things.

Things I’ve never seen before, in pkgsrc

I was reading an article about how Tumblr scaled to handle the huge amount of data it’s regularly pushing out.  Apparently, it started life as a traditional LAMP stack, but they’ve since moved on – to software packages I have not yet needed to ever use.  Being open source software, it all has crazy names.  Some of these packages are perfectly familiar to me now, but others are completely new.

Anyway, for fun, I decided to see how many of these sometimes new-to-me packages were present in pkgsrc.  I’ll reproduce a paragraph from the story that lists the software they use, and link each one that I found in pkgsrc.

That’s actually more than I thought I’d find, though I can’t articulate why.  Anyway, if any of the names are unfamiliar to you, now is the time to follow up.   Redis, for example, looks more interesting to me at a casual glance than the normal NoSQL models I’ve heard about.

Lazy Reading for 2012/02/19

Apparently this is a good week for Lazy Reading links, cause I have lots!   If you have any specific suggestions of where to find more links, I’d welcome them.  I’m sure there’s more people to follow that come up with tidbits like these…

Your unrelated link of the week: Cyriak.  An animator in the UK; I like the rhythmic repetition in his (occasionally disturbing) animations.

As I mentioned last week, DragonFly developer Venkatesh Srinivas is collecting pledges for his crazy-long bike ride, raising funds for cancer patient support.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but my mother died from cancer in a long, agonizing process some years ago.  The support system funded by these pledges would have helped us tremendously.  Please donate a few dollars to ease someone else’s burden. down

If you’ve noticed the main website being down, that’s because both network connections (on different networks!) serving it are down.  This makes the website unavailable, and the source code, but you can still pull down images, packages, and the like from  Hopefully this warning will be out of date soon.

Note: It’s back.

Lazy Reading for 2012/02/12

Hey, it’s snowing here!  Finally.

  • I remember when fractal zooming would bring a desktop computer to its knees.  Now, you can do it in a web browser.   (via)  This exists as a standalone application (x11/XaoS) too.
  • I see content from here get splogged, from time to time, and I think that’s what’s happening here.  Someone throws “BSD” into a content generator, with ads slapped on top of it?   Honestly, I’m not sure what it is.  (via)
  • Hammer 2 work is starting, as noted earlier this week.  Let’s see some details on a similar filesystem project, btrfs.  (via)
  • You should quit Facebook because privacy etc. you’ve heard it from me before.  The arguments are getting more thorough, though.
  • Here’s an article from independent game developer Jeff Vogel about serving a niche with your independent work.  I like his writing, plus if you squint your eyes and sorta look at that article’s point sideways, you could construe it as relevant for BSD.
  • For fun, spot the two things I mention/link to here frequently, in this somewhat hypey article about Tumblr.  (via)
  • An Economist article about shifting from computer to computer.   I read that and realized the one computer constant for me isn’t my desktop – it’s “~”.
  • If you ever played games on the Amiga, you may want to watch this movie.  It’s clips from a lot of Amiga games.  By a lot, I mean an hour and a half of footage total.  There were some really advanced games for the time there.  (via)

Your unrelated comic link of the week: Shut Up About Cats.  The rest of that site’s good too.

Also!  On a related link, Venkatesh Srinivas, one of the DragonFly developers, is participating in a bike ride to raise cash for the Ulman Cancer Fund.  If you’d like to pledge  some money, he’ll feel better as he cycles a ridiculous 4,000 miles across the US.