A random collection of daily links drawn from the depths of the Internet.

Disk caching in the year 2020

In the previous blog post I went over the design of storage systems and how they protect themselves from data loss in the face of disk failure or unclean shutdowns. If you’re putting together the hardware yourself modern Linux systems and modern hardware give you endless cost, performance and durability tradeoffs for whatever system you want. But 2020 also gives us the cloud, and storage systems in the cloud whose durability far exceeds whatever you could build yourself.

Durability in the year 2020

It is the year 2020 and we still don’t have great answers to data durability in the face of unclean shutdowns. Unclean shutdowns are things like power outages, system faults and unlucky kernel panics and preventing data loss when they happen is a hard problem. I’m going to talk through a few ways these can cause data loss in this blog post but you can probably come up with new ones on your own - exotic failures that no system will ever handle correctly. In the year 2020, the conventional wisdom is still true. Always take backups, and RAID is no substitute for backups.

7/4/20 Gil's LotD: Spaghettieis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghettieis Spaghettieis is a German ice cream dish made to look like a plate of spaghetti.

The Year of ARM on the Desktop

The big news of this year's WWDC is the announcement that Apple's moving desktop Macs onto Apple Silicon, ARM CPUs manufactured by Apple and the first real push at ARM desktops in the industry.

Compiled bjoern packages

bjoern is a WSGI-compatible web server for Python web applications. It supports both Python 2 and Python 3. Unfortunately the authors don't provide any binary packages but I've created compiled binary wheels for bjoern for Python 2 and 3 for Debian Jessie, Stretch and Buster and Ubuntu Xenial, Trusty and Bionic.

To install the package:

Debian packages for netatalk 3

netatalk hasn't been packaged with Debian for a few years now. If you don't want to get your hands dirty with compiling the package you can download compiled (binary) deb packages of netatalk version 3 from my GitHub releases. Right now I have packages for netatalk version 3.1.12 and 3.1.11 for for Debian buster, stretch and jessie.

To install the packages:

Tokyo

I had the desire to go to Japan, and especially Tokyo, because I wanted to spend my next trip in an urban area doing urban things. I felt that the last few vacations had a focus on exploring nature and natural wonders and I wanted to try going the other way. Tokyo is a massive urbanized area with the largest urban population in the world and endless things to do so it fit my goals well.

9/2, the afternoon:

My criticism of dotdrop, a dotfile management system

Git, the command-line version control system, was initially released on April 7, 2005. Github launched to the public on April 10, 2008 and was the killer application that promoted Git beyond its initial audience of systems programmers. By 2010 it was clear to me that the industry was moving away from Subversion and Git was the new standard in version control. I took it upon myself to git with the times and learn it for myself.

Lessons learned porting from SQL Server to SQLite

After a sudden reduction in force at the day job I inherited a crufty old reporting system from a team of DBAs. We're a company full of Linux and a few legacy Solaris systems but the DBAs who built this thing almost 15 years ago must have insisted on SQL Server 2005 so I was the proud owner of one of the few Windows servers on our side of the business. After three months of wrangling with the report I was able to get it off of the Microsoft stack just before the Windows sysadmins decided it was time to pull the plug on this long forgotten and neglected Windows Server 2003 system.

Understanding the Lightning Network: how it works and why it sucks

Bitcoin engineers face a future where rising transaction fees price users out of using bitcoin for everyday commerce. There are a few solutions for lowering those fees and the latest, most hyped solution is the Lightning Network, a system built on a web of payment channels. I'll explain how payment channels work, how they can be put together to make the Lightning Network and show what this new economy looks like.

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1/26/15 Gil's LotD: LLVM Optimized Python

http://dev.stephendiehl.com/numpile/ Transform Python AST into LLVM IR for JIT execution.

12/4/14 Gil's LotD: Cornbread

http://localsustainability.streamshare.com/posts/13103 The history of cornbread in the South.

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12/3/14 Gil's LotD: Internet Mainframes Project

http://mainframesproject.tumblr.com/ Mainframe terminals available on the public internet.

12/2/14 Gil's LotD: WiFi signal propagation

http://jasmcole.com/2014/08/25/helmhurts/ Modeling the propagation of WiFi signals in an apartment to find the perfect router location.

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