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Error, Learn, Repeat

I have a happy habit of breaking computers and fixing them, sometimes hardware; sometimes software… and useful experience then for giving confidence of what is possible and where the limits lie. Having done the lego that is full build of a PC a while back, I find hardware less of a mystery but still get surprised every so often at what is possible to do simply.

So, a few lessons from the recent past that might be of interest to others…

Lesson 1: Ethernet cables and switches - I thought was simple and no mystery but having tidied up found everything was a bit slow and discovered there really is a difference between Cat 5 cables and Cat 5e! Cat 5 are 100 Mb/s … Cat 5e are 1000 Mb/s. Check your cables and switches… I still had a couple of 10/100 Mb/zzz switches :o
to note: There are now Cat6/7 but unless your pushing over Gigabit/s with the network ports, I can’t see reason for those… and Cat8 is not something for outside server rooms… but amazing to see such speeds are possible.

Lesson 2: Gigabyte Brix - I’m not one for recommending products as so rare they are surprising but the quality of Gigabyte Brix is worth a shout… mini computers that are the size of a coffee mat… under £1000, you can get 64GB RAM 8xi7 CPU and 3.5TB and that’s before you plug into the USB3.1 - USBs are getting fast!! No GPU of course but even the i3 16GB chews something like AndroidStudio like knife through butter.

Lesson 2b: TigerVNC is awesome as ssh view into the mini pc that is Brix. So, old laptop gets a new lease of life being a flat client for the brick.

Lesson 3: Parallel processing across multiple computers. Today I learn there is GNU parallel with option then to melt CPUs and chew as much RAM as is available, and similar in xargs, that allows then for splitting of large tasks into many threads on many computers.

All amazing to me being of an age where I remember pixels as big as my fist and 32Kb was something special!



My life just improved a little!


A post was merged into an existing topic: Coronavirus Mega Thread


I’ve yet to understand why Firefox doesn’t have NoScript addon by default. Even wide open with advice to user on “how to look after yourself better”.

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I’ve tried using NoScript a couple of times, but I always give up. Every single page uses scripts nowadays and configuring NoScript just feels like too much work. Do you have suggestions for lists of trusted scripts that could be imported to do that automatically?


It’s a one time pain … and comes with a run of common sites enabled by default… which I always remove for wondering they just include sponsors of NoScript. I had no issues using it or guessing which domains to allow temporarily…

Allowing sites then is a one time cumulative action, that is worth the pain.

With power comes responsibility… :thinking:

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Free lift tickets 13 March!!
Plenty of resorts spread out, I will be on Copper Mountain if you can make it!


A bit rich coming from the original state-controlled broadcaster. Nobody does hypocrisy quite like the Brits.


Lin Clark with a recent WebAssembly security overview and some poignant examples of why the WebAssembly security model is a perfect fit for Safe Network App ecosystem. Bytcode Alliance after beta, perhaps?


Something to either keep you amused or scare the hell out of your partner, possibly both, during long periods of Covid-19 self isolation. Written in Rust:


Anther one is Plague Inc. Played it some years ago and very addictive trying to wipe out humanity


There is hope for us yet.


This one must be a bit different.

Screenshot_2020-02-28 Heather Burns on Twitter One of the things I love about working in the vipers' nest that is post-Brex...

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