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    Why is it no one learns Fortran or COBOL anymore?

    300,000 line numerical programs with no user interface are portable, no matter what language they're written in. FORTRAN got to the position it's in because all high-end compiler work was focused on making FORTRAN run fast on vector machines. These days, all compiler work is focused on...
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    Recommended Text Editors for Code

    vi (or clones: vim). Trivia: vi was written by Bill Joy, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, and [co-] creator of NFS, UltraSPARC, and Java.
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    Linux vs BSD (Please no flame war)

    Although my preference is BSD, then commercial Unix, then Linux, I will admit that for the vast majority of uses, the choice of Linux or BSD is a matter of taste. There are technical differences, but they're subtle. The question is which style of configuration & administration do you prefer...
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    Why Low Level Format?

    You can change the sector size when you reformat. Some exotic systems (Clariion RAID arrays are a famous example) use a weird sector size. The tearing-up-the-highway example is very good. Reformating actually lays out where the tracks & sectors go, so it's just like building a new road.
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    I'm tired.......I need something new and invigorating!

    Ah... is that (/usr/home) true of all Linuxes? I'm used to /home being a mount point by itself. (My /home at the moment is a pair of mirrored drives.) Irix likes /usr/people.
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    Linux: Spyware, Adware, & Viruses?

    Yeah, early SunOS was BSD. They switched to SysV with SunOS 5, and it was a complete switch, not just added SysVisms. Solaris 1 is SunOS 4 (BSD), all the later versions are SunOS 5 (SysV). So - "Solaris 8" is technically "SunOS 5.8". The distinction between SunOS and Solaris is really just...
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    Linux: Spyware, Adware, & Viruses?

    I actually own a "BSD OR DEATH" t-shirt. (I can't really wear it anymore though, since my main machines are Solaris & Irix.)
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    Computers Ive Owned

    It was an RS/6000 MCA card. Painfully rare & expensive... or free, if you wait long enough.
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    Outputting Voltages?

    I use an interface box from Prairie Digital. The only problem is speed - it talks ASCII commands over a 9600 bps serial line to the host - which makes it slow, but *incredibly* easy to control. I bought mine to control some lights & other gadgetry in an art installation at the Whitney...
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    Computers Ive Owned

    I paid $200 for a *used* 10 megabit ethernet card once. AARRGG. I have some ethernet-over-fiber (FOIRL) hardware that was obscenely expensive when it was new. Fiber is cool.
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    Computers Ive Owned

    Macintosh (original 128K ram, 400k floppy, no hard drive) 286 3B2/300 (mid-80s AT&T multi-user Unix system) 3B2/400 VAXstation-3100 (desktop version of the popular minicomputer) RS/6000 Powerserver 930 (Monsterous 220-volt server - 1st generation POWER processor, the ancestor of PowerPC.)...
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    Computers Ive Owned

    Ok - I was just hunting around a bit, since I can never keep this stuff straight - the Nova was DG's original 16 bit mini. Then they came out with the Eclipse, which was also 16 bit. Then there was a project, codenamed "Eagle" which was a 32 bit version of the Eclipse. That's the MV/8000...
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    Computers Ive Owned

    Minicomputers are great fun. A friend of mine collections DG gear. He has a few Novas and... I think an Eagle? They're very hard to get. If you're interested in aquiring a fridge- sized mini, I'd suggest a DEC PDP-11 as the easiest to aquire. They also come in a very wide range of sizes - an...
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    Sata Raid 1 Vs. SCSI Raid 5??

    It seems to me that your question is Escalade versus Highpoint, not RAID1 versus RAID5. The question of performance really depends on what you're doing. What size files, how many users, what kind of LAN, etc. How hard are you pushing the existing system?
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    To raid or not to Raid

    1+0 is better, at least when you get into bigger arrays. If you stripe first, then mirror (0+1), then any single drive failure will take out one half of your mirror, and a failure of any drive in the remaining stripe will lose your data. If you mirror first, then stripe across the pairs...
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    How good is Raid...really?

    Do you have any experience with old Clariion arrays?
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    IBM claims to have the world's fastest supercomputer.

    Theoretically, all computers are capable of the exact same calculations. There's no calculations this computer can do that your PC can't do. However, in practice, the difference between a job taking a day to run versus taking a year to run makes the difference between what's considered...
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    How good is Raid...really?

    Generally, the claims that RAID0 isn't fast actually have nothing whatsoever to do with RAID. The claim is that you don't need faster disk IO.
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    How good is Raid...really?

    RAID1 read performance actually goes up, because reads can be split between the drives. But I can't imagine that would be a factor for anyone choosing RAID1.
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    A good book

    There was a long period of shell experimentation back in the 80s, but it's really all boiled down to this: scripting: sh interactive: bash/ksh/etc You really just need to learn sh scripting. Also - shell scripting is a *TERRIBLE* way to learn programming. As a language it's really really ugly.
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    Linux - determing which interface is activated at start up

    Rmove them both from wherever you're specifying that they try dhcp - hostname.[interface], or wherever it is on your distro. Then write a script, /etc/init-lan-connection that either tries both with a short timeout, or checks the battery status, or prompts you for a response, and stick a...
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    Installing linux w/out disks

    I believe the question is: can you install Linux to one partition, from ISO files on another partition of the same drive, which is probably a Windows filesystem. Interesting question.
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    4 very quick linux command questions

    1: To make a file show up in a directory under a different name, or just in a different directory, you make a "link" to it, using "ln". 2: chmod is best used in octal, but that's confusing. Read the man page a few more times. 3. "file" will attempt to identify what's in a file. Some...
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    double click to close windows

    You can run KDE with a different window manager though, right? Most X window managers can let you do anything you want with clicking on various bits of windows.
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    ". ./" Whats that?

    If the two machines are set up to trust each other, on a private LAN, you can use rsh: $ rsh remote-machine command blah blah blah You can even pipe to & from rsh invocations.
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    for a slow computer, wich Linux to choose?

    Using a lightweight window manager & desktop environment will make a huge difference.
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    To raid or not to Raid

    I actually have a six disk RAID0 array running at the moment. The chance of me losing the data there is very high, but I only use it for work space. I write little source files, get tens of thousands of large intermediate files, and then a small final file. I copy the source & final file...
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    Unix System Programming

    Parse it and call exec[...]() yourself, instead of using system() to do all the work. Writing a shell is a fantastic way to learn about unix's inner workings - I wrote one when I was in college, then a better one when I got out, which I actually used as my main shell for several years...
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    Why cant I rm -rf / my system?

    Actually, it was: cd / rm -rf * That worked. cd / rm -rf . Didn't work.
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    Why cant I rm -rf / my system?

    I had to do this yesterday. rm -rf /* worked under AIX. (Giving a system away, want them to do a clean OS install. Not the best way to do it, but acceptable, given that I trust the recipient.)
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    ". ./" Whats that?

    "../" is up one directory, but ". ./[something]", assuming that space isn't a typo, means "execute [something], which you will find in the current directory, and use the current shell, don't spawn a subshell like you normally would". Generally that's used if the script needs to set...
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    /bin/sh: can't access tty; job control turned off

    I don't know much Linux, but under every version of Unix I've dealt with, /dev/tty is a special device that means "my tty" to whatever process tries to open it. (Dates back to when a unix box was the size of a vending machine, and had a few dozen people logged in on serial lines from text...
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    Dual processor boards.

    Sun making PCs is so depressing.
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    Caching DNS server on OpenBSD?

    daemontools drove me away from djbdns too. I've been meaning to play with bind on openbsd, and just haven't gotten around to it. I've been told using bind as a cache is its default behaviour, and it's little more then enabling it.
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    HW RAID5 Ultra2 vs SW RAID5 U160

    I think software RAID5 on that setup will be unnoticable overhead.
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    USB Thumbdrives > Floppies

    I try to do all my file transfers (ie: printing at Kinko's) via a temp directory on my web site.
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    To raid or not to Raid

    What do you use your computer for? Where do you see a performance increase?