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We must be geeks

...ashacat and I have something akin to a five year IT plan for the house. The outline is something like this: move (grudgingly) away from Windows 2000[1] to Windows XP as our standard desktop OS over the next three years. Ride XP until Vista's successor comes out.[2] Evaluate Vista's successor OS for possible adoption, and pick a new desktop OS.[3] We are most surely skipping Vista.

A second wing of that plan involves the household's servers. That plan can be summed up in one word: defenestration. Of our four servers (Anna, Bingo, Solstice, and Wixer) three out of the four were running Linux (Slackware 9.1 or 10.1) already. Bingo, the household file server, was running Windows 2000 Server. As of today it's now a Slackware 10.1 box.

I decided that, as I had just overhauled Solstice, it was time to give Bingo a renovation. I picked up a pair of Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM 500 GB (!!) SATA drives and scrounged a pair of 9 GB SCSIs. The two SCSIs and an old AMI RAID card gave me a redundant boot drive. The two 1/2 TB SATA drives are paired as a software RAID 1. Add in Samba and away we go.

I spent a chunk of the morning hacking up a shell script to automate Bingo's backups: with over 125 GB of data, it's too big to dump to tape, so I've been using a pair of USB 2.0 external drives in rotation. I think I have the script squared away. I'll run it manually tonight and then stick it in cron. Given that I never had a "real" backup tool (like Backup Exec) under Windows, moving to Linux (where I have cron, find, cpio, tar and happy shell-scripting tools) I could probably hack up a script to do nightly differential backups. All I'd need to do is remember to change USB drives once a week. Heck, for that I can have Bingo email me a reminder. :-)

[1] With Windows Vista out, MS will be withdrawing support for Windows 2000 (now planned for 7/13/2010)
[2] Same deal as Windows 2000 today ... now that Windows Vista has shipped, Windows XP will have a limited window of ongoing support, then *poof*. Quoth Microsoft "Mainstream support will end two years after the next version of this product is released. Extended support will end five years after mainstream support ends." That would be 2014 for those of you too lazy to do the math.
[3] We're assuming that the selection will be either Mac OS/X or some flavor of Linux (Ubuntu?). But, you never know -- MS might get their collective head out of their ass and 'Vista++' might not be the abomination that Vista is.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 3rd, 2007 01:11 pm (UTC)
Re: I am, therefore I geek!
I'm impressed; most people don't have it that together.

We are Virgos, watch us plan! :-)

Just for giggles, why avoid Vista?

In a word, trust -- as expressed via Windows Vista's DRM archetecture. I'm no raging Internet pirate, but I am a firm believer in the concept of fair use. At least 90% of the "security enhancements" in Vista are aimed at you -- the user of the system -- to keep you from doing anything "untoward" with licensed content.[1] The overhead imposed by Vista's DRM in terms of system resource requirements and new hardware design requirements is simply nuts. Yes, harware performance will eventually catch up and surpass what is required to meet Vista's demands for end-to-end encryption of "premium content"[2], but do I want to deal with this? No, I want an OS that implicityly trusts me -- the system owner -- to be the most authoritative thing on the box. Then there are the issues of performance and real security...

[1] The other 10% seems to be centered around ineffective "feel good" measures like calling the graphical equivalent of RED ALERT!! and asking "Are you sure you want to run this program?" every time you try to install something.

[2] Eg: keeping video encrypted from the Blu-Ray DVD all the way through to the graphics card, and only showing it in full resolution if the display device (LCD, projector, etc) can certify to the graphics card that it is a DRM-compliant device.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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