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Softpanorama Bulletin
Vol 23, No.12 (December, 2011)

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Old News ;-)

[Dec 28, 2011] Intel working to keep the netbook alive with "Cedar Trail" Atom platform

"...reduced power consumption in spite of the faster GPU - 5 W for the 1.6 GHz N2600, 8 W for the 1.86 GHz N2800, compared to 10 W for the 1.66 GHz Pineview N570"

The new chips are the Atom N2600 and N2800, based on the Intel's third-generation Atom architecture, codenamed Cedarview. The Cedar Trail-M platform pairs one of these processors with company's pre-existing NM10 chipset. As with the previous generation Pineview processor, each dual core, four thread chip integrates a GPU. For Cedarwood, the processor is based on a PowerVR design. Cedarview's GPU offers twice the performance of Pineview's. Cedarview adds to this a dedicated media engine for hardware-accelerated decoding of motion video, including support for 1080p H.264.

Cedarview is built on Intel's 32 nm process, compared to the 45 nm process used in Pineview. This allows for reduced power consumption in spite of the faster GPU-5 W for the 1.6 GHz N2600, 8 W for the 1.86 GHz N2800, compared to 10 W for the 1.66 GHz Pineview N570. The new processors also include more aggressive power-saving features than their predecessors. Intel is targeting system runtimes of up to 10 hours, with standby times measured in weeks. The company also claims that systems using the slower N2600 part will draw so little power that they can be passively cooled-no need for fans.

Desktop-oriented Cedarview parts, D2500 and D2700, started shipping in the third quarter of 2011

[Dec 21, 2011] /dev/dm-0 -

fdisk -l output in case you are using LVM contains many messages like

Disk /dev/dm-0 doesn't contain a valid partition table

This has been very helpful to me. I found this thread by Goggle on dm-0 because I also got the no partition table error message.

Here is what I think:

When the programs fdisk and sfdisk are run with the option -l and no argument, e.g. # /sbin/fdisk -l

they look for all devices that can have cylinders, heads, sectors, etc.

If they find such a device, they output that information to standard output and they output the partition table to standard output. If there is no partition table, they have an error message (also standard output).
One can see this by piping to 'less', e.g.
# /sbin/fdisk -l | less

/dev/dm-0 ... /dev/dm3 on my fedora C5 system seem to be device mappers associated with LVM.

RAID might also require device mappers.

[Dec 20, 2011] Top 20 Windows 7 Tips - Page 2 PCWorld

Open a command prompt at any folder

Command prompt fans will welcome this tip. With it, when you're in Windows Explorer, you can open a command prompt to any folder. This tip does exactly what the Windows XP PowerToy "Open Command Window Here" does.

To use it, hold down the Shift key and right-click a folder, then choose "Open command window here" from the context menu that appears. (Note that this tip doesn't work in the Documents folder.)

The User Account Control security produces constant warning messages asking for permission to continue many operations. You can still tweak warning if you consider them overboard:

Here's how to turn UAC on or off, and make it less or more intrusive than the default:

1. Go to the Control Panel --> User Accounts and Family Safety.

2. Click User Accounts, then click Change User Account Control settings.

3. From the screen that appears, use the slider to select the level of protection you want. Here are the four levels and what they mean:

Always notify me. Think of this as UAC Classic. It works like Vista's UAC: When you make changes to your system, when software is installed or when a program tries to make a change to your system, an annoying prompt appears.

Default -- Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer. This is, obviously, the default; make a change yourself and UAC leaves you alone. When a program makes a change, a prompt appears and your desktop goes dark, just like it does in Vista. Otherwise, UAC sits there silently.

Notify me only when programs try to make changes to my computer (do not dim my desktop). This setting is identical to the default setting, with one difference: It won't dim your desktop so that you only see the UAC prompt asking you to take action. This presents a slightly elevated security risk over the default setting, because theoretically a program could allow a malicious program to interfere with the UAC prompt.

Never notify me when: In this one, UAC is completely turned off. This is, of course, an insecure option and not recommended for most users.

After you make the selection, click OK. Depending on the selection you made, you may need to restart your system for it to take effect.

[Dec 16, 2011] Acronis restore story

This is about Windows but the lesson is valuable in any case

If you are not careful you can wipe out your C disk performing a restore of the Windows C partition image to a USB drive, as selection of bootable recovery image somehow redirects recovery to disk C. The warning sign is when Acronis True Image wants to reboot computer to proceed.

If you are brave enough to go past this point, then despite the fact that you explicitly made your target different from bootable drive you need to face unpleasant consequences -- your C partition is now gone.

You can imagine your surprise with the results. I once did that. Thanks God there was no critical data on this wiped C drive. I already migrate it to a new PC. My first reaction was to throw this garbage program where it belongs. But the problem is that other similar programs are not much better and now I am trained not to trust Acronis and probably can do better in future. Another factor is that if you don't use Acronis True Image often you forget about it capabilities (in this case the write decision would be to use cloning of the disk operating, not restoration from the image but the problem was that the disk and image were slightly different and I want the content of the image not the content of the disk.

Still right way would be to do first clone of the disk and then perform restoration of the image to this drive. As I don't use complex operations with Acronis often, I forgot about that and was punished. And believe me you jaw really drops in such cases when you see the results...

AIX/370 cluster story

Another time, our AIX/370 cluster managed to trash the /etc/passwd file. All 4 machines in the cluster lost their copies within milliseconds. In the next few minutes, I discovered that (a) the nightly script that stashed an archive copy hadn't run the night before and (b) that our backups were pure zorkumblattum as well. (The joys of running very beta-test software).

I finally got saved when I realized the cluster had *5* machines in it - a lone PS/2 had crashed the night before, and failed to reboot. So it had a propogated copy of /etc/passwd as of the previous night.

Go to that PS/2, unplug it's Ethernet.. reboot it. Copy /etc/passwd to floppy, carry to a working (?) PS/2 in the cluster, tar it off, let it propogate to other cluster sites. Go back, hook up the
crashed PS/2s ethernet.. All done.

Only time in my career that having beta-test software crash a machine saved me from bugs in beta-test software. ;)

Bad backup story

Once I was in the position of upgrading a Gould PN/9080. I was a good sysadmin, took a backup before I started, since the README said that they had changed the I-node format slightly. I do the upgrade, and it goes with unprecidented (for Gould) smoothness. mkfs all the user partitions, start restoring files. Blam.

I/O error on the tape. All 12 tapes. Both Sets of backups.

However, 'dd' could read the tape just fine.

36 straight hours later, I finally track it down to a bad chip on the tape controller board - the chip was involved in the buffer/convert from a 32-bit backplane to a 8-bit I/O cable. Every 4 bytes, the 5th bit would reverse sense. 20 mins later, I had a program written, and 'dd 3 my_twiddle 3 restore -f -' running.

Moral: Always *verify* the backups - the tape drive didn't report a write error, because what it *received* and what went on the tape were the same....

I'm sure I have other sagas, but those are some of the more memorable ones I've had...

Valdis Kletnieks
Computer Systems Engineer
Virginia Tech

"on-the-job training"

From: [email protected] (Bob Arnold)
Organization: Ask Computer Systems Inc., Ingres Division, Alameda CA 94501

Many moons ago, in my first sysadmin job, learning via "on-the-job training", I was in charge of a UNIX box who's user disk developed a bad block. (Maybe you can see it already ...)

The "format" man page seemed to indicate that it could repair bad blocks. (Can you see it now?) I read the man page very carefully. Nowhere did it indicate any kind of destructive behavior.

I was brave and bold, not to mention boneheaded, and formatted the user disk.


The good news:
1) The bad block was gone.
2) I was about to learn a lot real fast :-)
The bad news:
1) The user data was gone too.
2) The users weren't happy, to say the least.

Having recently made a full backup of the disk, I knew I was in for a miserable all day restore. Why all day? It took 8 hours to dump that disk to 40 floppies. And I had incrementals (levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, which were another sign of my novice state) to layer on top of the full.

Only it got worse. The floppy drive had intermittent problems reading some of the floppies. So I had to go back and retry to get the files which were missed on the first attempt.

This was also a port of Version 7 UNIX (like I said, this was many moons ago). It had a program called "restor", primordial ancestor of BSD's "restore". If you used the "x" option to extract selected files (the ones missed on earlier attempts), "restor" would use the *inode number* as the name of the extracted files. You had to move the extracted files to their correct locations yourself (the man page said to write a shellscript to do this :-(). I didn't know much about shell scripts at the time, but I learned a lot more that week.

Yes, it took me a full week, including the weekend, maybe 120 hours or more, to get what I could (probably 95% of the data) off the backups.

And there were a few ownership and permissions problems to be cleaned up after that.

Once burned twice shy. This is the only truly catastrophic mistake I've ever made as a sysadmin, I'm glad to be able to say.

I kept a copy of my memo to the users after I had done what I could. Reading it over now is sobering indeed. I also kept my extensive notes on the restore process - thank goodness I've never had to use them since.

1) The "man" pages don't tell you everything you need to know.
2) Don't do backups to floppies.
3) Test your backups to make sure they are readable.
4) Handle the format program (and anything else that writes directly to disk devices) like nitroglycerine.
5) Strenuously avoid systems with inadequate backup and restore programs wherever possible (thank goodness for "restore" with an "e"!).
6) If you've never done sysadmin work before, take a formal training class.

Well, I haven't thought about that one in a while! I can laugh about it now ....


Some lessons about cutting costs

From: [email protected] (Bob Arnold)
Organization: Ask Computer Systems Inc., Ingres Division, Alameda CA 94501

In article <[email protected]> I wrote:

>I was brave and bold, not to mention boneheaded, and formatted the user disk.

> U rest of story deleted ... Bob ~

> 1) The "man" pages don't tell you everything you need to know.
> 2) Don't do backups to floppies.
> 3) Test your backups to make sure they are readable.
> 4) Handle the format program (and anything else that writes directly
> to disk devices) like nitroglycerine.
> 5) Strenuously avoid systems with inadequate backup and restore
> programs wherever possible (thank goodness for "restore" with
> an "e"!).
> 6) If you've never done sysadmin work before, take a formal
> training class.

Just thought of a few more related morals (managers pay attention now):

7) You get what you pay for.
8) There's no substitute for experience.
9) It's a lot less painful to learn from someone else's experience than your own (that's what this thread is about, I guess :-) )

Part of the story I should tell here. My employer had been looking for a way to cut costs. I was 15% cheaper than their previous sysadmin so they let him go and hired me. It wasn't as nasty as it sounds, since they kept him on as a consultant at 4 hours a week and he ended up with a better job too (so did I). Everyone benefited in the end. I leaned heavily on his consulting, which was great. He was older and wiser, and probably had his own horror stories to tell. After this one, so did I!

[Dec 12, 2011] EXOPC Slate

For $399 this is essentially the same specs as Dell Duo. There is also a community installing alternate OSes on it - including Ubuntu and Meego. []
Microsoft Store Online

PROCESSOR : Intel Atom Pineview-M N450 1.66 GHz, L2 cache 512 KB/1.66 GHz

MEMORY : 2 GB DDR2 667 MHz


OPERATING SYSTEM : Windows 7 Home Premium

PC TYPE : Slate


MEDIA DRIVE : Memory card reader (SDHC), supports up to 32 GB cards

AUDIO : 2 built-in 1.5-watt speakers, Realtek High Definition Audio

VIDEO : Intel GMA 3150 with shared graphics memory

PORTS : 2 USB 2.0 • Headphone output • Microphone input • Mini-HDMI

BATTERY : Lithium-ion (4 hours)*

CAMERA : Integrated 1.3-megaixel webcam (fixed focus)

WIRELESS : 802.11b/g/n

BLUETOOTH : Yes (2.1 + EDR)

DIMENSIONS : 11.6 x 7.7 x 0.55 in (294.64 x 195.58 x 13.97 mm)

WEIGHT : 2.09 lbs (0.94 kg)

COLOR : Black

OTHER : Model number: 58318/SLATE SSD64GB For more technical specifications, please see manufacturer's website.

[Dec 12, 2011] init - What are the pros-cons of Upstart and systemd

Stack Exchange

Saw systemd mentioned on Arch General ML today. So read up on it. The H Online as ever is a great source for Linux Technology and is where I found my place to start researching Systemd as SysV Init and Upstart alternative. However the H Online article (in this case) isn't a very useful read, the real use behind it is it gives links to the useful reads.

The real answer is in the announcement of systemd. Which gives some crucial points of what's wrong with SysV initd, and what new systems need to do

It's major plan to do this seems to be to start services only as they're needed, and to start a socket for that service, so that the service that needs it can connect to the created socket long before the daemon is fully online. Apparently a socket will retain a small amount of buffered data meaning that no data will be lost during the lag, it will be handled as soon as the daemon is online.

Another part of the plan seems to be to not serialize filesystems, but instead mount those on demand as well, that way you're not waiting on your /home/, etc (not to be confused with /etc) to mount, and/or fsck when you could be starting daemons as / and /var/ etc, are already mounted. It said it was going to use autofs to this end.

It also has the goal of creating .desktop style init descriptors as a replacement for scripts. This will prevent tons of slow sh processes and even more forks of processes from things like sed and grep that are often used in shell scripts.

They also plan not to start some services until they are asked for, and perhaps even shut them off if they are no longer needed, bluetooth module, and daemon are only needed when you're using a bluetooth device for example. Another example given is the ssh daemon. This is the kind of thing that inetd is capable of. Personally I'm not sure I like this, as it might mean latency when I do need them, and in the case of ssh I think it means a possible security vulnerability, if my inetd were compromised the whole system would be. However, I've been informed that using this to breach this system is infeasible and that if I want to I can disable this feature per service and in other ways.

Another feature is apparently going to be the capability to start based on time events, either at a regularly scheduled interval or at a certain time. This is similar to what crond and atd do now. Though I was told it will not support user "cron". Personally this sounds like the most pointless thing. I think this was written/thought up by people who don't work in multiuser environments, there isn't much purpose to user cron if you're the only user on the system, other than not running as root. I work on multiuser systems daily, and the rule is always run user scripts as the user. But maybe I don't have the foresight they do, and it will in no way make it so that I can't run crond or atd, so it doesn't hurt anyone but the developers I suppose.

The big disadvantage of systemd is that some daemons will have to be modified in order to take full advantage of it. They'll work now, but they'd work better if they were written specifically for its socket model.

It seems for the most part the systemd's peoples problem with upstart is the event system, and that they believe it to not make sense or be unnecessary. Perhaps their words put it best.

Or to put it simpler: the fact that the user just started D-Bus is in no way an indication that NetworkManager should be started too (but this is what Upstart would do). It's right the other way round: when the user asks for NetworkManager, that is definitely an indication that D-Bus should be started too (which is certainly what most users would expect, right?).
A good init system should start only what is needed, and that on-demand. Either lazily or parallelized and in advance. However it should not start more than necessary, particularly not everything installed that could use that service.

As I've already said this is discussed much more comprehensively in the announcement of systemd.

Well one thing most of you forgot is the organisation of processes in cgroups. [this requires the kernel to have the cgroup stuff enabled -- NNB]

So if Systemd started a thing it will put this thing in its own cgroup and there is no (unpriviledged) mean for the process to escape that cgroup. This has several things as consequence:

[Dec 12, 2011] My Seagate Free Agent GoFlex 1TB External USB HDD has got erased ...

10-17-2011 |


I was having two seagate hard disks. One is 8GB USB Hard disk and another one is 1TB USB Free Agent GoFlex Ultra-Portable Drive For PC & Mac.

My problem till yesterday was that first one (8GB) hard disk was not working properly. Even when it connect to system, it was not recognized in any system. One of my friend suggest me to visit seagates websites and find the solution for that. Yesterday I visit seagate's website and I download "SeaTools For Windows " software. When I start to use this software, my both hard disks was connected to my system and I wrongly select the good one (1TB) hard disk and select advanced tests and then select USB Erase Tasks and then Full Disk Erase option. It was running for around 9 hours and suddenly I came to know that I have select wrong website but till that time all my data was lost. I just wanted to know that can I recover that data which got erased by mistake?

For data recovery, I have already purchased seagate's software "File Recovery For Windows". Can I get all my data from that software? It was important data in that hard disk but due to my mistake, it got erased. Do you have any solution for that? I will be thankfull to you if you have any solution. Kindly reply me urgently.

copnas 10-17-2011 at 08:40:16 PM

Hi Pritish,

I would recomend you getdataback it makes realy miracles.
If you are not statisfied with seagates file-recovery program give it a try,
you will be surprised.
As for :if you can get all of your data back, it depends on how "damaged" your files are.
I experienced that I got almost all of my data back after one or two formats.
I realy hope you will prove me wrong but after the Full erase of your hdd it will be inpossible
to get all of your data back.

Message edited by copnas on 10-17-2011 at 08:47:13 PM

Reply to copnas

pritish 10-24-2011 at 11:34:51 AM

Hi Copnas,
Thanks for your reply. Are you talking about getdataback - ? If not, then please provide me its web address.

copnas 10-26-2011 at 07:52:03 AM

Actually I was talking about this:

pritish 11-03-2011 at 01:15:51 PM

Thanks Copnas for your answer. But this software also not giving all data back.

hang-the-9 11-03-2011 at 03:16:38 PM

Best answer

There is no software that will restore everything.

Recuva is a good one to try also, but the issue is that you ran more than just a simple format on the drive. The option you picked sounds like it actually wipes the data off the disk, or it would not be running for 9 hours. The only type of erase that runs that long is one that makes the data almost impossible to recover. And when I say "almost", I don't mean you'd be able to do it yourself. You'd have to bring it in to a data recovery specialist to work on, which would be pretty pricy.

pritish 11-05-2011 at 09:45:00 AM

Hi hang-the-9,
Thanks a lot for your suggestion. Yes, I also feel the same. Can you please give me few names of data recovery specialists? Also give me rough idea about the price. I'll be thank full to you for that.

hang-the-9 11-08-2011 at 03:45:04 AM

pritish wrote :

Hi hang-the-9,
Thanks a lot for your suggestion. Yes, I also feel the same. Can you please give me few names of data recovery specialists? Also give me rough idea about the price. I'll be thank full to you for that.

Need to find something in your area, I'm guessing you're not in the US based on your username.

Prices can get high depending on what needs to get done, would be a few hundred dollars to start with and can head up from there.

Where I work we spent about over $4,500 recovering data from 2 500gig drives, but that was mechanical failure. Your disk wipe could be more expensive, they'd have to read the old magnetic signature of the files, if anything remains on the disk after the wipe, bit by bit.

[Dec 12, 2011] New HP TouchPad Wi-Fi 32 GB 9.7-Inch Tablet Computer - Glossy Black...

Prices are around $275 for discontinued product HP TouchPad Wi-Fi 32GB Refurbished. Dell Duo and EXOPC with better screens and Windows OS are around $400.

[Dec 12, 2011] Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1 TB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive STAA1000100 (Black)

The drive, especially piano black, looks very attractively. But, the construction feels cheap when compared to the metal of the standard Go series. It creaks a little just when holding it in your hands the plastic enclosure slightly bending under your fingers. Not a big deal.
I think the idea of detachable adapters is a good one. The other side of adapter that connected to the drive is just a regular SATA connection. And the adapter can be used for cloning of SATA drive or other similar purposes. I tried several drives and adapter behaves like regular SATA to USB adapter. Of course this is not approved by Seagate usage. With powered USB hub it might even be used for cloning 3.5" drives in case there is no other solution, but I did not tested that.
In my experience the drive provides sustained write speed of 25 MB/sec, slightly less then half of top USB 2.0 speed.
Also I think there are two problems with the drive that Seagate needs to address ASAP.
One problem that I experienced with this drive after a week of use is that it is not recognized on Dell D620 laptop running windows XP SP4. Neither laptop "native ports" recognize the drive, nor additional powered from separate source ports on the docking station. If I connect it to the D620 docking station USB 2.0 port the Windows XP reports power surge and disables the port. But it was recognized OK on newer Dell E6320 laptop with Windows 7 SP1 both on laptop internal and docking station ports. It might well be that the drive needs an additional, second cable with dual USB connections as it looks like one USB port sometimes is unable to power the drive on startup (see below). I used to have old 100 GB Seagate drive and it was shipped with such a cable.
The second problem with the drive is that it is supplied without a regular eSata adapter. such an adapter costs peanuts to produce and should be included with the drive making it more attractive for those who have two types of ports. This way Seagate can distinguish itself from the crowd. Otherwise the idea of changeable adapter which makes the drive technologically more flexible then, say, similar WD 2.5" external USB drives is hidden so deep that many people just do not suspect about existence of this feature. Most of them will never buy another adapter (and they cost $20 each). And any enclosure the provide bother eSATA and USB beats this drive for advanced users.
Currently Seagate provides only Powered eSata ("FreeAgent GoFlex Upgrade Cable Powered eSATA - STAE103") which is a pretty rare type of port. It costs $20 on Amazon. Most laptop have a regular eSata (without power) connection. So you are out of luck unless you want to go through the hoops.
Until those shortcomings are rectified I think that previous reviewer is right when he stated that this drive probably makes sense only for those who have USB 3.0 ports. Everybody else might be better served with other 2.5" USB 2.0 external drive models or buy enclosure and a drive (it's not big deal to assemple them).
One other thought. Several reviewers complained about reliability of the drive. Seagate generally has a reputation of rock-solid drives (it produced lion share of drives for servers, although definitely components used are not the same). One generic recommendation is reformat the drive that you get. It often make sense to create two or more smaller partitions instead of one large. In view of my experience with D620 laptop, I think some complains might be related to the fact that their USB ports do not have sufficient power for the drive. If this is true, then running drive via USB hub with a separate power supply can help to improve stability.

Roy Wiegmann (Dallas, TX) - See all my reviews

Seagate STAA500102 is compact but with some shortcomings, June 10, 2010

One advantage with the Seagate STAA500102 FreeAgent GoFlex is that it can be upgraded to USB 3, Firewire 800 or eSATA. This option to customize my hard drive is appreciable. I have a MacBook Pro so bought a Firewire 800 adapter for it. Though it is USB 3 compatible, the adapter is not included in the package and the USB 2.0 cable that is included is really too short.

I guess the software is pre-configured for Windows machines. Being a Mac user, I had some problems with the software installation, which was solved after customer support.

The design is good and being a portable device is a benefit.

Being compact it is really nice.

1.0 out of 5 stars February 1, 2011

IT Man - See all my reviews

Does not work for E-Sata connection and Seagate is not going to fix that,

I like most have a Laptop/Workstation these expensive laptops come with E-Sata much faster than USB 2.0 connections. I bought the drive with the intent of using the E-Sata connection. I continues to drop this connection after 15 minutes of connect time which makes it worthless. Visit Seagate website support to see the POSTS. I read some of these reviews on this website and decided to buy the drive, Just wish someone would have made this defect known.

David Felder - See all my reviews

eSata users - Read the fine print, June 22, 2011

First of all, the drive mounted and performs perfectly out of the box. This is not intended as a negative review of the product, but more as a warning to read the fine print.

I bought this with the intention of bringing video editing work home from the office to work on. For that task, eSata speed is a requirement. I use an HP desktop in the office and a Dell XPS laptop at home.

It turns out that the eSata adapter cable, which is an additional item to purchase, does not work from my PC. It requires a powered eSata port. Now, if I had carefully read the description I would have seen that. Unfortunately, I saw eSata adapter for 10X speed and bought it. Now it turns out I can only use the drive at USB 2.0 speeds on the desktop which definitely puts a damper on my plan.

It's not Seagate's fault - I'm just putting this in as a warning to other users that might have the same idea in mind.

lasfk - See all my reviews

Format this drive first to avoid issues with this drive!!, March 4, 2011

I was expecting this drive to be like a spare drive to back up files and store data on and allow me to edit some files as I wanted. I really was expecting it to work just like a jump drive does, but have a lot more storage space. I didn't want to have to plug it into a wall, you know, portable. I wanted to be able to take it to several computers I have at home and at work. What I found out after I placed my order was that these drives by Seagate have pre-installed software on them that once connected to your computer will ask you to load, after a two minute wait. If you install this software "Dashboard" and whatever else is there, you may have some of the issues like all of the other negative ones I read. YOU DON'T NEED THIS SOFTWARE, SO DO NOT INSTALL IT!!! Seagate must think that the only purpose to buy this drive is to do a back-up on one computer and to have it auto run every so often, hence their software. I personnaly am not interested in their software, especially everything I have read to date on it.

So I started by removing the software from the drive, then just using the drive as a back up and to copy some work files to. All seemed fine, then took to work and tried to update a file and found out the the whole drive is read only format, no update capabilities allowed from another machine. Did some more reading and discovered that if I Format the drive completly, (don't do the quick format) do a full format which will take about 1 hour per 100 Gig, so make sure you have plenty of time to do this. When your done the drive will be free of Seagate's software and read only formats for file updates. The drive will work just like a jump drive allowing you to take it from one computer to another, update files as you see fit, back up files and so get the picture.

I think if Seagate wants to keep their good name, they need to offer better instructions on their products and they should not pre-load this software on their drives. All of the issue, at least most of them, appear to be with this software and not really the drive itself. At least this is my finding after I performed this format, the drive is now what I expected to use it for.

So for a rating, out of the box, I give it a 1 STAR, because I had to figure this out, and spend 5+ hours to format the drive.

Rating after the format, I give it 5 STARS!

I hope others find this review helpful, as I am a little tech savy, but no comparison to most of you smart people out there.

Richard Schor "Sorry I bought it!" (Nashville, TN) - See all my reviews
Amazon has old stock!, January 5, 2011

A USB 3.0 package is available that is backward compatible with USB 2.0. If you are going to buy this drive... make sure that you buy the USB 3.0 version. Amazon does not carry it but most all other sources do. USB 3.0 will become the standard and getting the 3.0 version (really just a difference in the cable and attachment) will save money in the future... Amazon got me on this one... they won't get me again!

M. Green (Tucson, AZ) - See all my reviews

Liked old model (freeagent go) better, December 27, 2010

I ordered this as a replacement for my 500GB freeagent go that was stolen. I prefer the old version (freeagent go) over this newer model (freeagent go flex). While the go flex allows you to purchase different cables, this also means that there is an additional large plug-in piece on the drive that is not shown in the pictures and adds to the length. It is also not compatible with the docking station for the freeagent go because of this connector change.

I wish companies would take a lesson from Apple and retain consistent connectors for universal compatibility. My use of this drive is only for photo backup during travel so I have no need for the eSATA or USB 3.0 options, especially when you have to pay for additional connectors.

The case is also a shiny glossy plastic that attracts dust, finger prints and scratches. The old model had a matte metallic cover and was a 1/2" shorter from not having an additional connector. I would have bought the old model but it cost more even on the Seagate website.

[Dec 11, 2011] A Saturated Grey

Posted by Horst H. von Brand at Tue May 3 21:28:32 2011
@Y.Nemo: Benefit is that systemd is much more transparent, and easier to tweak (yes, "we all read shell scripts", but just look at the difference in having to read and understand 986 lines of shell to start up crond (854 in /etc/rc.d/init.d/functions, 132 in /etc/rc.d/init.d/crond proper) vs 11 lines in /lib/systemd/system/sshd.service (plus 19 in /lib/systemd/ssytem/, which is referenced by the above, for the terminally paranoid). And tweaking anything in some of the init scripts is something I've learned to never do, and that the hard way. Most of the intricacies in the functions is just abstracted away and handled by systemd itself, really handles dependencies (not just "(try to) start/stop stuff in this magically divined order on runlevel change" and leaves you helpless when starting/stopping stuff by hand) plus it groups the processes into groups for managing automatically among other goodies. It's vastly less complex to manage and can do things SysVinit can't even dream of, but also very different from what you (or I, for that matter) have ingrained.

Posted by Chris Cox at Wed May 4 00:46:25 2011
There are clearly pros and cons between sysvinit and newbies like upstart and systemd.

To me this isn't different from tar-balls vs. rpm vs. dpkg.

Is systemd a full on replacement of sysvinit ? Clearly no... but arguably yes if it allows fallback to sysvinit scripts. It's different. I view it like KDE4 vs. KDE3. Not a direct replacement of form and function, but rather something different.

The pains... the pain of change, especially something that branches out a bit from the scope of what sysvinit covered is that ISVs will have to update their installation documentation. Some things will become easier and some things will be more difficult.

systemd tries to solve a lot of age old problems... but you know, since they are "age old" people are used to working around those problems or have dealt with them long ago even with sysvinit.

There are advantages to arbitrary shell based scripting systems.... and it does afford the experienced end user the opportunity to "hack" a server back to health. While there are nice hooks for systemd, I do believe there will be unexpected quirks due to the added feature complexity. There's a REASON why openSUSE 11.4 does NOT use systemd by default... you can read their page about the items that FALL OUT (no easy answer) when switching to systemd.

So... YMMV. I think for simple things, systemd will work just fine. For software unknown to systemd, there could be problems.... but maybe not... just requires more effort to figure out how to implement the pieces missing/ignored/altered inside of systemd.

For those needing the additional features of systemd (with regards to service protection, reliability, etc.)... of course, systemd brings a LOT of good stuff to the table. The question is: How big of a problem was/is that? Or have we just been "dealing" with sysvinit and accepted its limitations? Are we truly happy with sysvinit? Or does it really frustrate us? IMHO, there's NOT a lot of sysvinit frustration out there. So... finding the TRUE benefits of systemd and SELLING everyone is the key. Showing people how the whole world will become much, much, much better with systemd. Right now... I'm not seeing it.

Make the sale. Decreased startup times... yes... we know that item... need more talking points, you know.. REAL life scenarios. We can say, "it'll restart your services"... but frankly, my servers never go down.... and I don't think I'm alone. In fact, if a service does crash out, do we REALLY want it to restart? Need to show a tangible REAL and wide spread benefit.... perhaps something that everyone will WANT/NEED that sysvinit simply CANNOT do... and then maybe you can make the sale.

Otherwise, we're replacing something well understood with something new just because we wanted to do that.

Posted by oiaohm at Wed May 4 08:54:37 2011
Fall out in OpenSuse 11.4 is really not having transition interface processing working. Not failures in systemd itself. Big one is chkconfig status for active service not matching systemd status for active service. Transition issue. Not unsolvable. Yes I have been through the page.

Really most of the time people I find calling for system v to init remain. Don't understand how many failures it is causing and how much its pissing off ISV's.

The dbus item that is complained about a lot I look forward to as a ISV.

Currently each distribution does there own tweaks on the system v init system to try to fix up limitations and issues it has. So as a ISV if I need to change a global setting simple as turning a service on. Ok what directory do I need to put that in. /etc/rc2.d or is that /etc/rc3.d or is that /etc/rc4.d or is that /etc/rc5.d Ok bugger do the lot. Now what services should be before the service I need to run. Bugger again. because I got to know a magic number. That is not the same between distributions. That magic number says where in the boot my stuff starts. So now I ship with everything including httpd server so I know I have everything starting the right way for me. But now we have issues.

Basically for a ISV system v init is complete trash. The little bit of overhead to support systemd I really don't care about. Systemd I simple run if my thing trys to access something that is not started yet it sorts it out.

Really why does each distribution have to have its own management system for init with its own unque naming and bents. Systemd will bring more commonality than us ISV's have ever had. So maybe at long last we can use the host distribution provided httpd servers and other items instead of our own copies.

A project after this should be to make ISV live simple between distributions. I have a php with mysql/postgresql website I want to run on a Linux distribution. If everything is nice this should be a walk in park. To get the php in the webserver get the database loaded and setup. Currently its a complete trip through hell with variations for different distributions so it works. Some of those variations is in the system v init system. dbus does make it simpler for a installer to find out if a service is installed and if it is running. Because dbus if its not their my installer does not die.

Configuration of services option is another major area that needs a proper common solution to make ISV developers live simpler.

Shell script hacking is something ISV's don't want happening either. Since its makes more files that have to be checked for errors and can get screwed up by updates. Its been a really good thing systemd does splitting executable and control data. Doing this in shell script is kinda impossible.

Allowing system v init scripts is about allowing transitional.

One of the big things is that systemd here as a ISV will give me some secuirty options that are generic independent to what LSM distribution is using. Cgroup interfaces as a ISV I could not depend on being able to alter as a ISV either.

Basically system v init needs a 40 foot hole dug and all records if its existence burnt and put in the hole filled in and no clue to its existence left. Something that works for ISV without distribution knolledge putting in its place. systemd at this stage ticks what use ISV's want.

And if distributions can when doing systemd please get your heads together can come up with common service naming. So appache is not appache on one distribution appache2 on another httpd on another. What are you trying todo here. Be confusing so ISV have to have complex processing scripts to generically install from a LSB rpm.

NunnaBizness at Tue Jul 19 09:46:00 2011

Quoting Lennart's own words from this blog as of 19-July-2011 (just in case he edits it to cover his tracks):

"Technical arguments matter. Not FUD."

Lennart, your tables look like FUD produced by any major commercial software company. Oh, I forgot. You work for one don't you?

I poke at you because you have not provided the technical arguments to support your claims yet you demand it of others entering comments here.

How many claims do you make in these tables about systemd? 50? 100? More? Whatever it is I would like, no DEMAND, that you follow your own words and provide technical arguments for every claim you make about systemd where it is given a "yes".

To argue back without providing proof only shows that you are a hypocrite with an ego larger than the entire universe.

[Dec 11, 2011] Cryptographers Believe 'Size Does Matter' to Stay Safe Online by Royal Holloway

12/02/11 | University of London

Royal Holloway, University of London researchers are analyzing the Transport Layer Security (TLS) system to identify weaknesses. The TLS system is designed to ensure the security and safety of online personal information, but vulnerabilities were found in version 1.0 of the system. The researchers say that TLS version 1.2 offers improved security. "Our analysis of TLS version 1.2 gives us higher confidence that the data we share online will be kept safe, secure, and private," says Royal Holloway professor Kenny Paterson. TLS encrypts messages as they are transmitted across the Internet, keeping personal data insulated against attack. The researchers have found only one vulnerability in the latest version of TLS. "There is still scope for a 'distinguishing attack' against TLS 1.2, where an attacker could tell whether a user has sent a 'yes' or a 'no' during a transaction, for example," Paterson says. However, he notes that this kind of attack is considered theoretical, and it is very unlikely that it would actually arise in practice. TLS uses a Message Authentication Code (MAC) tag to help provide security, and for the Royal Holloway attack to work, the MAC tag would need to be small.

[Dec 11, 2011] San Francisco Team Solves DARPA Shredder Challenge by Elizabeth Montalbano

12/05/11 | InformationWeek

A San Francisco-based programming team pieced together five shredded documents in 33 days to win the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's) Shredder Challenge.

The three programmers used custom computer-vision algorithms to assemble the complex puzzles comprised of documents, which were shredded into more than 10,000 pieces. The team spent nearly 600 hours creating the algorithms, designing them to suggest fragment pairings.

The programmers were then able to manually verify the pairings to piece together the documents, which had Antonio Prohias, the creator of the Spy vs. Spy comic strip, as their common, running theme.

DARPA organizers were surprised not only that all of the puzzles were solved, but in a relatively short time. "Lots of experts were skeptical that a solution could be produced at all, let alone within the short time frame," says DARPA's Dan Kaufman. He says the most effective approaches combined computational tools, crowdsourcing, and "clever detective work."

[Dec 11, 2011] Systemd

The systemd is now used in Fedora 15 and 16. It is still under active development and support for it from daemons is limited. Integration into fedora looks premature and is one of the reasons to avoid Fedora 15 and 16. The main command used to control systemd is systemctl. Some of its subcommands are as follows.

For the complete list, see systemctl(1). the GUI equivalent to systemctl is systemadm.

systemd – a Replacement for init etc

Posted on May 16, 2010 by etbe
  1. Emil says:

    May 16, 2010 at 6:53 pm SMF is incredibly slow, especially on first boot. This makes debugging/building a jumpstart config really painful. It's also a mishmash of XML, SQLite, and crazy in-database snapshots of prior configurations which just rub me wrong as a UNIX minimalist. (this may be a failing on my part rather than SMF's)

    For the record, I'm a huge fan of Luke Mewburn's rc.d design, which is what FreeBSD has used since 5.x (imported from NetBSD?)

  2. gebi says:

    May 17, 2010 at 10:49 am

    SMF imports all manifests on first boot, so this takes some time, yes.

    For me SMF is the only usable init system today with nicely integrated config management and forward/backward dependencies.

    Especially the state of current init systems on linux is a joke, though not a really good one (not counting systemd here)!

  3. Adam Watkins says:

    May 17, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    It seems odd not to mention launchd in this article, as Lennart does in introducing systemd. It's certainly an interesting comparison point with SMF, but as Lennart notes, it's perhaps insufficiently flexible and backwards compatible for use in Linux distributions.

  4. etbe says:

    May 17, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    Emil: Complexity really isn't what you want in the most important process on your system!

    Adam: Anyone who follows the link to the systemd post will see the references to launchd. Personally I don't like Apples, don't want to use them, and as their code isn't under the GPL it's of little interest to me. Systemd is the Linux program inspired by launchd and is the one for us to consider. If I had mentioned launchd then I would have had to mention the Solaris thing, etc. This is one of my shorter posts, I'm just covering the basic issue with a focus on Linux specific stuff and more importantly stuff that I will end up personally working on.

    But please feel free to write a detailed post about launchd on your own blog and put the link in a comment here. I'm sure that some readers will be interested. If you don't have a blog then I might publish a guest post you write about this topic – NB I'm not going to promise anything at this time, I'd have to see what you write first.

  5. Lennart says:

    May 17, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Yes, systemd currently does not fiddle with SELinux at all. However we are very interested to add support for it (after all I am a RH guy), including in the initrd-less mode that Debian currently uses. In fact I'd appreciate a patch adding Debian-style SELinux support via some selinux-setup.c code in systemd, given that my own SELinux-fu right now is rather limited. This should be similar to how we already have infrastructure that sets up other basic facilities during bootup from within systemd, such as hostname, loopback, api mounts. (tbh though I wished we could do without the self-execution that is in the sysvinit patch Debian uses. Not sure though if that is possible in SELinux).

  6. Baptiste says:

    May 18, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Do you win anything by mixing inetd into init? Otherwise, what's the benefit compared to simply using inetd to reduce the number of daemons to launch?

  7. etbe says:

    June 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    systemd has been discussed on the SE Linux list. It seems that systemd will be used in Fedora soon.

    It seems that I won't need to do any coding for this either, they already have a design and some sample code.

[Dec 10, 2011] Product highlights - openSUSE

systemd and other system-wide changes

System boot is now handled by the new systemd init tool, controlling and speeding up the boot process. Developed in close cooperation with fellow Linux distribution Fedora, systemd is especially interesting for system administrators due to its powerful socket- and bus-activated service system, which improves parallelization and resource usage. It also works closely with Linux's cgroups, providing better security and control over the processes.

If for some reason, systemd does not work for you, you can still use the old sysV-init by pressing F5 in the bootloader. If you want to permanently use the old init, just do `zypper rm systemd-sysvinit` and accept the installation of 'sysvinit-init' We also again provide grub2 as an optional bootloader. While we are still not satisfied with GRUB2 as a replacement for the current GRUB, we encourage users to try it out, and want to make sure it is available for developers.


openSUSE 12.1 is the first Linux distribution taking advantage of the snapshot functionality in the upcoming Linux filesystem, btrfs. These snapshots of the file system are using copy-on-write, making them very space efficient. openSUSE 12.1 debuts Snapper, which allows the user to interface with this technology.

The command line and GUI Snapper tools allow users to view older versions of files and revert changes. The unique integration in the zypper package manager of openSUSE allows users to roll back entire upgrades or software installations with the accompanying configuration changes.

Note that Snapper and the rollback functionality currently is only available for the btrfs filesystem! Work is going on to enable it for the older ext4 filesystem as well, but this will not be possible before the next openSUSE release.

[Dec 10, 2011] Psychopaths Amongst Us

Be careful. It looks like the term "psychopath" now is stated to be abused...
Thirteenth Monkey

Hare estimates that 1 percent of the population - 300,000 people in Canada - are psychopaths.

He calls them "subclinical" psychopaths. They're the charming predators who, unable to form real emotional bonds, find and use vulnerable women for sex and money (and inevitably abandon them). They're the con men like Christophe Rocancourt, and they're the stockbrokers and promoters who caused Forbes magazine to call the Vancouver Stock Exchange (now part of the Canadian Venture Exchange) the scam capital of the world. (Hare has said that if he couldn't study psychopaths in prisons, the Vancouver Stock Exchange would have been his second choice.) A significant proportion of persistent wife beaters, and people who have unprotected sex despite carrying the AIDS virus, are psychopaths. Psychopaths can be found in legislatures, hospitals, and used-car lots. They're your neighbour, your boss, and your blind date. Because they have no conscience, they're natural predators. If you didn't have a conscience, you'd be one too.

Psychopaths love chaos and hate rules, so they're comfortable in the fast-moving modern corporation. Dr. Paul Babiak, an industrial-organizational psychologist based near New York City, is in the process of writing a book with Bob Hare called When Psychopaths Go to Work: Cons, Bullies and the Puppetmaster. The subtitle refers to the three broad classes of psychopaths Babiak has encountered in the workplace.

"The con man works one-on-one," says Babiak. "They'll go after a woman, marry her, take her money, then move on and marry someone else. The puppet master would manipulate somebody to get at someone else. This type is more powerful because they're hidden." Babiak says psychopaths have three motivations: thrill-seeking, the pathological desire to win, and the inclination to hurt people. "They'll jump on any opportunity that allows them to do those things," he says. "If something better comes along, they'll drop you and move on."
How can you tell if your boss is a psychopath? It's not easy, says Babiak. "They have traits similar to ideal leaders. You would expect an ideal leader to be narcissistic, self-centred, dominant, very assertive, maybe to the point of being aggressive. Those things can easily be mistaken for the aggression and bullying that a psychopath would demonstrate. The ability to get people to follow you is a leadership trait, but being charismatic to the point of manipulating people is a psychopathic trait. They can sometimes be confused."
Once inside a company, psychopaths can be hard to excise. Babiak tells of a salesperson and psychopath - call him John - who was performing badly but not suffering for it. John was managing his boss - flattering him, taking him out for drinks, flying to his side when he was in trouble. In return, his boss covered for him by hiding John's poor performance. The arrangement lasted until John's boss was moved. When his replacement called John to task for his abysmal sales numbers, John was a step ahead.

He'd already gone to the company president with a set of facts he used to argue that his new boss, and not he, should be fired. But he made a crucial mistake. "It was actually stolen data," Babiak says. "The only way [John] could have obtained it would be for him to have gone into a file into which no one was supposed to go. That seemed to be enough, and he was fired rather than the boss. Even so, in the end, he walked out with a company car, a bag of money, and a good reference."

"A lot of white-collar criminals are psychopaths," says Bob Hare. "But they flourish because the characteristics that define the disorder are actually valued. When they get caught, what happens? A slap on the wrist, a six-month ban from trading, and don't give us the $100 million back. I've always looked at white-collar crime as being as bad or worse than some of the physically violent crimes that are committed."
The best way to protect the workplace is not to hire psychopaths in the first place. That means training interviewers so they're less likely to be manipulated and conned. It means checking resumés for lies and distortions, and it means following up references.

Paul Babiak says he's "not comfortable" with one researcher's estimate that one in ten executives is a psychopath, but he has noticed that they are attracted to positions of power. When he describes employees such as John to other executives, they know exactly whom he's talking about. "I was talking to a group of human-resources executives yesterday," says Babiak, "and every one of them said, you know, I think I've got somebody like that."

By now, you're probably thinking the same thing. The number of psychopaths in society is about the same as the number of schizophrenics, but unlike schizophrenics, psychopaths aren't loners. That means most of us have met or will meet one. Hare gets dozens of letters and e-mail messages every month from people who say they recognize someone they know while reading Without Conscience. They go on to describe a brother, a sister, a husband. " 'Please help my seventeen-year-old son. . . .' " Hare reads aloud from one such missive. "It's a heart-rending letter, but what can I do? I'm not a clinician. I have hundreds of these things, and some of them are thirty or forty pages long."

Hare's book opened my eyes, too. Reading it, I realized that I might have known a psychopath, Jonathan, at the computer company where I worked in London, England, over twenty years ago. He was charming and confident, and from the moment he arrived he was on excellent terms with the executive inner circle. Jonathan had big plans and promised me that I was a big part of them. One night when I was alone in the office, Jonathan appeared, accompanied by what anyone should have recognized as two prostitutes. "These are two high-ranking staff from the Ministry of Defence," he said without missing a beat. "We're going over the details of a contract, which I'm afraid is classified top secret. You'll have to leave the building." His voice and eyes were absolutely persuasive and I complied. A few weeks later Jonathan was arrested. He had embezzled tens of thousands of pounds from the small firm, used the company as a mailing address for a marijuana importing business he was running on the side, and robbed the apartment of the company's owner, who was letting him stay there temporarily.

Like everyone who has been suckered by a psychopath - and Bob Hare includes himself and many of his graduate students (who have been trained to spot them) in that list - I'm ashamed that I fell for Jonathan. But he was brilliant, charismatic, and audacious. He radiated money and power (though in fact he had neither), while his real self - manipulative, lying, parasitic, and irresponsible - was just far enough under his surface to be invisible. Or was it? Maybe I didn't know how to look, or maybe I didn't really want to.
I saw his name in the news again recently. "A con man tricked top sports car makers Lotus into lending him a £70,000 model . . . then stole it and drove 6,000 miles across Europe, a court heard," the story began.
Knowing Jonathan is probably a psychopath makes me feel better. It's an explanation.

[Dec 10, 2011] Study Politicians share personality traits with serial killers -- Current

Kouri, who's a vice president of the National Assn. of Chiefs of Police, has assembled traits such as superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self-worth, glibness, lying, lack of remorse and manipulation of others.

These traits, Kouri points out in his analysis, are common to psychopathic serial killers.

But -- and here's the part that may spark some controversy and defensive discussion -- these traits are also common to American politicians. (Maybe you already suspected.)

Yup. Violent homicide aside, our elected officials often show many of the exact same character traits as criminal nut-jobs, who run from police but not for office.

Kouri notes that these criminals are psychologically capable of committing their dirty deeds free of any concern for social, moral or legal consequences and with absolutely no remorse.

"This allows them to do what they want, whenever they want," he wrote. "Ironically, these same traits exist in men and women who are drawn to high-profile and powerful positions in society including political officeholders."

Good grief! And we not only voted for these people, we're paying their salaries and entrusting them to spend our national treasure in wise ways.

We don't know Kouri that well. He may be trying to manipulate all of us with his glib provocative pronouncements. On the other hand ...

He adds:

"While many political leaders will deny the assessment regarding their similarities with serial killers and other career criminals, it is part of a psychopathic profile that may be used in assessing the behaviors of many officials and lawmakers at all levels of government."

-- Andrew Malcolm

We are absolutely not seeking to manipulate Ticket readers by glibly saying with superficial charm that they are certainly among the world's most intelligent people. Nor do we seek to manipulate every one of them to click here for Twitter alerts on each new Ticket item. Or follow

Re: systemd: Yet Another Init Replacement

2011-09-24 21:20:08

ataraxia wrote:

- When I want to modify a (normal) service unit, I copy it to /etc/systemd/system/ instead of just symlinking, and change the contents. Why can't I do the same with socket units by copying them to /etc/systemd/system/ If I do that, systemd continues to use the version under /lib/systemd/system/ instead of my modified file (even after reboot). I have to actually rename the socket unit (and the associated service unit) for the contents to be respected.

I figured out what causes this strange behavior. Rather than placing my modified (and brand new) units in /etc/systemd/system/, and then linking them into (or another appropriate target), I was creating those unit files directly under the *.target.wants directories. This seems to set up an unpredictable situation, such that which version of the unit systemd loads depends on why it was loaded: if it was only enabled because that target wanted it, my version was used, but if some earlier dependency needed it first, the original was loaded, and mine ignored.

The solution, of course, is not to do that. systemd, as with most software, works much better when it's used properly.

#983 2011-10-01 23:29:33


Re: systemd: Yet Another Init Replacement

Since gnome 3.2 i not get a fallback mode when i start with systemd, now my question: How can i start lighttpd from booting?


#984 2011-10-01 23:47:45


Re: systemd: Yet Another Init Replacement

I don't use it, but I don't see how systemd would prevent you from having a fallback mode for gnome 3.2. Maybe they removed it?

As for lighthttpd, you'll need to create a .service file for it.

I'm rather lazy, so I just whipped up this one:

Description=Lighttpd web server

ExecStart=/etc/rc.d/lighttpd start
ExecStop=/etc/rc.d/lighttpd stop
ExecReload=/etc/rc.d/lighttpd reload


It seems to do the trick. Just save it to /etc/systemd/system, and then "systemctl enable" it.

Systemd seems to be severely lacking in web-related service files, I must say. Unfortunately, I don't know who should be held responsible for that. The systemd devs should be focusing on developing systemd, but the mysql/httpd/lightttpd devs should be focusing on their respective projects too. Maybe systemd isn't big enough for these groups to consider making systemd service/socket/etc files?

Last edited by WorMzy (2011-10-01 23:48:03)

Mobo: nVidia nForce 680i SLI // Processor: Intel Core2Duo 3.16GHz E8500 // GFX: nVidia GeForce 8800 GTX // RAM: 4GB (2x 2GB) Corsair DDR2 (@ 800MHz) // Storage: 3x 1TB Samsung SATAII (7200rpm), 1x 250GB Generic SATAII

[Dec 08, 2011] Политика и спасение души

Православие и мир

Вторая (оборотная) часть проблемы состоит в том, существует ли такая форма политического режима или государственного правления, которая в большей степени, нежели остальные, может способствовать спасению души? Вопрос этот весьма и весьма дискуссионен. Отмечу лишь один его аспект, точнее, одну опасность. Очень часто человек или группа людей, стремясь найти и воплотить в жизнь идеальную, с их точки зрения, форму правления, приходят к тому, что пытаются построить Царство Божие на земле. С начала истории человечество сталкивается с подобными попытками: от возникновения учения о тысячелетнем Царстве Христовом на земле (хилиазм) и ряда феодальных монархий до общин анабаптистов, от псевдоматериалистических (а на самом деле утопистских) социальных режимов до современного общества потребления. Такие попытки в корне расходятся с евангельским посланием, которое бескомпромиссно говорит о том, что на этой земле никакие политические, общественные или экономические инициативы не могут изменить того факта, что мир во зле лежит (1 Ин 5:19) и Царство Мое не от мира сего (Ин 18:36). Известный русский философ Владимир Соловьев говорил, что государство не может привести людей в рай, но оно должно стараться удержать их от падения в ад.

[Dec 08, 2011] molitva-pered-vladimirskoj-iko

О спасении державы Российской и утолении раздоров и нестроений

Утоли шатания и раздоры в земли нашей, отжени от нас зависти и рвения, убийства и пианства, разжжения и соблазны, попали в сердцах наших всяку нечистоту, вражду и злобу, да паки вси возлюбим друг друга и едино пребудем в Тебе, Господе и Владыце нашем, якоже повелел еси и заповедал еси нам.

Помилуй нас, Господи, помилуй нас, яко исполнихомся уничижения и несмы достойни возвести очеса наша на небо. Помяни милости, яже показал еси отцем нашим, преложи гнев Твой на милосердие и даждь нам помощь от скорби.

[Dec 07, 2011] Intel's mobile Ivy Bridge CPU line-up revealed

What should be pointed out is that all the dual cores now support DDR3 memory speeds of 1600MHz; something that isn't the case for Sandy Bridge based mobile CPUs. It's also interesting to note that all the mobile processors so far have higher max graphics clocks than their desktop equivalents.

Read more:

[Dec 07, 2011] Intel roadmap shows Core i 3000 CPUs inbound for Q2 2012

See also Intel delays Ivy Bridge chips as roadmap is leaked - The Inquirer
Dec 5, 2011 | SlashGear

The fastest part on the chart is the i7-3770K clocking in at 3.5GHz and 3.9GHz on boost with four cores. The slowest part is the i5-3330S with 2.7GHz base and 3.2GHz on boost. There are bunches of quad and dual core parts in between. These chips are said to inherit a modified Sandy Bridge micro-architecture with a bunch of improvements.

[Dec 06, 2011] GNOME Commander


GNOME Commander is a fast and powerful graphical file manager. It has a "two-pane" interface in the tradition of Norton and Midnight Commander. It features drag'n'drop, GNOME MIME types, FTP, SFTP, and WebDAV using the GnomeVFS FTP module, SAMBA access, the ability to extend the context menu with entries to call external applications or scripts on the selected items, quick device access buttons with automatic mounting and unmounting, a fast file viewer for text and images, a history of recently accessed folders, and folder bookmarks.

[Dec 06, 2011] Solaris 11 Released

November 10, 2011 | Slashdot


Given that Zones can have:
different login identities
different network interfaces
different hostnames
different hardware available to them (disks, adapters, etc.)
be configured to use resource pools thus different amounts of cpu, floating or fixed

Yes, I'd say they are much more useful than chroot.


Re:I guess Ellison changed his mind (Score:5, Informative)

Ellison changed his mind about cloud computing...

Quite the opposite. In your own link he summarized by saying:

"I'm not going to fight this thing." but "I don't understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing, other than change the wording on some of our ads."

And sure enough, their ads now show how great Solaris is for cloud computing. Based on what?... zones, which have been in Solaris for a number of years.

$1,000/year per CPU for non-Oracle hardware (Score:4, Interesting)

Ever since Oracle bought out Sun, they went overboard with the licensing costs for Solaris. Remember a few years back when Sun will let you run Solaris 10 for free? Well no more, if you have a non-Oracle two processor server it will cost you $2,000 per year. You don't own a license, you are basically renting the privilege to run Solaris on a server for one year. Also, you only get one flavor of support which they laughably call "premium".

Their support is a joke now, and in my experience the good Sun engineers left a long time ago.

For starters, you now get to talk to an overseas helpdesk which logs your call and for severity one issues, they give you a call back in an hour (if you're lucky). It used to be you will call an easy to remember number (1-800-USA-4SUN) and you will get a live transfer to a knowledgeable engineer to fix your problem.

A few years ago I used to be a staunch supporter of Sun and Solaris but it seems like Oracle has done everything to drive me away from Sun's hardware and software. I am pretty sure I am not the only one either.

Re:8 char usernames (Score:4, Funny)

You can have longer than 8 character user names, but the characters after 8 are ignored. It's defined in limits.h as LOGNAME_MAX. It's an ABI restriction, hard-coded in several binary formats, NIS restriction, and UNIX interoperability issue. Another limit is the 32-bit character limit from POSIX, but that's been removed, I understand. Don't blame me--I'm just telling you.

Well tried, but I know its your fault!

[Dec 06, 2011] Terms for Oracle Solaris, Oracle Solaris Cluster and Oracle Solaris Express

Oracle Technology Network Developer License
Oracle Technology Network Development License Agreement
... ... ...


Except for any included software package or file that is licensed to you by Oracle under different license terms, we grant you a perpetual (unless terminated as provided in this agreement), nonexclusive, nontransferable, limited License to use the Programs only for the purpose of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications, and not for any other purpose.

All rights not expressly granted above are hereby reserved. If you want to use the Programs for any purpose other than as permitted under this agreement, including but not limited to distribution of the Programs or any use of the Programs for your internal business purposes (other than developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications) or for any commercial production purposes, you must obtain a valid license permitting such use. We may audit your use of the Programs. Program documentation, if available, may be accessed online at

Included Java SE Components
The Programs may include or be distributed with certain separately licensed components that are part of Java SE ("Java SE"). Java SE and all components associated with it are licensed to you under the terms of the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for the Java SE Platform Products, and not under this agreement. A copy the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for the Java SE Platform Products can be found at:

Third-Party Technology
The Programs may contain or be distributed with certain third-party technology. Oracle may provide certain notices related to such third-party technology in the program documentation, or in readme or notice files provided with the Programs.

Third party technology will be licensed to you either under the terms of this agreement, or, if specified in the program documentation, readme files or otherwise in writing, under separate license terms ("Separate Terms") and not under the terms of this agreement ("Separately Licensed Third Party Technology"). Licensee's rights to use such Separately Licensed Third Party Technology under the Separate Terms are not restricted or modified in any way by this Agreement.

Information Collection and Registration
Configuration Data and Registration: The Programs may communicate configuration data to Oracle. You can register your version of the Programs to capture this data for your use, or the data is sent anonymously. For information about what configuration data is communicated and how to control this facility, refer to the release notes or

Ownership and Restrictions
We retain all ownership and intellectual property rights in the Programs. The Programs may be installed on one computer only, and used by one person in the hardware environment identified by us. You may make one copy of the Programs for backup purposes.

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[Dec 05, 2011] Son of Grid Engine 8.0.0d

Son of Grid Engine is a highly-scalable and versatile distributed resource manager for scheduling batch or interactive jobs on clusters or desktop farms. It is a community project to continue Sun's Grid...


[Dec 05, 2011] With Solaris 11, Oracle Makes Sun's OS Its Own

IDEAS Insights

Scalability and Performance

Solaris has long been optimized for use on large Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) systems, and Solaris 11 adds new refinements for increasing its performance on servers with very large numbers of cores. The Solaris 11 scheduler has increased awareness of variants in topologies used to connect processor sockets in large servers, and it also takes I/O latencies into account when scheduling access to memory. The memory management in Solaris 11 has also been optimized specifically to improve the performance of the Oracle database on systems with large amounts of memory. The new network stack has a parallelized architecture that will improve network performance on large SMP systems, and it fully exploits hardware in network adapters to offload more network processing operations, freeing the server processors to take on more computing tasks under heavy network I/O loads. InfiniBand support in Solaris 11 has been extended with the Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS) V3 protocol, which will provide better performance and observation for Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) databases.

[Dec 04, 2011] Comp.compilers Re Need an interesting topic for an undergraduate project on Compilers

From: Christophe de Dinechin <[email protected]>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2011 23:42:48 -0700 (PDT)
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 11-08-006
Keywords: courses
Posted-Date: 06 Sep 2011 22:12:39 EDT

On Aug 6, 7:28 pm, amit karmakar <[email protected]> wrote:
> I would like to have some suggestions as to what *new* and
> *innovative* project i can do which are based on compiler design.

Innovation in compilers can happen at a number of levels :

1. Parsing techniques, grammars, etc. Very active research a while
back, considered (erroneously methinks) as dead by most today, who
happily use flex/bison and don't think twice about it.

2. Language design. One of the active areas these days is "domain
specific languages" or DSLs, i.e. languages designed for one specific
need. Often using "meta-programming" techniques (programs that
generate programs)

3. Type systems, proofs, program validation. Languages like Haskell
use type inference, so that you don't have to specify types yourself
most of the time. C++ recently gained the "auto" keyword for types.
DSLs pose a new class of interesting problems in that space.

4. Intermediate representations, code generation and optimization
frameworks. The king of this hill these days IMO is LLVM. But there
are a number of contenders. If you are interested in optimizations,
that's the right place to look at.

5. Runtime support : garbage collectors, just-in-time code generation,
parallel execution, use of new hardware such as GPUs, 

6. Support for innovative hardware, hardware generation, hardware/
software co-design, etc. If you are more into silicon, this is a very
interesting are to learn about.

My own pet project, XLR ( offers a number of
innovations in the first three of these areas. It is a language
designed to grow with the user, i.e. the objective is to make it as
easy to add language constructs as it is to add, say, functions or
classes in other languages.

Regarding parsing, it generates a parse tree made of exactly 8 nodes :
integer, real, text and name/symbol represent leaves of the tree,
infix, prefix, postfix and block represent inner nodes. This makes it
possible to write programs in a very natural-looking way, yet with an
internal program representation that is easy to manipulate. This is
the foundation of XL meta-programming / DSL capabilities.

To validate that, XLR has practically no built-in constructs. It has
constructs to connect to LLVM primitives, constructs to connect to C
code, and a pair of "rewrite" constructs, notably ->, to transform one
tree shape into another. For example :

extern bool puts(text);
(x:integer - y:integer):integer -> opcode Sub

repeat 0, B -> true
repeat N, B -> B; repeat N-1, B

repeat 25,
puts "Hello"

You can check the code generated for the above with xlr -tcode -O3
tests/09.Compiler/optimized-repeat-loop.xl. LLVM actually turns it
into a sequence of 25 calls to puts, you can hardly do better.

The most active area of research for XLR these days is its type
system. In order to generate efficient code, an Haskell-like type
inference mechanism is in place. But the standard type inference
algorithms must be extended, because there are a few additional
transformations compared to lambda calculus (not just "alpha" and
"beta"), and the closest there is to a type is the shape of a tree
(e.g. "if X then Y else Z").

Since it uses LLVM, it is also an interesting way to learn a little
about LLVM, but it's not intended as an LLVM tutorial.

So if you are interested in experimenting with "growing a language" in
a text-based framework, XLR is the right way to go. There are other
projects that are more advanced e.g. if you want to build the IDE at
the same time, see for example JetBrain's Meta Programming System. But
they are not as strong in language development per-se, I believe.

[Dec 04, 2011] Roslyn Project Overview

Microsoft Developer Network

October 2011

Traditionally, compilers are black boxes -- source code goes in one end, magic happens in the middle, and object files or assemblies come out the other end. As compilers perform their magic, they build up deep understanding of the code they are processing, but that knowledge is unavailable to anyone but the compiler implementation wizards and it is promptly forgotten after the translated output is produced.

For decades, this world view has served us well, but it is no longer sufficient. Increasingly we rely on integrated development environment (IDE) features such as IntelliSense, refactoring, intelligent rename, "Find all references," and "Go to definition" to increase our productivity. We rely on code analysis tools to improve our code quality and code generators to aid in application construction. As these tools get smarter, they need access to more and more of the deep code knowledge that only compilers possess. This is the core mission of the Roslyn project: opening up the black boxes and allowing tools and end users to share in the wealth of information compilers have about our code. Instead of being opaque source-code-in and object-code-out translators, through the Roslyn project, compilers become services-APIs that you can use for code related tasks in your tools and applications.

The transition to compilers as services dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for creating code focused tools and applications. It creates many opportunities for innovation in areas such as meta-programming, code generation and transformation, interactive use of the C# and VB languages, and embedding of C# and VB in domain specific languages.

The Microsoft "Roslyn" CTP previews the new language object models for code generation, analysis, and refactoring, and the upcoming support for scripting and interactive use of C# and Visual Basic. This document is meant to be a conceptual overview of the Roslyn project. Further details can be found in the walkthroughs and samples included in the Roslyn CTP.


Project Roslyn exposes a set of Compiler APIs, Scripting APIs, Workspace APIs, and Services APIs that provides rich information about your source code and that has full fidelity with the C# and Visual Basic languages. The transition to compilers as a service dramatically lowers the barrier to entry for creating code focused tools and applications. It creates many opportunities for innovation in areas such as meta-programming, code generation and transformation, interactive use of the C# and VB languages, and embedding of C# and VB in domain specific languages.

[Dec 04, 2011] Simplicity is the core of a good infrastructure by Steve Webb

Simplicity is the core of a good infrastructure

I've seen many infrastructures in my day. I work for a company with a very complicated infrastructure now. They've got a dev/stage/prod environment for every product (and they've got many of them). Trust is not a word spoken lightly here. There is no 'trust' for even sysadmins (I've been working here for 7 months now and still don't have production sudo access). Developers constantly complain about not having the access that they need to do their jobs and there are multiple failures a week that can only be fixed by a small handful of people that know the (very complex) systems in place. Not only that, but in order to save work, they've used every cutting-edge piece of software that they can get their hands on (mainly to learn it so they can put it on their resume, I assume), but this causes more complexity that only a handful of people can manage. As a result of this the site uptime is (on a good month) 3 nines at best.

In my last position ( I put together an infrastructure that any idiot could maintain. I used unmanaged switches behind a load-balancer/firewall and a few VPNs around to the different sites. It was simple. It had very little complexity, and a new sysadmin could take over in a very short time if I were to be hit by a bus. A single person could run the network and servers and if the documentation was lost, a new sysadmin could figure it out without much trouble.

Over time, I handed off my ownership of many of the Infrastructure components to other people in the operations group and of course, complexity took over. We ended up with a multi-tier network with bunches of VLANs and complexity that could only be understood with charts, documentation and a CCNA. Now the team is 4+ people and if something happens, people run around like chickens with their heads cut off not knowing what to do or who to contact when something goes wrong.

Complexity kills productivity. Security is inversely proportionate to usability. Keep it simple, stupid. These are all rules to live by in my book.

Downtimes: Beatport: not unlikely to have 1-2 hours downtime for the main site per month. Pronto: several 10-15 minute outages a year Pronto (under my supervision): a few seconds a month (mostly human error though, no mechanical failure)

Ok, rant over. :)

[Dec 04, 2011] The International Obfuscated C Code Contest

The 20th International Obfuscated C Code Contest is open from
12-Nov-2011 11:00:00 UTC to 12-Jan-2012 12:12:12 UTC.
  1. Read the IOCCC Goals and Rules.
  2. Review the IOCCC guidelines.
  3. The online submission tool is now available.
  4. Goals:
    • To write the most Obscure/Obfuscated C program under the rules below.
    • To show the importance of programming style, in an ironic way.
    • To stress C compilers with unusual code.
    • To illustrate some of the subtleties of the C language.
    • To provide a safe forum for poor C code. :-)
  5. News
    • 1 December 2011: The online submission tool is now available.
    • 1 December 2011: We strongly encourage the use of Markdown in submitted remarks and documentation!
    • 1 December 2011: The guidelines have been updated. Changes are marked with '|'.
    • 13 November 2011: Follow IOCCC announcements on Twitter.
    • 12 November 2011: The 20th IOCCC is now open. Online submissions will be available 2011-12-01.
    • 12 November 2011: The 18th IOCCC and 19th IOCCC results are now online. please check the Years and Winners pages.
    • Older news has been archived, but is currently unavailable

[Dec 03, 2011] AMD C-60 Notebook Processor -

This 64 bit CPU with better graphic processor then Atom but almost the same processing speed. Used in Acer netbooks. Tech

The processor speed is somewhere between a single core 1.6 GHz Atom N455 and a dual core Atom N550 depending on the benchmark (see below). Therefore, the performance is still in netbook regions and only suited for low demanding tasks.

The power consumption is rated with a TDP of 9 Watt by AMD and therefore a bit higher as the single core Atom CPUs at 1.6 GHz.

[Dec 02, 2011] Oracle Releases Oracle Solaris 11

Although many large enterprises are gradually migrating our boxes from Solaris to Linux, Solaris 11 keeps the OS in the forefront of innovation in Unix operating systems and can give other flavors of Unix a run for the money. Is also remains the only alternative to Linux on Intel platform.
While I doubt that we will use them, those new features might help to understand were Linux (and probably AIX) will be moving in, say, 10 years from now. Among interesting and innovative features that are relevant to our environment: With Oracle Solaris ZFS deduplication customers can reduce their storage requirements in virtualized environments by 10x.
Zones now runs Oracle applications much faster then alternative virtualization solutions with the lowest possible overhead (which is given as there is only one kernel instance with virtualization and other advanced OS features and virtual instances are just applications that use those OS services, like in IBM VM/CMS). You also do not need to pay for a separate virtualization layer like Oracle VM or VMware to partition server into several virtual instances. Single support contract covers all instances. Efficiency-wise zones beat VMware at least by 25% on moderately loaded servers. New zonestat(1) command provides critical information about zone performance in readable format.
The traditional UNIX root account is now a role by default in Oracle Solaris 11. That's similar to how I recommend configuring sudo with wheel group in Linux but is much more flexible. For example, you can provide users with read-only access to system files via additional privileges. You can also remove networking privileges from certain accounts. Solaris 11 adds three new "basic" privileges (file_read, file_write, and net_access)
Zones now can have their own TCP space and virtual IP stack, not limited to the number of physical Ethernet adapters on the system (although this was never a problem in our environment). Immutable Zones has protection for executable. NFS servers are now supported in a non-global zone.
November 9, 2011 | oracle
As the first fully virtualized operating system (OS), Oracle Solaris 11 provides comprehensive, built-in virtualization capabilities for OS, network and storage resources:

In addition to its built-in virtualization capabilities, Oracle Solaris 11 is engineered for Oracle VM sever virtualization on both x86 and SPARC based systems, providing deployment flexibility and secure live migration.

Oracle Solaris Zones virtualization scales up to hundreds of zones per physical node at a 15x lower overhead than VMware and without artificial limits on memory, network, CPU and storage resources.

New, integrated network virtualization allows customers to create high-performance, low-cost data center topologies within a single OS instance for ultimate flexibility, bandwidth control and observability.

Oracle Solaris 11 offers comprehensive management across the entire infrastructure – operating system, physical hardware, networking and storage, as well as the virtualization layer.

New connected cloud management ensures that customers always have the latest Solaris updates from Oracle and proactive services help customers achieve maximum uptime.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, now included in systems support, provides converged systems management, enabling enterprise wide, centralized control over hardware, OS and virtualization resources.

Oracle Solaris ZFS provides the data and storage management foundation for Oracle Solaris 11, delivering ultimate data integrity, flash-enabled tiered storage pools, line speed encryption and the scalability to store and manage unlimited amounts of data.

With Oracle Solaris ZFS deduplication customers can reduce their storage requirements in virtualized environments by 10x.

Oracle Solaris 11 delivers "secure by default" features, including start up, role-based root access and low impact auditing for both cloud and traditional datacenter deployments.

The built-in encryption acceleration in Oracle Solaris 11 provides a 4x performance boost compared to IBM AIX encryption.

Oracle Solaris and Oracle software applications are designed together, tested together, can be deployed together and supported together to provide faster fail-over, improved reliability and up to 10x better application performance.

Oracle Solaris development teams have worked on co-engineering efforts to increase Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g and Java-based application performance, availability, security and manageability on Oracle Solaris.

New Oracle Solaris11 enhancements include optimized shared memory management, I/O improvements, integrated resource management and crypto off-load.

Oracle Solaris 11 is the ideal platform to run business-critical enterprise applications in virtualized massive horizontal scale as well as vertically integrated environments on a wide range of SPARC and x86 servers. Customers can:

Run any of the more than 11,000 applications supported today on Oracle Solaris 11, with guaranteed binary compatibility through the Oracle Solaris Binary Application Guarantee Program.

Customers can preserve their existing investments by using P2V and V2V tools to move their existing Oracle Solaris 10 environments to an Oracle Solaris 10 Zone, while gaining access to the latest Oracle Solaris 11 enhancements.

Oracle Solaris delivers performance that matters to customers:

Today, Oracle Solaris 11 delivered a new world record result on SPECjvm2008, a general-purpose, multi-threaded Java benchmark. In combination with Oracle's SPARC T4-2 server and the Oracle HotSpot Java Virtual Machine, Oracle Solaris 11 delivers up to 41 percent improvement over the previous result using Oracle Solaris 10(1)

Oracle Solaris has already achieved world record benchmarks that span a wide range of enterprise applications, including 10 world records posted most recently on Oracle's SPARC T4 servers.

The latest release of Oracle Solaris is engineered to provide cloud-scale life cycle management with secure, fail-safe boot environments, safe roll-backs, 4x faster upgrades and 2.5x faster system re-boots and is leveraging the power of Oracle Solaris ZFS.

Oracle Solaris 11 is already in production at over 700 top companies around the world and deployed on thousands of Oracle's Sun ZFS Storage Appliances, as well as the Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 and X2-8 and the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud engineered systems.

Oracle Solaris 11, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center and Oracle VM software are included as part of systems support with all of Oracle's Sun servers, providing customers with built-in cloud capabilities.

Oracle Solaris 11 is certified on SPARC and X86-based platforms as conforming to the UNIX 03 product standard, effective November 8, 2011, per The Open Group. Details at:

Partners in Oracle Partner Network (OPN) will find new Oracle Solaris 11 tools and resources in the Oracle Solaris Knowledge Zone including the Oracle Solaris Remote Lab and the Oracle Solaris Development Initiative. Quotes from OPN Partners appear in the Oracle Solaris 11 Quote Sheet below.

New Oracle Solaris 11 Training is available to help customers and partners take advantage of the best-in-class features of Oracle Solaris 11 and upgrade from Oracle Solaris 10 or earlier versions.

[Dec 02, 2011] The Other One Percent: Corporate Psychopaths and the Global Financial Crisis

Anyone who has ever worked in a large corporation has seen the empty suits that seem to inexplicably rise to positions of power. They talk a great game, possessing extraordinary verbal acuity, and often with an amazing ability to rise quickly without significant accomplishments to positions of great personal power, and often using it ruthlessly once it is achieved. Their ruthless obsession with power and its visible rewards rises above the general level of narcissism and sycophancy that often plagues large organizations, especially those with an established franchise where performance is not as much of an issue as collecting their rents. And anyone who has been on the inside of the national political process knows this is certainly nothing exclusive to the corporate world.
Dec 02, 2011 | Jesse's Café Américain

Anyone who has ever worked in a large corporation has seen the empty suits that seem to inexplicably rise to positions of power. They talk a great game, possessing extraordinary verbal acuity, and often with an amazing ability to rise quickly without significant accomplishments to positions of great personal power, and often using it ruthlessly once it is achieved.

Their ruthless obsession with power and its visible rewards rises above the general level of narcissism and sycophancy that often plagues large organizations, especially those with an established franchise where performance is not as much of an issue as collecting their rents.

And anyone who has been on the inside of the national political process knows this is certainly nothing exclusive to the corporate world.

Here is a paper recently published in the Journal of Business Ethics that hypothesizes along these lines. It is only a preliminary paper, lacking in full scholarship and a cycle of peer review.

But it raises a very important subject. Organizational theories such as the efficient markets hypothesis that assume rational behavior on the part of market participants tends to fall apart in the presence of the irrational and selfish short term focus of a significant minority of people who seek power, much less the top one percent of the psychologically ruthless.

Indeed, not only was previously unheard of behavior allowed, it became quite fashionable and desired in certain sections of American management where ruthless pursuit of profits at any cost was highly prized and rewarded. And if caught, well, only the little people must pay for their transgressions. The glass ceiling becomes a floor above which the ordinary rules do not apply.

If you wish to determine the character of a generation or a people, look to their heroes, leaders, and role models.

This is nothing new, but a lesson from history that has been unlearned. The entire system of checks and balances, of rule of law, of transparency in government, of accountability and personal honor, is based on the premise that one cannot always count on people to be naturally good and self-effacing. And further, that at times it seems that a relatively small group of corrupt people can rise to power, and harm the very fabric of a society.

'When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.'

Edmund Burke

'And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that.'

Lord Acton

These things tend to go in cycles. It will be interesting to see how this line of analysis progresses. I am sure we all have a few candidates we would like to submit for testing. No one is perfect or even perfectly average. But systems that assume as much are more dangerous than standing armies, since like finds like, and dishonesty and fraud can become epidemic in an organization and a corporate culture, finally undermining the very law and principle of stewardship itself.
'Our government...teaches the whole people by its example. If the government becomes the lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.'

Louis D. Brandeis

MF Global, and the reaction to it thus far, is one of the better examples of shocking behaviour that lately seems to be tolerated, ignored, and all too often met with weak excuses and lame promises to do better next time, while continuing on as before.
"These corporate collapses have gathered pace in recent years, especially in the western world, and have culminated in the Global Financial Crisis that we are now in.

In watching these events unfold it often appears that the senior directors involved walk away with a clean conscience and huge amounts of money. Further, they seem to be unaffected by the corporate collapses they have created. They present themselves as glibly unbothered by the chaos around them, unconcerned about those who have lost their jobs, savings, and investments, and as lacking any regrets about what they have done.

They cheerfully lie about their involvement in events are very persuasive in blaming others for what has happened and have no doubts about their own continued worth and value. They are happy to walk away from the economic disaster that they have managed to bring about, with huge payoffs and with new roles advising governments how to prevent such economic disasters.

Many of these people display several of the characteristics of psychopaths and some of them are undoubtedly true psychopaths. Psychopaths are the 1% of people who have no conscience or empathy and who do not care for anyone other than themselves.

Some psychopaths are violent and end up in jail, others forge careers in corporations. The latter group who forge successful corporate careers is called Corporate Psychopaths...

Psychologists have argued that Corporate Psychopaths within organizations may be singled out for rapid promotion because of their polish, charm, and cool decisiveness. Expert commentators on the rise of Corporate Psychopaths within modern corporations have also hypothesized that they are more likely to be found at the top of current organisations than at the bottom.

Further, that if this is the case, then this phenomenon will have dire consequences for the organisations concerned and for the societies in which those organisations are based. Since this prediction of dire consequences was made the Global Financial Crisis has come about.

Research by Babiak and Hare in the USA, Board and Fritzon in the UK and in Australia has shown that psychopaths are indeed to be found at greater levels of incidence at senior levels of organisations than they are at junior levels (Boddy et al., 2010a). There is also some evidence that they may tend to join some types of organisations rather than others and that, for example, large financial organisations may be attractive to them because of the potential rewards on offer in these organizations."

Clive R. Boddy, The Corporate Psychopaths Theory of the Global Financial Crisis, Journal of Business Ethics, 2011



Groupthink : Two Party System as Polyarchy : Corruption of Regulators : Bureaucracies : Understanding Micromanagers and Control Freaks : Toxic Managers :   Harvard Mafia : Diplomatic Communication : Surviving a Bad Performance Review : Insufficient Retirement Funds as Immanent Problem of Neoliberal Regime : PseudoScience : Who Rules America : Neoliberalism  : The Iron Law of Oligarchy : Libertarian Philosophy


War and Peace : Skeptical Finance : John Kenneth Galbraith :Talleyrand : Oscar Wilde : Otto Von Bismarck : Keynes : George Carlin : Skeptics : Propaganda  : SE quotes : Language Design and Programming Quotes : Random IT-related quotesSomerset Maugham : Marcus Aurelius : Kurt Vonnegut : Eric Hoffer : Winston Churchill : Napoleon Bonaparte : Ambrose BierceBernard Shaw : Mark Twain Quotes


Vol 25, No.12 (December, 2013) Rational Fools vs. Efficient Crooks The efficient markets hypothesis : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2013 : Unemployment Bulletin, 2010 :  Vol 23, No.10 (October, 2011) An observation about corporate security departments : Slightly Skeptical Euromaydan Chronicles, June 2014 : Greenspan legacy bulletin, 2008 : Vol 25, No.10 (October, 2013) Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A) : Vol 25, No.08 (August, 2013) Cloud providers as intelligence collection hubs : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : Inequality Bulletin, 2009 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Copyleft Problems Bulletin, 2004 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Energy Bulletin, 2010 : Malware Protection Bulletin, 2010 : Vol 26, No.1 (January, 2013) Object-Oriented Cult : Political Skeptic Bulletin, 2011 : Vol 23, No.11 (November, 2011) Softpanorama classification of sysadmin horror stories : Vol 25, No.05 (May, 2013) Corporate bullshit as a communication method  : Vol 25, No.06 (June, 2013) A Note on the Relationship of Brooks Law and Conway Law


Fifty glorious years (1950-2000): the triumph of the US computer engineering : Donald Knuth : TAoCP and its Influence of Computer Science : Richard Stallman : Linus Torvalds  : Larry Wall  : John K. Ousterhout : CTSS : Multix OS Unix History : Unix shell history : VI editor : History of pipes concept : Solaris : MS DOSProgramming Languages History : PL/1 : Simula 67 : C : History of GCC developmentScripting Languages : Perl history   : OS History : Mail : DNS : SSH : CPU Instruction Sets : SPARC systems 1987-2006 : Norton Commander : Norton Utilities : Norton Ghost : Frontpage history : Malware Defense History : GNU Screen : OSS early history

Classic books:

The Peter Principle : Parkinson Law : 1984 : The Mythical Man-MonthHow to Solve It by George Polya : The Art of Computer Programming : The Elements of Programming Style : The Unix Hater’s Handbook : The Jargon file : The True Believer : Programming Pearls : The Good Soldier Svejk : The Power Elite

Most popular humor pages:

Manifest of the Softpanorama IT Slacker Society : Ten Commandments of the IT Slackers Society : Computer Humor Collection : BSD Logo Story : The Cuckoo's Egg : IT Slang : C++ Humor : ARE YOU A BBS ADDICT? : The Perl Purity Test : Object oriented programmers of all nations : Financial Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2008 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2010 : The Most Comprehensive Collection of Editor-related Humor : Programming Language Humor : Goldman Sachs related humor : Greenspan humor : C Humor : Scripting Humor : Real Programmers Humor : Web Humor : GPL-related Humor : OFM Humor : Politically Incorrect Humor : IDS Humor : "Linux Sucks" Humor : Russian Musical Humor : Best Russian Programmer Humor : Microsoft plans to buy Catholic Church : Richard Stallman Related Humor : Admin Humor : Perl-related Humor : Linus Torvalds Related humor : PseudoScience Related Humor : Networking Humor : Shell Humor : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2011 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2012 : Financial Humor Bulletin, 2013 : Java Humor : Software Engineering Humor : Sun Solaris Related Humor : Education Humor : IBM Humor : Assembler-related Humor : VIM Humor : Computer Viruses Humor : Bright tomorrow is rescheduled to a day after tomorrow : Classic Computer Humor

The Last but not Least Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand ~Archibald Putt. Ph.D

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Last modified: March, 12, 2019