Fujitsu Siemens® Celsius R550 competitive with ECC® Spartan in Super-pi benchmarks!

Benchmark Results at Phoronix

Results indicate that the Fujitsu-Siemens® Celsius R550 is nearly as fast as an EC® Spartan server in the Super-pi benchmark.

Given that the Celsius costs more than twice as much, I’m reasonably pleased with the results. I’ll bet Fujitsu-Siemens® is NOT.

According to this test result, the ECC® – Spartan is .02 Seconds faster than a Fujitsu-Siemens® Celsius R550 at computing Pi to the millionth digit.

The writer of this story has a vested interest in Evans Computers, I am the owner. I also have moral standards. The information is accurate.

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit edition VS. Fedora 11 64 bit edition

To keep it simple I’m referring only to the versions in the title of the post unless otherwise noted.

Initial Cost (retail and otherwise)
Windows $99-349
Fedora $0-$59

Speed about equivalent for both. Minor variances on this or that but overall not significantly different for everyday tasks.

Security Risks:
Windows – connected to Internet 18 minutes without Anti-virus and firewall – INFECTED
Fedora – connected to Internet 18 months without Anti-virus and firewall – CLEAN

Total Cost of Ownership – primarily cost of ongoing updates and various other maintenance per workstation, or desk top. Laptops slightly higher.
Windows $300 per year on average
Fedora $100 per year on average

Costs for additional software
Windows $750
Fedora $0

Stability
After cost, this is the most significant factor:

Windows7 – Stable 10-12 days between critical errors over a period of 3 months.

Fedora 11 – Stable for the entire 3 months. No critical errors during the same 3 month period.

Security and time spent securing windows is a significant factor in the Total cost of ownership. All figures projected from actual figures compiled from multiple clients of various residential and business demographics in Southern California. Your mileage will vary, especially in different regions of the country.

GRUB2 Ongoing …. and Outta there!

I was wholly unable to get GRUB2 (v1.96) to perform everything I needed at the same time.  I have spent a good portion of the last two days trying.

I needed it to be able to boot to ext4 partitions directly. This it performed with ease.

I need it to boot to three operating systems. This failed in various ways.
I wanted to use Kubuntu 9.10 x64 with ext4, Fedora 11×64 with ext4, and Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit on this computer by invoking GRUB2 as the primary boot loader, without chain loading (except Windows) or chaining to GRUB Legacy. I was able to modify my grub.cfg file on Kubuntu. It was able to boot to Kubuntu or Windows 7. Then I went another step further and installed GRUB2 for Fedora. When editing the file under Fedora I was able to boot to Fedora or to Kubuntu, but not Windows 7. This resulted in a requirement to load GRUB legacy. Then I was able to select Windows 7 or Fedora, and GRUB2. GRUB2 allowed access to Fedora and Kubuntu but not Windows7. After many hours of copying configuration stanzas, pasting scripts from various files and so on, I gave up. I would prefer to have Fedora 11 and Windows7 sharing well than 3 with a chain loaded boot loader MESS.

The documentation for GRUB2 is next to non-existent at this point, at least at the Wiki for GRUB.
Fedora developers are expressing interest in making GRUB2 available with Fedora 13. When that time comes I will probably try the Tri-boot, Windows 7, Fedora on ext4 and Kubuntu on ext4.

For now I have Fedora and Windows7. To be honest there are many things I do not like about Kubuntu anyway. Kubuntu 9.10 was reasonably stable on this system.

GRUB2. Well 1.96 …. Something like that.

Yesterday I installed Kubuntu 9.10.    The process was fairly straight forward and painless.   Then I went to my /boot/grub folder,  searching for menu.lst to update with all the proper partitions.   Much to my surprise there was not a menu.lst in sight.   Kubuntu 9.10 uses GRUB2 not GRUB legacy.    Especially when you want ext4 partitions that is a good thing.   Grub legacy can NOT boot an ext4 partition directly.  You have to create an ext3 boot partition for your ext4 root partition.

Next stop GRUB2 documentation.   So I can read about how to add all the partitions for the various OSs installed on my system.   I visit the GRUB2 Wiki and documentation sites.  The results were disconcerting.

GRUB2 uses grub.cfg  in the same way that GRUB legacy uses grub.conf    The issue I have is that there is not a grub.lst or menu.lst equivalent for GRUB2.    One of the major issues I have with most of the younger software programmers these days is egocentricity.    They think it’s all about them.   My point for this example:  GRUB was pretty straightforward to use.  It does not have a lot of razzle dazzle, but it is very clean and effective from an end user or system administrator stand point.   GRUB2 is NOT well documented.   It is much like the difference between the boot.ini  and the bcdedit issue for Windows.  The old was a bandaid implementation but it worked well.   The new, is documented like the audience is programmers, and the new needs near programming levels of expertise to edit well.

My grub.cfg has a HUGE disclaimer at the top of it that reads:

DO NOT EDIT – This file was created by “BLAH, BLAH…..

The documentation at the GRUB2 site says to add additional partitions, edit the stanzas necessary in grub.cfg

It would be very nice if the people that work on the GRUB2 project would document the simple workings better.    For now I edit the grub.cfg by hand and get a few errors when it loads, but I can boot to all 3 of my OSs..   When I edit by running install-grub or install-grub2  I get two GRUB boot options I can boot from instead of the requisite 3 OS choices I need.

Recent UPDATES

There is a new security update for Adobe Acrobat Reader.
There is a new version of Adobe Flash Plugin for security.  All operating systems.  – 10r32
There is a new version of WordPress for security. 2.8.3

There is a new release of Firefox for security – 3.5.2

New Kernel for F11.  2.6.29.6-217.2.3.fc11.x86_64

An entire rollover for Archlinux

New release of Phoronix Test Suite 2.0

Java JRE 6 update 15 released today too.

I really love it when everyone releases something new in the span of 48 hours.   I have 7 computers with 2 operating systems each.

Secure Email – oxymoron – WhiteGate™

The following is a direct quote from Funcom related to support for Age of Conan:

Our Game Masters will not deal with account issues or issues related to accounts in-game.

The reason for this is simple: privacy concerns.  In order to deal with many account issues, we require very detailed personal or financial information, and we do not consider in-game chat to be a secure environment in which to do so.  The risk of a miss tell that goes to a public channel, and the desire to protect individual credit card or bank information makes this a very poor security choice.

For this reason, our GM’s will always direct you to contact account@ageofconan.com.  E-Mail communications between our customers and Funcom are the most efficient and secure method to correct any account inquiries that you might have.

Obviously FunCom presumes email to be a secure form of communication.   Email has NEVER been a secure form of communication.   It is even LESS secure than a typical cell phone conversation.   If you want secure email you have to employ gpg or pgp to encrypt each individual email before you send or receive each message.

WhiteGate of the week goes to FunCom!  – Great Job!