[aprssig] itty bitty laptop

Bill Vodall WA7NWP wa7nwp at gmail.com
Thu Jun 21 12:32:29 EDT 2007

Nothing starts the day like a chance to disagree with my buddy Curt..

On 6/21/07, Curt, WE7U <archer at OS.

> Oh yea, one thing to be careful of:  Since this thing uses only
> flash drives, remember that flash has a limited number of write
> cycles you can do.  If you are putting logfiles, swap, or tmp files
> on the flash drive, you'll end up making it unusable fairly quickly.
> If you have enough RAM you can put all your temporary files there
> instead and avoid this problem.  Just be careful of any daemons
> (services for you Windows folk) that regularly write to any drives.

Technically correct and the suggestion of putting temp files in RAM is
a good thing but...   That limited number (of writes) is in the
hundreds of thousands and is generally automatically spread across the
device to equalize the ware.  Even folks like Curt and I that like to
squeeze the last bit of use out of legacy equipment are far more
likely to replace the flash devices as being too small and obsolete
before there starts to be a problem with burned out cells.

Curts favorite software company, Microsoft, has a neat new feature in
Vista called Readyboost that makes use of an attached Thumb Drive as
extended swap space.  It's not as fast as a sequential read of a
modern hard drive but it blows the doors off it when it comes to
random operations scattered around the drive.


I picked up a close out USB2 and Firewire PCI card at Radio Shack
yesterday that has an extra USB2 internal slot.  I'll probably pick up
a cheap 2 GB thumb drive and let it sit there full time.   This is a
Linux file server with only 128 MB RAM so the extra swap should help.
 I'll be interesting to see if Linux is some how smart enough to give
priority to the Flash for swap instead of using the existing swap on
the hard drive.

Your turn Curt...

Bill - WA7NWP

PS.  Why a USB 2.0 card for the old file server?  Try copying
multi-gigabyte video files to an external USB hard drive with USB
1.1..   It's really slow...

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