01/08/2001

An open letter to a spammer. I found this excerpt amusing from a message that slipped past Brightmail (I don’t know why I bothered to read it):

This is not a SPAM. You are receiving this because you are on a list of email addresses that I have bought. And you have opted to receive information about business oportunities. If you did not opt in to receive information on business opportunities then please accept our apology. To be REMOVED from this list simply reply with REMOVE as the subject. And you will NEVER receive another email from me.

Sorry, dude. If I didn’t solicit it, it’s spam. I guess I opted in the way most people do, by simply existing. But I can bet if I do respond, I’ll be opting in to a “known active” list that you’ll sell for even more money. I may never receive another message from you, but I’m sure I’ll get messages from 47 of your slimy customers, so no thanks.

SCSI on a budget. Well, I did it. I dug up an ancient Quantum Trailblazer 850 SCSI drive and connected it to my K6-2/350, which contains a Promise SCSI controller (it has an NCR chipset on it). I’m thinking I may install Mandrake 7.2 on it and give myself a crude dual boot by reversing IDE and SCSI in the boot order. An all-SCSI setup in Linux, even old SCSI drives, ought to be pretty nice. I’ve got a Lightning 365 drive around here too that I can pair up with it. Hmm. I could also add the ProDrive 52 LPS drive to the mix, but that’s big enough to hold /boot and not much else, so that’s getting a bit ridiculous. Sadly, that drive’s probably not worth the 5-10 watts of power it would consume anymore. But between the two bigger drives I have a gig of space, which is the minimum you want if you’re going to do much of anything useful with Linux.

The bigger drives actually aren’t as pathetic as they sound. They spin at 4500 RPM, and the Lightning has a 12 ms seek time. The Trailblazer has a 14 ms seek time, so it’s not quite as fast on the seeks, but the Trailblazer has a slightly higher platter density so for the long stretches it’ll be a little quicker.

Given their re-orderable command queue and ability to share the bus, I’d say they stand a chance of being OK. I’ll have to think about where to mount the 365–I want it to hold something used frequently so as to take advantage of having a second spindle, but it needs to be something that’s not going to grow much because 365 megs isn’t all that much space these days.

You can demonstrate command queue reordering by trying to use the drive for something else while defragmenting. The drive will hesitate much more noticeably than an IDE drive would, but the defrag is much less likely to be interrupted.

It’s been so long since I used SCSI drives extensively that I’d forgotten about their advantages.

Your own SCSI on a budget. I did a Web search over the weekend and found a number of places selling first-generation 10,000 RPM drives for under $100. Given the 3-year warranties they’re probably refurbs, but the price is right.

Working. I worked a rare Sunday yesterday, putting in a couple of hours’ worth of overtime. I think this is the second Sunday I’ve worked since finishing Optimizing Windows; I try not to do that as a general rule. I burn myself out if I don’t follow it.

Paying me time and a half to run around to a few dozen PCs and log on, then log back off in order to verify the re-wiring job works seems a waste of my skills and salary, but I do what I’m told. Quick, easy money.

Catching up on mail. I almost caught up this weekend. I think I have two or three messages left in my queue. One of them is really important, which is why it’s still in my queue. I didn’t have time to deal with it properly over the weekend. What’s Dave have up his sleeve? You’ll see. Stay tuned.

Speaking of Optimizing Windows I went ahead and put up an informational page which includes review excerpts, links to all known reviews on the Web, links to major booksellers, the ISBN number so you can have your local bookseller special-order it for you, links to chapters 2 and 10 online, and my own thoughts, looking back at it a year after publication, about why this book remains relevant in this fast-changing industry.

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