A Night On The Town

I’m not much of a party-goer but tonight I had one of the few parties I will attend in 2017. As luck would have it the guy I was sitting near on the sofa was an IT-guy who specialized in network security for rafts of clients. Of course, he relied on GNU/Linux for lots of stuff. Like me he has a server at home sharing files and running several virtual machines. He too had recently upgraded his Internet service and network. One of his servers at work has a gazillion cores and hundreds of gigabytes of RAM. What they do with that is correlate a bunch of logs to detect and respond to intrusions in real time. Amazing! They monitor thousands of systems and report to local IT the suspected intrusion or attack in progress.

We talked for an hour about teaching in the North and how I came to GNU/Linux. He could relate because he had also done work in the North and served customers there. There was absolutely no discussion of the flaws of GNU/Linux or why it’s inferior to That Other OS. We both found GNU/Linux far superior for reliable IT. Amen.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in family, Linux in Education, technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to A Night On The Town

  1. dougman says:

    Again, liars are extremely generous when it comes to giving you details. They’re trying to con you into believing them by overloading you with details.

    BRAVO.

  2. Deaf Spy, like Trump, extrapolating the universe from a speck of dust, wrote, “You do thin-clients at home as an exception, and most of the operations are actually thick-clients.”

    The only reason TLW is not using Odroid-C2 as a thin client is that she used too much RAM to share with me the RAM on Beast III. She’d like ~4gB or so to live within her means. Beast has only 4gB total… I and the services also have to live in that RAM. The new server will have at least 16gB RAM and she will be welcome to return. Further, I would use an Odroid-C2 as a thin client personally if I had an HDMI monitor. I have an old LCD thingy now. That could change at the drop of a piece of plastic. I’m thinking to buy three or more Odroid-C2s this year to replace dead/old Atoms and to serve me. Then Beast IV can live in the server-room where such things belong for central access to the network. I’ve used thin clients for more than a decade. They work for me.

  3. Deaf Spy says:

    I have never recommended full thin client operations to anyone.”

    Liar, as proved by Dougman.

    We have a gigabit/s network and doing stuff on the server is much faster for most purposes.

    Liar. You do thin-clients at home as an exception, and most of the operations are actually thick-clients.

    The rest is drivel, not backed up by data, just wild wishes.

  4. dougman says:

    Well Pogsey, in your example, liars are extremely generous when it comes to giving you details. They’re trying to con you into believing them by overloading you with details.

    BRAVO.

  5. dougman wrote, “My recommendation is that GNU/Linux terminal servers and thin clients should be the default solution”

    Perhaps his knowledge of English is lacking. “Default solution” does not mean “universal solution” or “compulsory solution” or anything else except what it means, the starting point/a basis for clients. e.g. in schools where number seats is the key value of IT, thin clients being less expensive gives them a clear lead. You can lay out a thin client seat for a bit over $100 whereas a seat for thick clients of the desktop variety starts at $hundreds and the least expensive notebooks are probably around $200. So, you can have twice as many seats for the same cost with thin clients. That matters. Such usage is appropriate in many offices, libraries, public kiosks etc. where folks are clicking, pointing and gawking and not running massive throughput like some media generation. It is usually much faster to have a powerful machine handling the data and sending the pictures to a monitor than having a feeble/cheap local thick client doing that. If you want proof just watch my last thick client be sluggish in my living room. Meanwhile an Odroid-C2 in the office simply rocks in comparison. We have a gigabit/s network and doing stuff on the server is much faster for most purposes.

  6. dougman says:

    “I have never recommended full thin client operations to anyone.”

    Uhhhh….LIAR.

    http://mrpogson.com/2012/07/01/ars-technica-reaches-new-low-in-journalism-why-thin-client-desktops-must-die-based-on-experience-from-1990/

    My recommendation is that GNU/Linux terminal servers and thin clients should be the default solution

    http://mrpogson.com/2011/03/06/us-department-of-the-navy-switching-to-thin-client-technology/

    It’s about time. People who need to find, create, modify and distribute information can use GNU/Linux and thin clients.

  7. Deaf Spy wrote, “you can’t establish full thin-client-based operations at your own house. You have no right whatsoever to recommend thin clients to anyone.”

    I can do what I want. I have never recommended full thin client operations to anyone. Thin clients are optimal for a number of situations but not all. We have a full gigabit/s LAN except for wireless. Thin clients are practical at 100mbits/s so they should be the default at 1000mbits/s. Why not?

  8. dougman wrote, “Why in hell would you use SSH in your own house Pogsey? Are you afraid that some family member may snoop on your session??”

    Passwordlessness and security.

  9. dougman says:

    Why in hell would you use SSH in your own house Pogsey? Are you afraid that some family member may snoop on your session??

  10. Deaf Spy says:

    So, it is only you who use a thin client on a kinda regular basis.

    Robert, you can’t establish full thin-client-based operations at your own house. You have no right whatsoever to recommend thin clients to anyone.

  11. Deaf Spy wrote, “TLW is not using one, that is plain obvious. Do you? “

    Frequently. I use ssh -Y me@beast "/usr/local/bin/firefox/firefox" from the comfort of my LazyBoy™ or even ssh -Y me@beast "xfce4-session". It’s all good fun.

  12. Deaf Spy says:

    TLW is using it as a thick client

    Where exactly this fabulous thin-client infrastructure is implemented at your very own home, Robert? TLW is not using one, that is plain obvious. Do you?

    Ah, and speaking of Midori… How much did you donate to the developers?

  13. ram wrote, “How can anybody be arguing about running Linux on very lost machines.”

    I have no idea what you are are asking. What the heck is a “lost machine”?

  14. ram says:

    How can anybody be arguing about running Linux on very lost machines. There are Linux boards out there for around USD $12 that connect to the web and run a browser. Hardware today is cheap.

  15. Deaf Spy wrote, “Odroid C2 – is it a thin client, or a desktop?”

    That’s not a proper question. Odroid-C2 could be both or either. TLW is using it as a thick client except that the file-system is on our server. She would get better performance and more applications as a thin client but it’s good enough as a thick client at the moment. She’s using Midori browser instead of FireFox and 3.14 instead of a more recent kernel. LibreOffice runs well. No problems. All her usual tools: file-manager Thunar, image-handler Geeqie, and XFCE4 desktop stuff run smoothly. She has 1080 packages installed. It just works.

  16. Deaf Spy wrote, “ARM is taking Linux back to late 90s… When most stuff didn’t work properly very often.”

    Nope. There are a lot of useful devices that run on ARM. It’s C that is the pain. Too many applications have x86-ness built into them because C is very low level in places. ARM64 is looking good these days.

    In Debian, the porting was getting serious in 2014. They were hampered by a lack of building machines. That is being remedied now that serious hardware is becoming cheap/plentiful. Currently, thousands of packages install properly and Chromium browser is being built. For Stretch, 25K packages are available. So, the 1990s are not calling again. I count 50278 packages in Stretch. It’s more like 2010. I’m OK with that. It will take me a little time to get up to speed with ARM64 and by the time I do it will be largely debugged and working. TLW has no problem getting work done on an early port to ARM and for Debian Stretch she could be using a mainstream kernel.

  17. Deaf Spy says:

    It’s a nice package for a small desktop or microserver and well worth the price.

    versus

    some applications like FireFox don’t yet work on it, at least in my distro and it doesn’t have SATA.

    Normal folks, Robert, call this a piece of useless crap and will never use it even if you deliver it on their doorstep for free.

    ARM is taking Linux back to late 90s… When most stuff didn’t work properly very often.

  18. Deaf Spy says:

    thin clients really reduced my cost

    Like TLW’s eight-core beast?

    Finally, did you make up your mind about Odroid C2 – is it a thin client, or a desktop? 🙂

  19. ram says:

    Except for some government contractors, I don’t know of a single medium to large enterprise using anything from Microsoft. Linux totally dominates although there are a few BSD devices sometimes in the desktop mix. Linux certainly works for my company with our dozens of servers and clusters with many thousands of cores.

  20. dougman wrote, “you would be making yourself look foolish”.

    Not at all. The young man had some experience serving governments and businesses in the North so they knew the challenges I was meeting in schools. He agreed GNU/Linux was a superior choice to TOOS in those circumstances. He didn’t bat an eye when I mentioned that thin clients really reduced my cost and workload and increased reliability for us.

  21. dougman says:

    “it’s not yet fully supported by kernel.org but they are working on it and some applications like FireFox don’t yet work on it, at least in my distro and it doesn’t have SATA.”

    Sounds like a true winner Pogsey. It is sure to win the hearts and minds of the indigenous populations of Northern Canada.

  22. dougman ranting and extrapolating far from the truth, wrote, “you are purchasing weenie boards from China and losing money on startups that never produce anything”.

    Uh, the Android-C2 is in production and works exactly as advertised. It just sits there humming and blinking it’s blue LED. I figured out how to turn that annoyance off and now it sits there humming. Uptime is 15 days at the moment. TLW uses it almost every day. It works for her. The only complaints I have is that it’s not yet fully supported by kernel.org but they are working on it and some applications like FireFox don’t yet work on it, at least in my distro and it doesn’t have SATA. Folks are working on FF too. It’s a nice package for a small desktop or microserver and well worth the price.

  23. dougman says:

    “I don’t recall mentioning we were going all-in for ARM at my house”

    of course not, you would be making yourself look foolish.

    “I did mention that TLW uses a tiny smartphone-sized system as a thick client”

    Nice going, tossing TLW under the bus like that! Instead you should have stated, that you are purchasing weenie boards from China and losing money on startups that never produce anything. At least then you would be up front and honest with the guy.

  24. dougman wrote, “Which contradicts your statement, “gazillion cores and hundreds of gigabytes of RAM””

    Nope. I am old enough to remember when one core was absolutely wonderful. I waited years for dual-core and then quad-core. To have 16 cores on a CPU and two sockets on a motherboard is fantastic. It might as well be gazillions and 512 is five hundred, ten and two GB, last time I checked. Gazillion is not a precise term. I claim literary licence to use it in place of “many”.

    dougman also wrote, “Why no love of ARM? Did you even mention this? Probably not.”

    I don’t recall mentioning we were going all-in for ARM at my house but I did mention that TLW uses a tiny smartphone-sized system as a thick client and that we have a wonderful server doing the heavy lifting combined with gigabit/s networking and 150mbits/s from the ISP and a suitable wireless access point. Mostly his conversation was about software and he found FLOSS eminently suitable to his work. He did most of it from BASH, for instance, because he could, and it was scriptable and more reliable than TOOS. Chuckle. He connected the TV in the celebrant’s home to his home server to stream a movie. We joked that I still used Mplayer and VLC… and streamed only on my own LAN. We all had a good time.

  25. dougman says:

    “I forget the number of cores he mentioned but it was like 32-48 and the RAM was 512GB.”I forget the number of cores he mentioned but it was like 32-48 and the RAM was 512GB.

    Which contradicts your statement, “gazillion cores and hundreds of gigabytes of RAM”

    On that note, I am willing to bet that this limey was running an Intel CPU. Did you happen to mention your failing use of weenie boards from China? Probably not.

    Also, I find it humorous that you link a board for Intel processors. Why no love of ARM? Did you even mention this? Probably not.

  26. dougman wrote, “No such animal exists.”

    I forget the number of cores he mentioned but it was like 32-48 and the RAM was 512GB. It certainly does exist if you buy enough memory modules of the largest kinds. It wasn’t packet-sniffing. It was slurping up all the logs from every machine in dozens of fleets, a real sample of the Internet, looking for patterns that could indicate attacks/penetrations.

    I didn’t pursue the hardware in great detail. We discussed mostly software, networking and security, but hardware like this could meet his specs: https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C600/X10DRT-PS.cfm 32GB RAM modules are available if you can afford it. His company could. Lots of big wealthy customers.

  27. dougman says:

    Ummm, probably a Ubuntu file server at home.

    “gazillion cores and hundreds of gigabytes of RAM”

    No such animal exists.

    “correlate a bunch of logs to detect and respond to intrusions in real time”

    So this dude is just running a packet sniffer on a Windows Server, how quaint. I use to do this back in 2007; that’s how I informed C-level people what employees were doing throughout the week.

  28. Nope. GNU/Linux all the way, Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

  29. dougman says:

    10-1, the server he has running in the corporate world is a Windows Server. The Linux he used in business, was just a LiveCD for penetration purposes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *