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FreeBSD and SSD drives

Paul Macdonald

Hi,

Is anyone using SSD drives on freeBSD server systems?

I'm attracted by the performance increases i've seen on both my desktops
and laptops (quite amazing and easy upgrade if you've not tried)..

I see from here    
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRIM#Operating_system_and_SSD_support
that full TRIM support only comes in 8.2,

I'd be interested to here peoples opinions on best uses for SSD, general
purpose applications such as databases , webservers etc will benefit
obviously,

but i'm also  curious as to disk intensive applications such as mailq's,
spamassassin etc?  (I presume here the lack of TRIM may degrade
performance rapidly?)

thanks
Paul.



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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Peter Vereshagin
Nothing to do oh, freebsd-questions stay in bat!
2011/02/11 09:40:37 +0000 Paul Macdonald <[hidden email]> => To FreeBSD Mailing List :

PM> I'd be interested to here peoples opinions on best uses for SSD, general
PM> purpose applications such as databases , webservers etc will benefit
PM> obviously,

Sun.com before to bankrupt was spamming me about their nice idea on SSD
appliance for their servers.
It took me a some while though to know out accidentally that they apply
solid-state memory devices for... FS journal.
This looks wise and reasonable to me because:
1. SSD is known as less reliable storage.
2. SSD has less track-to-track seek average time.
( than usual HDD )

73! Peter pgp: A0E26627 (4A42 6841 2871 5EA7 52AB  12F8 0CE1 4AAC A0E2 6627)
--
http://vereshagin.org
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Chad Perrin
In reply to this post by Paul Macdonald
On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 09:40:37AM +0000, Paul Macdonald wrote:
>
> I'd be interested to here peoples opinions on best uses for SSD, general
> purpose applications such as databases , webservers etc will benefit
> obviously,
>
> but i'm also  curious as to disk intensive applications such as mailq's,
> spamassassin etc?  (I presume here the lack of TRIM may degrade
> performance rapidly?)

Ignoring the TRIM issue for a moment . . .

You're probably best off saving SSD storage for cases where you have lots
of reads and little to no write activity, unless you enjoy buying new
SSDs a lot.  Actually, let's not ignore TRIM; the work-around for lack of
TRIM support on some drives is a "garbage collection" routine that
exacerbates the problem of having to replace your SSDs more often if you
do a lot of writes.

I guess I would only use SSDs on servers in the same cases where I would
let myself be talked into using MySQL -- cases where you just treat it
pretty much like a read-only data store, and do not have to (safely) add
or change data stored there most of the time.

--
Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]

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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Adam Vande More
On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 12:57 PM, Chad Perrin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Ignoring the TRIM issue for a moment . . .
>
> You're probably best off saving SSD storage for cases where you have lots
> of reads and little to no write activity, unless you enjoy buying new
> SSDs a lot.  Actually, let's not ignore TRIM; the work-around for lack of
> TRIM support on some drives is a "garbage collection" routine that
> exacerbates the problem of having to replace your SSDs more often if you
> do a lot of writes.
>
> I guess I would only use SSDs on servers in the same cases where I would
> let myself be talked into using MySQL -- cases where you just treat it
> pretty much like a read-only data store, and do not have to (safely) add
> or change data stored there most of the time.
>

Modern SSD's can do a *lot* of writes, wear-leveling and other tecniques
allow SSD's to be implemented for nearly any workload.  There's a great deal
of literature and facts on this topic if someone was motivated enough to
research it.  Some legends are better off fading away.

http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html

Same thing is sort of true with TRIM, on most modern drives lack of OS TRIM
support isn't the performance hit it used to be although still desirable.



--
Adam Vande More
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Dave-444
On 11 Feb 2011 at 13:33, Adam Vande More wrote:

> On Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 12:57 PM, Chad Perrin <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > Ignoring the TRIM issue for a moment . . .
> >
> > You're probably best off saving SSD storage for cases where you have
> > lots of reads and little to no write activity, unless you enjoy
> > buying new SSDs a lot.  Actually, let's not ignore TRIM; the
> > work-around for lack of TRIM support on some drives is a "garbage
> > collection" routine that exacerbates the problem of having to
> > replace your SSDs more often if you do a lot of writes.
> >
> > I guess I would only use SSDs on servers in the same cases where I
> > would let myself be talked into using MySQL -- cases where you just
> > treat it pretty much like a read-only data store, and do not have to
> > (safely) add or change data stored there most of the time.
> >
>
> Modern SSD's can do a *lot* of writes, wear-leveling and other
> tecniques allow SSD's to be implemented for nearly any workload.
> There's a great deal of literature and facts on this topic if someone
> was motivated enough to research it.  Some legends are better off
> fading away.
>
> http://www.storagesearch.com/ssdmyths-endurance.html
>
> Same thing is sort of true with TRIM, on most modern drives lack of OS
> TRIM support isn't the performance hit it used to be although still
> desirable.
> --
> Adam Vande More
>

Define "a *lot*".   If you look up the spec's on the common (currently)
available SSD systems, it's only in the 10's of 1000's writes.  Pittiful
compared to magnetic media.

The way they work too, if you write one "sector" you actualy re-write a
much larger block of memory.  Wear leveling, not that common with SSD
Hard Drives, but very common with USB (Flash) memory sticks, only goes so
far.

SSD's have a place, but not for things like swapfiles or working data
that changes a lot..

Regards.

Dave B.

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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Adam Vande More
On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 6:14 AM, Dave <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Define "a *lot*".   If you look up the spec's on the common (currently)
> available SSD systems, it's only in the 10's of 1000's writes.  Pittiful
> compared to magnetic media.
>

Chances are on many setups, by the time you've written enough data to
significantly wear out the drive your magnetic media would died of
mechanical failure long before.  Purchase what you need MLC/SLC.


> The way they work too, if you write one "sector" you actualy re-write a
> much larger block of memory.


Depends on full setup, the write amplification effect on the X-25's is about
1.1x.  Recent SSD's all are much more efficient compared to when these were
large, legitimate concerns.


> Wear leveling, not that common with SSD
> Hard Drives, but very common with USB (Flash) memory sticks,
>

Completely wrong even the first gen modern SSD's had wear leveling built in.


> SSD's have a place, but not for things like swapfiles or working data
> that changes a lot..
>

I guess ZIL's wouldn't be a good use for such devices either.  Perhaps you
can inform FS designers that they are doing it wrong.

--
Adam Vande More
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Odhiambo Washington-4
On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM, Adam Vande More <[hidden email]>wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 6:14 AM, Dave <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Define "a *lot*".   If you look up the spec's on the common (currently)
> > available SSD systems, it's only in the 10's of 1000's writes.  Pittiful
> > compared to magnetic media.
> >
>
> Chances are on many setups, by the time you've written enough data to
> significantly wear out the drive your magnetic media would died of
> mechanical failure long before.  Purchase what you need MLC/SLC.
>
>
> > The way they work too, if you write one "sector" you actualy re-write a
> > much larger block of memory.
>
>
> Depends on full setup, the write amplification effect on the X-25's is
> about
> 1.1x.  Recent SSD's all are much more efficient compared to when these were
> large, legitimate concerns.
>
>
> > Wear leveling, not that common with SSD
> > Hard Drives, but very common with USB (Flash) memory sticks,
> >
>
> Completely wrong even the first gen modern SSD's had wear leveling built
> in.
>
>
> > SSD's have a place, but not for things like swapfiles or working data
> > that changes a lot..
> >
>
> I guess ZIL's wouldn't be a good use for such devices either.  Perhaps you
> can inform FS designers that they are doing it wrong.
>
>
While my tech mind cannot comprehend all these arguments, there are laptops
which come with SSD as primary drives and are running Windows or even
Apple's OS X.
I fail to understand why manufacturers would let people install SSDs on
machines when their life is so much in question.

Can someone please enlighten me on the dangers faced by those who opt to get
their laptops installed with SSDs?

I personally have one, with a Toshiba 128GB SSD (THNS128GG4BAAA-NonFDE). I
am running Windows 7 on it.

Should I stop and buy a SATA disk?:)


--
Best regards,
Odhiambo WASHINGTON,
Nairobi,KE
+254733744121/+254722743223
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Damn!!
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Frank Shute-2
On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 07:12:08PM +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:

>
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM, Adam Vande More <[hidden email]>wrote:
>
> > On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 6:14 AM, Dave <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > Define "a *lot*".   If you look up the spec's on the common (currently)
> > > available SSD systems, it's only in the 10's of 1000's writes.  Pittiful
> > > compared to magnetic media.
> > >
> >
> > Chances are on many setups, by the time you've written enough data to
> > significantly wear out the drive your magnetic media would died of
> > mechanical failure long before.  Purchase what you need MLC/SLC.
> >
> >
> > > The way they work too, if you write one "sector" you actualy re-write a
> > > much larger block of memory.
> >
> >
> > Depends on full setup, the write amplification effect on the X-25's is
> > about
> > 1.1x.  Recent SSD's all are much more efficient compared to when these were
> > large, legitimate concerns.
> >
> >
> > > Wear leveling, not that common with SSD
> > > Hard Drives, but very common with USB (Flash) memory sticks,
> > >
> >
> > Completely wrong even the first gen modern SSD's had wear leveling built
> > in.
> >
> >
> > > SSD's have a place, but not for things like swapfiles or working data
> > > that changes a lot..
> > >
> >
> > I guess ZIL's wouldn't be a good use for such devices either.  Perhaps you
> > can inform FS designers that they are doing it wrong.
> >
> >
> While my tech mind cannot comprehend all these arguments, there are laptops
> which come with SSD as primary drives and are running Windows or even
> Apple's OS X.
> I fail to understand why manufacturers would let people install SSDs on
> machines when their life is so much in question.
>
> Can someone please enlighten me on the dangers faced by those who opt to get
> their laptops installed with SSDs?
>
> I personally have one, with a Toshiba 128GB SSD (THNS128GG4BAAA-NonFDE). I
> am running Windows 7 on it.
>
> Should I stop and buy a SATA disk?:)
>
No you shouldn't but you should run FreeBSD on it ;)

There's a lot of FUD talked about SSDs.

All I know is that I've been using one in my workstation for coming up
to a year with no problems so far.

Take it from a mechanical engineer that SSDs are much more robust than
HDDs, which is one reason they (HDDs) are going the way of the dodo.

I recommend that people should use SSDs for their workstations. Makes
a big difference in performance and makes the computer much more
pleasant to work on.


Regards,

--

 Frank

 Contact info: http://www.shute.org.uk/misc/contact.html



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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Odhiambo Washington-4
On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 7:54 PM, Frank Shute <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 07:12:08PM +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:
> >
> > On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM, Adam Vande More <[hidden email]
> >wrote:
> >
> > > On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 6:14 AM, Dave <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >
> > > > Define "a *lot*".   If you look up the spec's on the common
> (currently)
> > > > available SSD systems, it's only in the 10's of 1000's writes.
>  Pittiful
> > > > compared to magnetic media.
> > > >
> > >
> > > Chances are on many setups, by the time you've written enough data to
> > > significantly wear out the drive your magnetic media would died of
> > > mechanical failure long before.  Purchase what you need MLC/SLC.
> > >
> > >
> > > > The way they work too, if you write one "sector" you actualy re-write
> a
> > > > much larger block of memory.
> > >
> > >
> > > Depends on full setup, the write amplification effect on the X-25's is
> > > about
> > > 1.1x.  Recent SSD's all are much more efficient compared to when these
> were
> > > large, legitimate concerns.
> > >
> > >
> > > > Wear leveling, not that common with SSD
> > > > Hard Drives, but very common with USB (Flash) memory sticks,
> > > >
> > >
> > > Completely wrong even the first gen modern SSD's had wear leveling
> built
> > > in.
> > >
> > >
> > > > SSD's have a place, but not for things like swapfiles or working data
> > > > that changes a lot..
> > > >
> > >
> > > I guess ZIL's wouldn't be a good use for such devices either.  Perhaps
> you
> > > can inform FS designers that they are doing it wrong.
> > >
> > >
> > While my tech mind cannot comprehend all these arguments, there are
> laptops
> > which come with SSD as primary drives and are running Windows or even
> > Apple's OS X.
> > I fail to understand why manufacturers would let people install SSDs on
> > machines when their life is so much in question.
> >
> > Can someone please enlighten me on the dangers faced by those who opt to
> get
> > their laptops installed with SSDs?
> >
> > I personally have one, with a Toshiba 128GB SSD (THNS128GG4BAAA-NonFDE).
> I
> > am running Windows 7 on it.
> >
> > Should I stop and buy a SATA disk?:)
> >
>
> No you shouldn't but you should run FreeBSD on it ;)
>

With all the debate about FreeBSD this, FreeBSD that as regards SSDs, I am
not sure if I should so this:-)
I'll continue to run my FreeBSD servers on SATA-N..


>
> There's a lot of FUD talked about SSDs.
>
> All I know is that I've been using one in my workstation for coming up to a
> year with no problems so far.
>
> Take it from a mechanical engineer that SSDs are much more robust than
> HDDs, which is one reason they (HDDs) are going the way of the dodo.
>
> I recommend that people should use SSDs for their workstations. Makes a big
> difference in performance and makes the computer much more pleasant to work
> on.
>
>
These people in the know always talk about the imminent failure of SSDs
soon:-)


--
Best regards,
Odhiambo WASHINGTON,
Nairobi,KE
+254733744121/+254722743223
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Damn!!
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Polytropon
In reply to this post by Frank Shute-2
On Sat, 12 Feb 2011 16:54:19 +0000, Frank Shute <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 07:12:08PM +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:
> > Should I stop and buy a SATA disk?:)
> >
>
> No you shouldn't but you should run FreeBSD on it ;)

What else should one run?! ;-)



> All I know is that I've been using one in my workstation for coming up
> to a year with no problems so far.

For noise issues, SSDs surely beat HDDs, but this will
be compensated by all the fans in "modern" PCs for the
power supply, the processor, the chip"set", the housing
fan, the graphics card, the other graphics card... :-)



> Take it from a mechanical engineer that SSDs are much more robust than
> HDDs, which is one reason they (HDDs) are going the way of the dodo.

At least in mobile devices (such as netbooks) they are
welcome. Energy parameters seem to be okay, and the
absence of moving parts is a big plus for this kind of
devices where robustness is considered to be important.



> I recommend that people should use SSDs for their workstations.

No problem if a SSD fails after 2 years in use (just an
arbitrary assumption), because of two reasons: (A) the
computer itself will fail or at least considered outdated
after that time, so it will get replaced, and (B) there
are backups. Yes. There ARE backups.



> Makes
> a big difference in performance and makes the computer much more
> pleasant to work on.

Definitely, but consider my comment at the beginning. :-)



--
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Chad Perrin
In reply to this post by Odhiambo Washington-4
On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 07:12:08PM +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:
>
> I fail to understand why manufacturers would let people install SSDs on
> machines when their life is so much in question.

I fail to see why a manufacturer would *not* want your hardware to wear
out faster, since that would mean you would have to buy replacement
hardware sooner.


>
> Can someone please enlighten me on the dangers faced by those who opt to get
> their laptops installed with SSDs?

In many cases, particularly where there is quite a lot of RAM installed
in the system and where people use a netbook the way it was intended to
be used when designed (typically involving a lot of Web browsing and not
much else), SSDs might be the best option -- especially given the rapid
obsolescence of low-performance, ultra-portable units.  If you expect
your hardware to last a long time, overrun "physical" RAM into swap space
a lot, and (as you might with FreeBSD) compile code an awful lot, the
heavier storage-write load might make more of a difference in the
expected lifetime of the hardware.

With FreeBSD, installing everything from binary packages can help
mitigate the possible problems of shortening the life of your SSDs.

Of course, if you care about having lots of storage, it's worth keeping
in mind the fact that SSDs still cost a lot more per gigabyte of storage
than rotating magnetic media (HDDs).


>
> I personally have one, with a Toshiba 128GB SSD (THNS128GG4BAAA-NonFDE). I
> am running Windows 7 on it.
>
> Should I stop and buy a SATA disk?:)

Probably not.  You already have the SSD storage, and its improved
performance for many operations (as well as improved durability under
stress in the short term) can still be of benefit.  Just be sure you know
when the usable lifespan of your SSD approaches, keep good backups (as
you always should anyway), and be happy.

You'd surely be happier with a better OS on it, though -- right?

--
Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]

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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Odhiambo Washington-4
On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:38 AM, Chad Perrin <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sat, Feb 12, 2011 at 07:12:08PM +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:
> >
> > I fail to understand why manufacturers would let people install SSDs on
> > machines when their life is so much in question.
>
> I fail to see why a manufacturer would *not* want your hardware to wear
> out faster, since that would mean you would have to buy replacement
> hardware sooner.
>
>
> >
> > Can someone please enlighten me on the dangers faced by those who opt to
> get
> > their laptops installed with SSDs?
>
> In many cases, particularly where there is quite a lot of RAM installed
> in the system and where people use a netbook the way it was intended to
> be used when designed (typically involving a lot of Web browsing and not
> much else), SSDs might be the best option -- especially given the rapid
> obsolescence of low-performance, ultra-portable units.  If you expect
> your hardware to last a long time, overrun "physical" RAM into swap space
> a lot, and (as you might with FreeBSD) compile code an awful lot, the
> heavier storage-write load might make more of a difference in the
> expected lifetime of the hardware.
>
> With FreeBSD, installing everything from binary packages can help
> mitigate the possible problems of shortening the life of your SSDs.
>
> Of course, if you care about having lots of storage, it's worth keeping
> in mind the fact that SSDs still cost a lot more per gigabyte of storage
> than rotating magnetic media (HDDs).
>
>
> >
> > I personally have one, with a Toshiba 128GB SSD (THNS128GG4BAAA-NonFDE).
> I
> > am running Windows 7 on it.
> >
> > Should I stop and buy a SATA disk?:)
>
> Probably not.  You already have the SSD storage, and its improved
> performance for many operations (as well as improved durability under
> stress in the short term) can still be of benefit.  Just be sure you know
> when the usable lifespan of your SSD approaches, keep good backups (as
> you always should anyway), and be happy.
>
> You'd surely be happier with a better OS on it, though -- right?
>

Hehee,

Chad, on the "Desktop", I'd rather run the ratware from Redmond than try
FreeBSD! The second choice would be Linusware (not that I know much about
it, but just because "it" seems to support certain aspects which would
otherwise be painful to get to work with FreeBSD). Third option is PC-BSD
(which is what you mean with "better OS"). All my servers run FreeBSD
though. The "better OS" is not so better at the Desktop, hence the choice of
ratware:-)

--
Best regards,
Odhiambo WASHINGTON,
Nairobi,KE
+254733744121/+254722743223
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Damn!!
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Chad Perrin
On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:53:18AM +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:38 AM, Chad Perrin <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > You'd surely be happier with a better OS on it, though -- right?
>
> Chad, on the "Desktop", I'd rather run the ratware from Redmond than try
> FreeBSD! The second choice would be Linusware (not that I know much about
> it, but just because "it" seems to support certain aspects which would
> otherwise be painful to get to work with FreeBSD). Third option is PC-BSD
> (which is what you mean with "better OS"). All my servers run FreeBSD
> though. The "better OS" is not so better at the Desktop, hence the choice of
> ratware:-)
You clearly have a different opinion of what constitutes a good OS than I
have.  I prefer a desktop/laptop OS that is stable, reasonably securable,
and productivity enhancing.  I do not find immense and unnecessary bloat,
a fundamentally broken approach to things like privilege separation, and
a GUI so pervasively bound to interfere that CPU can spike to near 100%
just by moving the mouse across the screen to meet those needs.

Perhaps the fact that I use my desktop/laptop systems for things like
writing code and articles rather than playing Guild Wars all day colors
my perceptions.

--
Chad Perrin [ original content licensed OWL: http://owl.apotheon.org ]

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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Jerry-130
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 02:23:53 -0700
Chad Perrin <[hidden email]> articulated:

> On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 11:53:18AM +0300, Odhiambo Washington wrote:
> > On Sun, Feb 13, 2011 at 10:38 AM, Chad Perrin <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > You'd surely be happier with a better OS on it, though -- right?
> >
> > Chad, on the "Desktop", I'd rather run the ratware from Redmond
> > than try FreeBSD! The second choice would be Linusware (not that I
> > know much about it, but just because "it" seems to support certain
> > aspects which would otherwise be painful to get to work with
> > FreeBSD). Third option is PC-BSD (which is what you mean with
> > "better OS"). All my servers run FreeBSD though. The "better OS" is
> > not so better at the Desktop, hence the choice of ratware:-)
>
> You clearly have a different opinion of what constitutes a good OS
> than I have.  I prefer a desktop/laptop OS that is stable, reasonably
> securable, and productivity enhancing.  I do not find immense and
> unnecessary bloat, a fundamentally broken approach to things like
> privilege separation, and a GUI so pervasively bound to interfere
> that CPU can spike to near 100% just by moving the mouse across the
> screen to meet those needs.
>
> Perhaps the fact that I use my desktop/laptop systems for things like
> writing code and articles rather than playing Guild Wars all day
> colors my perceptions.
"Bloat" is a purely subjective term. What one user considers bloat
could very well be a requirement for another use. For example, while
you might consider it bloat to have drivers for modern wireless "N"
protocol cards, many other users have a real need for them.

I have four PC present working in my home. Three are FreeBSD machines
and one a Win7 one. The Windows machine is essential, if for no other
reason than there is software that is just not available on a FreeBSD
platform. Or if it is available, it is of very poor quality. MS Office
is a perfect example. Despite all of the rubbish the FOSS community has
spewed for over 10 years, OpenOffice is nothing more than a poor clone
of Office 97. The newly released "libreoffice" might be usable someday;
however, it is now only in its infancy. There is no way it can be
compared to a full blown MS Office 10 suite. Until the FOSS can write
applications that are not only compatible with, but as fully functional
as MS Office and similar software, as well as provide drivers in a
timely manner (and I am still waiting for Java to be updated to the
latest version so that it will work with the FreeBSD version of
Firefox, or for acroread9 to actually work and play well with others,
etc), Microsoft will always be a requirement for many end users.

This is in no way a condemnation of FreeBSD, or any other open-source
product. It is just a simple statement of fact. The majority of users,
despite what they may publicly proclaim, want software and hardware
that just works. I had installed an older nVidia GeForce GT 220 card in
an older PC and then discovered that there was no sound being emitted by
the machine. Wasting valuable time, I finally discovered that I had to
modify the "sysctl.conf" file. Crap like that should just not happen.
Things should just work. If other OS's can accomplish that feat, there
is no reasonable reason that FreeBSD cannot attain that level of
usability either, unless its goal is to remain nothing more than a
hobbyist's toy.

For the record, I have never played "Guild Wars", although there are
many fine games available that are not available on the FreeBSD
platform. And no, I am not going to blame the authors of said software
for that since they have an absolute right, well maybe not according to
the EC aka ECUSSR, but in a normal and free business climate to write
and publish software in whatever OS language they desire.

Just my 2¢.

--
Jerry ✌
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Bruce Cran
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 07:38:01 -0500
Jerry <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Despite all of the rubbish the FOSS community
> has spewed for over 10 years, OpenOffice is nothing more than a poor
> clone of Office 97. The newly released "libreoffice" might be usable
> someday; however, it is now only in its infancy. There is no way it
> can be compared to a full blown MS Office 10 suite.

For some, Office is unusable due to the new Ribbon interface and
libreoffice is the usable office suite due to its familiar menus.

--
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Polytropon
In reply to this post by Jerry-130
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 07:38:01 -0500, Jerry <[hidden email]> wrote:
> "Bloat" is a purely subjective term.

It's not.



> What one user considers bloat
> could very well be a requirement for another use. For example, while
> you might consider it bloat to have drivers for modern wireless "N"
> protocol cards, many other users have a real need for them.

This would not be bloat in any regards. Bloat refers to
software that raises hardware requirements (or also software
requirements) for NO benefit at all. For example, a program
that re-implements existing functionality, but does it in
a way that the final result becomes much slower, more
vulnerable to attacks or generally more insecure, would
be bloat.

This is a relation between what software provides and what
it requires for that in chance.

A term in relation is "overall usage speed" which contains
things like system booting time, program loading time, time
needed for interaction and so on. The corresponding equation
would be
                 software requirements
        speed = -----------------------
                   hardware resources

which shows that if you increase both parts, the result will
stay constant. This is the explaination why a 386 with 40 MHz
and GEOS (Geoworks Ensemble) does not feel slower than a
current PC with plentycore processor and tenmelonhundred
Gigahertz and tons of RAM, running "Windows" and the
MICROS~1 office suite. This assumes that people do the
same things with both example systems, as they usually
do (here: generic example of word processing).

You can easily see that working (!) hardware support would
not be bloat. In opposite, it would be very WELCOME to have
support for wireless "N" protocol cards on ANY operating
system. But there are reasons why it is NOT the case.

This means that bloat is not specific to an OS. There are
systems that traditionally emphasize the development of
bloatware for their own marketing reasons, but you can also
find bloated software on efficient and secure systems.



> I have four PC present working in my home. Three are FreeBSD machines
> and one a Win7 one. The Windows machine is essential, if for no other
> reason than there is software that is just not available on a FreeBSD
> platform. Or if it is available, it is of very poor quality. MS Office
> is a perfect example. Despite all of the rubbish the FOSS community has
> spewed for over 10 years, OpenOffice is nothing more than a poor clone
> of Office 97. The newly released "libreoffice" might be usable someday;
> however, it is now only in its infancy. There is no way it can be
> compared to a full blown MS Office 10 suite.

Which ordinary people treat like a worse typewriter. :-)

I can see that there may be fields where office suites have
their right to exist. I've been working in a multi-OS place
where Linux, BSD, Mac boxes as well as some "Windows" have
been working quite cooperatively. The MICROS~1 office programs
always caused problems, and as the systems were all given a
OpenOffice installation, things magically worked.

This, keep in mind, is just a very individual observation
that does not claim to be applicable everywhere, just as
yours.



> Until the FOSS can write
> applications that are not only compatible with, but as fully functional
> as MS Office and similar software, as well as provide drivers in a
> timely manner

Just ask for the many different file format specifications for
DOC files. You do know where you need to ask, don't you? :-)

Honestly: If you need to open outdated or defective DOC files,
there is always OpenOffice which achieves what the MICROS~1
program can't.



> (and I am still waiting for Java to be updated to the
> latest version so that it will work with the FreeBSD version of
> Firefox, or for acroread9 to actually work and play well with others,
> etc), Microsoft will always be a requirement for many end users.

Many things you named work also on the Mac OS X platform
which is also essential to many end users. Also note that
Java and Acroread are just requirements for OTHER things,
as they are tools to support other fields of use. THOSE
fields are the ones creating the initial requirements
(e. g. changing file formats, language specifications,
arbitrary interface changes, and so on).



> This is in no way a condemnation of FreeBSD, or any other open-source
> product. It is just a simple statement of fact.

Which is to be seen in relation to reality.



> The majority of users,
> despite what they may publicly proclaim, want software and hardware
> that just works.

That's true. But MANUFACTURERS do not want such hardware, as
this is NOT the way to increase geowth. Just imagine you could
sell a "just works" PC that "just works" three years. Good
idea? No. Better sell a "halfway works" PC every year along
with a support bundle. If it doesn't break by itself, do it
in software: "Feature X requires software Y, but software Y
requires hardware Z."

The NEEDS of the majority of users is NOT in the scope of
the manufacturers, or the majority would use web-bases services
entirely by the means of their TV set (as a kind of terminal
access system).  This would FULLY be sufficient for them, and
keep them away from most problems they have with "modern"
hardware and software that "just works" (which it in fact
does not).



> I had installed an older nVidia GeForce GT 220 card in
> an older PC and then discovered that there was no sound being emitted by
> the machine. Wasting valuable time, I finally discovered that I had to
> modify the "sysctl.conf" file. Crap like that should just not happen.

This is the natural result of multi-purpose hardware. As there
are more and more possibilities to use hardware XYZ, the system
has to make those CHOICES it inherits availabe to the user. Of
course, there could be a preset value, but it may happen that
this value does not fit the needs of a certain amount of users,
be it 1%, 20% or 50%. So what preset value would be good, or
would it be better to let the user decide? Or should he be
limited in what he can do with the hardware he bought just
to keep him from being able to choose?



> Things should just work.

Yes, I agree, they should. More and more often, you find that
they don't, and the more functionality an egg-laying wool-milk-sow
can provide, the harder it is for a system to provide access
to that functionality, especially when the manufacturer does
deny the existence of that OS in particular, or existing (!)
standards in general. There would be no need for thousands of
incomparable drivers if standards would be used. But as I said,
it is not intended: If the customer can just use a generic PS
printer profile for his new printer, why should he install
the bloatware DVD coming with the printer that allows the
manufacturer to spy at how many pages he prints, when, and
with which content?



> If other OS's can accomplish that feat, there
> is no reasonable reason that FreeBSD cannot attain that level of
> usability either, unless its goal is to remain nothing more than a
> hobbyist's toy.

Erm... excuse me... do I understand your statement correctly?
Honest question! You state that FreeBSD is currently nothing
more than a hobbyist's toy?

I may say - again a very individual standpoint - that I am
using FreeBSD on servers AND on my home desktop EXCLUSIVELY
since version 4 without missing ANY cool feature that all
the "Windows"-kiddies are so proud of. What they claim to
be doing today has been done by me yesterday already. :-)

It's your KNOWLEDGE and EXPERIENCE defining the value of the
system you use. It's NOT the system per se.



> For the record, I have never played "Guild Wars", although there are
> many fine games available that are not available on the FreeBSD
> platform.

Not natively, as FreeBSD doesn't exist. Didn't you know? Only
the web exists, which is the Internet, this has been invented
by MICROS~1 and consists of "Flash". :-)

Having been a PC player myself, I've played many games on
FreeBSD that were made for other systems, without many
problems. It's very true that you traditionally can't play
the most current games on FreeBSD, but you can't do so on
the outdated "Windows" versions out there, too, and I do
not mention specific hardware requirements here.



> And no, I am not going to blame the authors of said software
> for that since they have an absolute right, well maybe not according to
> the EC aka ECUSSR, but in a normal and free business climate to write
> and publish software in whatever OS language they desire.

I do not disagree with that. If the developer of a program
or the author of a web page wishes to exclude me from
participating on his content, it's his ABSOLUTE right.

But: There is NO right to require propretary and even
financially-oriented software, protocols, mechanisms or
other stuff to participate on a free and standardized
structure of services and contents that the Internet
provides, generally spoken, like "you need a 'Windows'
to get online". "Eat or die" is an abuse of market
positions.






--
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Polytropon
In reply to this post by Bruce Cran
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 13:10:51 +0000, Bruce Cran <[hidden email]> wrote:
> For some, Office is unusable due to the new Ribbon interface and
> libreoffice is the usable office suite due to its familiar menus.

Users who have already used PCs are familiar with the menu
technique of functionality presentation. Scanning them is
a lot faster than trying to find things in an always-changing
context-sensitive Ribbon interface where things tend to
rearrange whatever your focus is currently on. On the
other hand, the Ribbon would be good for new users who do
not have to re-learn things and who are not good at thinking
in categories, or good at thinking at all. :-)

No, seriously: Provided certain parameters (big screen, no
established knowledge, no need for consistency, average
visual perception and discrimination abilities), the
Ribbon can benefit work. Just because *I* do not feel
familiar with it, it doesn't mean that others have to
judge the same way.

Oh, and you don't really need it when you already know
the keyboard shortcuts, which is ESSENTIAL for serious
work (because it's faster). :-)



--
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Jerry-130
In reply to this post by Bruce Cran
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 13:10:51 +0000
Bruce Cran <[hidden email]> articulated:

> On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 07:38:01 -0500
> Jerry <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Despite all of the rubbish the FOSS community
> > has spewed for over 10 years, OpenOffice is nothing more than a poor
> > clone of Office 97. The newly released "libreoffice" might be usable
> > someday; however, it is now only in its infancy. There is no way it
> > can be compared to a full blown MS Office 10 suite.
>
> For some, Office is unusable due to the new Ribbon interface and
> libreoffice is the usable office suite due to its familiar menus.

New, as in four years old? That is one of the worst straw man arguments
I have heard in a while. In any case, In 2008 OpenOffice.org started
the project Renaissance to improve the user interface of OpenOffice. So
far the prototypes of the project are frequently seen as similar to the
ribbon interface.

Obviously, the use and customization of any software is a personal
experience. However, if the use of the "ribbon" is beyond your
abilities, and I am assuming that you are aware that the "ribbon" can
be hidden, modified and that there are many "add-ons" available that
can be used to manage it, then so be it. I would rather work with an
application with a minor annoyance, and I do not find the "ribbon" to be
one, then to use a less robust application. Again, it is up to the end
user to ascertain their requirements and find the tool that is best
fitted to that job.

In any case, I am quite confident that your condemnation of the
"ribbon" is totally based on your reading of Slashdot and other similar
documents and not from any personal experience.

--
Jerry ✌
[hidden email]

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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Polytropon
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 08:58:05 -0500, Jerry <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 13:10:51 +0000
> Bruce Cran <[hidden email]> articulated:
>
> > On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 07:38:01 -0500
> > Jerry <[hidden email]> wrote:
> >
> > > Despite all of the rubbish the FOSS community
> > > has spewed for over 10 years, OpenOffice is nothing more than a poor
> > > clone of Office 97. The newly released "libreoffice" might be usable
> > > someday; however, it is now only in its infancy. There is no way it
> > > can be compared to a full blown MS Office 10 suite.
> >
> > For some, Office is unusable due to the new Ribbon interface and
> > libreoffice is the usable office suite due to its familiar menus.
>
> New, as in four years old? That is one of the worst straw man arguments
> I have heard in a while.

You're refering to when the UI has been issued as being "new".
I'm refering to how users recept it TODAY. In many business
settings, you won't see any of the "new" stuff MICROS~1 has
to offer. This "Windows XP" is still VERY present, and a
common office application is the predecessor with the traditional
menues. Many user complain about the Ribbon and refuse to use
it, as they had a hard time learning menues (and the changes
within them from program version to program version). And
now something "new"... that's too complicated. That's why
I was using "new" as this kind of nonfamiliar interface is
considered new TO THEM.



> In any case, In 2008 OpenOffice.org started
> the project Renaissance to improve the user interface of OpenOffice. So
> far the prototypes of the project are frequently seen as similar to the
> ribbon interface.

Providing the TRY of "the same" is often inferior to providing
"better". But users do not want "better", they want "the same"
as they prefer consistency in usage, implying that nothing new
has to be learned.



> Obviously, the use and customization of any software is a personal
> experience. However, if the use of the "ribbon" is beyond your
> abilities, [...]

Preferences. Abilities have nothing to do with it, except
we are talking about niche users (who are out of scope anyway),
such as blind users who could read menu text through a Braille
readout, but can't identify images (without any text) by that
means, which implies that a pictural interface which is
contextually changing is absolutely unusable for them.



> [...] and I am assuming that you are aware that the "ribbon" can
> be hidden, modified and that there are many "add-ons" available that
> can be used to manage it, then so be it.

I'm not using any MICROS~1 stuff at all, so my experience can
be seen as limited.



> I would rather work with an
> application with a minor annoyance, and I do not find the "ribbon" to be
> one, then to use a less robust application.

I don't think robustness is important for end users in the
home sector, as "bleeding edge" is preferred. Robustness is
very important for corporate users.



> Again, it is up to the end
> user to ascertain their requirements and find the tool that is best
> fitted to that job.

No. End users do not try or find anything, or make judged
considerations. They use whatever comes preinstalled, or they
use what they know from their work place (traditionally by
obtaining a pirated copy of whatever it is).



> In any case, I am quite confident that your condemnation of the
> "ribbon" is totally based on your reading of Slashdot and other similar
> documents and not from any personal experience.

I have never read anything on Slashdot, sorry. Should I? :-)

My personal experience is limited in helping users who come
from a "menu background" and feel that the constant re-learning
a contextually changing interface that is based upon pictural
elements instead of WORDS is limiting their productivity. This
was the chance for me to try to use the Ribbon interface, and
I didn't feel it is THAT BAD. There are, however, applications
where this kind of interface, if consistently used, would be
a benefit for the user.

I suggest you have a look at this:

        http://toastytech.com/guis/win72.html

It's part of the "Windows 7" article of the "GUI Gallery" and
contains a very nice summary of user perception of the Ribbon,
NOT in relation to MICROS~1's office programs in this case.


--
Polytropon
Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...
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Re: FreeBSD and SSD drives

Bruce Cran
In reply to this post by Jerry-130
On Sun, 13 Feb 2011 08:58:05 -0500
Jerry <[hidden email]> wrote:

> New, as in four years old? That is one of the worst straw man
> arguments I have heard in a while. In any case, In 2008
> OpenOffice.org started the project Renaissance to improve the user
> interface of OpenOffice. So far the prototypes of the project are
> frequently seen as similar to the ribbon interface.
>
> Obviously, the use and customization of any software is a personal
> experience. However, if the use of the "ribbon" is beyond your
> abilities, and I am assuming that you are aware that the "ribbon" can
> be hidden, modified and that there are many "add-ons" available that
> can be used to manage it, then so be it. I would rather work with an
> application with a minor annoyance, and I do not find the "ribbon" to
> be one, then to use a less robust application. Again, it is up to the
> end user to ascertain their requirements and find the tool that is
> best fitted to that job.
>
> In any case, I am quite confident that your condemnation of the
> "ribbon" is totally based on your reading of Slashdot and other
> similar documents and not from any personal experience.

Obviously I'm not talking about myself having problems with it since
I've used all sorts of different UIs over the years and can learn new
interfaces quickly. You seem to be forgetting that most people don't
upgrade very frequently: I wouldn't be surprised if lots were still
running Office 2000.  I worked in an R&D environment and even there
people were steadfastly ignoring Vista and even 64-bit Windows even 3
years after it was released - I had to keep running 32-bit XP.

The problem is that less technically-literate people have problems with
_certain_ operations which were simple in the past - printing for
example now takes several clicks during which the screen changes each
time. For people who get confused when icons move on the screen the
context-sensitive nature of it can be rather difficult to learn.

With large screens and people who don't have the baggage of expecting
things to work a certain way I do think Ribbon is better: for example I
recently started using Access 2010 and found it rather easy to find how
to do things like exporting to SQL Server 2008, which would previously
have been buried. Also, the way traditional sub-menus work in Windows
is really awful for people who don't have accurate mouse skills - move
the mouse outside the menu and it disappears. The Ribbon solves this
problem.

--
Bruce Cran
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