Xah Lee's Unixism

Morten Reistad firstname at lastname.pr1v.n0
Wed Sep 8 20:43:17 CEST 2004

In article <413f049f$0$6914$61fed72c at news.rcn.com>,  <jmfbahciv at aol.com> wrote:
>In article <p9qdnTnxTYDJR6PcRVn-pw at speakeasy.net>,
>   rpw3 at rpw3.org (Rob Warnock) wrote:
>>John Thingstad <john.thingstad at chello.no> wrote:
>>| As you may know XP is not particularly good as a server.
>>| I would go for some Unix implementation (perhaps free-BSD)
>>| As a workstation XP seems OK.
>>| I hear a lot of complaints about XP's stability.
>>| Since I have not administered a XP network, yet, I cant comment on that.
>>| But in my personal experience it is a stable system.
>>| I frequently let my computer run 24 hrs. a day for more than a month  
>>| without a need to reboot. So for me it is adequate.
>>*Only* a month?!?  Here's the uptime for one of my FreeBSD boxes
>>[an old, slow '486]:
>>    %  uptime
>>     2:44AM  up 630 days, 21:14, 1 user, load averages: 0.06, 0.02, 0.00
>>    % 
>>That's over *20* months!!
>I bet we can measure the youngster's age by the uptimes he boasts.
>>p.s. I remember the time back in the early 70's (at Emory Univ.) when
>>we called DEC Field Service to complain that our PDP-10 had an uptime
>>of over a year. Why were we complaining? Well, that meant that DEC Field
>>Service had failed to perform scheduled preventive maintenance (which
>>usually involved at least one power cycle)...  ;-}
>One?  Had to be two.  FS was supposed to use their service pack
>as the system disk, not the customers!!!  I believe that was
>true even in 1970.  The dangers of smushing bits was too great.

But with a PM you had to do a cold start. All the disks had to be 
spun down, filters changed, and they had to spin for an ungodly long
time after the filter change before heads could be enabled again. This
was to bring all the dust that was let loose in the process into the new
filters before heads went to fly over the platters again.

Also power supplies had to be checked for the dreaded capacitor
problems. Tape drives also had these. This was industry-wide 
problems; and news from a few burned UPS'es the last couple of
months tell me that the capacitor problems are still with us.

It was a real accomplishment when we in 1988 could do a full
PM (Prime gear) without shutting down the system. All disks were
mirrored, and all power duplicated, so we shut down half of the
hardware and did PM on that; and took the other half next week. 

SMD filters were used at a quite high rate; even inside well 
filtered rooms. ISTR 6 months was a pretty long interval between PM's. 

-- mrr

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