* Posts by Algis Petraitis

17 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Aug 2008

HP murders webOS tablets, phones

Algis Petraitis

HP to me is the good hardware company

To me, HP brand associates only with good hardware. Good PCs, servers, storage, printers, now also good networking hardware with good support over lifetime. For many products, even in their primary business area HP is too big and too slow to compete, they just attach HP label to less known third party hardware, and that means "quality tested" for HP customers so they buy from HP.

With current trends, I hope at least McDonalds is not planning to transform into consulting company for food industry...

It only seems that life is always better in other places than you are currently. I hope HP can learn what it means for them to be a software company from their "webOS project". What about continuing hard work and becoming even stronger in areas HP is strongest today?

To compete with Apple and Adroid ecosystems, any new product must be either substantially better and at similar price, or about the same features and much cheapier. Neither was possible from HP. Even Microsoft failed to create a third ecosystem, now they will try it again with Nokia and I think success chances are low unless they will create product much better than Apple.

Also, over-priced and under-performing legacy technologies can only be sold to enterprises with relaxed IT spending controls (usually after attaching "Business critical" label). This strategy does not work with consumers who pay for products from their personal pockets...

Lithuania hits off switch on nuclear plant

Algis Petraitis

View from Lithuania

When the negotiations with EU were done, oil prices were very different, and emotions from Chernobyl were still hot. But nuclear bomb can explode also with even bigger consequences, if wrong buttons are pressed, yet we have a lot of them on our lands. And I invite those who think that modern Linux based plant control computers are more reliable than 25 years old military-grade control equipment - think again.

Plant safety was improved by the best European experts since then. Lot of control, security systems added. Design life can allow for additional safe 15 years. What Lithuania asked from EU is to extend the electricity generation from this plan UNTIL new plant is started, OR, until electricity links are buit with western europe (Sweden and / or Poland). Everybody can understand how much of political interactions happen in projects like these, so without military type of orders "DO IT NOW" things go slowly. Before such orders were comming from Moscow, but now the Brussels cannot issue them, we have a democracies around..... Try to negotiate in one year or even in five years with all Poland land-lords so that they allow huge high voltage line over their lands from Lithuania to Germany, for example. You will get such a "fast negotiation price" that it will be cheapier to buy electricity from Russia even for 1EUR/kWh. Without proper political help things are not moving fast, and that is the case.

Even worse, Lithuania was hardly hit by economic recession, with GDP down more than 15%, there are problems to pay pensions to old people and provide first necessity health care services, definitelly no any chance to pay for new reactors. And in this environment electricity prices now go up substantially from 1st of January.

Ignalina was producing electricity for 1.88 euro cents per kWh, pumping more than 750 megawats of green zero CO2 electricity into the Baltic grid. Before first reactor was stopped five years ago, this plant was producing about 1500 megawats.

Lithuania has electricity lines only to east (mainly Russia). Gas lines also only from Russia. Oil pipeline was only to Russia, but it is now closed from Russia side because Lithuania sold oil plant to Poland company (to have better EU integration) and not to Lukoil.

So who is the practical winner? Only Russia. For many years to come.

What I see now outside the windows are the huge clouds of smoke going out of termal plants chimneys. They burn expensive Russian gas and produce expensive electricity. These chimneys were idle for many years before.

I do not justify why plant was not extended on condition until power links are built to EU power network and some french Areva will build new "EU safe" reactor? Are majority of EU people really against that? I believe there are not so many places in EU where technical environment (many trained nuclear specialists) and where people minds are positive about nuclear reactors working nearby. They give the jobs to thousands, they give cheap electricity and they produce no clouds of CO2.

This is an example where bureucracy takes over the economic logic. Its just a small Lithuania, what the difference. Most important for EU is not to create the precedent of not following written obligations against EU, because, in the future for example, Turkey may also sign everything and then do not follow when being in EU. In EU comission view, published on their site, some countries approved them by referendums, so it is impossible now to change any conditions and extend the closing date. Just interesting for me, how many EU voters know they voted for the plant closure as part of package accepting LIthuania into EU.

Despite the dissappointment regarding Ignalina plant, Lithuanian people remain in big support for the participation in EU. There is not enough political management experience locally, this is also one of the many reasons, besides the cost, that country not managed to negotiate with neighbours to build power lines via their land. So, sometimes its better for this country that decisions are taken by clever (more experienced) people in Brussels, compared to not so wise local decisions. These people in Brussels are not so bad, and it seems they want the best even for Lithuania :) just sometimes they value old signed papers more than fresh reality, but that is part of democracy most of us so wanted after being free from Soviet Union... so we will somehow squeeze again our family budgets and pay more for that privilege to be in democracy, via much higer prices per kWh. The question remains was this new energy tax to Russia really necessary TODAY.

I hope EU somehow will increase their efforts on political level to help with negotiations required to faster put power lines to Sweden. Nordic market has proper electricity prices, Sweden and Finland are the countries with professional management of electricity matters, and one gigawatt will not change situation very much for them, but will solve this country power problems.

Meanwhile, this country politics must be carefull not to say any negative opinion about our big neighbour whatever they do, otherwise we can be left in the cold and without electricity if Russians will cut gas supply. So nobody in EU must be angry that we will try to be the friends with Mr. Lukashenka in Belarus, and be good neighbours with Russia also, despite what they will do. Now its -17C outside, and we lost the 750 megawats power station, the last one without CO2 impact, we will not have the money soon (if ever) to build the new one, and the only big wires and pipes to buy energy for today go to Russia via Belarus.

Happy New Year!

Suppliers fall over themselves to support Exchange 2010

Algis Petraitis

On paper looks like good Exchange release, but still problems with Windows Server

I dont understood - isn't the backup built into Windows 2008R2 + Exchange 2010 already? The Exchange 2010 backup related article says nothing about that but I read somewhere that Exchange 2010 can be backed up right from Windows 2008 R2 backup tool. Seems like the only built-in solution without costly third-parties software, as a Microsoft Data Protection server 2007 is trully "bloated" product for backup purposes. It creates so many dynamic disk partitions that they all crash after single disconnection of the iSCSI drive with that many complex partitions. DPM needs the same redesign as Exchange, because now SATA disks can be used for Exchange 2010 but fibre-channel disks are needed for backup if DPM 2007 is used for that.

Also BEWARE - Windows disk mirroring does not work even on Windows 2008 R2. If you mirror a system drive (C) of your Exchange 2010 server, then if power cut happens and one OS boot disk fails to start when power is restored, server WILL NOT START AT ALL from other non-damaged disk in mirrored disk pair. And Microsoft explained that non working mirror IS A FEATURE BY DESIGN. This is a terrible bug, its a SCANDAL that requires a separate Register article so every user must know. that they are not protected. I wonder how many users know that if they make disk mirror for their C: disk and one disk will crash, the OS (and the Exchange server or whatever business critical application on that server) will not boot-up from the other disk without half-day long lab type bit tweaking exercise where you must not make any error in long list of manual recovery steps (involving manual creating of additional boot partitions, etc.). On all UNIX'es I tried with OS based system disk mirror, if one disk crashes in the mirror set during power failure, system boots up from the other disk properly (unattended, fully automatically - that is why mirrror is needed for OS drive), so I can later insert new disk instead of failed one, break old mirror with non-existing disk, and create new mirror on the new disk.

So I can agree with "lol" that there are things that are hard to believe they are still NOT working, at least in as modern OS as is Windows 2008 R2. Not even reached up to Exchange for reliability test - I was stopped at so basic thing that the mirror for Windows OS boot drive simply still does not work. If even this is not working, probably I still need to wait for Windows 2013, Exchange 2013 and then test realiability again.

If you rely on Windows Server in your business, and have C: disk mirrored in OS, try this:

1. Power off server.

2. Take out first system disk. Leave second disk in place.

3. Start the server.

You think this situation must be handled by a C: disk mirror? Test that yourself. Server wil NOT start, and this is "by design"! Is this "most realiable Windows server ever released"?

WD Caviar Black 2TB

Algis Petraitis

"You can buy 1TB 2.5" drive ---- where???

I think the statement "You can buy 1TB 2.5" WD drive" is incorrect. 1TB 2.5" drive is still only a WD marketing dream and exists only as HTML page on Western Digital site. I cannot buy it neither from WD site nor from any other channel. Only 500GB drives on stock, same as half a year ago.

I think Western Digital managers developed and excellent way to get bonuses. If the product is not ready on time - just place nice description on web page, and you can put a plus sign that it is "released". When, in reality, half a year will pass until customers are able to buy the product.

I suggest to clearly mark all the pages where product is not yet on sale. I.e.: "Future product. Estimated availability date - December 2009."

Microsoft's support tweaks leave some email admins out in the cold

Algis Petraitis
Thumb Up

Wise decision

Very good. The less chaos - the better. All the development and testing time must be used to ensure [Windows 2008 R2 + Exchange 2010] SOLUTION has the minimum bugs possible at the release date.

People want what Java initially promised - "Write once, run everywhere". Good theoretically but in practice that was "Write once, TEST everywhere".

The same can be valid for the Windows 7 x64 and Office. I do not need OS only for business, I need solution for workspace. So I will upgrade all desktops when Windows 7 x64 and Office 2010 x64 will be available and fully integration tested.

The mixes can maybe mean something to those who are not on software assurance and need to pay for new licenses. But if licenses are the problem, just do nothing and save on all licenses for another 3 years until Windows 2013/Exchange 2013 are released, and then you can save again waiting for Windows 2016/Exchange 2016. You will also save on hardware.

Intel used rebates to freeze out AMD, EC docs show

Algis Petraitis
Thumb Up

Only FINE may change behaviour of corporates

I myself worked in similar corporation. ONLY PAID FINE can shift the behaviour. If they will manage not to pay the fine they will do the competitor abuses again, because it is profitable.

Decision of EU is correct. Now its time to pay the fine.

Panasonic patches cameras to block rivals' batteries

Algis Petraitis

Big Mistake

I am completely dissapointed that Panasonic - my favorite brand before - starts to do a desperate decisions trying to fix a profits in economic downturn.

This will only dissapoint customers, no profits will be achieved as customers will shift to buying more open solutions.

Simply: Big Mistake. In the nearest firmware release this must be corrected, replacing with the message on starting the camera: "Non approved battery. By using it, you void all the product warranties, and you take all the risks". But no "disable" actions shall be taken.

Its must be up to the customer, if in his car he wants a third-party radio, or the radio from the car manufacturer. This looks like placing a microchip on car radio so engine will not start if radio is not original. Because, you know, non-original low quality radios can cause a fire, burn the car and kill the driver in the flames.

Instead of there nonsense actions, I would better put a press release with all the detailed information about the real accident they say happened with third-party battery: what exactly happened?

Opera chief: Microsoft's IE 8 ‘undermines’ web standards

Algis Petraitis
Thumb Down

I do not support Opera and others

I am consumer in the EU and I do not support EU money taking activities out of private USA companies in order to achieve the strange goal that browser must not be part of OS. I support only the goal that the browser must adhere to web standards, if its part of the mass OS.

I expect all these must be part of modern PC and OS, and work out of the box:

1. Program to ZIP / compress files

2. Calculator

3. File player (audio, video, pictures)

4. Browse Internet

5. Send receive e-mail

6. Copy CD, DVD or Blue-Ray (PC data disks)

7. Edit text (print the letter) and do basic spreadsheet calculations

8. Hard disk defragment and any other utilies (I do not want to know about them)

Many of them were not part of OS before and made legal processes before dying.

Now shall I write the MyCalculator program and then raise EU versus Microsoft trial so that they remove Calculator out of Windows? Also, who will compensate Citizen, for example, for lost sales of ordinary calculators?

Opera shall concentrate on writing a better program than the basic buil-in OS program, or I do not need their services. Instead, they concentrate on legal activities and that is wrong.

I do not want 10 companies responsible for the basic activities on my PC. Then nobody is responsible. Basic functionality must be part of OS and be covered by OS update/patching service, so I do not need to take care about program problems, compatibilities with service packs etc.

Windows has still too little integrations and OS is not so much usefull out of the box as Mac for example.

One stupid thing Microsoft is now doing - they removed even BASIC e-mail from Windows7 OS. Users will need to download e-mail application if they want e-mail. The support need for that will be much higher, its not clear if Windows Update will patch the separate mail program if problem appears, etc. And this will raise a logical question - if it is OK to sell OS without e-mail, why its not OK to sell OS without Internet Explorer, without calculator, defragment etc.etc.? If users will need IE or calculator, they can download them (they can for example download together browser and e-mail client). Imagine 80 y.o. windows customer downloading explorers, defragmenters and e-mail programs.

I hope MS will return e-mail back to Windows 7, its not too late and its quite simple application but many users use it and its enough for them.

Intel dubs 2009 'The Year of 10Gb Ethernet'

Algis Petraitis

Lack of single standard delays adoption

Its the same story as with Blue-Ray and HD-DVD. Those who will invest first may loose. Now its the same between RJ45 and SFP+.

Personally I am not sure shall I do the optic or copper for the new rack installations. 10GBASE-T power savings may be achieved - or - may not be achieved, who knows if, and, when. Why twisted pair cable is so desirable? Who really wants to change all the existing cabling to 6E? Existing Cat5e cables won't work, 6e installations even today are very rare, most cables sold are 5e for 1Gbps, or CAT6 and that is not good enough for 10G.

If new cables are needed anyway, do you prefer new optic or new copper cabling? Optic cable is already cheapier than CAT6e cable, and looks more future proof. So why not optic, in the future it will allow 100G (1G some time ago looked as fantastic as 100G looks today).

What works and looks good today is the SFP+ standard, with already available LRM optical transmitters for "datacenter" multimode cable (up to 220 meters), or LR for "telecom" single mode cable (up to 10km).

Maybe the solution is for the servers to provide standard SFP+ sockets on motherboard, with "factory default" plugged-in 1Gbps SFP+ with RJ45 connector for 10/100/1000 connections. Those who need 10Gbps can buy 10G SFP+, either for copper direct connect up to 7 meters for in-rack connection or optic SFP+ if longer distance (out of rack) is needed.

4W per 10GBASE-T port is too much. Also there is no switches with 10G RJ45, and also there is no CAT6e cables in the data centers. For top-of-rack switches SFP+ are needed, not RJ45. If they build a 10G chip that works over RJ45 and transmits only the minimum power needed to work over specific distance, then power usage would be small to the top of rack switches, due to the short distance, and more power needed only if line is connected to the far away switching cabinet directly (up to 100 meters). That may be acceptable, but its not yet developed.

It looks strange when switches go for SFP+, and network adapter vendors talk about the plans to develop RJ45 solutions.

ONE standard is needed, and until that is not happening, I am not going to invest.

The standard choices are either SFP+, that looks good and works now, but is still expensive, or RJ45 with low power, and that is not yet developed. Unless SFP+ sockets on motherboards will start to appear, and SFP+ optic prices will drop considerably in the nearest 3 months, nothing on mass scale will happen in 2009. The sharp and fast price drop for SFP+ modules (at least for 10/100/1000 RJ45 module), and SFP+ sockets in server motherboards seems unlikely today. To accelerate 10G adoption today, server industry needs to eliminate RJ45 and go for SFP+ , or we will continue to wait not clear how long, until power savings will be achieved for 10G over RJ45, if ever.

So, 2009 will NOT be a year of mass 10G adoption. Maybe 2011.

New in-the-wild attack targets fully-patched Adobe Reader

Algis Petraitis
Dead Vulture

XPS is an alternative

I now standardized on XPS format. I think many will do the same after Windows7 will take over. It does not have any active code by design, signing it digitally is easy, and as it is part of Windows starting from Vista (can be installed on XP also from MS site), security updates will arrive via standard update channel. Goodbye, PDF.

Unisys threatens Itanium with death

Algis Petraitis
Dead Vulture

Itanium becomes too risky to invest

Intel inability to keep the old promise for Itanium to become socket compatible wih Xeon was the largest failure with this chip. Nobody will be able to keep developing chipsets for so low volumes.

Second failure is that Itanium became so much technologically delayed after Xeons in terms of nanometers.

I am HP customer and before I was investing into Integrity rx8600 series for SQL loads (Itanium based). Now I am investing into DL785 Proliants (8processor / 32core Opteron server with 512GB of RAM). Performance is the same or better, cost is just a fraction, and electricity / cooling costs is just a fraction, compared to Itaniums. Also, Opteron server is smaller in size. HP probably is not so happy, but I am happy as a customer, and I stayed as HP customer because they have proper product.

With increasing chip performances there will be less and less applications that do not fit into 8P Opteron or Xeon machine. Five years ago billing system for 1 million telecom users was not able to run without special expensive machines. Now ordinary 8P x64 server is more than enough.

Itanium chip architecture was good, but implementation - failed.

HP to spruce EVA storage arrays

Algis Petraitis
Thumb Down

This is not what I need

Instead of this collection of legacy expensive fibre interfaces and electricity consuming 3.5" disks, I expected from HP the disk array product with 10Gbps iSCSI connections to server side and with SAS 2.5" small factor disks. With new HP datacenter 6600 ProCurve 10Gbps 24 port switches that would make a complete HP solution for data storage, without complicated fibre-channel, and at 10Gbps speeds.

Lets hope HP will release such a proper MSA array soon, otherwise I will need to change my storage vendor.

Windows 7 fast track alarms technical testers

Algis Petraitis

Too many things not yet on Windows7

This operating system cannot even copy a CD or DVD without third-party programs. DISKCOPY D: D: still work only for floppy.

They made a "Burn ISO to disk" function but its impossible to mount ISO file as a drive letter nor open/extract ISO file as a ZIP file. Yet they distribute their own software by ISO files. Why do we need to burn wasting a blank disk and then read from it instead of reading from ISO directly?

They added H.264 but MKV still do no play without loading codecs from sites I am not sure we can trust.

Too many small and simple things, that are needed to make Windows OS more usable, are still missing even from "Ultimate" version.

We do not need another Vista failure. Microsoft - take your time, fix the bugs, add necessary small things, and release a good product this time. We do not need product with 500 bugs fixed after first service pack, and another 500 bugs fixed after second service pack, and even then still too many quality problems remain in Vista for it to be of acceptable quality.

My advice - proceed with Beta2, Beta3, etc. and release Windows 7 at Q1 2010 earliest. Now its an economy crisis anyway so too little can pay for upgrade, especially if it will be less than excellent quality.

Emulex pins adapter future to Ethernet and encryption

Algis Petraitis
Black Helicopters

iSCSI is not supported by this card

The article says that iSCSI stack is offloaded, but that seems incorrect - Emulex cards cannot offload iSCSI, they even cannot offload TCP in statefull mode (full offload). Only ordinary partial IP optimizations are supported like large send offload but these things are supported even on cheap network adapters for many years already. Without TCP offload I found very little difference between this and ordinary fibre channel card.

There are two approaches to connecting storage:

1. FCoE (over modified Ethernet, special switches required)

2. iSCSI (over ordinary IP network)

1. FCoE is not yet standardized and the biggest problem with it is that it tries to add Fibre Channel features to the Ethernet, and that is trying to merge too completely different worlds. This will make switches more complex and might make them more expensive.

2. iSCSI is much more simple storage protocol running over very ordinary TCP/IP transport protocol. Connections are made as simple IP connections. It does not require special Ethernet switches nor any Ethernet modifications. Standards are in place, but there are problems also.

First problem with iSCSI is Broadcom company (long product support delays) practices. Majority of servers (Hewlett Packard Proliant, Dell servers and others) have Broadcom chips with TCP offload, and there was unacceptable delays to release TCP offload drivers for these Broadcom chips. Only a week ago drivers appeared for 1Gbps Broadcom chips that fully support all the offload features (currently IPv4 only), and for the Broadcom flagship 10Gbps iSCSI chip 57711 (currently part of HP BL495c servers) still there is no driver available that support iSCSI offload. 57711 10Gbps universal network chips (IP, RDMA, iSCSI) look like ideal solution on datasheets, but still there is no drivers for them that completely support the features.

Common, Broadcom, get the drivers done, you are killing the iSCSI market and your market share for IP storage networks!

Another problem is lack of disk arrays with 10Gbps iSCSI interfaces. Majority of disk arrays have 1Gbps connections. The good part is that many have several 1Gbps interfaces and they can be combined into one faster connection.

Third problem is the iSCSI stability under heavy loads. For example, iSCSI does not work stable in default Windows 2008 configuration under heavy loads. I was able to achieve acceptable stability only after two non-public Windows 2008 patches were applied and disk firmwares upgraded to the latest versions.

For iSCSI to become as a technology of choice the following must be done:

1. Broadcom must release working iSCSI offload drivers for their 10G iSCSI chip.

2. Windows 2008 SP2 must contain all necessary patches for iSCSI stability and all timeout parameters must be OK in their default configurations. iSCSI must work out of the box.

3. Disk arrays with native 10Gbps iSCSI interfaces must be released, and tested to run stable under maximum possible heavy loads.

If these little remaining things will be fixed/implemented soon (I hope this will happen if proper Broadcom and HP executives are reading this), I see no need for FCoE.

Personally I like more iSCSI because of its simplicity and that it does not require to modify Ethernet, as it is IP based it can run over very long distances etc. And any server with network adapter can access and mount the iSCSI disk. Performances may differ depending on IP network speeds/latencies, but iSCSI (TCP) connectivity is universal.

Nokia to preinstall Skype on handsets

Algis Petraitis

Do you really think traffic over 3G is for free?

If I would turn on program like Skype on my handset, the invoice would be very high due to constant traffic this program generates, and its either heavy cost per megabyte, or quite high montly fee if I want unlimited plan. And my ordinary voice calls are for free already (due to high competition between GSM providers, all the calls I need are already included into monthly fees). Quality of VoIP is lower than for simple calls. And operators have anyway minimum margin for the international calls due to comptetition.

So I do not see where exactly operators are harmed. What they can sell with some profit is increasingly a local loop bits, everything else becomes "cloud" or "Internet" where no profit can be made. Most probably bundling Skype will allow to collect more additional fees for 3G and Wi-Fi traffic.

The only problem I see with this is that more and more people have the devices with more powerful batteries that constantly radiate electromagnetic field up to 2W power levels too close to the body. This will become mass problem as soon as any serious scientific results will be announced about cancer increase cases caused by the electromagnetic emissions. For these reasons I prefer that my mobile is not radiating when I do not talk.

US teen cuffed for sending nude phone pics

Algis Petraitis

How it looks for European reader

These authorities went crazy, and nobody stops this nonsence? I hope mind must win at the end. Authorities must pay substantial amount of money to the girl, boy and to their parents to compensate at least partly for ruining their NORMAL lives, breaking personal PRIVACY, wasting lot of personal time, and this money must be regression seeked from those who taken the decisions to disturb the private life of the persons. Nobody forced the girl to send the photos this is the most important, and they were not used for public display or profit but in PRIVATE, PERSONAL communication to the loved one or the friends. If my son or daugter send naked picture to a friend this can be only my family issue (it is the issue of child stupidity because of young age and issue of family education - definitelly talk is needed with parents), but not the authorities at all. According to statistics, the majority of young people start the sexual life in age 14-17. Its legal to be naked for two in the same room, but illegal to send picture via private communication? Nonsense. This even more confirms that strong privacy laws like EU data protection directive is the correct thing. Also, things like that usually happen when there is no serious job. Tax payers shall raise the question that urgent prosecutors headcount reduction is needed in that place where this happened.

Pirate Bay evades Italian blockade

Algis Petraitis

Freedom of information is a priority, businesses with special interests must adapt to that

I think this Swedish parlament member is right:


Media interests are special interests and they must adopt to free exchange on the Internet, and not vice versa. Newspapers can request to close the internet because people are now reading the news without buying newspapers! One old Swedish man said: "in my times, choosing a carrier of musician meant choosing very hard life with lot of hard work. And anyone was allowed to sing the songs without paying to artist. Nowadays singers-millionaires need more money because they need another new Lamborgini car and also to shift their villas 20 meters closer to the ocean shore." Still, even they got the minority of money collected as "copyright payments".

Prices must be reasonable. If I go to Amazon.com and want to buy a song, I am refused, because I am not from USA. Then I download for free and listen because this is the only choice. Who is guilty? Or, shall I not listen to the song, because I happen to be born in a secondary country that have no right to art and culture? I will NEVER accept the rule that USA is in region No1 and my country is is Region No.5, and this is decided in the USA. If this is tolerated then it means some people are better than others, only because they were born in the "correct" country. Trying to divide the world into "zones" can only escalate anger.

Sorry, but media companies created their problem, and they, and not legal systems, must solve their narrow business problem by adapting to freedom of information exchange, not trying to change the Internet. Legal systems worldwide must stop responding to these special business interests and take care about killings, robberies and real criminals.

Please read the parlament member article by opening the address above (copy paste into browser). One of the best respected political articles I ever read on the Internet.