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Faster, better, cheaper

The subjective time between fortnights is decreasing, I swear.

Thanks to all who have helped with previous ones, which I posted on:

I actually just got the 29 Oct 2005 problems edited in!
Thanks to crypthanatopsis and finabair for informative replies to the "Do-Not-Call" remark from last time.

Here's my fortnightly update:

Now for the new questions:

Towards a faster 64-bit SMP desktop

The time has come for me to start thinking about the Uber-System. My budget is approximately $4000 ($6000 minus the $1500 cost of some peripherals including some docking hardware, and $500 safety margin). What do you recommend in a:

  • Processor, dual core: Athlon FX? Intel IA64 with Hyper-Threading?

  • Graphics cards: Yes, I said "cards", plural. I need dual-head at least and some multimedia co-processing, plus as fat a rendering pipeline as possible, for massforge-related, Maya 7ish, and Blendery goodness. PCI Express? Something else?

  • RAM: Speed? Size? I'm ready to max it out, "whatever IT is", as the eBay commercial says.

  • HDs: I'm thinking 400Gb SATA IDE and 72Gb SCSI, what do you think? Brands?

  • Case: I have no idea. tmehlinger and thekuffs keep wibbling about 20-foot long cases.

The model system I have in mind is the Maximum PC 2004 "Multimedia Production Workstation" Dream PC.

To Tiki or not to Tiki, that is the question: Better CMS Security

OK, the time has come for me to add 3 new CMSes to anaire.user.cis.ksu.edu, to augment:

  • GECKIES, a dormant geckies_blog Tiki

  • RoboSim, an apparently-dormant Wiki for the still-active KSU Robotics Environment Simulator

  • BNJ, a dormant Tiki for bayesnets that is about to become (very) active again

  • LEAP-KMC, an active Tiki for the Learning-Enhanced Adaptive Parallel Kinetic Monte Carlo project (an NSF ITR project)

In addition to these, we need one each for

  • EGAD (Ecological Genomics of Arabidopsis Development), an NSF FIBR project

  • comptranslation

  • The KSU KDD Lab - our main repository for papers, codes, and seminars

The massforge one will run off-campus for now, possibly to displace the KDD Tiki over to the new Ringil.

My questions: since everyone I've ever talked to about Tiki security has said "it isn't", what CMSes do you know of, if any, that are hardened in any verified way?
What are the pros and cons, and would you recommend them for deployment in a capacity such as the above?
Does it matter, since I have 4 other Tikis already running? What if I ran it alone on Ringil (a Windows Small Business Server 2003 system tricked out with ASP .NET) or the new Fingolfin (a Gentoo 2005.3 system)?

Notebook computer hard drives - cheaper HDs and fast cloning

I'm thinking about getting a 100Gb drive for Hirilonde, which is only 6 months old but is starting to bloat with my plutonium Banaslugs of giant .bz2 files.

a) Is there any place besides Slickdeals.net and Dell's Higher Ed page where you'd recommend I go to find ultra-cheap internal HDs?
b) What's the best setup for cloning HDs if you are lazy, jinxed (yes, very yes), and have several ThinkPads and an Inspiron? External USB adapters, PCI ribbon cables and such, etc. are all fine with me.

Thanks very much in advance!



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
We used plone as a CMS and document publishing system for VISTA. It seemed to do the job well. Granted, we had one guy doing nothing but CMS/Plone management, but that was also because we did fancy and pretty frontpage style graphics while allowing publishers to quitly type stuff up in DHTML and submit it onto the page quickly.

Plone. Yes.
Nov. 13th, 2005 11:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'll look into Plone and let you know whether we decide to use it!

I'm seeing ZSQL, ZPT, and Python as what seems to be the major platform. Any experience using non-Python (say, PHP, ASP, JSP) server-side programming languages for Plone? Does it work just as well with postgresql as with MySQL?

I'm not too sanguine about Zope, as the first Google hit goes to an article that says "I just started using it and #$*&! I hate it!" LOL.

Nov. 14th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
Re: Plone

Plone is developed and implemented as a Zope framework application so unless you start hacking on Plone I wouldn't see too much.

Also not sure about alternate DB backends for this, it's pretty encapsulated.

Maybe something like Knowledge Tree would also be up your alley.
Nov. 14th, 2005 07:25 pm (UTC)
What OS are you planning to run on that PC ?

Here's the specs of the system I plan to get (it costs less than $2000 at MonarchComputer http://www.monarchcomputer.com/). I recommend you check out this site to view all the components , specs quickly during the configurations. With a budget of 6,000, just get the best of everything. The MaximumPC budget are generally > $10,000 which is insane.

1) CPU => Dual Core (I am leaning toward AMD as it's generally cheaper (which means bigger bang for the buck), rumor has it that Intel is redesigning its dual core chip for scratch (the current version was rushed out too quickly to compete w/ AMD)

2) Graphic Card => Matrox if it's 2D only, their drivers are rock solid. But for 3D I probably will go with Nvidia, PCI express, get the version that has Dual DVI outputs.

3) Case: take a look at the cases from Monarchcomputer, they look good ! I pick the Lian-Li ultra quiet case, all aluminum.

4) Storage: At least dual SATA drive, in Raid 0 (for speed). I prefer WD or Maxtor and not IBM (Hitachi). 1 Plextor DVD+-RW (brand not really important as I rarely use it but I always buy Pletor) , or 2 if you want to duplicate disks on the fly.

5) Ram : at least 1 Gig, Samsung , Kingston are general good brands.

6) Display: 2 x Dell 22 (widescreen monitors) in Dual screen mode ! This alone should cost $2000

check out xpbargains.com for daily bargains on hardware .... I find Dell Higher Ed or any of its specialized customer categories is WAY more expensive that its normal Home category + promotions (they have promotions EVERY day).

Nov. 16th, 2005 11:34 am (UTC)
Re: Towards a faster...
For a case what about...
I don't know if you'd fit everything in, but it looks cool to me anyway.

Graphics card wise I've heard a coupleof good reviews about...
Matrox Parhelia 8x TripleHead 128MB DDR (AGP)http://www.overclockers.co.uk/acatalog/Matrox_Graphics_Cards.html from the uk site is not a bad price I suppose for good card.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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