Saturday, September 30, 2006

An Introduction To Raid – Greater Reliability ,faster, Less Costly Hard Drive Units

What is a raid setup on a computer system? Like anything else it depends who you talk to.

Raid hard drive systems had their acronym explained as “Redundant Array of Individual Drives “and “Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives”. The acronym for this is the shortened term “RAID”.

Capacity, reliability and performance are all important for file servers or other computer systems when you are storing large or very important files.

It is often said that “It is not if you hard drive will fail. It is at what point in time your hard drive will fail”.

Of course if your hard drives fail even if you have backup the last bit of data which was being written onto the hard drive when the failure occurred will be lost.

You can get much greater capacities, avoid losing data from disk failure, and do all this with the RAID (the acronym for the system).

RAID can now be done with standard commercially available hard drives so the cost is now within your price range for all the benefits and peace of mind RAID will give you.

RAID can be simply explained as putting the hard drives in parallel sequence.

The host adapter (usually called the RAID system controller) sits between one higher stream (on the computer side) and several lower rate data streams (on the hard drive side). When the computer writes to the disks , the host adapter takes high stream data and breaks it into many synchronized streams , one for each of the disks in process called “Striping “. Upon reading the data the host adapter takes the data stream from each disk multiplexes the sets of data streams and coordinates sending the resulting combined set of data onto the computer.

It is all a matter of redundancy which makes RAID such a good thing in most cases.

There are six different levels of RAID functionality depending on your requirements. – the level of data security and integrity you want as well as the size of hard drive space you want.

First of RAID Level 0 which spreads the data across multiple disks. You can get a similar effect to the RAID Level 0 by having multiple disks and using the features in Windows 2000 or its successor Windows XP.

Since the data volume and rate to any specific disk is a fraction of the aggregate you will receive larger capacity and better performance from a RAID 0 setup than from any one conventional disk.

As well data can be sourced from multiple drives as once. This can be most useful in shared situations which may benefit from enhancements in speed, two examples which come to mind are game servers and peer to peer (P2P) file or music file sharing servers.

However since there is no allocation for error correction or redundancy RAID 0 is not a safe system for vital data. Data will be lost on disk failure. Only use RAID 0 in situations where you need the extended disk capacity or performance gain but not enhanced data reliability.

Secondly in sequence there is RAID Level 1.

In the same way that RAID 0 focuses solely on storage capacity and performance with no concern whatsoever on reliable data storage RAID 1, which us also called “Disk Mirroring” uses disks in pairs to save the files in a redundant manner.

One performance may be slower as it takes time for the host adapter to send the data and for the drives to write it to disk,

Secondly a user may delete or damage files which of course will be stored in that way on both drives.

Raid 1 hence offers better reliability than RAID 0 or the conventional drive setups but does not give full security for your data or enhanced performance.

Next in sequence we have RAID Levels 2, 3 and 4.

Raid 2 adds one or more disks to hold error correction codes with which lost data can be reconstructed.

Raid Level 3 is the same as RAID Level 2 but uses a simpler code the maximum storage capacity with Raid 3 may be somewhat less.

Raid Level 4 is nearly the same as RAID LEVEL 3 but instead of “Striping “ across disks is operates at a sector level, You now have the better situation of both a simpler , less intensive demanding system and as well as good data reliability . In addition performance may be enhanced as large data blocks can be written faster due to more coordinated writing to the drives in smaller “sector” areas.

Lastly is RAID Level 5.

Raid level 5 is the same as the excellent RAID Level 4 except that instead of dedicating a single disk to storing the data the data stream is striped across all the disks. You have greater performance with greater reliability for your computer systems.

A RAID setup may take some effort and training on your part.

Base your planning for your new RAID system on a careful analysis of your needs.

What is important in your situation currently? Disk size capacities, data reliability and integrity, performance or a combination or all.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Simple review on Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2

Windows Media Player 11 ScreenMicrosoft just released Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 for Windows XP. This Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 version eenhance some performance or features of Media player, bug fixes on Version 1 and the integration with other Windows Media Connect functionality.

According Microsoft, New Media Sharing feature on WMP 11 Beta 2 would allow users to automatically share the contents of their WMP library with compatible devices around anywhere at home if you have Xbox 360 or other digital media receivers. Beside that, Windows Media Player 11 Beta 2 also includes new online stores services like eMusic, VidZone and Music Giants for a total of 14. Microsoft still continue progress intergration with Urge Services on their media player to compete with Apple Computer’s iTunes and provide better exploration on world of music.

The OS requirement of Windows Media Player 11 still remain to work with all versions of Windows XP with Service Pack 2, including Windows XP Home Edition N and Windows XP Professional N. You can now download it via Microsoft's website.

Wablet Flash Instant Messenger Review

Wablet logoWablet, a flash Ajax based IM that can access all your major instant messenger account in one account or you can use wablet user account ( after register ). The concept of wablet IM is differ from other major IM. Wablet IM is differ because it can be embedded with blogs and social networks. meanwhile, Wablet allow you manage multiple chats simultaneously with people who see different public facing profiles describing you.

Wablet screenshots is awesome where have a nice flash and rich color interface which feels much more 'real' than any other IM app.

Wablet screenshot

According TechCrunch, Wablet will give away up to 500 test accounts over the next few weeks and you can submit the emails for request one of the wablet accounts. More detail on "how wablet works" on Techcrunch

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Locate Your IM Contact With RadiusIM

RadiusIM - Another cool IM Web based Services that allows users to log in using any of their Yahoo, MSN, AIM and Google Talk accounts to check out who's around you and point out using an icon via a embedded Google map.

RadiusIM screenshot

Basically the concept of RadiusIM is you choose your location, with your friends list on the right and a location map on the center. When friends and IM contacts are online, their icons show up in their specific location on the map. Beside that, RadiusIM has a cool way of just dragging the Google map around the world and seeing which members are located there, whether they are logged in or not.

On the privacy side, all user location within 1/4 mile is actually blurred out so that their precise location can remain semi-hidden.

My Note

RadiusIM Services is more concerntrate on about location and show who's is nearby your area only. Unfortunately, I still keep on trying to sign up the RadiusIM service which still not successful until now ( dun know what happen ) and i can see the serives seem like very slow and always disconnect to server. Anyway, The RadiusIM is a pretty interesting way to see who is around you, or near a certain location. The RadiusIM still an alpha version and i expect see from them. let me know your comment if you use Radius IM before ?

Visit RadiusIM

Thursday, August 24, 2006

AllPeers - File Sharing on web browser without limit

AllPeers -free firefox extension which combines thestrength of Firefox and BitTorrent technology to enable possibility to share pictures, music and video’s within Firefox. AllPeer allows you to add friends to your buddy list and share files among your buddy. The process of adding file is simple, you just need to drag ‘n drop, and select who you want to share the file with.

AllPeers Print Screen

Beside that, AllPeer Services will go live with a public beta today and start offering public accounts according to a post on the company’s blog

On the allpeers blog said:

In a few hours AllPeers is going to be released in the wild after 5 months of private testing. We did not invite all the testers during that phase but rest assured the remaining one will receive an email when the application is available

  • AllPeers is still a beta product so don’t expect it to be perfect (yet).
  • Some features have not make it into this version so they will come out later; they include Chat, Comments, Tagging, support for external torrents.
  • AllPeers is for sharing privately with friends and family; not for massively distributing files amongst strangers
You can checkout the tour and to see what allpeers is about. AllPeers will be made available directly from the official Firefox extensions website. ( When available )

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hullo - free versatile VoIP Calls Software

Hullo applicationHullo is a whole new VoIP communicate by changing the way that you keep in touch with people better than ever before. Why say Hullo is differ from Gizmo Project or Skype ? It can integrate your Windows-based "softphone," your cell phone, and your land line(s) together. after you set up Hullo, you enter your other phones numbers like cell phone or house phone, and then when someone calls you, Hullo will route the call as you if you're not at the computer, it can ring your home phone, then your cell, and so on.

Hullo is a client-based application that looks like an instant message box. It runs separately from the browser (and unfortunately is only available for Windows machines). Hullo is currently in beta and all calls to North America are free.

Review on Hullo VoIP software features

  • Simple Voice conference by adding as many people as you want. The Voice conference is relying on Versatel Networks EdgeIQ series hardware on the backend to handle the traffic.
  • Ability to create sophisticated find-me rules. You can be setup and assign different fules on an individual basis. Example your friend could be routed right to your cell phone, whereas your boss could be sent to voice mail.
  • Don’t like talking on a headset? Use your ordinary phone instead. When you click on your buddy’s name in the hullo contact list, it will ring your choice of handset, and your buddy at the same time. You can make and receive calls on any handset you choose. This will be a killer feature if they migrate it to a cellular handset.
  • hullo has mid-call transfers. hullo able continue a conversation from one devices to another devices ( Computer to Cell Phobe ) e.g. if you're talking on the computer and have to leave the house, you can seamlessly transfer the call to your cell phone

My Note

hullo has offer something differ from other VoIP software, i test the sound compression quality is good but i hope hullo can give more free calls beside North America.

webaroo v1.2 Released - surf web information without border

Previously i write a post about Webaroo - a free service enabling you to browse the web content without internet connection. Now, Webaroo has released Version 1.2 and you will find extensive enhancement such as the ability to add greater link depth, limit the download size, and download document, audio and video attachments for the web sites you add to your library.

New features that have been incorporated include:

  • Webaroo Mobilenew Webaroo toolbar button for your browser, making it easy to add web pages and as you browse. Beside that You can adding password protected page by using the browser button.
  • Import your bookmarks from your browser to your Webaroo library.
  • Store Webaroo content anywhere on your hard disk.
  • An enhanced Webaroo library, that shows you what content is being updated and helps you sort your web packs & sites.
  • Update notifications & new web pack alerts.

Currently, Webaroo is supporting Windows Pocket PC 2003 SE and Windows mobile 5.0 platform for mobile edition and Windows XP and Windows NT SP4 for Desktop Edition.

You can review the specification over here and the web content can be download at webaroo collection of topic-specific Web Packs.

Download Webaroo 1.2

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Download Microsoft Live Writer

Microsoft’s Windows Live Writer is launched yesterday, it is totally free desktop client's software and downloable application. Windows Live Writer able to run on windows PC and allows write your blog posts.

Windows Live Writer Screenshot

The blogging system that integrate with Microsoft Windows Lives support are Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress and others.

The main features of Windows Live Writer are WYSIWYG authoring and Photo publishing. The rich text editor is no quite impressive because contains the usual elements and doesn't produce clean code.

Photo Publishing features allows bloggers easy insertion of photos and things like Maps, and tagging. The images editing features that you can use are resize the picture, add a nice shadow, adjust brightness and even use some simple effects.

Windows Live Writer is available to download here [4.74 MB, Windows] and it's still beta version.

Desktop- Online Vritual Desktop

Desktop LogoDesktopTwo is a powerful new web based desktop that offers an impressive list of well designed features. DesktopTwo can allows you complete access of your desktop wherever you are and totally free. DesktopTwo services has generated well over 100,000 subscriptions from around the world.

Requirement to run DesktopTwo properly:-

  • Java enabled
  • Flash version 9
  • Pop Up on browser is available
  • Adobe Readers
  • Cookies turn "on"

Desktop Two Screen Features that DesktopTwo offers by :-

  • Web IM, including chat with Jabber, Google and MSN buddies. (No Yahoo! or AIM yet, that’s a shame.)
  • 1 GB of free storage.
  • An inline MP3 player with playlist creation.
  • An adress book.
  • WYSIWYG web page editing.
  • A blog publishing platform with support for tags, full or partial RSS feeds, 16 layout templates and the ability to edit the CSS.
  • Email and search.

My note

DesktopTwo seem like Next generation web-based desktop which includes email, IM, address book, hard drive, blog creator, message boards, search, office tools, mp3, and much more. Anyway, i have test it out and quite impressive about it. If anyone has experience in using this tool, please let us know how it worked out for you..

Visit Desktop Website

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cache Discovery Protocol Speed Bittorrent Speed

Bitorrent is starting up working with CacheLogic again on a new bittorrent protocol call " Cache Discovery Protocol or CDP" Concept which supposedly will act like DHCP features for peer to peer networks.( to address the issue of ISP bandwidth throttling, and more importantly, BitTorrent traffic caching.)

This DHCP features will assigns IP addresses to devices on a network automatically, without much mucking around on the end user part which similiar to current CDP would allows BitTorrent client to auto discover better seeds that have been cached on the network, and allow faster downloads of the files. This new technology seem like will be helpful on situations where there are only a handful of seed files.

My Note

My understanding on new bittorrent protocol seem like help out on addressing some of the issues on bittorrent peformance by caching some of seeds addresses, especially where there is very limited upstream speed available. it seem like this protocol works fine by finding better, cached seeds on the network for your bittorrent client

Via GigaOm