Posts filed under ‘operating systems’

Folder synchronization

I have been using FolderMatch for a long time in order to synchronize file between the main computer I use and the synology file server. However, perhaps because the synology is linux based, Foldermatch did not handle access and authentication correctly. It was impossible to delete files on the synology network disk. Otherwise it is a great tool. I then tried OpenSync, but soon ran into the problem that it does not support to not check on file size and date. Basically, pictures, mp3, etc. doesn’t really change and in most cases the file size difference is due to the different file systems on the local pc and the synology. So to get a speedy synchronize I want to omit that check for many folders. My latest test is Beyond Compare, a good old and reknown file comparison tool that also includes folder synchronize. So far it seems to work ok – it support both network access and one can turn off size and date check.

September 28, 2008 at 12:41 pm 1 comment

Error 2738: Could not access VBScript run time for custom action

Finally, Matrox has released version 9.0 of their MIL-Lite imaging library. Finally – because it is the first version with Vista support, and as most people know, Microsoft has ended selling Windows XP. I have got a hand of a beta version and installed it today. Up to now I have had to use a second computer with Windows XP to debug and run the applications. More on that at another time.

Anyway, as the application also use DAC boards from Computerboards (now Measurement Computing), I needed to instasll their Vista-compatible InstaCal driver too. Their drivers always work ok, so I was surprised when the installation repeatedly stopped with the error “Error 2738: Could not access VBScript run time for custom action”. After searching the Measurement Computing forums , I went to google and it turned out that this error stems from vbscript.dll not being registered. How on earth that windows component did get unregistered I do not know, but this procedure fixed the problem:
1. Run Command Prompt as administrator
1.1 Start Menu -> All Programs -> Accessories
1.2 Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
2. Type cd c:\windows\system32 into the Command Prompt and hit Enter
3. Type regsvr32 vbscript.dll into the Command Prompt and hit Enter

September 27, 2008 at 12:08 pm 6 comments

Raid stripe size – what does it mean and what is the optimal stripe size?

It has been a long while since last time I updated the blog. However, as I am now in the process of upgrading my work computer (actually building a new one), a few interesting points have appeared, where this post is about the first one.

I decided to go for to Samsung f1 1TB disks in a raid 0 setup. The Asus P5E3 motherboard uses the Intel ICH9R controller. After booting up, and entering the ICH9R configuration utility, I had to fill in the stripe size – it defaultet to 128kB. This started a long and interesting web search after what is the optimal stripe size. Interesting enough, different sites, including anandtech and Toms hardware had completely different advices.

Raid 0 means that data is divided among the two disk, and the stripe size in a raid 0 configuration is the size smallest allocation unit on each disks. After selecting the stripe size in the ICH9R controller it is impossible to change without destroying all the data on the disk. So If one decides to go for 128kB, the first 128 kB of the total 2GB disk is situated on disk A, and the next 128kB on disk B, etc. It has no connection with the filesystem allocation size (cluster size), and the stripe size is invisible to the operating system.

There are basically three different factors that determines the optimum stripe size.

The first, and probably least important, is that the windows swap file always uses 4kB cluster allocation units. Given that this file is very much in use, you will be able to almost double the swap file write and read speed as you can execute two 4kB writes at different adresses at the same time (random access) – if the stripe size is 4 kB.
The second factor is that reading and writing sequentially large data files (for example copying, downloading, video editing, …) benefits from a large stripe size. Anandtech had examples of up to 1024 kB.
The third point is tha random access of small chunks of data benefits from less IO access time – that is how fast i takes from a request for a read/write is started to it actual starts. The more disks you have in a raid 0 setup, the slightly larger will the access time be.

In actual life, your choice of stripe size will depend on what type of user you are.

So, in the end, adriansrojakpot recommended 4kB or 8kB, Anandtech recommended “as large as possible”, and Toms Hardware, having the most throughout review, recommended 64 kB (but had a big flaw late in that article about large stripe size vs. file system cluster size).

My solution? It turned out that the ICH9R controller does not support more than 128kB, and I decided to go for that. However, the ICH9R support “Intel Matrix Storage” that allows for dividing up the disks in two raid 0 solutions, so I went for 1843 GB with stripe size 128 kB, and then a small rest of 20GB with stripe size 4kB. After installing Vista I moved the swap file to that 20 GB partition, so that I could get the best of two worlds!

Intel Matrix Storage View

In the end, the solution gave a top score 5.9 in windows experience index, and this image shows how it looks like in the image storage console view.

March 24, 2008 at 1:27 am 46 comments

Back to OS/2

One of my biggest computing interests is operating systems. At least it used to be. Of course, as anyone with some experience in the IT industry, I have tried several, including – for the record – Windows (2.1, 3.1,95, 98, Me, NT 3.5, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, Vista, CE, PocketPC), Dos 2-Dos 7, OS/2 (2.1, 3.0, 4.0), Linux since kernel version 0.96 (1992), Solaris, HP-UX and other Unix variants, Symbian and BeOS,real-time operating systems like pSOS, VxWorks, Windows CE, Integrity, Nucleus, QNX, OSE, LynxOS, Symbian and others.
The greatest of them all I used to think was OS/2. I even went to WarpStock in 99. Well, I still think so. However, IBM killed it by not updating it and not releasing new drivers. And they did not make it open source. The greatest thing about OS/2 was of course its object oriented build and interface, and all those nifty applications one were able to build by replacing or extending a single component of the OS.
Anyway, the reason I mention this is that I have just tried Microsoft Virtual PC 2007, and I really smiled when discovering it has OS/2 support! It did not take me long to get the old OS/2 Warp CD and install it as a virtual machine on my pc running Vista. Of course I could have used VMWare as I did a couple of years ago. But Virtual PC seems to do the job as well.
Whether OS/2 still looks that great I am unsure of. After all, things has improved in the world of personal computing since 1994. XP and the Vista user interfaces are better (but not object oriented). Some of the Linux windows desktops also look good. Still it was fun to have another run at OS/2!

March 4, 2007 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

Microsoft Keyboard wit Fingerprint Reader on Vista

I installed Vista two months ago, and although most drivers were installed out of the box, a few drivers did not. Among those is the fingerprint reader on my “Microsoft Keyboard wit Fingerprint Reader”. Actually, the keyboard itself works fine, it is just the fingerprint reader that has no driver installed.Before Vista, I used it for logging on to my home pc almost every time.

I was expecting the drivers to be installed automatically throug Windows Update, but today, after two month I gave up. First I tried Driver Detective, an excellent piece of software which already has a Windows Vista version. However, it reported the device with a “driver not found” mark.

After a bit of searching I go the drivers in two steps:
i) Installing the latest version of the IntelliType Pro software from Microsoft
ii) Installing the DigitalPersona Password Manager 2.0, also from Microsoft.

After a restart (which by the way take som time on Vista), and some calibrating using the autostarting Wizard, I worked fine.

Anyway, logging on to Vista is easier now. For the home office, it offers good enough security.

February 4, 2007 at 12:14 am 1 comment

How to change the location of the Documents, Music and Video personal folders in Vista

In Vista, under normal circumstances, the Documents, Music and Video folders are located under c:\user\. If you rightclick on these folders, either from the start menu or from browsing to c:\user\, and select “properties” and then the “location” page, it is possible to change the location to a different folder, perhaps your old catalogue of mp3, or divx video files.

Have a look at this artice.

January 28, 2007 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment


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