Hardware speed

Faster system disk

The current system disk, hda, is slow at reading: about 3.4 gigabytes a second. We have another disk of the same size, 10GB, that read at betweeen 20-26 GB/s. Just copy the filesystem onto a new disk and grubbify it.

Different disk/CD placement on the controllers

Currently each disk controller has one hard disk and one CDROM attached with the hard disk as master on each. For disk-to-disk speed this is fine but when someone reads or writes at full speed to/from a CD device, the system slows to a crawl because the large slow CD data blocks lock out the small fast disk transfers.

There is also a 50/50 chance when copying between disk and CD device that both devices will be on the same IDE controller, which is slow. Currently this hits most often when copying between the CD writer and the large filesystem.

Putting both hard disks on one controller and both CDs on the other should eliminate the immense system slowdown experienced by all users when someone writes a CD, at the expense of being able to do fast direct CD-to-CD copy (something which also cripples the machine for everyone else while it is running).

Upgrade hard disk cable(s)

DMA is currently unreliable to the hdc, the large volume, giving uncorrectable read errors on hdc and we are also experiencing IRQ timeouts on hda. This may be because the disks are trying to use udma, but do not have UDMA cables. In any case, installing one would do no harm, and if they are both on the same controller we only need one.

Reorganise partition/directory mounting

Currently, users all navigate as a single user "ram" and can only store files on the desktop of the individual workstations (and this is where the programs save and download things to by default).

I wamt to give users the oprion of having their own accounts and being able to store their crap under their own dir under /home, which presumably would be the same dir whatever workstation they sit down at, presumably an NFS mount of barrabox:/home

barrabnox's /home is currently on the small system partition, while large data are explicitly accessed under random directories under the publicly-writable /mnt/hdc1.

I'd like to make the current hdc1 partition mount as /home and ask people to move the crap that is currently in /mnt/hdc1 into their respective home directories. (Mind u, a unified /home/video and /home/audio are not a bad idea...)