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LinuxFocus September 2000 issue

The recent development of hard-disks capacity has really been breath taking. I can still remember a couple of years back an article in a scientific journal pointing out that the laws of physics would limit the capacity of harddisks. The size of the magnetic regions in ferro magnetic materials have a fixed size and can therefore not shrink for ever.

Surprisingly the harddisk manufactures have found ways to make them smaller. 80 GB disks are nothing unusual. But what will we do with all that space?
Well the answer is easy. Have you ever looked at the size of an executable called netscape? 14MB for 4.7X and the trend is growing. Netscape 6 is sooo big and slow that it only runs with acceptable speed on very recent hardware. Why must a web browser include a news reader, a mail application, java-vm etc... all in one big executable?
In the hope to get rid of browser bugs you upgrade to the new version and at the same time you get a new mail reader. The old mail reader was always working perfectly while the new one does not.

Where are the skilled software engineers that used to produce beautiful stable, small and fast applications?
Gnome has recognized this and made a lot of wind by announcing its new component model, Bonobo. KDE has not made that much noise, but meanwhile it was using the time to implement it and hopefully KDE 2.0 will be ready soon. Still, where is a fast and stable browser that will still rung in the future, even on my Pentium 200? Are text-only browsers like w3m and lynx the only stable and slim alternative? Some ongoing projects want to produce such a browser. viewml will be a browser for small embedded systems. It uses the html rendering engine from the KDE project (kfm). At the moment it is still under development and even more unstable than netscape 4.7, but it might become a very nice browser. An other alternative is galeon. It is based on the new mozilla engine Gecko. This browser is as well at an early stage but works already quite well. You will however need the new harddisk to install 24MB of mostly unused mozilla code ;-).

The Articles

Software Development



System Administration


The LinuxFocus Tip

How do I install a new harddisk? Plugging in the cables is usually not a big thing as they are clearly labeled and fit normally only in one direction.
The bearings of harddisks are not made to hold the spinning disks in every position. Unfortunately this is normally not described in the manual or leaflet that comes with the disk. If you insert it the wrong way into the computer then you will see it fading away after a couple of months.
You may insert the disk as shown in the first picture:
This is either standing on the long small side or facing the printed circuit board _down_ (!!).
You should never mount it with the metal side down and the printed circuit board up like this:

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