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Advantage of partitioning? - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

Can someone explain the advantage of partitioning the HD? Why wouldn't I just want a swap and leave the rest as /? I don't understand why some install docs say to set up different partitions like this: /boot 35 Meg /usr 2048+ Meg /var 1500+ Meg /tmp 1024 Meg / 1024 Meg /home grow to fill disk I understand the concept of setting up the partitions, I just can't understand why I would want to. It seems to me that when one of these mounts runs out of space I've shot myself in the foot. If I just left it ...

  1. #1

    Default Advantage of partitioning?

    Can someone explain the advantage of partitioning the HD? Why wouldn't I
    just want a swap and leave the rest as /? I don't understand why some
    install docs say to set up different partitions like this:

    /boot 35 Meg
    /usr 2048+ Meg
    /var 1500+ Meg
    /tmp 1024 Meg
    / 1024 Meg
    /home grow to fill disk


    I understand the concept of setting up the partitions, I just can't
    understand why I would want to. It seems to me that when one of these
    mounts runs out of space I've shot myself in the foot. If I just left it
    with one partition as / I wouldn't run into that problem.


    no body Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    no body <no-oneno-where.com> wrote:
    > just want a swap and leave the rest as /?
    Usually users put theirs files in /home, not all around the place,
    so that leaves only one partition where you have to setup quotas
    and/or check for crap, second, there is a limit in the numbers of
    inode that are created on one partition, third, if you have one
    big partition and something goes bad you can't fsck only one part
    of the disk.
    > understand why I would want to.
    If you don't want to, dont do it.
    > It seems to me that when one of these mounts runs out of space
    Tell me, why / should run out of space? or why /usr or /var ?

    Theoretically, after installation, /usr, /var and / should be fixed
    (with the exception of /var/logs and /var/spool and similar) and no
    longer grow. The only thing that should grow should be /home.

    Davide

    Davide Bianchi Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    On Wed, 23 Jul 2003 18:21:09 GMT, no body wrote:
    >
    > I understand the concept of setting up the partitions, I just can't
    > understand why I would want to. It seems to me that when one of these
    > mounts runs out of space I've shot myself in the foot. If I just left it
    > with one partition as / I wouldn't run into that problem.
    See you do understand the problem. When /var and/or /tmp goes
    full your system goes in the ditch. When everything in in /
    your /home users could fill the disk and you would be AFU (all fouled up)

    Bit Twister Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Davide Bianchi writes:
    > Theoretically, after installation, /usr ... should be fixed
    > ... and no longer grow.
    Only if you never install any additional software.

    You still should partition, though.
    --
    John Hasler
    [email]johndhh.gt.org[/email] (John Hasler)
    Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, WI
    John Hasler Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Davide Bianchi wrote:
    > no body <no-oneno-where.com> wrote:
    >
    >> just want a swap and leave the rest as /?
    >
    >
    > Usually users put theirs files in /home, not all around the place, so
    > that leaves only one partition where you have to setup quotas and/or
    > check for crap, second, there is a limit in the numbers of inode that
    > are created on one partition, third, if you have one big partition
    > and something goes bad you can't fsck only one part of the disk.
    >
    >
    >> understand why I would want to.
    >
    >
    > If you don't want to, dont do it.
    >
    >
    >> It seems to me that when one of these mounts runs out of space
    >
    >
    > Tell me, why / should run out of space? or why /usr or /var ?
    >
    > Theoretically, after installation, /usr, /var and / should be fixed
    > (with the exception of /var/logs and /var/spool and similar) and no
    > longer grow. The only thing that should grow should be /home.
    >
    > Davide
    >
    Well, I run /var out of space quite often (only about 200 Megabytes).
    When running a database reorganization, IBM's DB2 needs to put the
    scratch somewhere, and I picked /var/IBM/db2/temmporary. Well, it can
    use several gigabytes and my var is nowhere near that big. I have a
    temporary solution, but my new machine will have 8GBytes of space up
    there in /var. Has to be somewhere.

    Similarly, when downloading a 700 Megabyte file with Mozilla (some sites
    do not allow ftp for security purposes: you must log in with a suitable
    browser and use it to download), that temporarily goes into /tmp. So
    /tmp will need to be somewhat larger than the biggest CD-ROM (for
    example) that you might wish to download. This also happens when using
    some very large spreadsheets.

    The advantage of separate partitions is that you can set quotas
    individually on each partition. Thus no users other than root can write
    to /boot, /, /usr, etc. Individual users can write only limited amounts
    to /tmp and /var.

    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ Registered Machine 73926.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey [url]http://counter.li.org[/url]
    ^^-^^ 3:05pm up 1 day, 20:00, 2 users, load average: 2.21, 2.22, 2.12

    Jean-David Beyer Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Combined with Logical Volume Management and
    a filesystem like reiserfs, you can dynamically
    grow your filesystems, which is nice when you've
    got a large download in progress and find you won't have
    enough room and it's 80% complete!

    If you a very small amount of disk space, then
    partioning is probably not for you. But with
    today's disk capacities, I higly recommend the
    reliability of partitioning.

    Chris Cox Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    In article <bfmkem$gqh0n$4id-18487.news.uni-berlin.de>,
    Davide Bianchi <davideyeahsureonlyforfun.net> writes:
    >
    > Theoretically, after installation, /usr, /var and / should be fixed
    > (with the exception of /var/logs and /var/spool and similar) and no
    > longer grow. The only thing that should grow should be /home.
    Those exceptions can be important, particularly for some systems. For
    instance, a mail server that starts getting an unusually large amount of
    e-mail (say, because of a new worm or a spike in spam) could easily
    overrun a fixed /var partition. The /usr partition will also need to be
    larger if you install new software, or for that matter other stuff that
    might be stored on /usr (fonts, say). Even updates to software (say,
    installed to improve system security) can increase storage space needs of
    /usr, if the newer software is bigger than whatever it replaces. The root
    (/) partition can, of course, grow because of software additions/upgrades
    or other changes affecting any directories it contains. Furthermore,
    newbies (or even fairly experienced administrators dealing with a system
    that's configured in an unfamiliar way) often find it hard to set
    appropriate initial sizes for partitions, so they can easily be close to
    the limits, or even flat-out too small, immediately after system
    installation. In sum, any partition you create can become inadequate as
    the system grows or processes normal or abnormal data.

    Note that I am *NOT* arguing against partitioning. Partitioning a disk
    has its merits, as you and others have pointed out in this thread. The
    risk of a partition filling up shouldn't be dismissed out of hand,
    though. Personally, I recommend that newbies stick to a simple
    partitioning system -- root (/), /home, swap, and possibly /usr or /boot
    -- because of the difficulty of judging appropriate partition sizes.
    Those with more experience can benefit from using different filesystems
    on different partitions, setting some partitions read-only, per-partition
    quotas, putting partitions on different physical disks, etc.

    --
    Rod Smith, [email]rodsmithrodsbooks.com[/email]
    [url]http://www.rodsbooks.com[/url]
    Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
    Rod Smith Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Wayne <pollockacm.org> wrote:
    > What a great question! There are many reasons for partitioning a
    > large hard disk into several smaller partitions. But for a home
    > user with a single small-ish disk (today's large disks are tomorrow's
    > small ones), a single Linux partition can indeed be a reasonable
    > choice. But partitions can buy you some safety so I personally always
    > would create several partitions.
    > Here are some reasons to partition:
    .....[most of informative post snipped]....
    > * Even journaled filesystem occasionally need to be checked with
    > "fsck" (other opinions notwithstanding). If your disk is large it
    > might take many minutes to run fsck, which will run automatically
    > every so often. By partitioning a large drive into small partitions,
    > the SA can stagger when such checks get done so only a small part
    > of the disk is (reasonably quickly) scanned.
    > There are probably other reasons as well, but these are all I can
    > think of at the moment.
    i years past, fsck wanted the file system/s to be unmounted before checking, only
    the root was checked mounted and often that was done by a "mini-root" read in from tape.

    --Loren

    > Hope this helps!
    > -Wayne
    > no body wrote:
    >> Can someone explain the advantage of partitioning the HD? Why wouldn't I
    >> just want a swap and leave the rest as /? I don't understand why some
    >> install docs say to set up different partitions like this:
    >>
    >> /boot 35 Meg
    >> /usr 2048+ Meg
    >> /var 1500+ Meg
    >> /tmp 1024 Meg
    >> / 1024 Meg
    >> /home grow to fill disk
    >>
    >>
    >> I understand the concept of setting up the partitions, I just can't
    >> understand why I would want to. It seems to me that when one of these
    >> mounts runs out of space I've shot myself in the foot. If I just left it
    >> with one partition as / I wouldn't run into that problem.
    >>
    >>
    lcoe Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Rod Smith <rodsmithnessus.rodsbooks.com> wrote:
    > Those exceptions can be important, particularly for some systems.
    Of course.
    > For instance, a mail server that starts getting an unusually large
    When my e-mail server reach 50% on /var all the bells start ringing.
    You have to keep things under control anyway.
    > risk of a partition filling up shouldn't be dismissed out of hand,
    And nobody is going to dismiss it, but with today's disk size is
    greatly reduced.

    Davide
    Davide Bianchi Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Jean-David Beyer <jdbeyerexit109.com> wrote:
    >Well, I run /var out of space quite often (only about 200 Megabytes).
    >When running a database reorganization, IBM's DB2 needs to put the
    >scratch somewhere, and I picked /var/IBM/db2/temmporary. Well, it can
    >use several gigabytes and my var is nowhere near that big. I have a
    >temporary solution, but my new machine will have 8GBytes of space up
    >there in /var. Has to be somewhere.
    My solution for this kind of thing (not IBM DB2, but an image
    server) is to mount another file system for the subdirectory that {BIG
    APPLICATION} uses. That way, you can make sure that IBM DB2 or whatever
    has enough space, but just in case it does manage to overflow, it won't
    hose other things that need space in /var (or whatever).
    >[. . .]
    >The advantage of separate partitions is that you can set quotas
    >individually on each partition. Thus no users other than root can write
    >to /boot, /, /usr, etc. Individual users can write only limited amounts
    >to /tmp and /var.
    Of course, separate partitions are also nice for having 2 or more
    different distributions of Linux. Have Debian 3.0r1 on /dev/hda1; have
    Linux From Scratch 4.1/Beyond Linux From Scratch 1.0 on /dev/hda6 (for
    simplicity, I didn't subdivide, but obviously this could also be done if
    needed). And then another use for a partition: I put backup tarballs on
    /dev/hda7 that is normally unmounted (mounted to create the tarballs and
    to write them to CD-R/RW).

    --
    Lucius Chiaraviglio
    Approximate E-mail address: [email]luciusonechapter.net[/email]
    To get the exact address: ^^^ ^replace this with 'r'
    |||
    replace this with single digit meaning the same thing
    (Spambots of Doom, take that!).
    Lucius Chiaraviglio Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Lucius Chiaraviglio wrote (in part):
    > Jean-David Beyer <jdbeyerexit109.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Well, I run /var out of space quite often (only about 200 Megabytes).
    >>When running a database reorganization, IBM's DB2 needs to put the
    >>scratch somewhere, and I picked /var/IBM/db2/temmporary. Well, it can
    >>use several gigabytes and my var is nowhere near that big. I have a
    >>temporary solution, but my new machine will have 8GBytes of space up
    >>there in /var. Has to be somewhere.
    >
    >
    > My solution for this kind of thing (not IBM DB2, but an image
    > server) is to mount another file system for the subdirectory that {BIG
    > APPLICATION} uses. That way, you can make sure that IBM DB2 or whatever
    > has enough space, but just in case it does manage to overflow, it won't
    > hose other things that need space in /var (or whatever).
    >
    My solution, too, for the DB2 problem where I know the subdirectory in
    /var that DB2 uses.

    But no good for temp files created on the fly by Mozilla for downloading
    files which go directly into /tmp, and whose filenames are not known
    until too late. IBM are a typical case where you must login using their
    web page, sign agreements, etc., and then it will download. If I try to
    grab the [url]ftp://.[/url].. stuff and start ncftp with it, it will not go all the
    way to where the needed files are because ncftp does not have the right
    cookie (I do not know if it even understands cookies), and I cannot get
    to the right directory. So I am scrod, as some say. I suppose this would
    be a problem were I to try to download the ISO images of Red Hat
    distributions through Red Hat Network (faster than just downloading
    because they give better service to paying R.H.N. users). But since I am
    on 56.6Kbits/sec dialup, I do not do that anyway.

    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ Registered Machine 73926.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey [url]http://counter.li.org[/url]
    ^^-^^ 7:35am up 2 days, 12:30, 2 users, load average: 2.09, 2.20, 2.17

    Jean-David Beyer Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Davide Bianchi wrote:
    > Rod Smith <rodsmithnessus.rodsbooks.com> wrote:
    >
    >>Those exceptions can be important, particularly for some systems.
    >
    >
    > Of course.
    >
    >
    >>For instance, a mail server that starts getting an unusually large
    >
    >
    > When my e-mail server reach 50% on /var all the bells start ringing.
    > You have to keep things under control anyway.
    >
    >
    >>risk of a partition filling up shouldn't be dismissed out of hand,
    >
    >
    > And nobody is going to dismiss it, but with today's disk size is
    > greatly reduced.
    >
    > Davide
    Have you ever heard of Parkinson's Law?

    [url]http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1568490151/qid=1059047107/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-5584957-9499931?v=glance&s=books[/url]

    My first computer had two 40 Megabyte hard drives, and that was almost
    enough. 2400 rpm.

    My first PC had a 1.5Gbyte and a 4.3GByte hard drive, and that seemed
    like a lot.

    My present "big machine" has two 10,000 rpm Ultra-2 Wide SCSI 9.1GByte
    hard drives, and they are barely enough.

    My next machine is likely to have four 10,000 rpm Ultra/320 SCSI
    18.4Gbyte hard drives, and if I did not know any better I would imagine
    that no one could use more than that for a desktop (I do next to no
    image processing, do not keep large audio libraries, etc.).

    The first UNIX system I ran fit easily into a DEC PDP-11/45 with
    48KBytes of RAM. It could run two processes at a time (the proc table
    was bigger than that, but only two could be in run state or swapping (no
    paging yet) would occur. IIRC, the process scheduler ran about once
    every two seconds. In any case if a compute-limited process got the CPU,
    it kept it for two seconds. Now I think that interval is around 100
    microseconds.
    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ Registered Machine 73926.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey [url]http://counter.li.org[/url]
    ^^-^^ 7:40am up 2 days, 12:35, 2 users, load average: 2.21, 2.18, 2.17

    Jean-David Beyer Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Jean-David Beyer <jdbeyerexit109.com> wrote:
    > Have you ever heard of Parkinson's Law?
    Yes, I think that Scott Adams wrote about it in some of his books...
    > My first computer had two 40 Megabyte hard drives, and that was almost
    > enough. 2400 rpm.
    My first PC had _NO_ hard drive and just two 5.25 inch floppies, we
    are talking about _servers_ here, when you buy a machine that have
    to serve as a mail server or something for at least 2/3 year (because
    that's the time you plan to use it before it gets obsolete), you have
    to plan a little ahead how much space are you going to use on that
    machine, and setup things so you don't run out of space so easily.

    Disks quota and the like are there to ensure that you have some kind
    of emergency way to avoid the "no room on partition" error.

    Davide
    Davide Bianchi Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Davide Bianchi wrote:
    > Jean-David Beyer <jdbeyerexit109.com> wrote:
    >
    >> Have you ever heard of Parkinson's Law?
    >
    >
    > Yes, I think that Scott Adams wrote about it in some of his books...
    C. Northcote Parkinson wrote about it in his own book.
    >
    >
    >> My first computer had two 40 Megabyte hard drives, and that was
    >> almost enough. 2400 rpm.
    >
    >
    > My first PC had _NO_ hard drive and just two 5.25 inch floppies, we
    > are talking about _servers_ here, when you buy a machine that have to
    > serve as a mail server or something for at least 2/3 year (because
    > that's the time you plan to use it before it gets obsolete), you have
    > to plan a little ahead how much space are you going to use on that
    > machine, and setup things so you don't run out of space so easily.
    When I got into computing, there were no disk drives, period.
    You could get a drum memory as a temporary scratch area: there were two
    drums in the box and each held, IIRC, 4096 36-bit words. The main memory
    was 32768 words. Used around 5000 vacuum tubes (IBM model 704). There
    were 10 tape drives, though, and that was an interesting alternative.
    The OS was typically on one of the drives (once people wrote operating
    systems. IIRC, MIT had an "automatic operator program" in the mid 1950s,
    and United Aircraft and some others came up with the "Fortran Monitor
    System". Back in batch processing days.

    The first disk drives I used were by IBM, General Electric, and Control
    Data. The IBM and Control Data drives were pretty good by the standards
    of the time, but you would not want one today. Later ones had removeable
    disk packs, so you could store a lot of data, take it off the drive and
    put another one, perhaps for another user, on there.

    The General Electric disk drives (for their 625/635/645 line of
    machines) were very interesting. There was a separate head assembly for
    each platter so you could be seeking on all but the platter you were
    actually reading or writing, reducing their effective seek time a lot.
    But they were as unreliable as all #$%, and we spent about 4 hours per
    day backing them up. Not much fun.
    >
    > Disks quota and the like are there to ensure that you have some kind
    > of emergency way to avoid the "no room on partition" error.
    >
    There is, also, the 5% (default) space in each partition reserved for
    the super-user, that can help with that. In the old days, there was also
    a slot or two in the process table for the super-user to login and fix
    things when the system was going haywire (typically when an $$%^&*
    wrote the while (1) fork(); program. So So funny. 8-(

    As far as servers are concerned, I find the distinctions are rather hazy
    these days. The machine I am typing on right now I consider to be a
    desktop, but it runs Samba, sendmail, ssh, named (bind), IBM DB2 UDB
    (which is about 10 concurrent processes that do different things as
    required: page fetchers, page cleaners, ipc management, logging, SQL
    interpretation, optimization, execution, and G.O.K. what else). It is on
    a little LAN and the other machine can access files and the printer on
    this machine, so I guess it is a file and print server too. It has two
    CPUs and the drives and CD-burner (except floppy, CD-ROM) are all on
    SCSI interfaces. So while I would not normally think of it as a server,
    I suppose I could. If I go to the typical on-line computer vendor, I
    have to go to the server part of their system to get a machine like
    this. All the rest have single ATAPI hard drives, not enough memory,
    etc. (They are cheaper, though.)

    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ Registered Machine 73926.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey [url]http://counter.li.org[/url]
    ^^-^^ 10:15am up 2 days, 15:10, 2 users, load average: 2.10, 2.14, 2.09

    Jean-David Beyer Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    :: My first computer had two 40 Megabyte hard drives, and that was
    :: almost enough. 2400 rpm.

    : My first PC had _NO_ hard drive and just two 5.25 inch floppies,

    You young whippersnappers... my first computer had only an audio tape
    cassette port for "mass storage". Got it as a special bundled offering
    with two banks of 4k memory pre-installed. Stored stuff at about
    1200 bps or so IIRC. And we had to walk to school in the snow.
    Uphill. In both directions.

    And we LIKED it!

    ( This space reserved for somebody who's first computer
    had only front-panel switches, both for interactive entry
    and re-entering "saved" (ie, written on paper) programs and data. )

    ( Hmmm, come to think of it, my father's HP45 was sort of like that...
    but with numeric and function keys instead of a row of switches. )


    Wayne Throop [email]throopwsheol.org[/email] [url]http://sheol.org/throopw[/url]
    Wayne Throop Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Jean-David Beyer <jdbeyerexit109.com> wrote:
    > As far as servers are concerned, I find the distinctions are rather hazy
    > these days.
    I agree with this, in fact, I was thiking about buying laptops instead
    of 1-U machines... But the point is that planning should be part of
    the process _before_ you install something.

    Davide
    Davide Bianchi Guest

  17. #17

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    In article <3F1FEE94.5050506exit109.com>,
    Jean-David Beyer <jdbeyerexit109.com> writes:
    >
    > There is, also, the 5% (default) space in each partition reserved for
    > the super-user,
    In Linux, this is a feature of ext2fs and ext3fs. IIRC, ReiserFS, XFS, and
    JFS don't implement this feature.

    --
    Rod Smith, [email]rodsmithrodsbooks.com[/email]
    [url]http://www.rodsbooks.com[/url]
    Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking
    Rod Smith Guest

  18. #18

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Greetings,

    If you work in an atmosphere where having the
    newest version of linux is contagious and the
    user installs their own distro of linux on their
    computer, manual partitioning is a blessing.

    Far too many times, a user has come up to me
    stating their linux OS is not functioning and
    they "really" need the data in their directory.
    If all the info is in /, and you don't have the
    tools to boot the system in single user mode or
    never thought to back it up - well.... you know
    the answer. So, it is a good idea to at least
    have /home.

    On a fresh new install of your favorite distro
    of linux, usually /home can be preserved if
    you had an older version on it. However, it
    is far more advantageous to fix your partition
    sizes larger than the recommended size, in
    case the new version of linux takes up more of
    /boot, /, and /usr.

    Hope the above info helps...

    Guylene Gadal
    ECE Computer Support
    Electrical Computing & Engineering Department
    University of California Santa Barbara








    no body wrote:
    >
    > Can someone explain the advantage of partitioning the HD? Why wouldn't I
    > just want a swap and leave the rest as /? I don't understand why some
    > install docs say to set up different partitions like this:
    >
    > /boot 35 Meg
    > /usr 2048+ Meg
    > /var 1500+ Meg
    > /tmp 1024 Meg
    > / 1024 Meg
    > /home grow to fill disk
    >
    > I understand the concept of setting up the partitions, I just can't
    > understand why I would want to. It seems to me that when one of these
    > mounts runs out of space I've shot myself in the foot. If I just left it
    > with one partition as / I wouldn't run into that problem.
    Guylene Gadal Guest

  19. #19

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Wayne Throop wrote:
    > :: My first computer had two 40 Megabyte hard drives, and that was
    > :: almost enough. 2400 rpm.
    >
    > : My first PC had _NO_ hard drive and just two 5.25 inch floppies,
    >
    > You young whippersnappers... my first computer had only an audio tape
    > cassette port for "mass storage". Got it as a special bundled offering
    > with two banks of 4k memory pre-installed. Stored stuff at about
    > 1200 bps or so IIRC. And we had to walk to school in the snow.
    > Uphill. In both directions.
    >
    > And we LIKED it!
    >
    > ( This space reserved for somebody who's first computer
    > had only front-panel switches, both for interactive entry
    > and re-entering "saved" (ie, written on paper) programs and data. )
    "My" first computer was an IBM 704. It had several buttons on the front
    panel, among others.

    One was "Reset" that set all the registers of the machine to zero.
    One was "Clear", which did a Reset and cleared all of RAM too.
    One was Load Cards.
    One was Load Drum.
    One was Load Tape.

    If you pressed Load Cards, the machine did a Read-select card-reader
    that started the moter and moving the card. Then it read columns 1-36 of
    the 9 row and stuck this in memory location 0, read columns 37-72 or the
    9 row and stuck this in memory location 1. It then set the PC to 0, to
    execute the first instruction it had just read in, then the next
    instruction. So that first card had to be punched pretty carefully so it
    could load the rest of itself in, and have enough smarts to load the
    rest of the deck.

    The first minicomputer I ever used was a DEC PDP-5 with a big (by the
    standards of the day) auxilliary processor with a large vector-mode CRT
    and a light pen on it.

    You had to enter a little program into the 12 toggle-switches on the
    front panel. Quite a drag. I think we had to enter about 12
    instructions. This made the machine smart enough to start reading the
    first card, which had better be a self-loading program loader at the
    head of a program deck.

    Is this close enough?
    >
    > ( Hmmm, come to think of it, my father's HP45 was sort of like that...
    > but with numeric and function keys instead of a row of switches. )
    >
    >
    > Wayne Throop [email]throopwsheol.org[/email] [url]http://sheol.org/throopw[/url]


    --
    .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    /V\ Registered Machine 73926.
    /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey [url]http://counter.li.org[/url]
    ^^-^^ 5:00pm up 2 days, 21:55, 2 users, load average: 2.05, 2.15, 2.12

    Jean-David Beyer Guest

  20. #20

    Default Re: Advantage of partitioning?

    Jean-David Beyer <jdbeyerexit109.com> wrote:
    > Wayne Throop wrote:
    >> :: My first computer had two 40 Megabyte hard drives, and that was
    >> :: almost enough. 2400 rpm.
    >>
    >> : My first PC had _NO_ hard drive and just two 5.25 inch floppies,
    >>
    >> You young whippersnappers... my first computer had only an audio tape
    >> cassette port for "mass storage". Got it as a special bundled offering
    >> with two banks of 4k memory pre-installed. Stored stuff at about
    >> 1200 bps or so IIRC. And we had to walk to school in the snow.
    >> Uphill. In both directions.
    >>
    >> And we LIKED it!
    >>
    >> ( This space reserved for somebody who's first computer
    >> had only front-panel switches, both for interactive entry
    >> and re-entering "saved" (ie, written on paper) programs and data. )
    > "My" first computer was an IBM 704. It had several buttons on the front
    > panel, among others.
    > One was "Reset" that set all the registers of the machine to zero.
    > One was "Clear", which did a Reset and cleared all of RAM too.
    > One was Load Cards.
    > One was Load Drum.
    > One was Load Tape.
    [.....]
    > The first minicomputer I ever used was a DEC PDP-5 with a big (by the
    > standards of the day) auxilliary processor with a large vector-mode CRT
    > and a light pen on it.
    > You had to enter a little program into the 12 toggle-switches on the
    > front panel. Quite a drag. I think we had to enter about 12
    > instructions. This made the machine smart enough to start reading the
    > first card, which had better be a self-loading program loader at the
    > head of a program deck. > Is this close enough?
    i was an "old-timer" wrt a line of computers (SDS Sigma Series) and often
    traveled to help local customer engineers. LTV in Grand Prarrie, Tx had
    a real dufus in charge of the systems and made the computer staff to
    get rid of _all_ card readers on the smaller systems, with the logic
    that they were 'old-fashion'. they s/b able to do everything with
    tape or terminals.

    while this saved some floor space and reduced maint. costs, it was
    a really dumb move. the first cpu problem took down the system and
    it _stayed_ tu for several days. the problem was that the loader on
    the diagnostic CARD decks did a piramid test of basic cpu instruction
    as it loaded. the tape was an image of the decks, but you had to
    read the volume label first, and the tape loader did no diagnostics
    at all, assuming the system was operational.

    so it died in the tape loader and the only trouble shooting method
    was single stepping thru the loader to find a really simple failure
    that would have taken an idiot 30 minutes to fix w/card diags. they
    were down for 7days and everyone was climbing the walls. --Loren

    >>
    >> ( Hmmm, come to think of it, my father's HP45 was sort of like that...
    >> but with numeric and function keys instead of a row of switches. )
    >>
    >>
    >> Wayne Throop [email]throopwsheol.org[/email] [url]http://sheol.org/throopw[/url]

    > --
    > .~. Jean-David Beyer Registered Linux User 85642.
    > /V\ Registered Machine 73926.
    > /( )\ Shrewsbury, New Jersey [url]http://counter.li.org[/url]
    > ^^-^^ 5:00pm up 2 days, 21:55, 2 users, load average: 2.05, 2.15, 2.12
    lcoe Guest

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