What is the most expensive storage medium?

While I was waiting at the grocery store this evening, I was walking around and went past their “office supply” isle… To my surprise they had a box of 10 1.44mb floppy disks. The cost was $4.99 for roughly 14MB of disk space. (I bought a 1GB flash drive not long ago at K-Mart for $9.99)… Interestingly right next to the floppy disks there were a 10 pack of 700 MB cd-r’s. They were $7.99….So a little bit of math:

Disk Size Cost for 1 disk Cost per Meg
Floppy 1.44MB $0.49 ~$0.35
CD-R 700MB $0.79 $0.001
4GB Flash Drive* 4000MB $34.99 $0.008
300GB HD* 300,000MB $79.99 $0.0003

As you can see the Floppy disk is still the most expensive medium around. What is funny is I haven’t seen a home computer/laptop in years that actually come with a floppy disk any more.

*- Represents prices of said drive from a local office store sale price for this week.

Yet more “data” lost

Well it seems that yet another “tape” has been lost with peoples data on it.. GE Money is now reporting that 650,000 store credit card users could have their information in the hands of some one else. This seems to be a common quote now adays:

Getting data off the tape would be a chore for thieves according to Iron Mountain, although it said it regretting misplacing the tape. “We occasionally make mistakes,” a spokesperson told the Associated Press.

Why do they always think that it is going to be such a ‘chore’ for thieves to get data off of the tapes. I can almost bet that most people are NOT encrypting their data before it gets put on tape.

Quick Script to see missing patches on Solaris

Today I needed to see what patches were missing on a ton of machines. Instead of trying to start the Patch manager of the month for solaris, I wrote this little script that would produce me a HTML page of the current patches installed and ones that needed to be installed. This script is based off of the patchdiag.xref available from Sun. I know there are many other tools out there such as PCA (Patch check advanced) but in the environment I was in today, I could not use any third party programs so I wrote my own. The output looks like this:

output of patch checking script

What the script does is the following:

  1. Get a list of current patches on the machine
  2. Find the latest version of each patch that is installed on the machine and compare it to the latest version available according to the patchdiag.xref
  3. Generate one line of HTML code, listing the patch, the current installed revision and the current available revision and a description of the patch. It will also place a link to the patch on sunsolve.
  4. At the end it will list a summary of patches installed, missing, obsolete, and how many security and recommended patches there are.
  5. It will then compare the list of currently available patches against what is installed to see if there are patches that are available but not installed on the system
  6. If a patch has never been installed it will then list the line of HTML code showing the patch number, revision, flag (security,recommended) and its description
  7. At the end it will display the total number of patches that are not installed and how many are recommended and/or security

Basically it is a very simple script. It should work on all versions of solaris from 7+. It ONLY looks at Solaris specific patches and not those that are unbundled (i.e. Sun Studio, Web Server, etc.)

Here is the script, it may not be the cleanest or most efficient, but it was a quick job…

Shell script to analyze solaris patches