OSX dd Dead Slow

I’ve been writing to SD cards a bit lately while mucking around with a Raspberry Pi and a few other boards. This involves using dd to write a disk image directly onto the SD card. Whenever I do this, it is very slow. I mean really slow. I began to suspect the OSX implementation of dd and tonight I tested it out.

Here is a write of an image (Fedora for a Cubieboard) on my mac

sudo dd if=~/Downloads/Fedora-18-a10-armhfp-r1-cubie.img of=/dev/disk8 bs=64k
49152+0 records in
49152+0 records out
3221225472 bytes transferred in 1625.948833 secs (1981136 bytes/sec)

I then started an Ubuntu VM on VMWare on the same mac and repeated the operation

sudo dd if=Desktop/Fedora-18-a10-armhfp-r1-cubie.img of=/dev/sdb bs=64k
49152+0 records in
49152+0 records out
3221225472 bytes (3.2 GB) copied, 365.608 s, 8.8 MB/s

So on the same hardware plus a VM, Ubuntu’s dd is about 5 times faster. I have no idea why but I’ll be using a VM to write my images from now on.

F1 2012

Looking forward to another interesting F1 year. 2010 was a cracking season. Although 2011 was less interesting from a championship perspective, I was still quite interested in all the races. I think DRS and the Pirelli tyres did the job of making the events more interesting. I hope for more of the same this year.

The cars this year look really ugly. I guess you can’t have a rule that the cars must look good but something needs to be done 🙂 Only the McLaren looks good and kudos to them for that. Nice to see them putting a premium on the aesthetics. Of the rest, I think the Sauber is the ugliest of all. Maybe it will be fastest.

It’s clear that Vettel took a step forward last year. I have a feeling he won’t be champion this year. It’s just hard to see him keeping it up for three years in a row and I expect all the teams to be closer making things a little harder for him.

The Button – Hamilton duel should be interesting. I think Hamilton is the faster driver and hopefully he can avoid Massa this year.

I’ll be going for Webber again this year. I hope he’s in the mix. At least his Swisse ad is less funereal this year.

Oh, also nice to know we’ll be getting the Brundle commentary here in Oz despite the BBC/Sky shuffling that went on.

Let’s see what develops …

F1 2010

So F1 is about to start for 2010.

It’s shaping up to be an interesting year. I’m hoping for most of the action to be on track this year. Maybe there will be some overtaking 🙂 Of course, there is already controversy about the McLaren aerodynamics. Personally, I’m not sure I’d like to be plugging and unplugging holes with my knees for 2 hours. Still, for a speed advantage there is not much a F1 driver wouldn’t do. It will be interesting to see how Schumacher goes. I think he’ll be competitive. The new teams, on the other hand, look like they are all going to struggle. They will probably affect results in all the wrong ways. Let’s hope they’re looking for the blue flags.

I’m going for Webber again this year. With some wins last year, I think the pressure is off him a bit this year. Let’s see.

It was good to see Massa up there in practice. Hopefully we’ll have a safe year in 2010.

CSS Pain

I decided to update my blog look and feel. I normally don’t play much in the UI space but I figured I’d have a crack at it to improve my skills.

After mucking around with float:left, auto margins and friends, I can’t help but wonder what really was the problem with using tables?

I’ll keep at it.