applications

lbzip2: parallel bzip2 utility

lbzip2 is a multi-threaded bzip2 compressor/decompressor utility that can be used on its own, in pipelines, or passed to GNU tar with the –use-compress-program option (or with the –use shorthand).

The main motivation for writing lbzip2 was that I didn’t know about any parallel bzip2 decompressor that would exercise multiple cores on a single-stream bz2 file (i.e. the output of a single bzip2 run) and/or on a file read from a non-seekable source (e.g. a pipe or socket). Thus lbzip2 started out as lbunzip2, but with time it gained multiple-workers compression and single-worker decompression features. Due to the input-bound splitter of its multiple-workers decompressor, it should scale well to many cores even when decompressing.

How S.M.A.R.T. are your disks?

GSmartControl is a graphical user interface for smartctl (from Smartmontools package), which is a tool for querying and controlling S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) data on modern hard disk drives. It allows you to inspect the drive's S.M.A.R.T. data to determine its health, as well as run various tests on it.

Alexander Shaduri has done a decent job making a very useful GUI for an otherwise fairly cryptic S.M.A.R.T. attributes. When running GSmartControl you have helpful tips, color coded lines, help built into application, you name it... Few days ago it became available in Debian sid, but you can always visit the official GSmartControl page, download and build it for yourself.

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