EEVblog #190 – Live Show #9

The greatest live show ever.
World renowned guests, pyrotechnics, performing monkeys, aliens, marching bands, and the changing of the grenadier guards.
Would you believe just two hours of Dave answering questions and yapping on?

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  1. I liked the show. It was my first time.
    We also got to see Sagan and ‘the wife’.
    I feel complete now.


  2. dave, I did some work with graphite It works great as an ignter….. there are many different sizes. I had some luck useing them as resistors just thought i would throw that in there

  3. Sorry Dave that response was for #191

  4. Great show as always, missed it again though, I assumed it was on Sunday night/Monday morning as the usual time d’oh!
    Would you consider putting up an email mailing list or forum post that people could subscribe to and send out an message say an hour before hand? I’m usually at or near my computer when it’s on I just completely forget about it, some sort of notification would be great 🙂

    Hope you keep them coming!

  5. I really suggest spending a few bucks on a USB hub. A bad/cheap hub can cause unexplained issues, devices can disconnect then reconnect 2 seconds later, etc. Also I actually got one from a cheap Chinese vendor that had no isolation between the self-powered 5V wall-wart and the bus power from the computer, and apparently it caused enough oscillation that it blew my mainboard. For want of a schottky diode I lost a $90 mainboard. I wound up removing the 0 ohm resistor and using it in strictly self-powered mode but that steamed me.

    Also cheap hubs commonly come with underpowered power supplies.

    I have a 10 port Rosewill USB hub that I paid $25 US for and it’s working well, I’ve plugged hard drives into every port and they all work well, and it comes with a 4 amp wall wart. It’s nice to just put in more ports than I’ll need and not have to worry about it anymore.

  6. When the lab addition is built you will need to take a tape measure to the car dealership every time you get a new car to make sure it will fit.

    Instead of asking the salesman if he has something with a 6 cylinder you will be asking if he has something with a hood that is 40 inches or less. 🙂

    • We did that with the wife’s new car a few months back. The car had to be 4.5m or less, and got many puzzled looks when they asked if we liked the car and said “nope, too long” and walked off…

  7. I’m impressed! Your post has really made me sit back and ponder. I will tweet about your post.

    Thank you.

  8. Hi,

    Was watching the show and noticed the discussion about servers and bandwidth.

    The price of bandwidth nowadays is about 1$ per megabit so 33 TB a month (100 mbps fully used throughout the month) costs them about 100$ – your 2 TB a month cost Hostgator about 4-5$ a month.

    Most shared hosting companies including Hostgator offer unlimited bandwidth but it’s a sort of a “unlimited as long as you don’t affect other websites on the same server”.

    You’re a particular case as you’re popular enough to cause them more losses in negative publicity, if you’d start to rant about them kicking you out. Any other person using 2-3 TB of bandwidth on a shared plan would be kicked out with various reasons like “scripts making too many database queries and affecting other users sharing the server”.

    If you want to go up, best bet is going for a virtual dedicated server or an actual dedicated server.

    I’m not going to plug any links – don’t want you to think I’m advertising – but I actually have a dedicated server located in Holland at

    There’s one configuration at about 110$ a month on their website which comes with 5 TB of bandwidth and you can later upgrade to 10 TB or 100mbps unlimited – basically full unlimited would cost you about 180$ a month.

    You could also start lower with a virtual server that starts at about 55$ (without cPanel) with 5TB of bandwidth included.

    Now I noticed you mentioned CPanel… that’s basically about 25-30$ a month just that, extra. It’s quite expensive for regular people. If you’re not experienced with servers I can understand why you’d want it – I can manage without it.

    An alternative would be to opt for Windows for servers, that’s about 10-15$ a month, and you’d be able to work on it through Remote Desktop Connection like a normal computer, yet still install the regular Apache web server, php, ftp and everything your site and forum needs.

    Another tip I can give you is to check the Webhostingtalk forums – there is a buy/sell section where lots of companies advertise their services – you can often rent a dedicated server still much faster than your current shared hosting at cheap prices, simply because they’re a generation old and they’re no longer able to advertise them on their main pages (because they wouldn’t look cool).

    That’s pretty much it… I really hope it helps you out since your videos really helped me as well. I left my email so if you want to ask me some questions I’d be happy to help you


    • Thanks. Yes, I’m now seriously considerign a dedicated server with cPanel. I’ve asked around on the forums, and my best bet is a dedicated server to replace just the blog and the forum, so it would mostly be database/HD intensive, not bandwidth. I’m best off leaving my high bandwidth streaming video and audio stuff on my two other shared servers that aren’t being taxed as much.
      It’s the slow forum response I need to essentially fix.

  9. That’s not really such a good idea, because shared hosting accounts generally have something in the Terms Of Service that say you’re not allowed to use the service just to serve static files (videos).
    On Hostgator, the TOS document contains several things they can use against you (for example don’t use for backups or storage – as files are not linked from a website on the hosting account they classify as storage).

    Most dedicated servers will come by default with at least 2 TB of bandwidth so you won’t save anything by using the shared hosting – unlike shared hosting, dedicated servers usually have a higher profit margin so they won’t care you use the full bandwidth they give you.

    VPS servers usually come with less bandwidth included by default – let’s say around 500-750 GB – but even for those it’s reasonable costs to upgrade bandwidth when needed. Generally they give less bandwidth because the VPS is on a big server along with 3, 7 or more similar virtual servers so the bandwidth is shared between the virtual servers.

    One thing I’d also like to mention is that with dedicated servers you also have the liberty to set up your own Bittorrent client (and possibly even tracker but it’s not really needed, you can use public ones) on the dedicated server and offer the videos or podcasts as individual torrents. You would still offer the videos as regular downloads but if a part of your visitors would download using Bittorrent, it would help you reduce the bandwidth usage. It sounds complex and hard but it’s actually really easy.

    You could also offer them through FTP, which allows you to specify a limit on how many people download the videos at the same time and the maximum speed they’ll share – for example you may not want 30 people downloading in total with 9MB/s from your server the latest video because this will make the site and forum slower – you may want to configure a maximum of 6-7 MB/s that will be spread among the people downloading.

    This of course can also be implemented for regular http downloads but cPanel wouldn’t expose it to you, you’d have to tweak the configuration files manually.

    • That’s not really such a good idea, because shared hosting accounts generally have something in the Terms Of Service that say you’re not allowed to use the service just to serve static files (videos).

      I don’t. I use it for other regular website stuff too.

      Most dedicated servers will come by default with at least 2 TB of bandwidth so you won’t save anything by using the shared hosting

      According to people on the server forums I’ve asked, yes it would.
      Based on all my actual stats for bandwidth usage and data base access calls etc, everyone is telling me that I would need an expensive “cluster” server setup to properly serve both streaming video and audio files, and all the php database intensive stuff that my forum and blogs use. That means two sets of hard drives and processors, one optimised for database access, and the other for streaming access. That gets expensive and messy if I tried to consolidate all my sites onto one dedicated server.

      I currently have three shared servers, and the only one that is overloading and maxed out in terms of CPU throttling is the forum and main blog – all database intensive stuff. The other two shared servers that handle the streaming plus other sites are doing fine, so no need to touch those.

      So all I need at present is a new dedicated database server to cope with the forum and main blog.

  10. Well, I don’t know the level of expertise the people on the forum here (and you obviously don’t know mine so you shouldn’t believe everything I say) but I would have to politely disagree with their opinion.

    A cluster is way too much for the current level of your website and forum.

    Looking at the forum and the website I can see that it’s heavy on database access, therefore the optimum would be to have one hard drive (or several in a RAID) for the database. Memory also helps, database queries would be cached and you may be able to use memory caching solutions such as the one Wikipedia uses, memcached, or various other web accelerators (xcache, varnish etc).

    The file downloads can easily be served from a second hard drive – keep in mind your connection to the Internet would be about 100mbps or 12 MB/s – any modern hard drive would be have a sustained read rate at 10-15 MB/s when reading 5-10 files at the same time. File downloads don’t use much CPU, in fact that’s how file hosting websites can manage to make a profit – they just use lots of cheap dual core processors with several hard drives in a RAID system or they use a NAS to hold the data. My guess is you have 2-4 very popular videos that are downloaded a lot each week and very few other videos, so a normal hard drive really shouldn’t have a problem keeping up.

    If I were to propose a server for you, I would offer you a dual core server with 4 GB of memory and a 500 GB drive that would be used for the operating system, file downloads and daily backups. I would then recommend adding a 32-64 GB SSD drive to the configuration for about 15-20$ month, for the scripts and database – SSD drives are monsters when it comes to seeking data and reading information from all over the place.

    Overall, such system could cost:

    Sandy Bridge i3 2100 2×3,1 Ghz,4GB, 500GB HDD + 80GB SSD Intel, 5 TB bandwidth @ 100mbps, cPanel, = 114 UK Pounds

    And what’s the worst case that could happen? If it doesn’t work out, you can always choose to buy the second server and use it strictly for the file downloads.

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