11 August 2012

My Samsung 830 Series 256GB SSD Unboxing And Benchmark Results

After putting off getting an SSD because of their high prices, I finally took the plunge, as prices have dropped to less than €1 per GB.

The sweet spot is the 128GB or 256Gb sizes as these have the best speeds

Apologies for the quality of some of the photos, my photography skills have dropped drastically, as my PC skills have taken over.

I will post benchmark results with my old Western Digital Black Caviar 1TB hard drives and then the SSD benchmarks to compare the difference between the two technologies.




Click on the images below and they will open in the same window and will also be enlarged, use the back arrow to return to article

Western Digital Black Caviar 1TB                                                              Samsung 830 Series 256GB SSD



Samsung Specs = 500MB/s Read 400MB/sec Write

The software used to run these benchmarks are the most wildly used and all use different methods for testing. 

The last set of screenshots are from software called AS SSD which is specifically for SSD's.As you can see that the results from AS SSD closely match the specs from Samsung

I am still amazed and can't believe how fast this SSD is. It is hard to describe, it has to be seen to be believed. From the end of POST to windows login is 6 seconds approx.

04 August 2012

Installing Moodle on Windows 7 And Using Active Directory For Authentication Of Users In Moodle


I have been asked to do an installation of Moodle and use Active Directory, which has all the user names and passwords of the students already setup, and use those same user names and passwords to log in to Moodle.

There are a number of ways to setup users in Moodle:

1. To get the student to enter an email address and after recieving this email to click on the link provided, however lately Moodle has advised to stop using this as it is an invitation for spammers

2. To manually type in students names, addresses and passwords, which for the school I am doing this for, is not practical as there is over 400 students and a large number of teachers.

3. To use a plugin in called LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) which connects to an existiing Active Directory and uses the user names and passwords from there. This will be the way I will be installing Moodle for this school.

Moodle, for those of you that don't know, is a Content Management System that is used by teachers and lectures in schools and colleges, for providing notes, lectures and assignments in a number of formats i.e. Word, Powerpoint and PDF, to students. Students can access Moodle both internally and externally from their school or college through a URL.This can in some cases reduce the number of books students need to buy or carry around with them.

Using Moodle and Installation

Moodle mostly is very easy to use and in general has been widely accepted.

However installation on windows was a PITA (Pain In The Ar**). When moodle first came along it was mainly installed on Ubuntu. Moodle needs 3 components to work, Apache, MySql and PHP. Under Ubuntu these would be automatically installed and configured.

In Windows up to a while ago each of these components would have to be individually configured. Then came along a tool call WAMP (Windows Apache MySQL PHP) for windows which would install all 3 components and configure themselves automatically.


The current install packages of Moodle come with XAMPP which installs all 3 components and configure themselves, which now makes it very easy to install Moodle on Windows Clents and Servers.

XAMPP's name is an acronym for:
X (to be read as "cross", meaning cross-platform)
Apache HTTP Server

Microsoft have a number of articles on LDAP here:

Installing on Windows 7