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 Post subject: Re: Transform 'Cuda 7200.11 1.5tb into Velociraptor Killer
PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:36 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Transform 'Cuda 7200.11 1.5tb into Velociraptor Killer

TechWare Labs posted a mod article by Artiom that transforms a $120 Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB into a speed demon that outperforms a $230 VelociRaptor 300GB in almost every way. The mod only requires the use of Seagate's own Sea Tools utility... and turns the 1.5TB drive into a 300GB drive. (This is reversible.) Apparently, setting the size to 20% of max capacity makes use of only "the inside 20% of the disc, thus bringing superior performance."


Eh....I don't buy it. Their benchmarks are heavily skewed in favor of sequential performance, which is good, but random access is where the raptor shines. Sequential access now happens so quickly that it has almost completely written itself out of the performance equation, unless the use-case is really large files (like, > 100 MB).

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:56 am 
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That's pretty cool!
Good bang for your buck.
But if you want to spend $$$, get a Vertex over a Velociraptor.
It's hard to beat <.1ms seek time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 7:01 am 
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-10 reputation. :oops:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:14 am 
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drees wrote:
jessekopelman wrote:
so completing our large tasks faster still won't get us back to idle state for long.

The primary benefit of short stroking a drive is to reduce seek times. For example, short stroking their 450GB 15k SAS drive short stroking to 45GB cut seek times from 6ms to 3.8ms. For the 250GB 7.2k SATA drive short stroking to 34GB cut seek times from 17ms to 10ms.

Those are substantial improvements in seek times.

There are also substantial improvements in raw through put, too (the SATA drive had a minimum of 55MB/s at full capacity but stayed over 90MB/s when short stroked, but for most people, raw throughput isn't what limits system performance, random IO is.


Finally someone explains what short stroking really does. The point is mainly to reduce access times. The stroke refers to the distance the head has to travel during a seek. Access time is reduced due to this reduced travel. faster transfer rates are more of a side effect.

Now those comments about the real-world differences being minimal are true (at least for the desktop). this technique matters most for specific server needs - and of course for benchmarking. Either way, better SSD's are going to do more for desktop performance in the near future than any esoteric drive tools.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:33 am 
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I love how everyone seems to have rediscovered this technique, and given it a name - short stroking - as if it were a new technology created in the last couple years. I've been creating partitions for efficiency since I owned my first computer.

I also think it matters more than people give it credit for. The amazing boot times and file system performance of systems with SSDs in them gives light to the fact that OS performance is very heavily dependent on random-access disk performance. Oddly, I've never seen a benchmark comparing the benefits of different partitioning techniques.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:47 am 
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Something just occurred to me: When SSD's finally hit mainstream, just think of all the fun that will be had messing with noobs who post looking for advice on short stroking them. :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:48 am 
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Sure, but it's also important to note that partitioning for speed is great until you find out that the partition sizes you guessed 18 months ago are wrong.

Fundamentally there's no substitute for a faster, more expensive drive. All the alternatives are compromises.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:19 am 
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This isnt exactly news...

I partitioned the system drive in my P182 (Samsung F1 640GB) for speed myself, using this setup:

C: - boot/system - 60 GB
F: - games - 100GB
G: - backups/images - 426GB

This works great for me, as I seldom access the images, and both games and system files are solidly inside the 100+MB/s "band" on the drive.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:00 am 
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I hardly ever use more than 5GB of my system partition, even with majority of apps installed. I am currently using less than 4GB. However, I make my Windows partition ~12GB to be on the safe side. I find it hard to believe that most users need more than 20GB for their OS partition, it seems like such a waste of space. But that's just me I suppose :(. Perhaps with people running multiple virtual machines and software getting more bloated with every release, that could be the reasons for the more than necessary disk space. That and accumulation of browser cache, downloads and free/shareware which people don't clean up and uninstall. "Take the rubbish out, son!"

On partitioning for performance, I have always made multiple partitions of my system HDDs and will keep doing so, mainly for organisational and security reasons. No one can convince me to have a 500GB OS partition. How about a 1TB one? I keep my system partition as small as possible and give the greater partition sizes to storage, backup and system images, which are all kept on separate partitions.

swivelguy2 wrote:
I love how everyone seems to have rediscovered this technique, and given it a name - short stroking - as if it were a new technology created in the last couple years. I've been creating partitions for efficiency since I owned my first computer.

So all these years I have been "short stroking" my drives and never knew it? I am that technically brilliant after all. I too much underestimate my abilities.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:24 am 
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nutball wrote:
Sure, but it's also important to note that partitioning for speed is great until you find out that the partition sizes you guessed 18 months ago are wrong.


The size that you'll need for an OS is very predictable and doesn't grow over time. I use a 4GB partition for a swap file and internet cache followed by a 20GB partition for Windows (vista business 32-bit) and have never had it get unexpectedly full. If you run out of space for data and other applications after short-stroking, you can simply make a new partition in the unformatted space deeper into your disk without affecting any of your current files.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:55 am 
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swivelguy2 wrote:
nutball wrote:
Sure, but it's also important to note that partitioning for speed is great until you find out that the partition sizes you guessed 18 months ago are wrong.


The size that you'll need for an OS is very predictable and doesn't grow over time. I use a 4GB partition for a swap file and internet cache followed by a 20GB partition for Windows (vista business 32-bit) and have never had it get unexpectedly full. If you run out of space for data and other applications after short-stroking, you can simply make a new partition in the unformatted space deeper into your disk without affecting any of your current files.

Or just plan thoughtfully well in advance. Most times you will never fill the OS and APPS partition(s) unless you made them way too small to begin with. If you find that a partition strategy isn't working for you, you can always start over again. This is when images of your system partition(s) comes in handy. If you stored them on a separate drive, you can restore an ideal image to the new partition(s). That way, you don't to suffer the OS and software installations from scratch, unless you really need to go down that path.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:19 am 
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Shamgar wrote:
I hardly ever use more than 5GB of my system partition, even with majority of apps installed. I am currently using less than 4GB. However, I make my Windows partition ~12GB to be on the safe side. I find it hard to believe that most users need more than 20GB for their OS partition, it seems like such a waste of space. But that's just me I suppose :(. Perhaps with people running multiple virtual machines and software getting more bloated with every release, that could be the reasons for the more than necessary disk space. That and accumulation of browser cache, downloads and free/shareware which people don't clean up and uninstall. "Take the rubbish out, son!"
Well, try windows vista and be amazed by the space it occupies. My system partition is 40GB on a WD320AAKS with a mere 3GB of space left. Installation includes MS Office 2007, Adobe CS4 Design Standard, three games (biggest probably NWN) and a few tiny programmes (AntiVir, VLC, ImgBurn, ...). I have already deactivated the system restore shadow copies, otherwise Vista fills the partition almost completely.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:38 am 
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Short stroking is not the same as multiple partitioning.

Short stroking is the same as placed single partition of a limited size.

It needs to be a single partition, i.e. you do not place any other partitions on it, which you access and which totally kill the performance increase of the short stroke partition.

Also, the location of the partition matters, this is obvious from the original article.

This is basic, but from reading above it appears maybe not all have properly understood this.

And yes, I have multiple-partitioned my drives since 1991 using a similar technique, and gained the benefits, but it's still not same as short stroking by making a single small partition at the outer edge.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 8:36 am 
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Cistron wrote:
Shamgar wrote:
I hardly ever use more than 5GB of my system partition, even with majority of apps installed. I am currently using less than 4GB. However, I make my Windows partition ~12GB to be on the safe side. I find it hard to believe that most users need more than 20GB for their OS partition, it seems like such a waste of space. But that's just me I suppose :(. Perhaps with people running multiple virtual machines and software getting more bloated with every release, that could be the reasons for the more than necessary disk space. That and accumulation of browser cache, downloads and free/shareware which people don't clean up and uninstall. "Take the rubbish out, son!"
Well, try windows vista and be amazed by the space it occupies. My system partition is 40GB on a WD320AAKS with a mere 3GB of space left. Installation includes MS Office 2007, Adobe CS4 Design Standard, three games (biggest probably NWN) and a few tiny programmes (AntiVir, VLC, ImgBurn, ...). I have already deactivated the system restore shadow copies, otherwise Vista fills the partition almost completely.

I can understand that on Vista as it has a well known appetite for disk space. With many large programs and games on the system partition, you definitely do need to allow enough space. Some people prefer to put their APPS and GAMES on separate partitions to the OS to keep an OS image file as small as possible.

halcyon wrote:
Short stroking is not the same as multiple partitioning.

Short stroking is the same as placed single partition of a limited size.

It needs to be a single partition, i.e. you do not place any other partitions on it, which you access and which totally kill the performance increase of the short stroke partition.

Also, the location of the partition matters, this is obvious from the original article.

This is basic, but from reading above it appears maybe not all have properly understood this.

And yes, I have multiple-partitioned my drives since 1991 using a similar technique, and gained the benefits, but it's still not same as short stroking by making a single small partition at the outer edge.

Okay, maybe some of us have got confused somewhere along the line. But, if you mean by short stroking a drive is to make use of the fastest part of the drive by making a single partition, I have also done that before. The rest I left as unallocated space simply because I had no need for it. But when I did eventually need the full capacity, I made further partitions from the unallocated space, and then the effect of short stroking is lost at that point. I hope I have understood this correctly.

For most users using a standard HDD (not SSD--whole different story), I argue that the benefit of short stroking is not as important as useable disk capacity. If you know you never need that ~596GB useable space from your 640GB drive, then it's no harm in partitioning it off to 80/160/320GB if that's all you will need.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:07 am 
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Shamgar wrote:
...I made further partitions from the unallocated space, and then the effect of short stroking is lost at that point. I hope I have understood this correctly...


It does not matter, whether you have unallocated space or partitions on rest of the HDD. If you dont access it, performance will be the same. You can use the rest of the HDD for data, for example for backups. It does not have a sense to leave the rest of stroked drive totally unused. :!:


Last edited by kal001 on Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 18, 2009 11:27 am 
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halcyon wrote:
It needs to be a single partition, i.e. you do not place any other partitions on it, which you access and which totally kill the performance increase of the short stroke partition.

It totally depends on your usage patterns.

If for example, you take a common setup of putting your OS, programs on the outer most partition, and stick all your videos, music, large files, etc on a partition that covers the rest of the disk, you will not totally kill the performance increase most of the time since you don't frequently access your data partition.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:51 am 
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drees wrote:
jessekopelman wrote:
so completing our large tasks faster still won't get us back to idle state for long.


...

There are also substantial improvements in raw through put, too (the SATA drive had a minimum of 55MB/s at full capacity but stayed over 90MB/s when short stroked, but for most people, raw throughput isn't what limits system performance, random IO is.


So shortstroking, combined with Raid 0, should help scratch disk throughput in applications like video editing?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:58 am 
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I have the 300GB Velociraptor partitioned like this:

- 84GB to linux, which I mainly use (and it looks like this could be even just 30GB, because I can't fill it)

- rest to windows, which I use only occasionally.

Which effectively short strokes the drive for my use. I don't think the 7200rpm drives can beat that.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:12 am 
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crossett wrote:
So shortstroking, combined with Raid 0, should help scratch disk throughput in applications like video editing?

Yes - if your application is limited by disk throughput and you don't need all the disk space provided by your disks, you can ensure that streaming throughput is always maximized by short stroking.

Generate a throughput plot of your drive and decide how much throughput you want to maintain at a minimum, then partition the drive at that point.

Typically, you'll want to use some where around 1/3rd of the drive for maximum throughput without too much of a performance drop, but that's something you'll have to test/validate for your particular setup.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 3:02 pm 
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This article is not very useful as it relies completely on synthetic benchmarks to substantiate its claims. I would rather see real world timed tests such as OS boot times.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Both the Techwarelabs and the Toms Hardware article would be much more interesting to the average end-user if they included more typical single-user benchmarks.

That said the Techwarelabs one is not very useful at all-- measuring sequential reads and writes and access time tells us nothing we didn't already know-- Seagates in recent generations have always done well here! Where they fall down is in single-user real-world application performance. Tom's Hardware does multi-user benchmarks in I/O meter which are more useful, but still not very relevant to single-user needs...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:15 am 
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As others have already mentioned, if you had the cash to buy the raptor you could simply buy 2 of the 1.5TB drives and:

1) 300GB for OS/Speedy Apps + 1200GB for Data and then the second drive you do 8GB for swap (or however much you think is more than you'll ever need) and 1492GB for Data.

2) Use DiskTrix Ultimate Defrag and tell it what files to put in what spots, and achieve the same thing without partition management.

I don't see the point of his limiting the drive to 300GB and making the other 1.2TB useless.

[edit after post] Stupid spelling mistakes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:42 pm 
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With the X25-M now running around $230, it's time to give up on all this 'high-performance' mechanical drive silliness.

I think that most people would be far better served with an X25-M and a decent 7200rpm HDD than they would be with a Velociraptor. Yeah, the Velociraptor is cheaper ($230 vs. ~$290 for the new X25-M plus a decent 640GB drive). But the combo of the X25-M and a 7200rpm drive has more space and (for the 80GB portion that's on the X25-M) substantially better performance.

Your OS, apps, and frequently used files can go on the SSD. Movies/music, backups, photos, and other less performance sensitive (and larger) things can go on the 7200rpm HDD.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:53 am 
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bsoft wrote:
With the X25-M now running around $230, it's time to give up on all this 'high-performance' mechanical drive silliness.

I will consider the X25-M when it doesn't cost the price of a desktop computer, notebook or netbook here in Australia. Lowest price I can find currently is AUD$499. When it drops down to AUD$100, I will consider jumping on the SSD bandwagon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:30 am 
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Shamgar wrote:
I will consider the X25-M when it doesn't cost the price of a desktop computer, notebook or netbook here in Australia. Lowest price I can find currently is AUD$499. When it drops down to AUD$100, I will consider jumping on the SSD bandwagon.

AUD$499 and you're complaining? :)

Let me dig up some prices in Croatia...

1 AUD = 4.2 kn

80 GB X25-M drives (first-gen) are on offer in three stores, as far as I can see.

Cheapest: 2680 kn ($638 Oz currency) from a hardware shop on one of the islands (?!). The other two are 3367 and 3529 kn ($801 and $840), respectively, with the cheaper one being sold by a shop I've never heard of. So basically the only place to buy this drive is in the last shop, for 3529 kn, or AUD$840.

Makes your $499 seem like a bargain now, doesn't it? ;)

Edit: For the Americans, that's $686, and for the Europeans, that's 482€. Almost the entire average monthly salary :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:16 am 
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Matija wrote:
Shamgar wrote:
I will consider the X25-M when it doesn't cost the price of a desktop computer, notebook or netbook here in Australia. Lowest price I can find currently is AUD$499. When it drops down to AUD$100, I will consider jumping on the SSD bandwagon.

AUD$499 and you're complaining? :)

Yes, I can complain "relatively" speaking.

Matija wrote:
Let me dig up some prices in Croatia...

1 AUD = 4.2 kn

80 GB X25-M drives (first-gen) are on offer in three stores, as far as I can see.

Cheapest: 2680 kn ($638 Oz currency) from a hardware shop on one of the islands (?!).

If the salesperson digs it out from a dusty rusty toolbox and slams it on the counter, guess what? Don't buy it. :wink:

Matija wrote:
The other two are 3367 and 3529 kn ($801 and $840), respectively, with the cheaper one being sold by a shop I've never heard of. So basically the only place to buy this drive is in the last shop, for 3529 kn, or AUD$840.

Makes your $499 seem like a bargain now, doesn't it? ;)

While I am allowed to complain "relatively" speaking, you are allowed to complain "relatively" shouting. :cry:

Matija wrote:
Edit: For the Americans, that's $686, and for the Europeans, that's 482€. Almost the entire average monthly salary :)

Looks like it's water biscuits and tap water for the family that week when you buy an SSD. :cry:

BTW didn't you mean to say weekly? :(


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:55 am 
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No, I meant monthly :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:38 pm 
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Matija wrote:
No, I meant monthly :)
:cry:

Come to Australia! Strong Central and Eastern European communities here and guaranteeed minimum wage of AUD$543.78/week by Federal Law. :wink:

With Labor government in power and strong trade union lobby, wages of low income people is always on the agenda. Greedy businesses and suits & ties lobbyists can shutup! :D
Migrant peoples to Australia would be so exploited if it wasn't for minimum wage and unions fighting for better pay and conditions all those years ago. If suits & ties could get away with it, believe me, those greedy rats would.


Last edited by Shamgar on Sun Jul 26, 2009 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:10 pm 
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Let me fix that for you:

Shamgar wrote:
Come to Australia! Strong Central and Eastern European communities here and guaranteed minimum spiders of 478 per week and a minimum of 1 world's most poisonous snake in your bathroom per day provided by Federal Law.


And there's the kangaroos... *shudder*

I like it here. The country is going bankrupt and nasty, nasty shit will happen in the following months, but we don't have snakes in urban areas ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Matija wrote:
Let me fix that for you:

Shamgar wrote:
Come to Australia! Strong Central and Eastern European communities here and guaranteed minimum spiders of 478 per week and a minimum of 1 world's most poisonous snake in your bathroom per day provided by Federal Law.


And there's the kangaroos... *shudder*

Those are just urban myths and stereotypes of Australia :lol:. Our relatives thought Australia was full of polar bears when my parents decided to move here many years ago. I have yet to shake hands with a polar bear in my stay here so far. Yes. I am SOOO disappointed. That is probably why I have a stuffed one Made in China just in case they ever visit and ask the inevitable question.
I have only ever seen maybe two live snakes in my entire life: one on a golfing range and the other in a zoo. Oh, and kangaroos don't live in shopping centres. Although you can find the dead form in the refridgerator and freezer sections of the supermarket. Yes. People are allowed to eat their national emblem. Shame on them! Nor do kangaroos live on front gardens of surburban houses. Only in the wild, wildlife parks and in the zoo. Strange! Unbelievable! But true! :shock: MYTHS BUSTED!
As for spiders, there are a few every now and then, but it's nothing the pest control man or a can of poison can't handle. 8)

Matija wrote:
I like it here. The country is going bankrupt and nasty, nasty shit will happen in the following months, but we don't have snakes in urban areas ;)

Are you sure? What about the ones that wear suits & ties and sell your family and country down the drain? Isn't it time to call the "dangerous pests" control man. :)
I'll hop on my kangaroo and call him for you. Wait. There's none around. :lol:


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