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New Well, I'm just so last century.
The servers I build are in service at least 10 years, usually without upgrades or maintenance, save maybe a power supply at 5 years. Once in a while one gets something botched up in the OS and needs attention.

I demand physical media, because I know these hot shot programmers have an attention span of a few weeks before they change everything for a new release (often no better than the old release, but all different) and take down the old stuff.

I need to be able to put a machine back in order as it was, with the software it was running, and I have to do it fast. That's the sort of thing I get paid for.
New Quality service is so last century

New 8 GB USB Flash Drives?
They're pretty cheap and should last longer than DVDs and the like (but there are always mortality issues with consumer electronics). I would assume that Debian can see one of those without issues.

E.g. SanDisk for under $5.


New Re: 8 GB USB Flash Drives?
So I get it on the flash drives from the DVDs? Does apt-cdrom work with flash drives? I don't know.

My clients like to have that nice stack of 10 DVDs in hand as a safety measure in any case. DVDs that represent exactly what was used for the install. Again, these are industrial servers, not home computers, and ability to fix problems fast is essential.

Most of my installs need stuff from 3 to 4 disks of the 10 DVD set.
New Dunno. Chicken and egg thing I guess.
I was thinking more along the lines of: Once you get everything setup for a particular set of hardware, "clone" (or whatever) the setup to a bootable USB drive. That way issues with the optical drives shouldn't bite you again.

But you have to get it installed first, so ... Yeah, I guess it won't help you much, except maybe as a restore. And if you have to get the DVD working for the install, then it's not really saving you much work (other than the time swapping disks, and maybe faster reads).

You're customers realize they're in a world of hurt when you retire, right? ;-) Have you thought about putting all your magic documentation on a server that's backed up by Archive.org when you decide to run off to Fiji?

New Yes, I've thought of that.
Each of my clients gets a copy of my 50 page install and configuration manual for the Linux version I've installed.

I have those manuals all the way back to Caldera Linux 2.3 from year 2000 (only 20 pages back then) - and yes, I still maintain a computer running Caldera Linux 2.3, though it will go into semi-retirement in October.

I have considered putting these manuals, and my OS/2 manual, on-line, but I'd have to translate them to html. I probably will, eventually.
New The catch is USB booting
I have not tried this on a recent server, but PCs are getting problematic, even if you exclude the UEFI issue.

The PartedMagic Live Linux on a stick was my choice for diagnostic work. That worked well on PCs that are now 5-10 years old but it has become pretty much useless on newer equipment regardless of the OEM. I'm back to using CDs :-/
New Really? That's weird and unfortunate.
I haven't tried it myself.

I just recently got a refurbished 13" MBP to upgrade J's old 13" black MacBook. Along the way I saw notice about creating a USB-bootable installer for Yosemite, but my feeble attempts at getting it working weren't sufficient. It turns out I didn't need it (of course, I don't remember the details), but I thought that PCs wouldn't have any issues like that these days.

They really are continuing down the road toward making these things unfixable, aren't they? :-/

New Sadly so
I mostly deal with HP and Dell. Dells tend to not recognize the device is bootable (i.e. it shows in the boot menu, but when selected, the PC boots off the HDD anyway). The HPs will kick off the boot process but then fail to launch the kernel proper. Some will boot off a USB CD/DVD drive so it appears to be an issue properly recognizing USB mass storage devices.
New FWIW, I installed ubuntu on this 16 month old Samsung laptop
using a usb stick. Worked fine.

Maybe stay away from US manufacturers?
New You may be on to something there ;-)
     Debian Wheezy - (Andrew Grygus) - (17)
         Physical media is so last century -NT - (drook) - (11)
             Well, I'm just so last century. - (Andrew Grygus) - (10)
                 Quality service is so last century -NT - (drook)
                 8 GB USB Flash Drives? - (Another Scott) - (8)
                     Re: 8 GB USB Flash Drives? - (Andrew Grygus) - (2)
                         Dunno. Chicken and egg thing I guess. - (Another Scott) - (1)
                             Yes, I've thought of that. - (Andrew Grygus)
                     The catch is USB booting - (scoenye) - (4)
                         Really? That's weird and unfortunate. - (Another Scott) - (3)
                             Sadly so - (scoenye) - (2)
                                 FWIW, I installed ubuntu on this 16 month old Samsung laptop - (jake123) - (1)
                                     You may be on to something there ;-) -NT - (scoenye)
         Latest and greatest? Wheezy is retired. - (scoenye) - (1)
             Fortunately, my clients haven't heard of Jessie. - (Andrew Grygus)
         Re: Debian Wheezy - (pwhysall) - (2)
             maybe because it is the hyperv that is controlling the hardware directly -NT - (boxley)
             Why recompile? - (Andrew Grygus)

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