Re: Big files in ext2fs (but not i_osync)

Jason Duerstock (
Wed, 4 Mar 1998 13:09:53 -0500 (EST)

On a completely off-topic tangent...

I was vaguely amused to discover that one of the DOS's for the Atari 800XL
(it was called SpartaDOS) even supports sparse files. Of course, the
biggest file system size was 16 megabytes, but... :)


On Wed, 4 Mar 1998, [ISO-8859-1] Johan Myréen wrote:

> On Tue, 3 Mar 1998, Albert D. Cahalan wrote:
> > H. Peter Anvin writes:
> > > Albert, you think any feature you don't personally use is a waste and
> > > obsolete! I'm sorry for the observation, but I can't shut up about
> > > this anymore...
> > I like supporting wasteful obsolete features when they don't get
> > in the way of anything else.
> Not everybody thinks sparse files are an obsolete feature.
> Quoting from Microsoft Systems Journal Nov 1997, page 19:
> "Other cool new features in NTFS 5 are sparse files and file
> encryption. [...] Sparse files are a way for a program to
> create huge files [...] without actually committing disk
> space for every byte. [...] For example, you may need a file that
> is 42 GB in size, but you only actually write data to the first
> 64 KB and last 64 KB. Using sparse files, NTFS will only
> allocate physical disk space to the portions of the file that
> you write to."
> Just an observation.
> By the way, the article also describes a lot of new features
> in NT 5.0 which sound very familiar, like "Reparse points",
> which is something like symlinks on steroids, disk quotas,
> ReadFileScatter, WriteFileGather, etc...

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