a) I think using a tarball created on a different filesystem is perfectly fair. If you use an installer, or a program other than tar, you're not guaranteed to have the files in your perfect presorted order in the archive. I would argue having files in a more-or-less random order is a much more fair test than having them in an order optimized for the FS. Either way, looking at the present, most of the tarballs I open were created by someone else, and not by me, and so will not come from ReiserFS.
b) I'm not sure whether the use of 8-10 year old hardware is a problem, or even accurate. In 1996, the Pentium/150 was introduced. Dual P3-450 is a bit more modern, and a single P3-450 would probably be close to the mode computer used out there today in the real world (as opposed to the uberpumped computer most nerds would use). Either way, the 4GB hard drive is much, much, much more dated than the CPU: the P3-450 was introduced in 1998. 4GB drives were common in 1995. Having a drive over 50% older than the CPU probably more than compensates for any increasing gap between the speeds of the two. Either way, whether we want the disk or the CPU hosed depends on application.
c) I think it would be a better idea, in the future, to allow reviewees comment on reviews prior to publishing. Constructive suggestion. Wish it was phrased more constructively. I don't understand why you're so antagonistic with everyone -- it's really not helping your business.
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