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Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 334

by brianwski (#46504865) Attached to: Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"
Any one computer doesn't have to survive longer than a human lifespan if you can transfer files between computers and backup. I have taken many digital pictures in my life, they have been taken with ever increasing quality and the sum total of all pictures has been stored on ever larger and faster laptops. I can afford a new laptop every 2 years, so laptop failures have all been really expected and yet still totally Ok.

Comment: Re:What's the problem? (Score 1) 52

by brianwski (#46229521) Attached to: Open Source — the Last Patent Defense?
> companies which obtained software patents, a direct attack
> on the freedom of programmers everywhere

Obtaining patents is not a direct attack, initiating a lawsuit using patents is the aggression step.

At every large company I worked at (Apple, HP, SGI) they told us to help patent "stuff" as a defensive measure. I don't see anything wrong with accepting we live in an imperfect world where somebody very evil might threaten us and try to shut us down for evil reasons. So you build big tall walls and stock supplies and gunpowder hoping to never use them.

Patent TROLLS are the aggressors, do you blame these companies for planning ahead and preparing to defend themselves from bullies?

Comment: Re:Ignorant to their own research (Score 1) 444

by brianwski (#46039377) Attached to: Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?
Here is a slightly longer list of companies that have sold us (Backblaze) hard drive recently:

B&H Video
CTI-Computech International
Central Computers
NVS Systems
Upgrade Express (might have changed their name?)

We have "farmed" from Costo, Best Buy, and Amazon within the last 6 months. This is where individuals buy "sales item" hard drives. So if you watch for sales, you are are probably getting as good as a price as Backblaze gets.

Comment: Re:And what about... (Score 4, Insightful) 444

by brianwski (#46031403) Attached to: Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

Write-mostly workloads to a bunch of consumer grade disks will have errors that you may never detect.

At Backblaze, we try to pass over the data about once every two weeks. We re-read it from disk, recalculate a SHA1 checksum to make sure there wasn't any bits flipped or lost. It is my (informed) opinion that *ALL* hard drives and *ALL* configurations will have errors you may never detect unless you do this. You can't ever trust any file system.

I think many people assume RAID does this checksumming, as far as I know RAID handles entire drives failing, but it doesn't really have anything to do with a drive that has begun to fail and is starting to flip a few bits here and there but the drive is still mostly responsive.

Comment: Re:Amazing how times change. (Score 5, Insightful) 444

by brianwski (#46030985) Attached to: Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?
Personally, I'd really recommend RAID6 with at least 2 parity drives. But always remember, RAID is *NOT* backup. RAID doesn't protect against user stupidity like backup does. RAID does not protect against theft. You don't have to use Backblaze for backups, but for goodness sake USE SOMETHING.

Comment: Re:Ignorant to their own research (Score 5, Informative) 444

by brianwski (#46030669) Attached to: Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

After all this research, Backblaze still pick the highest failing drive.

Disclaimer: I work at Backblaze. Every month we ask a list of about 20 suppliers for their best price on a variety of drives. There is a little spreadsheet we have that kicks out which drive to purchase based on those prices and drive failure rates. Even if Hitachi is the very highest reliability in our application, it only justifies a SMALL price premium because when one drive dies, we don't lose any customer data. It saves our datacenter IT team 15 minutes to *NOT* swap a drive, so that's worth 15 minutes of salary to us, but not more.

Comment: Re:And what about... (Score 5, Informative) 444

by brianwski (#46030537) Attached to: Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?
Disclaimer: I work at Backblaze. I object to the marketing term "Enterprise grade", it is confusing, and I'm not even sure they have the attributes you think they have. There is a completely different blog post Backblaze did about "Enterprise vs Consumer Drives" which comes to the conclusion Enterprise isn't better:

+ - Who makes the best disk drives?-> 1

Submitted by Hamsterdan
Hamsterdan (815291) writes "Backblaze, which open sourced their Storage Pod a few years ago, is now giving drive failure rates. They currently have over 27,000 consumer grade drives spinning in Backblaze storage pods.

Almost 13,000 each are Seagate and Hitachi drives, almost 3000 Western Digital drives and a too small for statistical reporting smattering of Toshiba and Samsung drives.

One cool thing: Backblaze buys drives the way you and I do: they get the cheapest drives that will work. Their workload is almost hundred percent write. Because they spread the incoming writes over several drives their workload isn't very performance intensive either."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Freakin' Riders. (Score 1) 767

by brianwski (#45960961) Attached to: Incandescent Bulbs Get a Reprieve
> CFLs that die faster than incandescents

I know of one use case that tripped me up. It turns out CFLs cannot handle being outside in the cold, I killed several in an outside porch light, some failed within a month. It drove me nuts until I figured it out.

I've used many CFLs in the past, some are still here in my living room, so I'm not biased. Recently I'm a much bigger fan of LEDs, which kick ass outside, LEDs last longer in hash climates than incandescents by a long shot. Can't we all agree we need to ban CFLs and skip directly to LEDs and be done with it?

Comment: Re: Put a fork in it, it's done. (Score 5, Insightful) 539

I'm not for or against Obamacare, as a software engineer it simply does not affect me. (I kept my same health insurance I've always had.)

> there has been no law that forced citizens to sign up for.... Jail time

Nonsense. Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security/FICA/Unemployment Insurance - all these are itemized on my pay stub. Again, I am not for or against Obamacare, but there are lots of other government programs I am forced to participate in.

Comment: Re:call them (Score 2) 171

I don't know why you were modded down. I believe most banking is legally required to retain every customer transaction for 7 years. What does it exactly mean to "delete your Wells Fargo Online Account" when they are legally required to maintain your records?

If at any point your relationship involves a financial transaction, that company might have a valid interest in holding onto the receipts through at least the next year's taxes, and may have a responsibility to hold the records for longer.

Comment: Re:call them (Score 1) 171

> I've never given correct information to any website to start.

My electric power bill, my garbage, other services are all website paperless situations. So I give websites correct info in some situations.

I also buy things online all the time from places like Amazon, you have to give them your address and name or the stuff won't come to you.

The thing that bugs me is when they mail catalogs to me ENDLESSLY. Paper catalogs. I mean, I browsed their website and bought their product, so I know the web exists, why are they killing trees for goodness sake?! I belong to a service that helps me unsubscribe from those, but some of these catalogs are dang hard to stop.

Comment: Re:It's more like a stunt to me (Score 1) 229

> Nobody at the C-level takes responsibility for anything.

I'm not so sure, I think it matters which C-level position you are talking about, some are hotseats...

In small to mid-size businesses (1,000 employees or less) I think it's super common to fire your VP of sales after 2-3 bad quarters and fire your CEO after 4-5 bad quarters, regardless of what situation is to blame. The CTO is almost immune from taking any responsibility, and unless there is embezzling I'm pretty sure the CFO is a cushy job with great security and awesome salary where your underlings do all the real work.

Regardless of whether I like them as human beings, I have been impressed by the risk taken by VP of sales at the high tech startups I've worked at. These men and women are compensated 50% by commission, so early on in a startup (in the era of low sales) their salaries are shockingly low and if sales don't pick up they are personally blamed, even if the product is young, buggy, and has better competitors in the market. VP of sales is a hot seat, we went through 4 in 4 years at one of my previous companies.

Comment: Re:There's probably patents involved (Score 4, Interesting) 289

by brianwski (#45714751) Attached to: Standardized Laptop Charger Approved By IEC
HP Veer Smartphone (Palm Pre line) had a MagSafe connector that had data transfer:

You can still buy this phone and connector. The phone software is TERRIBLE, but the hardware was innovative and well designed.

Life's the same, except for the shoes. - The Cars