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Comment: Re: Quality? (Score 1) 195

by ckthorp (#45922111) Attached to: Tesla Sending New Wall-Charger Adapters After Garage Fire
It's because your vacuum lies. That giant "18A" (or whatever) printed on the side is mostly marketing fluff. Also, even if it really does draw 18A, the duty cycle plays a big roll in the safety. Heating is a function of current and time. That's (one reason) why a lot of appliances say "household use only" -- the cord isn't sized heavy enough for high duty cycle use. That's part of why a 15A hair dryer can use 18 gauge lamp cord.

Comment: Buy an older business machine (Score 1) 381

by ckthorp (#45210907) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best SOHO Printer Choices?
If you're handy, you can get amazing deals on full size business machines. I currently use a Ricoh Afficio 2238c for my heavy use work. It was $1000 and only needed about $200 in parts. It is 38ppm, color, duplexing, and can handle 11x17. It has an ADF and 11x17 flatbed which would be nice for the sheet music. I pair that with an HP4100 dtn that is better for short runs and turns on faster. I have a 4600dn too, but don't really use it anymore. The older HPs are really a steal and have cheap aftermarket consumables.

Comment: For a fairly drop-in relacement, tt-rss (Score 1) 335

by ckthorp (#43974093) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Will You Replace Google Reader?
I switched to tt-rss and couldn't be happier. It works almost exactly like Google Reader and even includes plugins to allow you to use the same navigation keys. It can import OPML for your feeds list and has a plugin to import your starred posts. The only downside is not being able to play flash video (youtube, et al) in the reader pane.

Comment: Re:Finally somebody said it! (Score 1) 204

by ckthorp (#43051443) Attached to: How Power Failures Corrupt Flash SSD Data
I had some fun with trying to mount some Crucial M4 drives in USB external enclosures. They kept getting unmounted and the SMART block remap count kept running up, and up, and up. One of the drives outright failed and the other was at 55% spare sectors remaining when I figured out the issue. When there was a write, the current consumption from programming the FLASH chip would cause a voltage sag and the write would fail but it wasn't usually enough of a drop to make the drive reset. Once I bought the "Y"-style USB cords (the kind with an extra power plug) and then modded that to run on a wall-wart, everything was fine. (Just for the record, this was a hack to add some faster storage to an aging server that only had SCA-hotswap bays).

Comment: Re:Interesting failure mode for Crucial SSDs (Score 1) 204

by ckthorp (#43051395) Attached to: How Power Failures Corrupt Flash SSD Data
I agree. The first time one of our engineer's laptops HD's did this, it was rather uncomfortable to say the least. I think a good compromise solution would be to have it enumerate with a "useful" drive textual model identifier like "M4 ERROR CHECKING, LEAVE ON 30 MIN" or some such. I'm sure it violates some standard, too, but it would at least give the user some indication of what is happening.

Comment: Re:Interesting failure mode for Crucial SSDs (Score 1) 204

by ckthorp (#43051279) Attached to: How Power Failures Corrupt Flash SSD Data
Overall, it is a good thing. The data isn't organized linearly for wear leveling purposes, so a power outage can leave the metadata in an inconsistent state. Also, make sure you have the latest firmware on the drive. They had a fun one earlier that caused a drive lockup hourly after the power on counter hit about 35k hrs (or some such). I've got about 2 dz M4 drives in service, so I've seen a lot of the bugs.

Comment: Interesting failure mode for Crucial SSDs (Score 1) 204

by ckthorp (#43050293) Attached to: How Power Failures Corrupt Flash SSD Data
There is a protection mechanism that I know exists in Crucial SSDs which makes the drive appear dead after some unclean shutdowns of the drive while it performs a firmware-level integrity check of the drive. It may exist in other brands as well. Sometimes it takes 2 runs of 30-60 minutes to get the drive to re-enumerate via SATA. I'd be curious to know if the "dead" drive was affected by this bug.

Comment: Great description of version control (Score 1) 383

by ckthorp (#41458847) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Explaining Version Control To Non-Technical People?

I usually explain version control as working just like a library with a small twist. Imagine that this library holds paper notebooks that are partially used. You can go to the library, checkout a notebook, and write and erase parts of it while it is in your possession. Just like a library, if you have the original notebook, no one else can check it out -- you have exclusive rights to the notebook.

There is a bit of a twist that you can think of as working like an attentive librarian: every time the notebook is checked in, the librarian makes a complete copy and stores it in the reference section of the library. At any time, regardless of whether the original notebook is checked out, anyone can go to the reference section and read the reference copies of old versions. And, just like a regular library reference section, you cannot check those old copies out; they are read-only.

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

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