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Comment Re:Monocultures are bad (Score 1) 139

All of the TV news channels stopped doing news and started being a death-reel on 9/11/2001. And they never recovered because that was also the same time that they universally adopted "the crawler" as an excuse for presenting news on one more than one topic per day. The original programming that came after the horrors died down and ratings faltered followed the path of so many others like (first and foremost) MTV and Discovery and History, with pre-recorded reality TV interspersed with live talking heads speaking their minds instead of telling me about the world today.

I mean, best case: I like Jay Leno's Garage and Anthony Bourdain's various shows but that's not news. It doesn't belong on a news channel.

Comment Re: I predict (Score 1) 557

I think that you are confusing user land and kernel land.

Linux is not an operating system. It is just a kernel.

Ubuntu is an operating system. It generally include the Linux kernel and a mostly GNU user land.

But Ubuntu isn't Linux; it also runs on Windows.

Only Linux is Linux. And Android uses Linux for a kernel.

Comment Re:HGST nearly always on top (Score 1) 114

You know, I think I do remember the 1GB Fireball being a trooper. But that takes a back-seat alongside my own ancient Seagates, as far as meaningless anecdotes go. There was also a time when the Fireball name was taken derogatively (like Deathstar) because the drives turned terrible, and then came the [fucking] Quantum Bigfoot abomination.

Which again, just backs up what I said, although I'm going to have to modify my stance a bit I'm still on the same soapbox: Your sampleset is good, but without a proper study or a basis for comparison, it's just anecdotes and confirmation bias and a story.

Mostly I've replaced Seagates professionally, too, but then most of the units I work with were populated entirely by Seagates from the factory.

I always replace them with low-end WD Purple drives because the speed is adequate and the caching algorithm is allegedly optimized for this use-case.

Eventually, the Seagates will all be gone and 100% of the drives I replace from then on will be WD (although of MTBF is to believed, some of these Seagates will outlive me by a long shot).

If most of the cars on the road are Fords, then most shops will see Ford cars needing repair.

I've had an old BMW daily driver for over a decade. People say that they're expensive to work on (they aren't), and that they're unreliable (mine isn't). Exceptions: Small-town mechanic sees a fancy-pants red BMW roll up and starts thinking about "boat payments." Mechanic then realizes that his local Autozone rep can't get many parts for it, so they assume that they'll be paying someone to drive an hour to the nearest dealer for whatever it needs. The price (and therefore perceived unreliability) begins to multiply.

And so, folks become biased about it.

A smart, good mechanic (I know exactly one) can figure out how to get quality, OEM (literal OEM, not OEM-like) parts rather cheaply. But what I usually do when I get in over my head working on it myself, I chat with my mechanic about it on the phone for a bit, I order the parts myself (saving him the hassle of working out of his network), and he simply charges me his hourly shop rate to do the work. I don't quibble over the bill. My mechanic is, to me, unimpeachable.

And so, I'm biased differently than a lot of other folks.

None of us are right. We all have our stories, but that doesn't make us right. It just means that we have stories. We believe them because they're true -- after all, we were there -- but that doesn't mean that anyone else needs to place any value on them. Be it my own Seagate stories, or my long-winded car analogy, it's just a story like any other.

And there's nothing wrong with that, I suppose, as long as we take them at face value.

Comment Re:How do they know... (Score 1) 97

A year or two ago, my dad (an avid dumpster diver) found a working and very clean Dell Latitude 32-bit D620 laptop. I shaved some parts off that I needed for my own D620 and sold the display+housing complete on Ebay, because...because.

I'm about to ditch the D620 altogether (in favor of kvm/qemu guest, possibly Tails) and then I will not have any more 32-bit x86 machines for my own personal purposes.

Comment Re:In other news - in 2062 they will have time tra (Score 1) 114

MS-DOS didn't have printer drivers. Bit-banging was unusual because MS-DOS did provide a character interface to the printer port (typically as a device called LPT1:, which you can easily parse as the equivalent of /dev/whatever, plus or minus some CPM-ish),

But even early Windows releases were half-fucking-decent at capturing LPT1: output and spooling it appropriately for MS-DOS applications, but you said this shit the bed, too.

That said, doesn't QEMU (and friends) provide a properly-virtualized parallel port -- bit-banging and all?

(And if not, it should.)

Comment Re:HGST nearly always on top (Score 3, Informative) 114

The thing about anecdotes like this is that the sampleset is always very small, so it's not a very meaningful datapoint.

I have several 8-year-old 250 gig Seagate 7200.10 drives that refuse to die. I took them out of service a few weeks ago.

At work, I've seen a lot of Seagates die in NVRs. But then, the NVRs were all mostly populated with 2TB Seagates from day 1 -- so of course I'm going to see a lot of them die. I also see plenty of 2TB WD drives bite the dust. I've never seen an HGST drive die in an NVR, but then none of them have HGST drives installed....

Statistically, from my perspective, it's about a wash. But that doesn't really mean anything, because again my own sampleset is very limited in scope compared to Backblaze or Google.

Meanwhile, IBM at one point was making some absolutely stellar hard drives. Their 9ES SCSI drives were the bee's knees at the time, and were resoundingly reliable. It's hard to characterize a brand of hard drive -- some models are good, and some are bad, from just about any manufacturer.

(Except for Quantum. Quantum was never good. And Miniscribe, because fuck those crooks.)

Comment Re:Check out the Google reports. 5 platter drives (Score 2) 114

This can't be repeated often enough. The more complicated a thing is, the more likely it is to fail. Sometimes, it's a linear relationship.

I remember buying some early PoE switches about a decade ago. I needed 48 ports total. The 48-port model was about exactly twice as expensive as a 24-port, and had exactly half of the MTBF rating.

Based on this, I bought two 24-port switches. The net MTBF of the system was still halved to be the same as a singular 48-port switch (because the complexity was doubled) but I reasoned that it would fail modularly instead of absolutely, and then could be repaired modularly.

Hard drives are no different. You can count platters if you want, but I think the real factor is the number of heads. More heads on the stack == more chances for things to go south, and more work for the actuator to do.

Odd head counts are actually fairly common. It's entirely possible to have a 2-platter drive with 3 heads, or a 4-platter drive with 7 heads. Usually, this is due to yields and bin-sorting: One side of a platter might have a defect, where the other is perfectly fine.

Comment Re:Compliance failure (Score 1) 173

This device complies with Part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) this device may not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

(emphasis mine)

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