Two of my unstressed WD20EARX disks have just crapped themselves almost simultaneously after 21846 hours of operation (or 2.493 years), with just 49 power cycles and disk temperatures never above 45 degrees C. Both disks were manufactured in June 2011, but WD's warranty period for consumer gear is only two years.

The culprit? WD's damn idle3 timer which I wasn't quite aware of until a few days ago; hdparm only says 'power management not supported' and I trusted that to mean 'no spindown'.

That timer contraption parks the disk after just 8 seconds of idleness. Guess what: both of mine shipped with the default setting, 8 seconds, and racked up a load cycle count around 2377000. (That WD disk series is rated for a minimum of 300000 load cycles, certainly not 3 million).

Update (Sun 22.02.2015 12:09):

Seagate: see data run! run, data, RUN!

Well, the competition isn't much more reliable. There are four ST2000DM001-9YN164 in my colo'd systems at the other end of the world (climate-controlled datacenter, stable power, no nasties whatsoever).

One of the damn disks is going tilt very, very quickly. After just a measly two years. See az not happy. Run, Seagate, RUN! >:-(

Power_On_Hours 17774
Power_Cycle_Count 24
Power-Off_Retract_Count 17
Load_Cycle_Count 131
Airflow_Temperature_Cel 25 (Min/Max 23/32)
Temperature_Celsius 25

And the damning:

Current_Pending_Sector 88
Offline_Uncorrectable 88

And it's deteriorating pretty quickly, about 16 new duds every day or two. Fortunately it's all RAID-1 and the replacement is already ordered.

[ published on Sun 23.02.2014 18:47 | filed in interests/comp | ]

The British Isles have a reputation for being a culinary wasteland (pickled eggs, offal pie, absolutely dead mashed vegetables combined with meat red enough to hop of your plate, etc. pp.), but I guess this here might be an example of colonial one-upmanship:

 wooster plastic wooster plastic

This Australian wooster sauce boastfully claims that it's made from 50% recycled plastic. I'm not quite sure whether I want to know about its other "premium quality ingredients".

[ published on Mon 16.02.2015 17:59 | filed in interests/au | ]

This week I decided to spend a little money on new Blum cabinet door dampers for my kitchen. (The previous attempt using recessed Airtic dampers wasn't a total success, one died in the meantime and the others weren't quite strong enough for the kitchen cabinets. They're fine in the bathroom, where the cabinet doors are smaller.)

The upgrade also meant replacing the hinges in question: they're all Ikea-branded Blum kit, but the old hinges are of an older design where the damper doesn't clip on right (unless you laboriously file out an oval hole...).

13 doors (one large) = 14 dampers and hinges, and at just AU$5/pack of 2 (same price for damper units and hinges) I decided that for once I don't want to go for the slightly cheaper but hugely more tedious solution.

That's all peachy. The Ikea/Blum hinge setup has come a long way since my first exposure to Ikea kit in the late 70s. The swap was near-zero effort, just the usual bit of readjusting the hinges for perfect closure and line up.

However, my brain is not totally content with the dampers: they're great, doors close slowly and silently - and that throws me off! Not hearing any clunk or bonk at all makes me constantly stop in my tracks to check that I did actually close the door...

So, does inverse Pavlovian behaviour mean Pavlov would be un-proud of me? (At least I don't drool over my cabinet doors.)

[ published on Sat 14.02.2015 11:10 | filed in brainfarts | ] least when the mail has finally brought you a toy like this one:

 udi 839 quadcopter

That's a UDI R/C 839 quadcopter, which cost me a measly AU$35 (shipped). Really tiny, lots of fun to fly, very much worth it.

[ published on Wed 11.02.2015 22:25 | filed in interests | ]

I find it very interesting how Stiegl is increasingly present in the Australian beer market; a few years ago you'd find it only in very very very special beer pubs, but that's changing. In December I had a few here on the Gold Coast, at the Bier Cafe in Broadbeach. (On tap, not bottled.)

And now even Aldi has it - except that for silly hysterical raisins most of Oz still requires totally separate bottle shops, and in QLD Aldi's booze branch is mail-order-only for that reason.

With the also ridiculously high alco taxes factored in, the lovely Stiegl costs about 50% more than the decent local brews; $7.6/litre vs $5/litre. No surprise that lots of Australians do home-brew; even I do it every now and then.

While I intensely dislike the City of Salzburg (it's the anus mundi as far as I'm concerned), I wholeheartedly endorse the products and/or sevices of the Brauerei Stiegl :-)

[ published on Sun 08.02.2015 13:45 | filed in interests/au | ]

Not much to be said about him, except that he's pretty good but very dead, and the book, except that it's slightly weird but very good.

[ published on Mon 02.02.2015 21:21 | filed in interests | ]

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