Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The original drive in my ancient pentium 200 computer has been running fine for about 13 years now (it just had a birthday last week).  I was poking around at the SMART attributes, and discovered the following:

# smartctl -T permissive --all /dev/hda
smartctl version 5.38 [i686-pc-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

Device Model:     ST32120A
Serial Number:    XJ085025
Firmware Version: 0.34
User Capacity:    2,111,864,832 bytes
Device is:        Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
ATA Version is:   2
ATA Standard is:  Not recognized. Minor revision code: 0xffff
Local Time is:    Tue Aug 24 18:11:21 2010 HST
SMART is only available in ATA Version 3 Revision 3 or greater.
We will try to proceed in spite of this.
SMART support is: Ambiguous - ATA IDENTIFY DEVICE words 85-87 don't show if SMART is enabled.
                  Checking to be sure by trying SMART RETURN STATUS command.
SMART support is: Enabled

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x00) Offline data collection activity
                                        was never started.
                                        Auto Offline Data Collection: Disabled.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection:                 (   0) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities:                    (0x03) SMART execute Offline immediate.
                                        Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
                                        Suspend Offline collection upon new
                                        No Offline surface scan supported.
                                        No Self-test supported.
                                        No Conveyance Self-test supported.
                                        No Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0002) Does not save SMART data before
                                        entering power-saving mode.
                                        Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x00) Error logging NOT supported.
                                        No General Purpose Logging support.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 5
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000a   086   081   000    Old_age   Always       -       147595676
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0006   096   096   000    Old_age   Always       -       4
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0013   100   100   020    Pre-fail  Always       -       672
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0013   100   100   036    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000b   047   037   030    Pre-fail  Always       -       2804648590616
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0013   100   100   097    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0013   100   100   020    Pre-fail  Always       -       20

Warning: device does not support Error Logging
Error SMART Error Log Read failed: Input/output error
Smartctl: SMART Error Log Read Failed
Warning: device does not support Self Test Logging
Error SMART Error Self-Test Log Read failed: Input/output error
Smartctl: SMART Self Test Log Read Failed
Device does not support Selective Self Tests/Logging

Not only has it been running fine for 13 years, it really isn't even doing that badly.  The Seek_Error_Rate is a touch high, but it's still above threshold.  I'm also somewhat surprised that Power_Cycle_Count is 20. Really? I've only shut down the computer 20 times? 

Monday, August 23, 2010

We're Not 100% Satisfied Unless You Are. Let us Know What You Think.

1. Overall, how likely is it that you would recommend  Verizon Wireless to a friend or colleague?

2. Please tell us why you chose this rating or what we can do to improve our service:

The coverage doesn't suck, and I wouldn't have to worry about using minutes to talk to this hypothetical "friend or colleague."

One improvement would be to stop putting needlessly expensive barriers on things. For example, tethering should be free, provided the data transferred isn't excessive. It seems to me that all data going through the phone should be treated equally. What makes a youtube byte more precious if it is forwarded to a laptop screen instead of displayed directly on the cellphone screen? Barring this, it would also be nice to have as a simple monthly add on.  If I travel one month a year, it would useful to have tethering for that, but it is silly to pay month after month for something I usually don't need.

Similarly, the pricing on text messages is obviously too high.   It seems doubly so when you note that both sender and recipient of the message pay, putting the price of a single text message at $0.40.  If this is a bandwidth limited issue (the SMS network cannot transfer more than X messages per minute, therefore pricing is used to prevent the system from being overwhelmed), then why are text message rates not time dependent?  Users have had on- and off-peak rates for decades for telephone service.  It stands to reason that a similar system would be widely accepted for text messaging as well.

3.Please tell us your name:

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better understand your feedback so that we can improve our service.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Game over. :-/
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Assuming this isn't a photoshop like the back to the future thing was, things are a bit depressing. Will claims it was 15 years ago that this first aired.  That fits reasonably well with my memory of heading back to my bedroom to watch Simpson's while my parents watched some boring old-people show instead.

Fifteen years, huh?

Think back, and remember what you were doing, and how many worries you didn't have then that you do have now.

Now, don't you feel old, too?