30 Oct 2007

Click click

So there's incoherent rumbling amongst the Slashchildren and elsewhere about how overenthusiastic power saving on 2.5in drives can kill them pretty damn quick. This was known about already but not explained very well. The problem isn't spindown/spinup cycles, but park/unpark cycles, which are apparently referred to as Load Cycles.

Anyway, my crappy old lappy (a Dell Latitude CP450) has a nice big new disk (Western Digital WDC WD1000UE) that has been making irritating clicks that I hadn't quite got round to investigating. So a look at smartctl tells me that this disk has notched up 32642 load cycles in four months, which isn't as bad as the Hitachis, but isn't good either. And four reallocated sectors. Tsk.

So I just changed /etc/laptop-mode/laptop-mode.conf setting CONTROL_HD_POWERMGMT to 1 (was 0) and BATT_HD_POWERMGMT to 255 (was 1). This completely disables the disk's own power management, but that's not highly significant in the overall power budget. Easy peasy. What was all the fuss about? If I ever finish doing laptop-mode-tools for slackbuilds.org I'll patch it.

28 Oct 2007

Time Flies By

Time Flies By
When you're the driver of a train
Steaming out of Trumpton
With a cargo of cocaine

The test layout is complete!

(Footnote: there's a HMHB Kershaw session from last year newly up at http://cobweb.businesscollaborator.com/hmhb/audio/index.htm)

26 Oct 2007

More breakage

Seatbelt anchor. Spring gone in buckle, yellow tag popped, need to fit grotesquely expensive new "pretensioner" assembly, forthcoming trip to Wales in jeopardy.

DSL filter. So there is now only one usable phone, its inconvenient location bringing extra piquance to yesterday's two (2) silent calls with CLI unavailable.

kspread. No, 2-6-4 is not a date, it's a steam loco wheel arrangement, and it's TEXT. No, 40022 is not forty-thousand-and-a-bit with a sodding PHB friendly comma, it's a diesel loco and it too is TEXT. Similar problems in every other spreddie I've tried, because of course they all positively *aspire* to identical brokenness.

On the upside, found 3p walking to Morrisons. (For avoidance of doubt it was me walking, not the 3p.)

This blog is subject to Meldrewness until the 2008 Vernal Equinox -- The Mgmt

23 Oct 2007

Everything Is Broken

Kettle failed this morning. Just about thirty years old, a relic from Waveney Terrace. Now defunct. On the way home this afternoon, the car's seatbelt buckle wouldn't reliably sneck. And this evening a block of keys on the notebook's keyboard wouldn't produce anything. In a failure mode I hadn't anticipated, that included one of the characters of the /home partition's LUKS passphrase. Damn.

As Dylan put it, Everything Is Broken.

So out came the screwdriver, and nestling by the keyboard ribbon's ZIF socket was a tiny tiny screw shorting out a couple of the connections. If the service manual's to be believed, that size of screw must have come from the processor shield, though no consequentially empty hole is evident. Anyway, the keyboard is apparently working now; my mother has a new kettle; I have her old kettle; and the seatbelt buckle can damn well stay bust until tomorrow.

Meme of the day number one: IBM has applied for a business method patent on patent-trolling. Seeing as this exact idea has frequently come up in anti-software-patent circles, it just has to be someone in IBM having a larf and trolling the USPTO and spitting in the face of Acacia and sending a message to the community. It is surely a sign of the impending apocalypse that IBM Legal has developed a sense of humour.

Meme of the day number two: urban camouflage.