134911 hours

Monday, November 28th 2022 at 10:39 pm
by Berck

I recently fixed the local email on my Linux desktop. One of the side effects of never, ever reinstalling Debian is that things sometimes go wonky in the day-to-day upgrades and I never notice it. I last reinstalled Debian when I upgraded to a 64bit system in 2007. I’ve been running sid ever since then, which means that things break sometimes. When I decided to upgrade my hardware last week, I checked on my backups and noticed that the backup cron job hadn’t run since August. It probably took me awhile to notice because it also stopped sending me e-mail when things break.

So I fixed the e-mail. Which meant that today, it emailed me to tell me that one of my hard drives has noticed that it’s got 532 bad sectors. That’s unfortunate, but hard drives break. All the time. This particular drive is only a couple years old, so that’s sad. I started looking into the SMART data for all my hard drives, and noticed something that’s well, truly outstanding on an entirely different drive:

Model Family:     Western Digital Raptor
Device Model:     WDC WD360GD-00FLA2
Serial Number:    WD-WMAKH1125117
Firmware Version: 31.08F31
User Capacity:    37,019,566,080 bytes [37.0 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        In smartctl database 7.3/5319
ATA Version is:   ATA/ATAPI-6 (minor revision not indicated)
Local Time is:    Mon Nov 28 22:15:43 2022 MST
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x82) Offline data collection activity
                                        was completed without error.
                                        Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0) The previous self-test routine completed
                                        without error or no self-test has ever 
                                        been run.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection:                (  957) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities:                    (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
                                        Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
                                        Suspend Offline collection upon new
                                        Offline surface scan supported.
                                        Self-test supported.
                                        Conveyance Self-test supported.
                                        Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
                                        power-saving mode.
                                        Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01) Error logging supported.
                                        No General Purpose Logging support.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time:        (   2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time:        (  21) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time:        (   5) minutes.
SCT capabilities:              (0x001f) SCT Status supported.
                                        SCT Error Recovery Control supported.
                                        SCT Feature Control supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000b   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0007   120   119   021    Pre-fail  Always       -       2541
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   099   099   040    Old_age   Always       -       1433
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   196   196   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       55
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000b   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   001   001   000    Old_age   Always       -       134911
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0013   100   100   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0013   100   100   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   099   099   000    Old_age   Always       -       1349
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   118   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       29
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   189   189   000    Old_age   Always       -       11
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0012   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0012   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x000a   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       141
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0009   200   179   051    Pre-fail  Offline      -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
No self-tests have been logged.  [To run self-tests, use: smartctl -t]

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.

The most outstanding line there is the power-on time of 134911 hours, or 15 years. This is a WD Raptor, a 10,000RPM monster that I purchased in 2005 for $104.50. For some number of years, it housed my root partition. I’m sure it was retired from primary duty whenever I acquired my first SSD, but it’s sat in my case chugging along. I’ve kept it there because I’m weird and lazy, even though 36GB is now hilariously small in hard drive terms. It now contains a bare-bones rescue Debian system that I boot into every time my primary drive dies, or when I wish to upgrade the primary drive. Normal people would probably use a USB stick for that sort of thing, but they’re obnoxiously slow and easily misplaced. I just spent a lot of time last weekend booted off that drive, migrating the root partition from a 1TB PCIe 3.0 to a PCIe 4.0 drive.

And it works just fine. Sure, in the last 5 years it’s had to relocate 55 bad sectors, but that was probably ages ago. It has no currently pending or uncorrectable sectors. When I bought it, everyone figured that a 10,000rpm drive was a disaster waiting to happen. It’s turned out to be remarkably reliable.

This drive is a relic. It wasn’t even native-SATA. It’s a PATA drive with a SATA bridge. It’s doesn’t even have NCQ.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting hours to write zeros to the newish “bad” drive to see if it relocates all its bad sectors and pretends to be healthy again.

Rest in peace, Mimi Parker, or whatever planet you’ve made it to

Monday, November 7th 2022 at 8:21 pm
by Jonah

This was at the last of many Low concerts we went to (2019). I guess I we won’t be going to any more.

Brunswick Stew

Saturday, November 5th 2022 at 3:45 pm
by Jonah

My office had a potluck, and the theme was to bring something from your home state. Since hardly anyone is originally from Colorado, this works really well. I’m originally from Georgia, so I brought Brunswick stew.

Brunswick stew is one of my favorite things. There’s nothing that tastes quite like it, the saltiness of the meat and the sweetness and crunch of the corn. I just love it.

It’s been a long time since I’ve made Brunswick stew with my mom, so I e-mailed her. She said she didn’t use a recipe, just made sure to use shoepeg corn (couldn’t find any) and butter beans (finally found some canned ones at one of the multiple grocery stores I went to. Then she sent me this recipe:

So I made this recipe but a 20th of it. I tried to make some pulled pork, but Berck took over because I was doing it wrong. I used butter beans instead of peas, and I didn’t add potatoes. And it was really good! I brought it to work in a crockpot with a little placard with the recipe and saying that Brunswick stew is typically made with squirrel, rabbit, and ‘possum, but I couldn’t catch any of those critters in my yard, so I made it with ground beef, chicken, ham, and my husband’s spicy pulled pork.

It was a hit! One of the attorneys I don’t know came and found me and said she’d never heard of it and it was like nothing she’d ever tasted and she was going back for seconds because it was so good. She told everyone else in the office to try it. One of the other legal assistants told me later that she’d saved some to have for lunch the next day and that any time I felt like bringing in another pot would be fine by her.

San Francisco

Tuesday, October 18th 2022 at 11:55 pm
by Berck

My Dad took a great photo of a San Francisco street in the early ’70s and I’d been meaning to figure out exactly where it was and look it up on street view. It was surprisingly easy to do.

I think I would have liked San Francisco in the ’70s a lot better. In addition to the Condor Club and Big Al’s, it looks like Sam’s Pizza and Burgers is still in business. But now selling hamburgers instead of chuckburgers, and the Coca Cola sign is inverted. If I ever go back to San Francisco, I’ll give it a try.


Tuesday, October 18th 2022 at 10:16 pm
by Jonah

Dan, our next competitor, in extreme grocery shopping, has pulled into the Costco parking lot, starting the clock. She’s flashing her membership card at the door and… 

Look at that, Tom, she isn’t grabbing a cart! It looks like she may be going for a two-store strategy here! 

The no-cart play will certainly limit her options, though should help increase her speed, Dan.

It looks like she’s heading toward the produce.  She’s picked up a 20 pound bag of potatoes!  That’s a good choice from Costco, as they have the best quality Russets, but a really bold choice to carry without a cart.

Now she’s slung the sack of potatoes over her left shoulder. That will make it easier to carry, though limit mobility with her left hand.

It looks like she just got distracted by the sweet onions, and… she’s picked up a bag with her right hand. The no-cart strategy will limit her two just two items at this point…

But no, she’s moved the bag of onions to her left hand while continuing to balance the potatoes on her shoulder! 

And now she’s picked up a carton of tomatoes with her right hand!  Surely this is all one shopper can carry by herself.

She’s bobbing and weaving through the other customers, who appear to be getting out of the way of an apparently crazy person…

And she’s stopped!  She has set down the tomatoes and is picking up a bottle of vanilla!  No wonder she had to come to Costco! But how is she going to carry four items?

She’s tucked the vanilla under her arm!  Now she’s making a beeline for the registers. There are several empty self-checkout stations…

And a Costco employee appears to be coming to help!  No, wait, the Costco employee is asking the shopper if she’d like a basket.  The shopper is shaking her head.  And the employee scans all the items for the shopper!  The employee asks again if the shopper wouldn’t like a basket.  But the shopper won’t have it!  She’s loading herself up again!  

She’s got the receipt tucked between the carton of tomatoes and the bottle of vanilla now in her right hand.  Will this even work to get out of the store?

And the shopper gets an assist from the receipt checker at the door who pulls out the receipt, marks it, and wedges it back!

Now it will be interesting to see where the shopper goes next, Dan.

She’s at a stoplight navigating to King Soopers, and Google Maps is telling her to stay off the interstate! She’s heading the back way.

Now she’s at King Soopers.  Surely, she’ll need a cart for the rest of the grocery trip.  

You’re right, Tom, and there she heads for the carts…

But those two are stuck together! She gives up and grabs another cart.

That setback shouldn’t hurt her too much for time, Tom.  She’s checking her coupons as she heads into produce.

Looks like she’s grabbed some celery and is circling back towards the arugula, but there’s a man standing in front of the cooler and he’s not moving.

She’s going for the side wipe action, reaching around from behind the man!  That’s a brave move!

She’s heading toward the mushrooms now, Dan, and, no, she’s heading back to the arugula!  The arugula she grabbed must be faulty!

OK, Tom, she seems happy with her new carton of arugula.  Now she’s heading toward deli.  She’s searching, searching.

An interesting quirk about this particular store, Dan, is that the prosciutto is with the cheese, not with the other processed meats. And it looks like this shopper doesn’t remember that.

I think you’re right, Tom, and… oh, she’s spotted it!  Now she’s heading toward dairy.

She has to backtrack now; she’s not finding the milk she wants.

She’s spotted it!  It’s on the top shelf and toward the back.  That must have been tricky to spot.

She’s reaching up and… it’s just out of reach!  This has got to be a major setback!

She’s abandoning her cart.  She’s heading back toward… kitchen gadgets?

This is a major development, Dan. There are no kitchen gadgets on her list.

She appears to be searching… searching… what could she be looking for?

I don’t know but… she’s grabbed a potato masher.  She’s heading back into dairy.

Is she going to settle for a different brand of milk, Tom?

No, she’s heading back to the same cooler door, and she’s poked the potato masher into the cooler!  She’s using it as a hook!  She pulls a quart of milk down to where she can reach it… and then another one!

This will help her accuracy, but it’s got to have hurt her time.  Yes, now she’s having to return to kitchen gadgets to return the potato masher.

But she got lucky at the register, Dan!  There’s an empty register with one of the fast cashiers!  He’s scanning her items even faster than she can pull them out of the cart onto the conveyor belt.

Oh, and she’s bagging, Tom!  This will help her time for sure.

And she’s paid, and she’s out!  What a remarkable grocery shopping trip with two stores, everything on the list, and under an hour!