Archive for the 'Nonclassified Nonsense' Category

134911 hours

28 November 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

7 November 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.

San Francisco

18 October 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.


18 October 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!

I remember damage

28 September 2022 at 10:55 pm
by Jonah

Berck woke up with a sore throat on Monday last week. He took a rapid test and tested negative. But he was miserable all week. I brought him home chicken soup from Chick-fil-a, along with a chicken to make him chicken tortellini soup, except I didn’t have any tortellini, so I used ravioli that had been in the freezer since spring 2020 when I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get any floatable stuffed pasta in my grocery pick up order, so I ordered all four possibilities and then ended up with all of them. This was in the days of the mystery shopping bags that the hard working grocery employee would load into the trunk of the newer Audi, while I sat in the driver’s seat wearing a bandanna over my face and thinking, Please don’t get closer than six feet to my window.

Berck has been bitching about all the things filling up the freezer, so it was a good time to use the ravioli. They were covered in ice crystals, so I carefully rinsed each raviolo off before tossing it in the soup.

Berck complained of sleeplessness and also fatigue, and then I started making him take cough syrup because, yes, you are actually coughing and just because one of us can’t sleep doesn’t mean both of us can’t.

On Friday he was feeling better, which was good because the airshow was Saturday and Sunday, and we’d been looking forward to going to it ever since Jess said he wouldn’t be able to fix Berck’s crashed race car until after the Pueblo race, which was scheduled for the same weekend. I was hoping to be able to finish sanding the crashed nose of the race car on whichever day we didn’t go to airshow.

But Saturday I woke up with a sore throat and overflowing sinuses. I guess the incubation period was five days. I spent most of the day in bed drifting in and out of sleep feeling really lousy. Berck had impatiently complained that we couldn’t watch the HBO miniseries Station Eleven until I had read the book, which he had bought for me and I had apparently completely forgotten that I was supposed to have read it.

I didn’t feel like doing anything else, so I started reading Station Eleven.

This was a mistake.

Saturday night Berck asked if I’d gotten far enough in the book to watch the first episode, and I replied that I’d read about half. He decided that was good enough. The problem is that neither the book nor the television series are told in chronological order. But the television series is aggressively adapted (according to the show runner), so it turns out that, despite the both of us having read the book, we still don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’m not convinced this is a terribly bad thing, as the mini-series has introduced some really engaging and satisfying plot points. (Also, it took me a weekend to read the book. The television show is way, way longer than that.) It’s like someone read the book halfway through and then decided to write the rest themselves, kinda like DALLĀ·E 2 trying to finish the Sistine Chapel, but make it “better“.

Mackenzie Davis is a perfect Kirsten (well, except for too much hair and teeth). She’s bad-ass and a little hysterical… and Canadian! The original is set in Toronto, but HBO has to set it in Chicago for its American audience.

Now, I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic narrative, and I always try to be prepared. I’ve been asking for a cross-bow for Christmas since I was a kid, and no one will buy me one. But I’m telling you that reading the first half of a book about how everyone dies of the flu and then watching the first episode of the mini-series based on the book while you’ve got the worst cold you’ve had in a year was a bad idea. Of course, it might have been the methamphetamines, I mean, pseudoephedrine, but I spent the night having intense dreams about knife throwing and then not really being able to breathe all that well. (Also, I need to practice gutting animals. I’ve been taught how to do it, but never actually done it myself. I know the important thing is not to rupture the gastro-intestinal tract. The one thing I know first hand is that, the moment you kill the animal, all the fleas immediately jump off it.)

Berck ended up going to the airshow without me, because by Sunday he was feeling peachy (he said it was the best weather for an airshow he’d ever been to). I got up and tried to do some dishes and laundry and then went back to bed and also finished the book. Berck and I have a deal that I clean the kitchen but I do it when I want to, and I really didn’t want to. So Berck has been cleaning the kitchen, which he does while sighing loudly. He also likes to listen to records when he’s in the kitchen, so if I position myself by a speaker, I can’t hear his constant sighing. He cooked me dinner, and I had a few bites. On Monday I heated up the soup I had made him, but I only had a few ravioli and put the rest of my bowl away because I didn’t feel like eating.

I now know that ravioli is the plural and raviolo is the singular, because in Station Eleven Jeevan is a a paparazzo, or otherwise known as a member of the paparazzi.

On Tuesday I had to drive down to Colorado Springs because I’m in the Novavax trial and they get very excited if I get sick because they want me to catch COVID so they can see if their vaccine is working. So even though I felt awful and hadn’t gotten much sleep, I drove down, nearly hitting a deer on our road. I was scared driving on the interstate because I felt like I couldn’t focus. But I survived. They had me sit in my car in the ally behind the clinic. Angel, the best phlebotomist at the clinic, came out dressed head to toe in PPE. She asked if I had been hydrating, and I admitted that while I had brought a bottle of water with me and had been planning to, I had forgotten to (the driving was hard enough to concentrate on). It probably helped that I was sitting in the sun so my veins were near the surface, and she got some blood in each of her many vials. “We just need a little,” she said. But when she took my forehead’s temperature, it was over 99. And when she took my pulse ox, it said 88%. I suspect that might have been because I was wearing a KN-95 in an attempt to keep from infecting anyone else. She had me briefly walk briskly, and it went up to 94%, which is about normal for me at 6,000 feet. She gave me a nasal swab. The physician’s assistant came out without even a mask and gave me a short physical. She listened to my lungs while I breathed and said they sounded fine. The trial coordinator said he would let me know if I tested positive but that it was taking him about 3 weeks to get PCR results back. He asked me to let him know if I tested on my own and came out positive. (I took my temperature for the vaccine trial testing app that night, and my forehead temperature was normal.)

I stopped by the office and someone brought some checks out to me that I needed to mail out, along with some envelopes.

Berck was curious, so he had me take an expired rapid test, though that meant I had to listen to him heavily sigh as he cleaned the kitchen while I was waiting around for 15 minutes.

Pretty darn negative

I woke up in the middle of the night last night coughing uncontrollably, so I made my way to the bathroom as quietly as I could to down some Tussin DM and then went back to sleep in the other bedroom, because if one of us can’t sleep, it doesn’t mean the other person doesn’t get to either.

Today I felt much better, which is about how Berck felt five days in. I actually ate something, and we watched the penultimate episode of Station Eleven. I’m actually really curious about how it will end, since the book and television series have taken completely different routes. Will they end up with the same result just by different means?

I’ve found it funny and sad that the television show hasn’t really had to work hard at finding sets of rusting and overgrown abandoned buildings. They’re everywhere in North America. Perhaps we’re already post-peak civilization.

But any post-apocalyptic narrative where humanity lives on is probably a happy ending. Unlike my new favorite podcast, which I’ve listened through twice now: