The Caffeinated Penguin

musings of a crackpot hacker

Computermachine stuff

Posted By on September 19, 2007

For some time, one of the hard drives in my disk array was clicking. I new it was failing, but didn’t know which one. So, I figured I’d wait for it to fail, then replace it. Last week, the array got very slow. So, I checked the array and got the following: Unit UnitType Status %RCmpl %V/I/M Stripe Size(GB) Cache AVrfy ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ u0 RAID-5 DEGRADED - - 64K 534.34 ON - Port Status Unit Size Blocks Serial --------------------------------------------------------------- p0 OK u0 76.33 GB 160086528 V80PKTLC p1 OK u0 76.33 GB 160086528 V80PTS3C p2 OK u0 76.33 GB 160086528 V80Q5M2C p3 OK u0 76.33 GB 160086528 V80PH1PC p4 OK u0 76.33 GB 160086528 V80PKTVC p5 OK u0 76.33 GB 160086528 V80PKV7C p6 OK u0 76.33 GB 160086528 V80Q6LDC p7 DEGRADED u0 76.33 GB 160086528 V80Q6L1C Unit UnitType Status %RCmpl %V/I/M Port Stripe Size(GB) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ u0 RAID-5 DEGRADED - - - 64K 534.34 u0-0 DISK OK - - p0 - 76.3342 u0-1 DISK OK - - p1 - 76.3342 u0-2 DISK OK - - p2 - 76.3342 u0-3 DISK OK - - p3 - 76.3342 u0-4 DISK OK - - p4 - 76.3342 u0-5 DISK OK - - p5 - 76.3342 u0-6 DISK OK - - p6 - 76.3342 u0-7 DISK DEGRADED - - p7 - 76.3342 Great. So, I change out the drive, and it goes to rebuild.. then fails. WTF? So, I retry the rebuild again. Still fails. Change the drive out with yet another spare, and it rebuilds just fine. So, I chuck the drive into a spare motherboard and run badblocks on it. I let it go all night, and it’s still going. The scary part is that this was the boot drive of the machine which I retired. In the end, no data was lost, so all is well. In other news, AMD released 900 pages of ATI specs. This means that I don’t have to deal with Intel video card stuff if I don’t want to. So, since I prefer the Opterons anyway, I think I’ll head in that direction, which leads me to a Tyan n3400B. It’s sweet – SLI, legacy PCI, yadda yadda. I figure I’ll chuck in a pair of 750GB HDD’s, a Dual Core Opteron, and 4GB of RAM, and call it good. End price will be about $1250 or so, and then I’ll add in an external 1TB firewire drive. Finally, I’m going to poke Java and Eclipse and see where that leads me. I figure that I should have a look at these newfangled IDE’s (everyone keeps telling me that emacs and make are outdated, but hey). Now, if I might pontificate a bit: The current state of the industry is crap. Somewhere between 50% and 95% of programmers need to be fired (depending on my mood) because they are incompetent. This incompetency varies. Some are lazy, some are stupid, some are too educated with not enough experience. Additionally there is too much of a “shiny new” aspect. We have a proliferation of languages and frameworks, most of which are both of dubious quality and are designed to humor stupid programmers. Visual Basic is often much maligned as being not suitable for real work, but I would go so far as to put PHP, Python and Ruby in that camp as well. (Perl is a special case in that it is not suitable for “real work” in the traditional sense, but is rather a very powerful admin tool – a replacement for bash+sed+awk+other stuff, but should not be used for things like web services, etc.). I’d argue that the only decent languages and frameworks created recently are: C, C++, C# and Java. If you want to do something serious, use one of those, and don’t be an idiot when implementing it. All the rest of them are pretty much useless and not suited for real work. If you want to use PHP/Ruby/etc for some personal, low volume website, then great, but that is different than “real work”. Oh, and Mono, in theory, is decent, but it seems to suffer from a large degree of brokenness, especially in the GUI/Widget department.

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