Another Blackblaze Study

Friday, February 7th, 2014 | SMART Utility, Story | Comments Off

They have an interesting post on the reliability of drives from different manufacturers. Check it out here.

Backblaze Study on HD Lifetimes

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 | Company News, SMART Utility, Story | Comments Off

A fascinating study done by Backblaze on the lifetimes of hard drives. After four years of running 25,000 drives, they analyzed all of their data. Based on that, they found that 95% last just 1 year, 94% last 2 years, 90% last 3 years, 80% last 4 years, and just 50% last 5 years.

My conclusion from this is make sure you check the drive at least once a day with SMART Utility, but even more importantly- always have backups.

Check out some more discussion, or check out the original study.

Mountain Lion is Out!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 | Opinion, Reviews, Story | Comments Off

I’ll have a detailed post in the next few weeks, but I’ve been running the developer previews and its pretty nice.

Also, SMART Utility version 3.1 will be out next Tuesday will full Mountain Lion support. Right now it sort of works- but it doesn’t display the PASSED/FAILING/FAILED text properly and it doesn’t support GateKeeper yet.

So check back next Tuesday!

RIP Steve Jobs

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011 | Story | Comments Off

Today, we saw this:Its a sad day. Steve gave us so much in the 56 years he was here: Apple Computer, the Mac, Mac OS X, the iPod, the iPhone, the iPad. We are all greatly in his debt for his vision over the years. My username on the net is apple4ever for a reason.

Its not fair, to lose someone so great. But death comes for us all.

As he said in this great speech:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”- Steve Jobs

Goodbye Steve.




The Day the Voice went Silent

Monday, April 13th, 2009 | Story | 2 Comments

As those who follow me on Twitter know, I’m a huge Philadelphia sports fan. So you can imagine my shock and sadness at the news that the Voice of the Phillies, Harry Kalas, had died. I have so many memories of watching and listening to Phillies games, in high school, in College, on long drives while at my last job, and the entire wonderful season last year- all with Harry the K’s excellent calls with that legendary voice. He was always there- a calming voice no matter the score. I’m really going to miss that.

I also never realized he did Inside the NFL- I had no idea how I never made the connection, but I guess I always thought of Harry as a baseball guy. But he was multitalented. In fact, he was more than just a great broadcaster, but he was an all around great guy. He never missed an opportunity to talk to a fan, to sign an autograph, or say any of his signature sayings (“OUTTA HEEERRRRREEE…”). Its a shame I’ll never get to meet him.

For awhile Philly fans had two of the best broadcasters in sports (the other being Merrill Reese of course), and now we have lost one of them. I don’t know how long we’ll have Merrill (hopefully for many years to come) but I’ll cherish every call he makes, as I cherished every one Harry made. I know what call will forever live in my memory, the last pitch of the 2008 World Series:

“One strike away, nothing and two the count to Hinske. Fans on their feet, rally towels are being waved. Brad Lidge stretches… the oh two pitch.. SWING AND A MISS! STRUCK HIM OOUUUTTT! THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES ARE 2008 WORLD CHAMPIONS OF BASEBAAAAAAALLLLLLLL… And let this city celebrate!”

I’m so happy he had a chance to make that call (as opposed to the 1980 championship when MLB’s silly rules prohibited from calling the game), and he made a classic Harry call. And its fitting that he died in the press box at the ballpark, doing a job he loved, surrounded by people he loved, in the city where his love of baseball began. What a way to go.

Rest in Peace Harry. We will miss you, dearly.

Harry Kalas

iPhone OS 3.0 and Kerio: Word of Warning

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009 | Story | 1 Comment

Sigh. I don’t understand why companies must do things to harm their customers. I experience it all the time. And it is for stupid reasons too. I’m amazed any of them stay in business.

My day time job uses Kerio MailServer 6 as our email system. It ties nicely into ActiveDirectory and has a decent WebMail client. It also offers Exchange support- including ActiveSync. And they even support the iPhone.

Well, partially support. Whatever they do to use ActiveSync is broken. They had to “enable” iPhone support in their most recent release once iPhone OS 2.0 came out. Now, I don’t know why they need to have custom support for the iPhone- ActiveSync is ActivceSync- but they do.

They apparently also need to enable support for 3.0, because once I upgraded I could see previews of mail, but I could not read them- it told me I the message was never downloaded, even though it was.

So I contact their customer support- what a waste. “Its still in beta, we won’t support it.” Well, what about the fact that I can’t roll back to 2.0. “Some people have, try it.” Which ignores Apple’s warning about rolling back to 2.0. Well, how about a warning. “We don’t need to put a warning about beta software.” GAAAAAH.

What poor customer service- and what a poorly designed product. I’m not sure what they have to enable, but the fact that they have to enable something makes me wary. What if they don’t have the support enabled in time for 3.0’s release? What if a company had all iPhones, and need 3.0 for a feature?

In any case, I now have non-functioning mail access on my phone. And one the reasons I was testing it out was for landscape mode in Mail.

Sad, really.

Activation Frustration

Monday, March 9th, 2009 | Story | Comments Off

So I saw this article about not screwing your customers, and it reminded me of an similar experience I had at my day job a few weeks ago. We were having some problems with one of our middle school’s TV studio computer. I had to re-install Windows XP on it.

Now here is where it gets interesting(and frustrating). The studio uses Visual Communicator 2. It used to be made by Serious Magic. They were bought by Adobe in 2006. The newest version is version 3- which costs a lot of money to upgrade. And version 2 was working fine so we didn’t feel the need to upgrade.

Anyway, I install VC2 just fine- but then it needs activating. Ugh- I hate activation and I avoid activation as much as possible. But we already bought this product, so I go ahead and try to activate it over the internet. No luck. I try again. Nope. I just to make sure I have internet connectivity, and I do. But it won’t activate.

Okay, so it gives a number to call to activate over the phone. I was on the phone for over TWO HOURS trying to activate VC2. I kept getting the run around- on hold for 10 minutes, transfer to a different department, wait 10 more minutes, transfer again-BACK TO THE FIRST DEPARTMENT, or get hung up on. Finally, after getting ready to pull my hair out, I finally got someone in tech support that could answer my question. And I was incredulous at the answer.

I told him my quandary and his response- “Oh they shut the servers off, so you can’t activate it.”

“Well can’t you do something?”
“No, I can’t- they shut the servers off”
“Sooo what do I do?”
“Buy a newer version.”
“WHAT!? We spent a ton of money on this? We already paid for it! Why should we have to pay again to use software that was working fine before I had to reimage!”
“Sorry, nothing I can do. Bye”

Wow! What horrible customer service- and he said all of this in a very rude tone! And the biggest reason I hate activation- once they shut the servers off you are screwed. Of course the pirates have no problem cracking the activation and using. Its only us paying CUSTOMERS that have problems.

Luckily, through some Google-Fu I found that the former employees of Serious Magic convinced Adobe to release an activation hack. It was released about a month before I ran into the problem. It would have been nice if the idiot tech on the other end of the phone  told me about this.

I know when we do upgrade our TV Studios (sometime next year) we will stay away from anything made by Adobe.