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Re: [vox] [fwd] zareason advice about laptops
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Re: [vox] [fwd] zareason advice about laptops



On 06/18/2010 05:25 PM, Kevin Schultz wrote:
> Thanks Bill. This is good general info.

Agreed... in general ;-).

>     "Thanks for checking in with us. Your laptop should have a good amount
>     of life left in it. Something simple like a dead keyboard can easily
>     (and affordably) be replaced. The primary weak spot on almost all
>     laptops is the screen hinge. Keep an eye on that.

I hesitate to say all.  I've seen dells that needed the hinge replaced 
multiple times during it's 3 year warranty.  On the other hand thinkpads 
tend to use large steel plates that never have problems.  I've not seen 
an apple with a hinge problem either.

>     "Another weak spot long-term is the hard drive. Fortunately most
>     failures are gradual. If you have an up-to-date Ubuntu, the Disk
>     Utility is really good at monitoring the hard drive health. When the
>     hard drive is near failure, it will notify you.

Actually the google study on a huge number of disks showed that the 
predictive failure analysis didn't work in a huge majority of cases.  Do 
*NOT* wait for a warning to buy a replacement or backup

As a mid life kicker I'd at least consider a SSD, it's likely to be more 
durable, quieter, faster, and take less power.  Thus likely extending 
the useful life of the laptop.  Additionally once your laptop dies it 
will likely be worth moving to it's replacement.

>     Don't ignore the
>     warnings if they pop up.

Sure.

>
>     "And finally, backup backup backup. I swear by DropBox. Put all your

100% agreed, doesn't matter a whole lot how you do it, but if you are 
worried about theft, fire, floods (yes even on the 3rd floor), or 
related make sure your backups are offsite.  Sure dropbox can work, as 
does S3 ($0.10 ish I think per GB per month), or even mailing a 
friend/family with a dsl connection a large external harddisk.  Rsync 
can make even fairly large home filesystems (which typically have low 
churn) reasonable to backup over the net.  Duplicity works well if you 
want to store encrypted backups on s3.

Many of the failures in this area have lead to loss of a huge number of 
personal photos.  If you only keep your photos on a single disk I'd 
recommend doing something about it today.


>     "SD cards and flash drives have virtually no wear levelling features.
>     Don't depend on them lasting with frequent writes. Go ahead and use
>     them for weekly or monthly backups.

Sad that it's true that the standard doesn't provide for communicate 
wear levelling (or the lack of it).  Certainly the cheapest SD cards and 
flash drives likely have none.  The nicer cards do include wear leveling 
(and tend to brag about it).   If you use rsync (instead of the blind 
complete copy) you should minimize writes.

>     "--Earl Malmrose www.zareason.com <http://www.zareason.com>

Great advice, especially from a vendor with an interest in selling more 
hardware.
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