Archive for June, 2009

ReadyNAS Pro Drive Replacement

After getting almost daily alerts that the number of Reallocated sectors was increasing on one of my 500 GB Seagate ES.2 drives, I gave in.  Using the model number and serial number information from the SMART information screen within the ReadyNAS, I set up an RMA with Seagate for a replacement drive.  It was a pretty painless process.  I paid the $19.95 to get the advance replacement shipped to me with a pre-paid shipping label to return the failed drive.

They shipped it via 2 day shipping.  It got here today and was packaged extremely well.  Imagine a single drive packed with no less than 2 inches of foam on all sides, and you’ve got the picture.

I pulled the failed drive out of the ReadyNAS at 17:11, inserting the replacement drive at 17:14.  A few minutes later, it began re-syncing.  It was completely done at 20:56, so it took about 3:40 to completely re-sync my mostly full RAID volume.

I’ve been looking to increase the size of my RAID array lately since I’m down to under 100 GB of free space.  The easiest way to handle this would be to simply buy another drive of the same model and add it to the array, which is what I was planning to do, but after reading up on these ES.2 drives, I’m thinking that perhaps avoiding them altogether would be a wiser decision.  Some people posted saying that they had multiple drive failures.  One memorable post said that of the 4 drives he bought, he had 5 failures.  Yes, he means that all four of the drives he bought failed, and one of the replacements had also failed.  That’s a horrible track record in anyone’s book.  That’s a staggering 125% failure rate!

With that said, I have been pleased so far with Seagate’s replacement process.  About the only thing that could have made it easier and better is if the drive didn’t fail in the first place.

As for potential replacements for my Seagates, I’ve read good things about the Western Digital series of Enterprise drives.  They are among the fastest drives out there, and are certified for use with the ReadyNAS.  Unfortunately, the 1 TB model I’m looking at is about $159 each currently.  Since I have three drives in my array, I’d really need to replace all three of them to get any capacity boost, for about $500.  Hopefully, I can hold out a few more months and perhaps they will drop in price.  Even a modest per-drive drop in price can make a big difference when you are buying multiple drives!  Perhaps I could then sell the three 500 GB ES.2 drives to someone who has no idea of how often they fail (like me, 6 months ago!)…

June 24, 2009 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

The iPhone 3GS – Yes, it is worth the upgrade

When they said the “S” is for Speed, they weren’t kidding!

In just about every aspect of using my new iPhone, I can most definitely see the difference in speed.  To put it bluntly, everything is faster!  Navigating around is faster.  The onscreen keyboard is smoother.  Launching apps is faster. Getting GPS lock on my location is faster.

I’ve seen reports on the web that AT&T’s network upgrades aren’t yet in place, so we shouldn’t expect to see any speed improvements due to the faster 3G capabilities of the 3GS.  So, surfing the web isn’t any faster, right?  DEAD WRONG!  Heck yea, it’s faster!  Much faster!  It’s probably just page rendering speed, but you can most definitely notice the difference when using the 3GS for surfing, as compared to the 3G.  The extra 200 Mhz and double the RAM is huge.  Even just scrolling around a large page is so much smoother than it was on the 3G.

Basically, anything you want to do on the 3GS happens faster and smoother than it would be on a 3G.

So, if you’ve been holding out on upgrading from your 3G (or the original iPhone), do yourself a favor.  Go to an AT&T store (or the Apple store, if one is nearby) and check out the 3GS in person.  Try navigating from screen to screen.  Load the apps.  Disable Wifi and surf the web in 3G mode.  Just spend a few minutes doing these tasks on it, then whip out your old iPhone and do the same tasks.

But, if you really, really, really don’t want to upgrade, please don’t go check it out.  Because if you do, you’ll probably be whipping out a credit card on the spot to upgrade.

June 20, 2009 at 11:19 pm Leave a comment


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