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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • "A laptop that dies (the horrible, unrecoverable hard drive grind of death) less than a week after you switch your life over to it is not cool."

    A Mac? Just curious.

    • Fool, the first rule about Mac problems is "You don't talk about Mac problems".

      Last OSCON I saw macs fail 3-4 times in a week, with a wwhole variety of problems.

      And the common thread seemed to be people telling me "Please don't tell anyone that my Mac broke".
      • Funny you should say that. I noticed a few years ago that there seemed to be a sharp increase in the "my mac broke" blog entries. I even mentioned this fact at some point here, though I can't find it now.

        I've never really believed the whole "mac hardware is better" meme. Not only that, I've pretty much reached the "mac hardware is unreliable" stage and it's one of the reasons I've avoided buying one.

        • I've never really believed the whole "mac hardware is better" meme.

          I've been using Macs for 22 years, and the only problems I've ever had are component failure (which happens on any computer), and HFS (regular, Extended, Journaling, whatever) corruption problems. I've repaired lots and lots of corrupted HFS volumes over the years.

          The annoying thing is, when you're debugging a crash combined with HFS corruption, you really can't tell if the corruption caused the crash or the crash caused the corruption, because HFS is notorious for getting corrupted when the computer crashes, no matter what the cause of the crash was.

          In this particular case, the laptop crashed, I fixed the HFS corruption, it crashed again, and I fixed it again... Finally, it wouldn't boot off the drive, and the drive utilities wouldn't repair the HFS partition. Repetitions like this are a pretty good sign that there's something fundamentally wrong with the hardware: either with the drive itself, or with some other component. Macs just don't crash like that unless there's something seriously wrong. The laptop is fairly old, and it's endured a number of international flights, so it wouldn't be terribly surprising if it developed problems somewhere along the way.

          (BTW, this is why I hate HFS. The UFS partition on the same drive was fine through all of the crashes. I confess that after all my complaining about Adobe not supporting UFS a while back, I eventually succumbed to the temptation of their tools and switched to a primary HFS partition, with a secondary UFS partition for most of my home directory and things like Fink, DarwinPorts, and my hand-compiled versions of Perl. Guess what my medium-aged PowerBook 12" is now sporting? Yup, a single UFS partition.)

          The flaky laptop is now sitting at the Apple Store. I'll reserve judgement on this particular repair experience until they actually fix or replace the laptop, but in the past I've had nothing but good experiences. The techs are knowledgeable, friendly, respectful, and patient. I've even watched them help a grandmother transfer some old big-band music from cassette tapes to iTunes through her boom-box. They weren't just polite and helpful, they were actually enjoying it. :)

          Which isn't to say that Macs are perfect. They're subject to the same laws of entropy as the rest of the universe. But, I've taken apart more than my fair share of laptops, desktops, and servers (Mac and non), and for laptops I'll still go with Apple hardware every time. (I prefer to build my own servers.)

          • "I've been using Macs for 22 years, and the only problems I've ever had are component failure (which happens on any computer), and HFS (regular, Extended, Journaling, whatever) corruption problems."

            So, we're pretty much talking about motherboards, cpu's and hard drives.

            Motherboards

            I've never had a motherboard fail, nor known anyone who had. The only motherboard failures I've even heard about were caused by lightning strikes or maybe a shoddy piece of hardware bought from an expo, but even that's rare

            • "Hard Drives

              This is the only component that you typically hear about PC users having problems with, though I never have personally [...]"

              Clearly you don't have enough storage then! :-)

              If you have ~20 drives you are more likely to have a failure every other year than if you have 3.

              Of course who'd be silly enough to have 20+ disks (not counting servers in the datacenter). uuh, nevermind.

                - ask
              --

              -- ask bjoern hansen [askbjoernhansen.com], !try; do();