Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Internet TV... without the internet TV bit.

So I bought a 32" LED backlit (not LED pixel) LCD Samsung a couple of months ago.  It's hard to compare "Internet" TVs because each brand puts their own spin on exactly what "internet" means.

The Samsung series 6 has an Ethernet port, and by default Windows (Vista and higher) detect it and ask if you want to "trust" it or not.  The TV detects DLNA servers you might have easily on your network too.

But what about this "internet" claim?  When I first bought it, there were some simple internet "apps" that you can choose from and install.  Mostly boring stuff from a TV perspective like Google Maps, Picasa, Facebook, Youtube, etc.  This is all good but not exactly what I'd call internet "TV".

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

SATA disk beeping

I've never heard a hard drive beep!  Until yesterday.

I just yoinked a free second hand Inspiron 9400 laptop for a media centre, sans disk.  I purchased the cheapest SATA 2.5" disk I could find - 320Gb for about $50.  I started installing MythBuntu and then the drive started clicking and beeping, and the installation froze!  It was the usual crunch of a failing drive with an intermittent "beep" (much like the electrical interference noise you sometimes get in laptops / desktops).  The drive worked fine in a USB caddy.

At a complete loss, I turned to the oracle (Google) and found this.  Strangely, some drives are sensitive to the 5V power supply (it was the cheapest drive I could find).

Up until then I had been working on battery, so I plugged in the power, rebooted, and the drive worked flawlessly.  Hopefully it won't do the same when I loose power...

update: The problem seemed to be getting worse, so I returned the drive under warranty.  With the Christmas break I'll have to wait until they get back to me...
update: The drive was returned, and Seagate replaced it under warranty.  For the same price I purchased a 320Gb Western Digital Caviar Black 2.5".  It is infinitely quieter (I can't hear it with my head pressed to the laptop).

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