Dec 292008

Sometimes, programmers do physics, for better or for worse. Sometimes, physicists do programming, and the result is not always disastrous, sometimes quite the contrary. Bruce Allen, for instance, is a gravitational physicist who developed an extremely useful set of programs for Linux, allowing one to monitor the health status of a hard drive using the drive’s SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) capabilities. He certainly needed it… his cluster has several hundred disk drives in operation. I only have a few, but nevertheless it is reassuring to know that they’ll send me an e-mail, presumably before a catastrophic failure wipes out all my data.

Which of course can still happen. I’ve seen hard drives die a sudden death, with no advance warning whatsoever, becoming an expensive but useless boat anchor.

 Posted by at 4:18 pm