Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

    My smartd.conf, explained

    28th February 2015

    After fixing offline uncorrectable sector warning email, I have taken a closer look at my /etc/smartd.conf, and now it looks like this:

    DEFAULT -d sat -H -f -p -t -W 0,40,45 -n standby -S on -m example@example.com
    # Attributes 1, 230, and 231 are very important (-r 1! -r 230! -R 230! -r 231! -R 231!), but likely covered by -t.
    /dev/sda -s (S/../../6/01|L/../(01|02|03|04|05|06|07)/7/00) -C 0 -I 189 -I 194
    # -a implies -f and -p (through -t)
    DEFAULT -d sat -a -I 194 -W 0,40,45 -n standby -o on -S on -m example@example.com
    /dev/sdb -s (S/../../6/02|L/../(01|02|03|04|05|06|07)/7/02)
    # This drive does not decrement Offline_Uncorrectable (198) after re-allocation,
    # so only monitoring for increase, not for non-zero value.
    /dev/sdc -s (S/../../6/03|L/../(01|02|03|04|05|06|07)/7/04) -U 198+
    # This drive has 40 “normally”.
    /dev/sdd -s (S/../../6/04|L/../(01|02|03|04|05|06|07)/7/06) -W 0,42,45

    Note: explanations below are intentionally simplified; please consult man smartd.conf for more precise, complete, and up-to-date information.

    Ok, so what do these settings mean, and how is this different from default settings?
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    Posted in *nix, how-to, Notepad, Software | No Comments »

    How to fix Offline Uncorrectable sector outside of a partition

    26th February 2015

    A few days ago my smartd daemon (from the smartmontools package) notified me about a +1 increase in Current_Pending_Sector (197) and Offline_Uncorrectable (198) SMART attributes. The 2.5″ Fujitsu laptop hard-drive these appeared on is very old, and it also has been working 24/365 since a little over a year.

    Running a short SMART self-test (sudo smartctl -t short /dev/sdc) produced a read error at sector 1289:

    Num Test_Description Status Remaining LifeTime(hours) LBA_of_first_error
    1 Short offline Completed: read failure 80% 22339 1289

    Looking at the partition table of /dev/sdc, we see that this sector is outside of the only RAID partition on the disk, which starts at sector 2048:

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdc1 2048 117209087 58605088 fd Lnx RAID auto

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    Posted in *nix, how-to, Software | No Comments »

    Russia shelled Ukrainians from within its own territory

    20th February 2015

    A recent publication in The Guardian references a high-quality conclusive report of Bellingcat proving that in the summer of 2014 Russia used artillery and multiple rocket launch systems (MRLS) from its own territory to strike Ukrainian Army positions, effectively stopping the successful anti-terrorist campaign, and then overtaking long stretches of Ukrainian border (to enable easy supplies of more weapons, tanks, MRLS, and anti-aircraft systems). Shelling was followed by the full-scale Russian ground forces invasion around the 24th of August, which is Independence Day in Ukraine.

    The Bellingcat shelling report is available in several languages and file formats:

    Posted in Life, Ukraine | No Comments »

    I want a physical QWERTY keyboard Android

    27th October 2014

    My motivation is simple, and Kevin Michaluk had nicely written down the benefits of physical keyboards: Why there’s still demand in 2014 for phones with physical keyboards. For many years I’ve been using Nokia E71, and now, after switching to a screen-only Android 4.4.2 device, I dearly miss the physical keyboard (and the compact, durable metal phone body, too, as well as week-long battery life…).

    I really hope that phone manufacturers offer something that:

    • is about the size of E71, possibly slightly higher/wider/thicker
    • has a physical QWERTY keyboard, either E71-style or a slider
    • runs Android Lollipop :P
    • has decent (but not necessarily the best) smartphone hardware (5-8+MP camera, 1.4+GHzCPU, 1.5+GB RAM, 8+GB internal storage, etc)
    • has a good screen, e.g. HD (~4.3-4.7″) for a slider-keyboard version, or half-HD for Nokia-style keyboard
    • is minimally waterproof (can withstand heavy rain for 30 minutes)

    Reasonable price would also be welcome…

    Posted in Links | No Comments »

    Olaf Sundermeyer’s myth: right-extremists rule in Ukraine

    20th October 2014

    Note: this post was written on the 18th-23rd of May 2014, but was not published at that time. I am publishing it now, after minor edits of tenses used. I think that after Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of August 2014 it is absolutely clear that any prior publications regarding “right extremists” in Ukraine were either paid-for Russian propaganda, or simply insufficient analysis of the situation. It is still worth publishing this short text; consider this a cure for minds with only minor propaganda poisoning.

    On Sunday, the 18th of May, the sad 70th anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation by the Soviet regime, in Saarbrucken journalist Olaf Sundermeyer was giving a lecture titled “Ukraine: Die rechte Freiheit – Nationalismus und Rechtsextremismus” ( http://www.a3wsaar.de/aktuelles/details/d/2014/04/15/ukraine-die-rechte-freiheit-nationalismus-und-rechtsextremismus/ , or as a PDF).

    I was unable to attend it, but looking at the abstract I felt the need to analyze and criticize the viewpoint Olaf presented. To do so, I went sentence by sentence through the abstract from the link above, picking items I cannot agree with, and providing my arguments.
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    Posted in Life, Society, Ukraine | No Comments »

    Mini-review: offline navigators for Android

    18th October 2014

    Sygic, Waze, Osmand, Navfree, Navigator, or (Nokia’s) Here Navigation beta: which is a better offline navigation solution for your Android?

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    Posted in Software | No Comments »

    Do not use Hermes Paketversand for packages delivery in Germany

    2nd September 2014

    Note: this is a rant. Unless you are specifically interested in the subject (keywords: delivery, hermes, failure, amazon), you should not read this.

    I buy a lot on amazon.de – this is easy and convenient. Most of the time it also works good, with items arriving as promised or (mostly) earlier. Sometimes there are minor problems, but nothing worth remembering or mentioning. However, my latest order, “delivered” by Hermes Paketversand, was such a spectacular failure, that it deserves a blog post.

    My item was expected to arrive on Tuesday, the 5th of August. In the evening of that day we found an important message from Hermes in our mailbox, saying that We were unable to deliver your package, we come again tomorrow, on the 6th of August. Hmmm. That is strange. My wife was at home in the 1st half of the day, when Hermes, supposedly, was delivering my package (I learned about their delivery time later from delivery tracking page). This is what I would call a minor problem, not really an issue. Maybe, for some reason, the door bell wasn’t heard, and our delivery did not reach us. But it comes next day, right? Right?…

    There was absolutely nothing – not even a note – delivered in the following 4 days. On Saturday I started worrying. I checked Amazon package delivery status (detailed), which said that we have missed 3 (!) delivery attempts between 9:00 and 13:00 on August 5-7. I could have believed one miss, but three in a row, with my wife at home… that is extremely strange, to say the least. Anyway, I was ready to forgive this, as long as I get the package.
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    Posted in Misc, Rant | No Comments »