I really enjoy Dilbert.  As he is an IT engineer, I can fully identify with him and the situations he finds himself in.  Here are some of my favorites:
Pablo Software Solutions
Error Messages

Error messages are supposed to communicate useful information to users of a computer program.  Sometimes however, they aren't so useful.  Here are some of the less helpful errors my friends and I have seen over the years:
For Sale: Conner Hard Drive - Throughly Stress Tested

Beautifully cared for Conner hard drive (see pictures).  I'm pretty sure it's a 500megger, but it's hard to tell due to the scratches to the body and the grass / mud stains.

This quality item has undergone the most intensive stress testing known to man.  Conner are such a reliable brand, rarely failing and performing so well that we set out to determine if the factory specs for maximum and minimum environmental stress factors were accurate.

Note: The factory rated maximum and minimum environmental factors that this drive can withstand and still continue to function are:
- Maximum Shock: 75G
- Temperature Range: -40 to +60 degrees celsius
- Maximum Temperature Change Rate: 20 degrees per hour
- Maximum Humidity: 80% non-condensing (non-droplet forming)


The tests we subjected this drive to include:
- The 'Drop' test (1m onto concrete)
       Estimated maximum G force exposure: 250G

- The 'Throw' test (we unfortunately only managed about 15m)
       Estimated maximum G force exposure: 2300G

- The 'Environmental Humidity' test (left out in the elements in a muddy puddle for a number of weeks)
       Estimated maximum condensed humidity exposure: 100%

- 'Heat/Cold Exposure' test (flame throwered with ignited spray from one of the cheaper brands of hairspray)
       Estimated maximum temperature exposure: 500 degrees celsius

- Subsequently dumped into handy puddle.
       Estimated minimum temperature exposure: 10 degrees celsius

- Approximate time period for the entire 490 degree temperature change
       10 seconds
- Also, to round off our testing, at many times during the vigourous 2 week regime, the drive was kicked repeatedly whenever we past it lying in the mud outside the
  back door.


Unfortunately, at least superficially, the Conner drive didn't appear to fare as well as we expected.  The drive sustained a number of what can only be described as 'terminal' failures under our carefully administered tests:
- Seal and bolts holding the drive together shattered.

- Drive head actuator became loose from it's rotation point thus allowing it to float freely around the inside of
  the drive.

- Due to the moderate (490 degree) 'environmental temperature fluctuation', the majority of the surface
  mount electronics on the controller board mysteriously came unsoldered and detached from the circuit board
  (it left a really neat layout of chips on the ground tho!)

- Subsequent to the 'environmental temperature fluctuation' testing, the IDE connector's plastic shroud melted
  and further shock testing (I think we were using a piece of 4x2 for a while there) bent the IDE connector

- Sadly the worst consequence of the tests was that the 'Conner' branding on the drive was completely
  oblitherated.  I have absolutely no idea how this happened but I suspect it may have had something to do
  with a rogue tester with a screwdriver.  The branding obfuscation may also be due in part to the attempts by
  one of the testing team to 'surf' down our driveway on the unit.
Of course when all the tests were finally over, we needed to ascertain how well the drive had fared.  To determine this, we straightened the IDE pins as best we could, placed the drive head actuator back in it's approximate original position and placed the cover back on top of the drive again for protection from any possible airborne dust or smoke particles.  Upon powerup, the drive spun for approximatly 0.5 seconds subsequently emitting a rather odd 'ding!' sound.  At this point some of the testers detected a burning odor and we all agreed to abort, lest the power supply explode.

So in conclusion, we can safely say that even after our numerous and varied stress tests, many of which exceeded the factory maximum and minimum environmental stress factors by quite some margin, the Conner drive has not dropped in quality or reliability at all, it's just as good as it was when it was new!!

Well done Conner!!

So, put your bid in now for this excellent Conner specimen - We've done all the testing so you can just sit back and enjoy the luxury and excellence that the Conner brand brings!

RRP when new was ~$450

Serious bids only please.
Last updated: October 2008
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