Computer control

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I was assuming that for a lot of this sort of thing, you'd not even need an HD in practice, as the A5000 doesn't *depend* on one. I'd also imagine it's possible to use a modern HD - many people still use these machines for real. I'll ask around if it's any help.
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A5000 uses standard IDE drives. Only the 310 series used ST506. There is a size limit as the machine will not read anything bigger than 500Mb I think.
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That's what I thought, but it's a long time since I had either.

Yes, but IIRC it doesn't stop you using a larger drive - it will just be treated as a 500Mb. IIRC again. ;-) But I think you can get add on IDE cards that will allow larger ones.
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Ah yes thank you. I'd forgotten which was which.

500MB is enormous storage for RiscOS applications.
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It is until you get into things like graphics and audio-visual files. Which unfortunately take up about the same space as on everything.
But for this sort of machine control, an A5000 with only 5Meg of ram and a 500M HD would be fine.
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If anyone would like a BBC Master 128 with an intermittent booting fault, they can have it for the cost of the postage...
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Mine didn't - it suddenly decided to display the picture as a single line, so I chucked it in a skip. Also seemed to very particular about the brand of hard disk fitted (?Connor only)
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Well, I was talking about the computer - not the monitor - and that's the fault you're describing.

It's a bit irrelevant given that its HD will outlast a PC one by a factor of several...
My point was that for DIY machine control it's a very easy and cheap way to achieve this. With excellent help facilities.
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Dave Plowman wrote:

If that were only true, the MTBF may be assumed to be X, but it 'aint always, having worked for IBM and seen the failures due to the wrong lube on the disks, and had a spate recently of HD failures here due to a known componet issue on the control board...
Niel.
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The point I was trying to make is that a RISCOS machine doesn't thrash the HD in the same way as a windose one.
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Dave Plowman wrote:

True up to a point, but the last lot of failures hadn't seen much use, and it was from cold boot that they wouldn't start....
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Think I remember reading there had been problems with some IBM drives. And others. Western Digital and Seagate have been mentioned too. Suppose it's likely to be a batch thing.
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Both batch and model problems arise from time to time. From memory alone, the IBM model-wide problem was with the Deskstar 60GB model (to the point where some wag renamed it the "Deathstar" in a Usenet group, and the name stuck). Even there, though, it was by no means *all* Deskstars, but one particular model, which had specific reliability problems.
Few of us as individual users or as people with commercial responsibility for a "smallish" number of PCs will ever get exposure to a big enough sample of components to establish clear reliability metrics; and the mysteries of modern outsourced manufacturing mean it's quite problematic and potentially misleading to attach experience from one model sold under a given brand name to other models sold under the same name. Those few organisations (mfrs, large IT departments, and so on) who do have enough numbers don't tend to publish them either, but use them as a stick to beat suppliers with. For specific models, groups.google.com will help identify apparently problematic products; but you'll get depressed if you expect the problem reports to represent an unbiased sample of the population of owners! A change from 99.9 to 99.6 % reliability in a year will obviously quadruple the number of potential complaints, while still being trouble-free for over 990 in every 1000 owners...
HTH, Stefek
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I`m still using one of the affected drives - a 20Gb DTLA one - they were more prone to failure apparently if used at ATA100, and I came across something in a linux mailing list with lots of *very* low-level hardware experience* who commented that the drives were fine at ATA100 with *IBM* controllers which did things "by the book" - other chipsets used non-ATA- standard access methods apparently (from what I remember of the thread)
*ranging from system design to hiding nuclear subs behind plankton wavefronts (!)
Mine`s been fine, but i`ve never had it hooked up via an 80pin IDE lead !
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This is home automation, it is now off the shelf stuff. I think B&Q do aone. There is an ng for it.
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news wrote:

Yes. Try Black box or Betterbox. One of them at least does a remote reboot device that runs of a serial link. Or used to.

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