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News Archive for Wednesday January 6, 2010     Goto Current News Page

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SuperTalent UltraDrive (Barefoot based) SSD Firmware Update 1916 (bugfixes, GC)
From a reader that has one of these SSDs (Indilinx Barefoot controller based, like Crucial M225, OCZ vertex). Note the change log has a long list of bugfixes and mentions Garbage Collection enabled.

" New Super Talent SSD firmware
There appears to a new Super Talent SSD firmware out. Version 1916 (AFTER 1819)
The change log is in the zip file. The website has very little information.

Release Date: 1/4/10
Serial Numbers: xxxxxxx-xIBx/xICx/xIDx-xxxxxxx
Change Log:
- Feature Add: Garbage Collection enabled
- Feature Add : Firmware download through SCSI interface
- Bug Fix: Early performance drop issue in quite clean state. This problem is fixed with changing weak dynamic wear leveling parameter
- Bug Fix: Occasional firmware download failure bug fixed (Due to FPDMA problem of SCSI/AHCI)
- Bug Fix: IRQ stack overflow bug fixed. Runtime bad block structure was too big. It caused 256GB block 0 to be corrupted.
- Bug Fix: With 1819 firmware, Wiper performance was slower than 1571 firmware revision.
- Bug Fix: Power cycle count was always 0 in 1819 firmware.
- Bug fix: Specific SATA Gen I host (ex. SB400) caused SATA hardware buffer ID error.
- Bug Fix: L63B (256 pages/block) wear leveling bug fixed.
- Bug Fix: Bug fix found during simulation. Free block count may become 0 after a lot of power cycling. It was not witnessed in the real life.
- Bug Fix: SMART information - Remaining life was not 100% even right after firmware download.
- Bug Fix: Flush should not check IDNF.
- Other: Toshiba NAND has additional blocks over 4095th block. These blocks can be used.
UltraDrive GX/GX2 Firmware Release Notes
Super Talent Technology, Inc.
Page 3
- Other: For Intel/Micron 34nm NAND, NAND BIST is performed always. NAND BIST is flash cell test. It uses AA5555AA pattern and uses 2 plane mode.
- Other: To support Intel/Micron 34nm NAND, copy back delay was adjusted.
- Other: Erase count distribution is made better."

Still waiting for new firmware from Crucial for their (Barefoot based) M225 SSDs - not yet posted as of a check today (4PM ET), but perhaps soon as comments last month had us hoping for a late Dec. release. (And hopefully this time they'll also offer a GC version.)

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More notes on burning AVCHD files (from HD camcorder) to DVD in OS X, PS3 playback tips
A follow-up reply from one of the readers that mentioned using Toast for AVCHD burning (camcorder SD card files). His later mail also included a tip for sequential file playback on the PS3 (something the original poster later mentioned, but wasn't aware of this PS3 setting/tip.)

"Burning the (AVCHD) files to DVD via the finder will work on a PS3. My initial backups were burned in this fashion. However, it may not work properly on other Blu-Ray players.
(I thought my older Pioneer 51FD supported that but a test burn in the Finder (OS X 10.6.2) last night of some files from my Panasonic SD9 didn't play - displays "data disk". I don't have a PS3 though. The files play fine in VLC.
Update: I burned an AVCHD disc in Bootcamp/Windows using Pinnacle Studio HD v14 ($49.xx retail std version) of the same SD card files and it Did Play in the Pioneer 51FD.-Mike

Another PS3 specific tip - you need to make sure you enable sequential playback on the PS3 under the video settings menu. If you don't, the PS3 will play 1 clip at a time and stop. From the SDHC card, PS3 would play the files sequentially, but not from the DVD backup. This is why I bought Toast - because for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to make the PS3 play all the short AVCHD clips sequentially. After I experienced the same issue w/my Toast backups, I found the sequential playback setting and now everything works great w/both my Toast and Finder burned copies.

For my backup purposes, I will burn one copy of my 8 GB AVCHD in Blu Ray format, then I also create a disk image of the "Canon" folder in my SDHC card. When I open the disk image iMovie and Final Cut Pro treats it as if the camcorder was still attached and I can import the individual AVCHD clips.

Still not heard from Eddie if he's tried burning his Canon HF11 (24Mbps rate) files in the Finder for his PS3. (I assume it will work though.)

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Follow-up (and Thanks) on Remote AC Power Switch/Retrospect Problems
From the reader (Jim) that had asked for feedback on remote power switches in yesterday's news. (And many thanks to readers that replied with suggestions and their experiences.)

" Thanks again. I'm looking at the APC unit, I'll probably get that. It will also be useful for other things, such as resetting the diagnostic modem that my ISP uses to monitor their T1 edge devices. Every once in a while it seems to need to be power cycled.

Just to clarify the Retrospect issue: We back up to arrays, individual attached firewire drives and arrays, optical drives, and LTO-4 tape. I use "rsync" scripts to back up to the arrays, basically mirroring them every night (and some are in remote offices). "rsync" is much faster than Chronosync, but Chronosync (and others such as "sync pro", "Carbon Copy Cloner", etc) do have the advantage of allowing archiving and two way sync, etc, which rsync can't do. But those utilities don't back up to tape or optical drives, and generally don't compress the data. I have always found Retrospect 6.1 to be fine for my needs, and it also compresses the data, does de-duplication, as well as incremental backups, which of course mirroring doesn't do.

The problem with Retrospect 6.1 came about when I upgraded from from Server 10.5.7 to Server 10.5.8. Suddenly Retrospect 6.1 started throwing up millions of log messages when waiting for a tape or disk. There must be some kind of memory leak, because eventually it will crash the system in a bad way, as I described. I needed 10.5.8 for other reasons, so had no choice there. I had tested Retrospect 8 after it was released and found it to be severely bug ridden. However, I have now just tested the latest version and, fingers crossed, it seems to be stable.
-Jim W."

Update/FYI: I had sent Jim text copies (cut and pastes) of the reader replies to his post but have now also put them (w/links to products in some cases) on a separate page here - see Reader Feedback on Remote AC Power Switches.

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Apple Support/Troubleshooting/How-To Doc Updates

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Other News/Articles, Misc. Software updates

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Recent Articles and Reviews
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