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[filmscanners] Re: keeping the 16bit scans

Frank Paris wrote:

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: filmscanners_owner@halftone.co.uk
>>[mailto:filmscanners_owner@halftone.co.uk] On Behalf Of Arthur Entlich
>>Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 5:10 AM
>>To: frankparis@comcast.net
>>Subject: [filmscanners] Re: keeping the 16bit scans
>>Sorry to bring this to the forefront of this discussion, but
>>we are all talking through our hats.
>>Perhaps someone has documented how turning a hard drive on
>>and off alters its failure rate, relative to keeping it one
>>continually...  but I haven't seen it.
> Can you think of a reason why it would be different from any other
> electrical device?

Absolutely.  What is an electrical device exactly?  Hell, a car is an
electrical device, so is a gas or oil furnace... they have electric or
electronic modules and some have solid sate parts, and they have
electric motors in them to.  Do you keep your windshield wipers on
constantly on your car because the surge of turning them on and off is
harming the electric motor, not to mention the alternator and charging
system which has relays and fuses in it? And while we're on the subject
of cars, starting a car is one of the most stressful things that happens
to the motor.  The bearings and cylinders are cold, aren't bathed in oil
properly, the oil is too viscose, much metal to metal contact before
full lubrication is accomplished.  The torque on the crankshaft and
piston rods is very high, the starter motor is used and stressed, the
alternator, water pump, fuel pump are all rotated unevenly and at
variable RPM until things stabilize, the air fuel mixture is compromised
and the fuel is not fully atomized causing incorrect mixture... I could
go on and on, so I guess if you really want to keep you car motor in
good condition, never turn it off.

This is just total silliness brought to the point of absurdity.  Better
also run your air conditioner all the time too, and maybe your
refrigerator compressor, because cycling them also causes stress.

My point, very simply, and it seem obvious, is that, as Laurie also
indicated, keeping something in constant use also wears certain parts.
A hard drive has: solid state components, electric components,
mechanical components, all of which have different responses to either
being left on continually or being turned on and off.  It is not as
simple as coming up with some "model" for electrical devices and placing
a hard drive into it.  On hard drives there is a bearing, a motor, a
stepper motor, there is surface to surface contact and friction, their
are surfaces which contain thin layer film technology, magnetic
responses, there are solid state parts.

>>However, I do turn my system off when it is going to be left
>>unused for several hours, and whether it saves the hard drive
>>or not, it certainly saves energy.
> What about the energy cost of building a new one when your current one
> dies prematurely because you've been turning it on and off too often?
> Don't know what the figures would be, but it's not an open and shut
> case, that's for sure.
> I believe it used to be accepted that running a drive 24/7 would wear
> out the bearings faster than turning it on only when it was being used.
> But I wonder if the same is true for these liquid bearings? If bearing
> wear is not a factor anymore, then running it 24/7 would seem to be a
> safer way to go than turning it on and off all the time, because of the
> electrical stress that occurs when you do that. The energy savings --
> well, as Don Doucette's post pointed out, that's moot.

It's not moot at all, and Don's post is full of miscues, which I have
addressed.  Further, if energy suddenly was $12 per kilowatt hour (or
whatever), to more accurately reflect its true cost, would you still
keep the same equation?  Just because electricity is very heavily
subsidized (as is water) so no thought is given to the true cost due to
environmental costs, medical costs, even cost of quality of life (those
electrical facilities, be they coal fired, hydro dams, or nuclear take
up land, create waste and risks, harm habitat, etc), so it isn't just
the cost of the production involved.  In fact, if one was to be honest,
there are even geo-political costs, like wars and people being killed
related to the use of energy sources.

You can look for reasons to justify your waste of energy sources, but
they are mainly excuses. In most cases, the energy is much more valuable
(in real terms, not what you might be paying) than whatever small
savings might exist in prolonging the lifespan of a electro-mechanical
device.  Yes, in some cases, there is some support for short term
extension of use, such as a fluorescent light which uses enough
electricity in the initial excitation that shutting it down for under 15
minutes or so balances out with the cost of restarting it, and it does
cause more wear on the ballast and bulb, but after that 20 minute
period, the balance begins to fall the other direction.  So anyone who
tells you keeping an office tower lighted all night rather than turning
the fluorescent fixtures off saves, is not being truthful (although it
may provide some level of extra security (maybe)).

Again, I am not suggesting that we have to go back to candles and abacus
to resolve this.  I am suggesting that most arguments for running
equipment 24/7 are bogus and wasteful, and ultimately selfish.


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