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Re: Calling Customer Service for bad sectors
Most of these utilities are avaiable. The FEP provides a Disk Format
command. Each machine comes with an Initial File System (IFS) tape that
you can use to create a standard FEP directory structure after
reformatting. The tools in sys:n-fep;fix-fep-block.lisp can splice out
bad blocks and generally repair things. Of course, there is not much
documentation for the do-it-yourself disk repairer, but hackers can make
Well, the only thing I have in sys:n-fep; is a bunch of flod files.
So I don't seem to have these tools. This happened to me once, and I
was told by Symbolics Software Support that in fact Release 6.1 does
not have these tools. Someone sent me a function that did the trick,
but only after hours of negotiation.
My point is that it is probably quicker, less painful, and quite
possibly cheaper for Mr. Srouji to have customer service take care of
the problem. If he is on contract and he has recent LMFS backup tapes,
why suffer needlessly?
Have you ever restored a large LMFS? Doing the sector fix takes about
20 seconds if you have the code. Compared to hours for restoring the
LMFS, not counting down time waiting for customer service.
And if you try to do board swaps, like you can with Sun, TI, and other
vendors, you are in real trouble. Over a month turn around time. (TI
gives universities five business days). Worse yet, any accompanying
documentation (such as what the problem is) is thrown away without
examination. Our technicians carefully isolated a nasty bug in a fep
board that takes three days to show up when you swap it into a new
machine. When they sent the board in they included a letter which
explained their procedure carefully. A month later, the same board
came back, with a note that said they had run the board for 24 hours
and couldn't find a problem! We called, and found out that the
standard procedure is to simply throw everything except for the board
away without examination. It has been several weeks since the board
was sent back, without a sign of its return. At least we received a
verbal promise by a Symbolics engineer that they would indeed look at
accompanying documentation this time.
Do I sound annoyed? Yep. I love my Symbolics machines for the
quality of their environment. I used to love them for their
performance. I have never been impressed by Symbolics customer
support, sales, or maintenance. In fact, Symbolics is worse than any
other vendor I know in these areas. I sure wish it were otherwise.
My students and I are tired of always having at least one machine out
of six down waiting, waiting, waiting, for boards to come back.