Friday, December 08, 2006

Hardware manufacturers to avoid: Samsung

[UPDATE 2: the problem is of the form "Daniel is an idiot". See this post for details. DRM is still evil, though.]

I recently assembled a little Mini-ITX system, mainly for use as a file server/desktop replacement/music server. However, it has a DVD drive, and it has a hardware MPEG2 decoder. So today, feeling a bit lazy, I decided to try displaying a DVD on the box instead of using the DVD player. This is when I discovered that my computer's new DVD drive is defective.

hdc: command error: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
hdc: command error: error=0x54 { AbortedCommand LastFailedSense=0x0
5 }
ide: failed opcode was: unknown
ATAPI device hdc:
Error: Illegal request -- (Sense key=0x05)
Read of scrambled sector without authentication -- (asc=0x6f, asc
The failed "Read 10" packet command was:
"28 00 00 00 01 c0 00 00 02 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 "

Yes, you read that right.

So, I won't be buying any more Samsung hardware until they figure out that I am their customer, not the MPAA. I realize this is an utterly futile gesture, that Samsung won't even notice my lack of custom, that this will make not even a dent on the juggernaut of DRMed/TPMed/locked-down hardware/software systems that are coming in the future, and that the end result is that I quit using computers entirely and go raise chickens...but you know, right now I think I'm mad enough not to care.

PS: Even worse: based on some discussions I found online, I ran a quick check of the CD reading speed -- and it appears that the drive now refuses to read CDs any faster than 2-3X! This is absolutely the last dollar that Samsung is getting from me, and if the store's return policy allows it, this sucker is getting RMAed tomorrow.

[UPDATE: the store I bought the drive from in October has a 30-day return policy, so I'm stuck with the one I've got. Probably I won't bother with getting DVD functionality on my next optical drive, it's not worth the obnoxiousness.]