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  • dtoub 6:46 am on Friday, July 17, 2009, 6:46 am Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , why I have a whopping headache right now   

    what a surprise: pat buchanan hates people of color, women, Jews…hell, anyone who isn’t a white Christian dude 

    Picture 3I’m all for freedom of speech, however odious it may be. And I give Rachel Maddow a ton of credit for enduring what had to have been a painful discussion/debate with Pat Buchanan on the Sonia Sotomayor nomination. But given Buchanan’s known antisemitism, misogynism, racism and, frankly, clear hatred of anyone who isn’t a white Christian male, why do networks like MSNBC continue to hire him as a commentator and give his idiocy a prominent TV pulpit? Just consider his hypocrisy: he rails against Sotomayor as an “affirmative action appointee,” yet it never occurs to him that it could be argued that the Republicans took the same tactic when Miguel Estrada was nominated to a Federal court appointment. He argues that Sotomayor is not qualified for the Supreme Court. Given the facts of her education, performance and very substantial judicial experience (the most in 70 years for any Supreme Court nominee), this is at best intellectually dishonest, at worst racist and sexist. I am very comfortable stating my opinion that it’s the latter. Pat Buchanan is racist. He hates women. In the past he’s made it clear he’s not a fan of Jews either. Let’s stop giving him credibility by providing him with a TV pulpit and instant credibility. He has no reason to be hired as a TV commentator or “expert.” Trust me, there are more than enough jackasses on the right to put on the air, so do we also need to include someone who so blatantly gives comfort and support to all angry white male Christians out there?

    • Debbie 1:46 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009, 1:46 pm Permalink

      I give Rachel a lot of credit for taking him on even though he clearly wouldn’t STFU. Basically he believes that the most qualified person should get the job (I’m ok so far) but that it would indicate that only men, and white men in particular, were ever qualified to be on the Supreme Court (NOT!). And he really believes that since it was white guys who signed the Declaration of Independence. Clear right-wing anti-logic. I watched this on my way to my bike ride this AM and I almost screamed. He’s just too much.

    • dtoub 1:55 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009, 1:55 pm Permalink

      As usual, I agree with you!

    • Paul H. Muller 11:07 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009, 11:07 pm Permalink

      Pat is still fighting the WASP vs Irish Catholicism battle. I thought that was over in 1950, but I guess not.

  • dtoub 7:40 pm on Thursday, December 11, 2008, 7:40 pm Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bad service, , why I have a whopping headache right now   

    avoid portable hard drives by LaCie. seriously. 

    All mechanical hard drives will eventually suffer a head crash—it’s just a matter of when. I’ve had external hard drives crash after a year of use, and I’m still in search of a really reliable backup drive. But when all is said and done, LaCie is now the worst of the worst in my opinion. I purchased a 250 GB portable drive back in May; it died on day one of use. I then got a replacement from Amazon, and that has now died after between 6-7 months of intermittent use. Pretty disappointing.

    I did the reasonable thing and e-mailed tech support at LaCie. My message detailed what happened and asked for a refund or a more reliable drive, since I suspect they have a major design flaw in that drive (the 250 GB portable drive designed by Sam Hecht, whoever that is). After two days, I got a response telling me they’re sorry and I should send the drive back for repair.

    Send the drive back for repair? After a head crash? And I’m supposed to feel reasonably comfortable putting my data on a refurbished drive when two new drives failed in less than seven months? Really?

    Sensing that this was going to be a very frustrating situation, I called LaCie and asked to speak with a manager. I was told the manager was on the phone and would call me right back. I made the customer support person read back my phone number, since he didn’t do it automatically, and sure enough, got the digits wrong. But armed with my correct phone number, I assumed the manager would call back in a reasonable period of time. After 2.5 hours, I figured that the reasonable period had expired, so I called and got the same guy who assured me the manager was just getting around to calling me back. 

    Yeah, right.

    Anyway, I spoke with the Tech Support Supervisor, who told me in a very nice way that his only option is for me to send in the drive at my own expense so they could refurbish it. No refund. No new drive (not that I’d trust it anyway). And there’s no one in the entire US, according to him, who is above him. So other than e-mailing their corporate office in France, which I did, I’m either stuck with a dead drive or else will pay to ship the drive back for repair and then have a drive that I wouldn’t trust for all the money in the world.

    I’m told that Western Digital drives are reliable and will probably get one next week. But that’s not the point. What’s up with companies that don’t stand by their products and that don’t work to at least meet their customers halfway? Unlike Kensington, which replaced a defective and potentially dangerous laptop case (due to very sharp edges) with a better model for free, LaCie’s support is bad. And I wouldn’t trust my data on their portable drives. So my advice—be very careful buying portable hard drives, and avoid LaCie’s models like the plague. 

    I should mention that I do have an external 320 GB LaCie drive purchased at the same time as I bought the portable lemon, and that is still working okay. I think it’s a time bomb, but it does work. But it is an external drive and has a fan. The portable drive doesn’t, and maybe that’s part of the problem. I’d like to think that LaCie’s tech folks would be interested in investigating whether there might be a design flaw in their Sam Hecht portable drive, but I’m not optimistic.

    OK, rant over.

    • kraig Grady 8:17 pm on Thursday, December 11, 2008, 8:17 pm Permalink

      I have heard of people having trouble with these . In fact i had problems with the first 3 Macs i got. But both my mac and lacie (same model of your satan) have held up now for maybe 4 years. I try and keep everything on both though! but now i am scared!!

    • david 10:26 pm on Thursday, December 11, 2008, 10:26 pm Permalink

      Sorry to scare you, kraig. Like I said, the 320 GB external LaCie drive so far is ok. I like the design of the Sam Hecht drive (who is he, anyway?). Having a retractable USB cable is a great idea. But I think that there are two overt design flaws: no fan, no shutoff buton. Disconnecting the drive to turn it off seems to me to create some stress on the disk itself. I’m not an engineer by any means, but one or both of these are different from all the other, longer-lived drives I’ve owned. My advice—keep your drive, but get another backup to be safe.

    • Kirk McElhearn 4:09 am on Friday, December 12, 2008, 4:09 am Permalink

      Well, I’m not defending LaCie, but you should know that they don’t make drives. They package drives manufactured by other companies. So you are going to buy a WD drive, thinking it’s reliable, but your LaCie may actually have a WD drive in it. You should open the case and see which brand of drive it contains.

      As for the customer support rant, that I agree with. That type of customer support sucks.

    • Richard Friedman 12:23 am on Thursday, December 18, 2008, 12:23 am Permalink

      David: The most reliable place to buy internal and/or external drives is Other World Computing:


      They take the best internal drives made by Hitachi/IBM and put them in enclosures for you. And they will stand behind everything they sell.

      I have found that ONLY Hitachi/IBM drives are reliable.

      General rule: Buy new drives every three years before they crash.

      Welcome to the world of digital media.

      And when the time comes and we’re all using flash drives, just hope that some big electromagnetic pulse doesn’t wipe out the world’s data.

      Actually, that sounds like a very intriguing idea. Imagine a world without data.


    • dtoub 2:02 am on Thursday, December 18, 2008, 2:02 am Permalink

      Thanks, Richard. What I ended up doing over the weekend was going to the Apple Store in King of Prussia, PA and buying a 500 GB Western Digital ”My Passport Studio“ portable drive that has a FW 800 port and cable. It’s amazingly fast—Time Machine backed up my entire 250 GB hard drive in just a few hours, whereas I would have had this running all night to do the same thing over USB 2.0. The big difference is that it has a fan and shuts down when you unmount it; I can’t prove it, but I think that it probably makes some difference in terms of longevity. I don’t know who actually makes the drive itself, but the engineers in my company swear by Western Digital, and I’d rather folks swear by a hard drive than swear at it 😉

      I usually replace drives after 1-2 years, since I’ve yet to see any external drives last longer than that. A world without data? That would be really retro.

    • Fabrizio 5:12 am on Friday, February 13, 2009, 5:12 am Permalink

      Hello. I buyed a Lacie Sam Hecht 2.5 320Gb USB HD and I wish to swap it with my laptop internal 250 Gb HD.
      Has someone opened that Lacie Drive Case ? It has no screws and I need to reuse the case so I can’t risk to damage it…


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