64 bit Linux support from non-Free programs

So, it’s now 2010 (almost). Two of the most heavily used non-Free programs on Linux would have to be Adobe Flash Player, and Skype VOIP client. While neither have open-sourced their offerings, both do offer Linux versions.

The down side is they only offer 32-bit versions.

After several years of AMD64 bit Linux (the Debian port to AMD 64 has a mailing list that started May 2003 – over 6.5 years ago). Skype have repackaged their 32 bit build in a package that has the correct dependencies to run on 64 bit Linux, but the executable is still 32-bit. So no clean 64 bit system! Boo hoo.

Come on Skype! Come on Adobe. Either keep up (6.5 years!) or set it Free!

Iomega Prestige 1.5 TB USB HDD

Time for some more storage at home – the old 250 GB Freecom HDD was getting a little tight on space. So a quick stop on Christmas Eve at PC World (normally not a good experience) and I chanced upon a 1.5 TB Iomega drive at £80 or so. 6x the size – nice.
I was initially hesitant; the name Iomega normally is associated with the phrase “click of death”, a symptom of the old Iomega Zip disks of the 1990’s. However, the price point, and 10+ years of water under the bridge and them still being in business made me consider it a reasonable purchase.
The drive was instantly recognised by my Acer Aspire Revo (running Debian Linux). The disk auto-mounted with its VFAT file system no problem; however, instantly it started to… wait for it … click! Noooo!
I reformatted to make it a Physical Volume for LVM, and then made a new Logical Volume (LV) with an XFS file system. It seems the disk still does the clicking/ticking every once in a while, normally after some period of inactivity.
It’s about 4 – 7 clicks/ticks, about once every half a second, the entire episode lasting around 10 seconds.