And then there were four!

Drobo 5c StatusI have been experiencing an excess of failures with my own equipment this week.  Mostly aged drives who’s working lifespan is winding down.  Often the preverbal cobbler with no shoes, I rarely have time to maintain my own equipment. My usual quick fix is to throw more drives at the problem. Although that would certainly get me running again, it was more of a stop gap then a real solution.  I have a number of aged drives and i wanted a solution not just for today, but something to make a difference moving forward.  Enter the Drobo 5c.  I have been a fan of Drobo for years.  I have an 8 bay that holds my media library in it’s warm RAID-6 embrace.  I had been eyeing the Drobo 5d for years waiting for the price to sink or my need to raise.  Turns out the 5c is incredibly priced with only minor disadvantages over the 5d.  One reason i love Drobo and the reason it was perfect for this project is the Drobo’s ability to expand in the future while operating at diminished capacity.  I bought this enclosure with only 2 drives.  Started up with mearly one 4TB drive and another 3TB.  This got me started with about 2.7TB of usable space.  Then i got to the task of offloading data from my healthy external drives. As each drive emptied into the Drobo’s volume, it was then fed into the Drobo enclosure to continue to expand the capacity.  Now i have over 8TB of usable storage with both failover protection (a single drive can fail and I loose nothing) and expandability.  It’s one big volume makes organizing and tidying a snap.  That last bay will get a 4TB eventually and it’s doubtful the most recent 3TB i installed will be working this time next year.

Continue reading “And then there were four!”

Got my first MRI today. . .

The purpose of the scan today was investigating back pain, nothing serious.  In keeping with my tradition of publishing too much information, enjoy this animation of a flight through my spine.

The experience was actually much easier then I anticipated.  The machine did not move me as much as they show on medical television shows.  Not as loud either.  30 minutes in the tube was a bit much, by the end, i was ready to get out.

Ubiquiti’s USG router steps up with dual wan support!

I was very excited to discover this feature listed in my Unifi controller today.  You can now repurpose the VOIP port to act as a WAN2.  The ironic part is that i don’t believe the VOIP port serves any actual VOIP function as of yet.  I’ve been recommending these USG routers since I learned of their existence. Unfortunately a lot of my clients want dual WAN and until now, the Unifi Security Gateway fell short.  No longer, Ubiquiti has a really great product line with the Unifi.  I am continuously discovering great new innovation with the latest update to their software, firmware, or cloud platform.  I have been waiting for this!

Unifi WAN2 option

Waisting my time at the Apple Store

I’m at the Apple Store resolving an issue with my iPhone camera.  The same camera Jitter that is already an extended replacement with Apple for the iPhone 6 Plus.  No warranty left and no love for my 6s Plus. They wanted to charge me $80.  After begrudgingly agreeing and waiting an hour for the repair.  i returned to a phone with a completely non-functioning camera.  whoops.

Final iPhone Backup Before Apple Replacement

I hurriedly backed up my phone in preparation for Apple replacing it.  I have now been here for 3 hours.  I spent most of my time waiting for someone.  Now waiting for activation of the new phone.   Then waiting for restore.  In all, my customer service experience was much worse then expected.  After very helpful and accommodating internet support, I received absolutely terrible support from the Apple Store itself.  When i asked to complain to a manager, the “Leader” they brought out was condescending and robotic in his rhetoric.  The 2nd guy, was a lot more understanding, but Apple needs to take a hard look at their customer service.

Modernizing a lifebook from 2003 with Lubuntu

Lubuntu 11.04 My doc was a bit confused about the age of this computer when he gave it to me to setup.  We spoke about a 5 year old laptop. It turned out to be a beast from 2003: a Lifebook n series by Fujitsu.  I’ve always said that Fujitsu must be run by a supervillain or at the very least, a rebel billionaire.  They make industrial equipment and infrastructure, while at the same time making laptops and other select home electronics.  Like someone just wanted their ideal laptop and then as an afterthought sold it as a product.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to disparage Fujitsu in any way.  Quite the opposite in fact.  I have relied on their hard drives for my most precious data and their Lifebooks have always been some of the best out there.  The fact that this 13+ year old laptop is operating with all original parts and a working battery is testament to Fujitsu’s commitment to quality.

My first clue was the XP sticker.  I decided to go with Lubuntu, a minimized variant on the popular Ubuntu Linux.  Ubuntu is a wonderful distribution, especially for those new to Linux, but it’s built on top of Debian, so it’s not just for beginners.  For years, I’ve used some of the older (still supported) Ubuntu versions for old machines.   I hate to see workin computers fail because of a lack of software support.  Thanks to the good people at Lubuntu, Ubuntu, GNU/Linux, this is a thing of the past. This guy is running all the latest in security and cryptographic technology, a fully modern web browser and a full suite of productivity software fully compatible with the latest MS Office.