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!”

exFAT vs exFAT!

No exFATThe interoperable file system that is nearly impossible to interoperate.  Introduced in 2006 by Microsoft, it eventually gained compatibility from XP to Windows 10.  Apple introduced support in 10.6.5.  Even Linux got to play thanks to Fuse.  It turns out that any reasonable sized drive prepared in windows will not be compatible with Mac and unable to mount. This is because Apple’s implementation of exFAT requires less then 1048576 bytes per cluster, where as Windows varies it’s cluster size depending on the capacity of the volume.  Best advise for mac people is to format it on windows, but set the block size to 1024. Can we get a new file system now please?

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.

Ken Calvert’s Town Hall, he phoned it in…

I tried to participate in Ken Calvert’s telephone town hall tonight, even recorded some of it.  Unfortunately, they never took my question or even my promised recorded voicemail.

Many of my comments were addressed by others and most were deflected by Representative Calvert.  I am certainly no expert on this stuff, but here are the points i would have brought up.

  • CRA bill – Representative Calvert seems to have missed the distinction between internet service providers that offer services like Google, Facebook, or Snapchat and telecommunications providers that provide the very lines on witch those services depend.   This is a critical distinction.  Unlike service providers, it is not so easy to just find a telecommunications provider who’s policy you agree with.  In most of America, they are practically monopolies.
  • Russians!! – Lifting sanctions preventing Russian intelligence agency from purchasing surveillance technology?  Why now?  Representative Calvert talked about apposing foreign manipulation of our elections, but what about foreign money buying influence?  Citizens united says money is speech, but what about foreign money?
  • Obamacare Vs Trumpcare – Preexisting conditions? Failing program? It is certainly not perfect (don’t get me started), but my family would be destitute if it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act.  The current offering as a replacement looks terrible and doesn’t include amendments for preexisting conditions.  What will next year bring?