Some Thoughts on “Forced Upgrades”

I have for a while been mulling over an expression mentioned by a friend, put into context of how some Operating Systems are more immune to this particular problem than others.  However, “forced upgrades” can apply to more than just operating systems. Continue reading “Some Thoughts on “Forced Upgrades””

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Some Thoughts on “Forced Upgrades”

Three if by Air

So I have not written here in a while.  Well, be prepared for a lengthy and unattractive one (all text, no hassle).

I mentioned in my last post that I had interest in consolidating PC’s.  Turns out, I moved my Cybaryme system up to the Lenovo M92 internals (Konor) for a small upgrade (from second to third-gen i5, as well as introduction of USB 3.0) all the while buying and installing the external enclosure.  Linux’s implementation of ZFS picked up the drives, and although I dropped the cache SSD and everything is transmitted through USB 3.0, the speed is quite respectable for what I need.

With access to all this local space, I wondered what to do with it all.  One of the things was being able to record television again (ages ago I had an ATI Radeon All-in-Wonder).  Given my ongoing predicament with Lenovo and their choice of PCI-Express slot placement, I had my Hauppauge WinTV-1250 tuner in the HTPC.  Because I wanted to consolidate (for example, to save power), I discovered the HDHomeRun Connect device.

HDHomeRun Connect is a standalone tuner that connects to your network and streams to a client (or a NAS) with their provided software.  It is also quite well supported in TvHeadEnd.  Since I did not want to go to Windows for the former, and was already familiar with the latter, I purchased a refurbished one off Amazon.  Set up was easy, but getting everything “right” was a huge hassle. Continue reading “Three if by Air”

Three if by Air

Musings of a NAS Server

Alternatively titled, the evolution of hobbies and fulfilling their needs.

This time last month (to the day) I started a blog entry, progressing for a week and a half about building a network-attached storage PC. I noted within the first few paragraphs that this would not be an inexpensive project, which now I am ready to talk about cost (what it takes), other options, and in general how hobbies (and their needs) develop over time. But lets start with an epilogue to the last entry. Continue reading “Musings of a NAS Server”

Musings of a NAS Server

A FreeNAS Adventure

I wanted a RAID setup ever since the 1990’s, back when I would get computer magazines from my neighbour.  One of the articles featured perfect setups, which included an external RAID array.  I soon learned that RAID (originally redundant array of inexpensive disks, now commonly redundant array of independent disks), particularly RAID 5, can provide a great balance of storage and redundancy (if a single drive fails in the array, no data is lost).

Along with this, I have a dangerous combination of being paranoid about losing data and rarely making backups (and I never learn, having lost a 60GB hard disk around 12 years ago with only the most crucial data available to be recovered).

Keep in mind a RAID is not a backup solution.  If the house burns down and if I did not have anything off-site, I would be very out of luck.  For many other scenarios however (usually less-catastrophic), it wouldn’t hurt to have. Continue reading “A FreeNAS Adventure”

A FreeNAS Adventure

How Not to Align an SSD

So over the holidays, I bought a new (275GB) SSD to take over the 60GB SSD I already had in place (which was dedicated for the Linux system files).  If done right, I would have around 200GB for CCache and Out folders for a few ROMs.  Why? It comes down to cutting Android compiles into a fraction of the time, since there is a lot of I/O work done compiling code – and there are dozens of gigabytes of code to go through with every build.

The package arrived around the time I posted the last video.  The easy part was running CloneZilla (again) to duplicate the contents from the Kingston 60GB to the Crucial 275GB.  Then all that was left would be to check alignment, create the new “speed” partition, and then do the drive swap.

Except there were bumps in the road. Continue reading “How Not to Align an SSD”

How Not to Align an SSD

The Christmas Special – HTPC Mk II

I meant to post this over a month ago … life has a tendency to be busy.

I started the HTPC craze over a decade ago with an ATI All-in-Wonder Radeon card.  At that point I did not have much of a theatre, mostly watching media on a 15″ (later a 17″) CRT monitor.  After I moved into the house years later, I picked up a TV tuner card and installed it for the PC in my office but never used it to the full potential, or at least nearly as much as when I was still recording shows in the apartment.

At one point, when I started investing in $10 PC’s (hospital surplus systems), I ran into a problem.  The new motherboard was positioned in a way not to accommodate my video card and my TV Tuner.  I had to make a choice.  Knowing a HTPC was back in the works (I must have talked about this before), I saved it for that.

Well, things did not work out as planned. Continue reading “The Christmas Special – HTPC Mk II”

The Christmas Special – HTPC Mk II

Did Someone Say Desk Pics?

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Brand New Day

I feel another back story is in order.

A few months back, I replaced my 17″ Samsung monitor with a 22″ Lenovo.  The thought of setting up both came across my mind, but I had to defer that thought due to my limited desk space.  “If I didn’t have the fax machine, there would be no problem” I thought.  In a world where I have a MagicJack for my phone line and where the machine has not sent a proper fax in years otherwise (I cannot even get a clear copy), I felt it was time to lose the dead weight.

So I bought a desk phone so my plan can come all together.  Continue reading “Did Someone Say Desk Pics?”

Did Someone Say Desk Pics?