Posts Tagged ‘Tech’


Uncategorized | Posted by Derek
Oct 28 2009
Drobo dashboard showing available space.

I recently discovered that, despite the two dozen or so dead hard disks I have in a cardboard box, I had no actual place to store files and not have them disappear when the inevitable drive failure comes. After my recent catastrophe with DropBox (which, I must say, turned out to be not their fault) I determined a second backup device would be an excellent addition to my collection of blinking lights.

Back in “the day,” when I was still running a linux box in the corner as a web and file server, I kept my data safely on a RAID-5 array. The card and drives still work fine, but it’s a little cramped both in terms of storage (800gb) and air circulation (PATA cabling makes me weep). I wound up having to delete over 200GB of archived videos to save things that were more important at the time. It’s been quite some time since I’ve had the box with the RAID booted up, mainly since it sounds like a turboprop plane taking off and uses slighly less electricity than the state of New York.

I tossed my quandary to a crack investigative team (read: Facebook friends). I could either get a new card (I was looking at the Areca 1222) compatible with my current OS/hardware combination, invest in a NAS box, get some sort of generic external RAID box connected via USB, 1394A/B, E-SATA… Or get this droll little device I’ve been hearing rave reviews about all over the place called a ‘Drobo.’

The first responder replied: “Drobo http://www.drobo.com “

Read the rest of this entry »

Lost and Found

General | Posted by Derek
Jul 12 2009

I was just sorting some of my old, old email, when I came across the archive of the NWA mailing list. It was a writing list from… oh, almost 8 years ago now. Some of you may have read the stories (it was a group effort, some very well written), but the theme was that some cataclysm had struck the Earth and erased from existence all but a few people - who were warped into living forms of their online personas. I was probably 21 when I was working on a story thread in that theme.

Anyway, out of curiosity, I popped the list leader’s name into Google. He’d also been running a food and recipe swapping list, and was an active participant of RecipeZaar.com.


Apparently he passed away in May 2005. I can’t find an obituary anywhere or even a mention of him other than that page (even using his “real” name). Sigh :/

It’s sad, really. Not just his death. We live in the information age. It’s all around us - at the touch of a button, we can find out all sorts of things about current events and the like. Stop and think, though. Of all the information we do get crammed down our gullets every day, how much dribbles off to the side and down the drain, never to be seen again? What’s out there that’s being lost?

We’re not getting better at recording stuff. There’s just more stuff, making it less obvious what stuff is missing.

My iPod touch died last week while I was enjoying a stay at Camp Wilderness in Minnesota. Backlight failed, came back on after a reboot, then failed and wouldn’t come back. In bright light I can see and use the UI, but nothing I’ve done (including forcing recovery mode and letting it rewrite the entire OS image to the unit) has restored the backlight. Apple’s shipping me a box to return it in. In a week or so it should be back in my hands. I wonder if they’d upgrade it to the 32gb model if I pay the price difference.

I’d much prefer an iPhone, but neither Apple nor AT&T believe North Dakota exists. We get no coverage from AT&T and there’s not an Apple Store to be had within our border. /grumble


Uncategorized | Posted by Derek
Nov 18 2007


I used to be able to tap the side of the screen (left side, about an inch below where it goes black) and have it come back to normal. Then, it took a couple taps. Then a slap. Then constant pressure on a spot about halfway down and one inch in from the left.

I can’t type while holding the screen just to keep it working :(

At least there’s a DVI port, although that removes the portability. New screen for a 4 year old laptop = $300. New laptop would be nice, but I can’t even afford the screen right now. Bleh.


Uncategorized | Posted by Derek
Sep 18 2007

trashwin2.gif Oscar.

Man, I was so proud of myself for making that screenshot back in the day. Don’t know who made “Oscar” but he was fun to install in the computer labs!

Template Shenanigans

Uncategorized | Posted by Derek
Aug 19 2005

Screwing around with Movable Type. My first attempt to get it running landed in an utter failure. Installation went fine, and it was running under CGI mode, but it was painfully slow. So, after looking at the directions found on Google, I went ahead and attempted to configure it as a mod_perl handler.

Calling any of said handlers promptly segv’d the apache child. Blah.

So, I backed up, and tried using Apache::Registry instead. And after four hours of “ExecCGI is not enabled” errors in the log, I discovered that the real path to the files was not the same path Apache was looking at. Goddamn you, symlinks. But working with the symlinks did nothing either.

Now, I’ve installed the 3.2 beta (I was fighting with 3.17) and while it is running under CGI mode, it seems zippy. For now, I’ve shelved the idea of getting it to tango with mod_perl, and have fought with getting all the little subtemplates to look like how I want the site to look like. Slowly getting there.