Month: August 2008

File Storage Issues

Posted by – August 10, 2008

Drive Partitioning at it's finest.

Drive Partitioning at it's finest.

For quite awhile I’ve had many work-arounds in order to give myself enough file storage to hold my files. Having grown up with an assortment of computers which VERY limited file space, I have always been the type to make-do with very little.

As of late however, I’ve been running into issues being able to not only handle the clutter as I’ve become a disorganized digital packrat of sorts, but actually finding room to put all the files physically.  I’ve tried many different organizational techniques from alphabetical ordering of folders with ‘reference’ and ‘documents’ being the main categorical root directories to using searchlight alternatives for PC and *nix.  Still no luck.

Another option however was getting some NAS (Network-Attached Storage) and working out a rigid storage system policy and sticking to it.  If nothing else, this would solve the problem about running out of physical room for my data.  The main problem being that it costs a few hundred dollars to implement correctly and nicely.  Since I’m the type that can’t really buy anything for myself without feeling guilty, it’s held me back and made me look for less-efficient alternatives instead.

Take for instance my fileserver.  It’s a Pentium II 350mhz with 256mb of ram with only two small hard drives (1x20GB and 1 x 6GB).  I was using this for the longest time to stream my audio and video to my other PCs as well as my Xbox 360.  As of a few months ago I had purchased a new workstation which came with a 180GB Hard Drive, needless to say I was in Heaven.  At least for awhile.

Now that everything is disorganized I wanted a solution.  I want an archive of my files kept separately from the computer, preferably a small case/box that in an emergency (or LAN parties) I can unplug and whisk away and save everything I need.  I’m now willing to solve this problem once and for all.

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

Linksys Network Storage System with 2 Bays (NAS200)

After browsing the web and looking for some quality equipment for the price I stumbled upon the Linksys Network Storage System (NAS200).  It’s a great brand, decent price and with two HDD spots and an additional 2 USB expansion slots for either thumbdrives or USB Hard Drives it would have all the power and ability I’ll need for my private network.  Another big component is that it should use a lot less power than a full tower, but I’ll be testing this as soon as I get it.

Another option I was contemplating as building my own Mini-ATX fileserver (well, more like another FreeBSD Box with Samba installed).  It’d give me the storage I need and also give it extra extendability as I could script my own cronjobs to tarball and transfer files around.  Best part was I was going to probably build the case out of Lego.  It’d be much smaller and cheaper than that case however.

I eventually decided aginst building my own Mini-ATX server because it’d easily be more costly than just buying the Linksys NAS.  So I’m going to be ordering it along with One or Two Decently-sized hard drives to finally get some breathing room for all my data.

I can’t wait.

3 Interesting Videos

Posted by – August 9, 2008

I’ve been slacking off on this blog, so in an effort to liven it up, I thought it’d be nice to post a few of the videos I’ve been watching in my spare time.  I’m not sure whether the original uploader has permission to post these, or what license these were put out under.I’ll keep this short though, and get to the videos :

Discovery Channel’s “The History Of Hacking” Documentary

Interesting and if nothing else, entertaining look at the History of Hacking.  Title sort of tells it all.

Documentary on Google

Although I had a good understanding of the first days of Google and the current goings-on, I found this video quite entertaining and informative.  Definitely a must-see for anyone like me who uses Google Services for almost everything.

Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture

If you haven’t seen this, you must live in a cave as this video has been making the rounds on the Internet for quite awhile.  Probably due to the sadness of the fact that the world lost such a great professor but hopefully more-so the fact that this lecture has a lot of inspiration and is a great motivator for people to really channel their skills and accomplish their dreams.

Review: WhatPulse

Posted by – August 8, 2008

Not many people know about WhatPulse, and I’m not too surprised.  I can’t even remember how I came across it, however I’m glad I have.  Whatpulse is basically a keylogger or rootkit, except it doesn’t actually care what you type (as this information is not recorded), only the fact that you clicked the mouse, or pressed a key.  It then counts all these clicks and key presses and generates stats.

WhatPulse generates a running total of clicks and keypresses into different categories of your choosing.

WhatPulse generates a running total of clicks and keypresses into different categories of your choosing.

It’s quite amazing how many buttons I push on the average day, and I find it interesting to follow along and use these statistics as a basic form of productivity tracking.  Although it leaves much to be desired.

Seeing as how the program uses practically no resources, that it allows teams and lets you have categories such as ‘blogging’ and ‘forums’ the possibilities are near-endless.  It’s definitely worth a look if you’ve ever wondered on your wordcount or in this case, keycount or if your just stress-testing your keyboard out of boredom.

On an related note, feel free to join the Freedom-Uplink Team.  It has no real purpose (much like Freedom-Uplink itself), but would be interesting to see.

Projects Wanted

Posted by – August 7, 2008

It’s not like I don’t already have enough projects, in fact I have too many.  However since I have my own webserver, and spare time (or at least a very flexible timetable) I’d like to make use of both and do something interesting.  THe problem lies in the fact that I have no ideas that don’t involve years of commitment and work, and the ones I do are uninteresting and/or personal (such as copying out the dictionary).

This is just a shout out to anyone who has any ideas, or has projects of their own I may be interested in.  Or, if you need resources such as webhosting, I can probably help out.  It’ll give me something to do at least.

Maybe I should just blog more…

Update: Bible Study

Posted by – August 5, 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates and posts, been busy.  Should hopefully be on track from here on out.  Not that anyone reads this crap anyway.

The bible study has sort of fallen off the wagon the last few weeks, which has probably lapsed into months.  The original fellow who I’ve been studying with (Ashton) had said he was moving to Swift Current, SK to help out a Great Hall (their name for churches) out there.  It at first seemed fabricated as it seemed odd, and the previous week I had argued with someone he brought with him (an older guy named Al) about evolution, which I won’t get into right now.  However I don’t totally feel that this was the reason, so will take his word for it, as I have no real reason to doubt him (although I feel trust must be earned, you don’t start at zero).

So, instead of Ashton I’m going to be studying with a guy named John who is probably in his late 30’s and was a Roman Catholic for X amount of years before converting (who can blame him, the Catholic Church is horrid).  However, for the first few weeks of this transition, John simply didn’t show up.  I had thought maybe I scared them away, and this was their way of shying away politely.  This was not the case however as John finally showed up last week.

At the time however we were in the process of having our windows replaced.  This turned out horribly I might add, with severe damage to my desk, but that story and images will appear later.  I had given John my number and he called me the following week to see if I was free, we were again still in the process of getting everything cleaned up, and this past Monday he would have came, but there was a holiday.  I’m hoping he’ll call and come over this following Monday to continue our lesson.

Many people think it’s severely strange for me to want to take this free home bible study, and I don’t blame them.  However, the bible and religiosity is a very interesting subject for me.  It encompasses our fears and hopes and what we want from life and society, smashes it together into a very inconsistent blob of thoughts and ideas, that everyone acts and truly believes is cohesive and good.  It’s a phenomenon that has touched everyone, whether directly or indirectly and will probably continue for generations to come.

The bible study with others is a lot easier to cope with than alone, mostly because I interpret things VERY different than believers.  For Example:

(Isaiah 45:7, KJV) – “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

I’ll read this passage, and to me it speaks volumes about there being no Satan, Devil,Evil Spirit, whatever you’d like to call it as God creates all things, Good and Evil.  Which reflects back to the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  God created the serpent, and with his infinite wisdom knew what the serpent would do.  God is directly responsible for all the horrors on Earth.

However, when I state this, apparently I have it all wrong.  They will then state that in many other verses it states that “God is love” 1 John 4:8, KJV) and that God is “not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness” (Psalm 5:4, KJV) among many others.  What irks me about this however, is that the verse that states he creates evil is supposedly from God Himself, while the others are people talking about God.

So this is the reason I prefer the bible study, it’s simply because I can’t get this whole doublethink thing, and I really want to be able to understand what they understand, to develop better reasoning (if even possible) for why they do and say the things they do.  Just trying not to lose faith in humanity.

On a semi-related note, I may start reading the bible cover to cover and blog about it in another ‘segment’ of this blog.  Properly tagged so people (or more importantly I) can filter them in or out as they please.