November 4th, 2007



Very lazy day, didn't get out of the apartment till noon, in time to head over to CHM for the vintage computer fair, where I wanted to see the 12:30 movie in the film fest johnnyeponymous put together. It got off to a slightly late start because the speaker in the space prior to the movie was late getting started. He was kind of fun to listen to, though I'd already seen the TV short about his Boulder Creek computer museum when it aired on real TV. Or maybe it was real cable. Somewhere in there Chris ducked out and returned with the very first copy of his Drink Tank Corset Issue, which is very sexy and beautifully done. I am honored. lady_leandra's article was an eye-opener for me, I had no idea she was such a big a fan of corsets, being someone whose figure doesn't need any outside help.

Anyhow, the movie on the history of Linux and GNU was interesting, Chris and I heckled for a while. He left for lunch, then I left when some idiot whose claim to fame was putting some manifesto on the early Internet launched into an abysmally WRONG reason for Netscape's birth. He blamed it on Microsoft giving away Internet explorer. Microsoft hadn't even written Internet explorer at that point, and Netscape was free all the way through version 7. I returned in about 10 minutes when the fellow in the next room who was giving a history of the PC proved he was still in the stone age when it comes to presentation slides. At which point Chris was back and we heckled some more. It was fun to finally see Richard Stallman on video - I'd dealt with him on the phone a lot in 1989-91 but had never seen his face. He looks a lot nicer than he is. I'd also met Linus Torvalds during the same period, and remembered him as a lot skinnier and less prosperous looking than he was in this 2001 video. But then, so was I.

After the film I went across the street for lunch, and came back a few minutes after the exhibit hall opened. It was very busy and crowded and organized in a sort of a maze. The dealers' space was mostly tables strewn with old parts in no recognizable order, several items deep. One fellow was selling framed circuit boards with certificates of authenticity from various rare old machines, and billed this as Art. The prices were mostly in the $150 range. Back in the corner were a couple of ancient synthesizers, with double-decker keyboards, but I didn't see anyone playing the keyboards, just heard some synthesized audio, which was fairly good for early technology.

There were the predictable barrage of PETs and TRSes and Apples, and lots of random off-brands. I was disappointed to not see any of the missing links - CP/M machines I grew up with like Televideo, Kaypro and Osborne. Apple was one of the last CP/M machines. I bet if he'd been invited, Gary Kildall would have given a talk. Maybe not - according to his company's web site he died in 1994. Damn, how did I miss that? Anyhow, looking around the exhibit hall, what popped into my mind is I have moved on from all this. I had one of the last operational CP/M BBS systems, but when it died I ported the code to a DOS machine. And when the web made it obsolete I donated the computer to a school and put up a web page. 

Long story short, most of the exhibits were too esoteric or too mundane to grab my interest. Looking at the Sunday schedule I think I'll skip it.

Afterwards I did some routine shopping, parked at Pear Ave Starbucks and updated the virus software on the laptop, went home for dinner, watched some football (at one point there was a cat on each arm of my recliner) went to the open-till-midnight Starbucks to read and ogle, and came home to find my PC locked up, and a reset made my RAID array start rebuilding all over again. Went online and downloaded a new BIOS from Intel, and installed it - it took two tries. Maybe that will fix the RAID issue. I'll leave the machine on overnight and see if it manages to rebuild and stay stable. If not I may be looking at replacing the motherboard. Argh.

I re-arranged the livingroom a little and dragged the exercycle to where I can watch TV while I'm on it. Will start using it tomorrow.

Other plans for Sunday:
Buy another 6-month supply of flea stuff (I dosed the cats this afternoon)
Get some plants for the betta tank. One female bit the dust already, might be from a lack of places to hide from the male.
If it's sunny, walk around the park. Or maybe bike. May as well bring a book.
  • Current Mood
    bored bored

Truly bizarre non-standard Intel RAID

RAID 5 is supposed to work like this:

If a drive fails, replace it and the array will rebuild using the new drive
The array will operate minus one drive, but about 25% slower.

RAID 5 on Intel works like this:
If a drive fails, replace it and you have to wipe out the array, rebuild all 4 drives, and restore from your backup (which you don't have because you should not need one with RAID 5)

So I replaced what was marked as a failed drive, and could not access anything on the array. I put the bad drive back in, and at least now I can run on 3 drives till I can make a backup. So I'm off to Fry's or Microcenter to get an external drive to back up to. The I guess I'll re-do the array as RAID 10, which will give me the ability to do the drive swap thing, but at the cost of 500GB of usable space. Argh. and Harumph.

I am sooooo glad I put the OS on a separate drive.

Falling Back

I have many clocks, some get their time automagically others don't.

The PC, VCRs, TiVo figured it out for themselves. The clock radios in the two bathrooms and kitchen aren't supposed to, nor the clock on top of the TV or my watch. However the clock radio next to my bed is an atomic clock  version, and it had to have power cycled to get the new time. Ditto my cell phone. Still have the car's clock and the clock in the car stereo to do.

Beep beep beep

Collapse )
Fry's has a 350GB Seagate external firewire drive in sale for $100. It is very plug and play, and is now backing up my degraded RAID array, which only has about 150GB of stuff on it. Only. I remember when it would have taken an entire building to store 150 gigs of data. Also bought a matched pair of Seagate 500GB drives. I will replace the four Western Digitals with those, and set them up mirrored. Not the fastest way to grab video, but with the speed of drives these days that really isn't a bottleneck anymore. and a major chunk of the drive is for my photos anyway.

Very disappointed with the Western Digital drives. This is the third drive failure within the warranty period, out of four drives. Used to be they were the most reliable. After I'm done with the RAID recovery I'll back up the WD boot drive to the external just in case. Though I expect a stand-alone drive takes a lot less pounding than a drive in a RAID 5 array. If anyone knows better, tell me, my RAID knowledge is very out of date and mostly on Unix/Linux.