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Category: Life: Personal

[Personal] Turns out I didn’t actually need a new NAS

drobo_nas_frontplateOn Friday, I (well, the company), purchased a brand new Synology DS1815+ 8 Bay Desktop NAS (Network Attached Storage) device as the 4-bay Drobo (non-networked) storage device we were using for backups/file storage just seemed to be eating through hard drives – every few months, a red light would appear next to a drive and so we replaced it… The Drobo is quite slow (USB 2 only – so to network it, it has to go from USB 2 to a RaspberryPi to the network: maximum of 20MB/s transfers if we were lucky).

As you can see from the diagram, a “steady red light” indicates “Add A Drive Here”. If the Drobo is fully populated with drives, do you:
a) Take that as an indication the Drobo no longer recognises the drive in that position for whatever reason (not properly inserted, drive failed etc). After all, if the light was blinking, it’ll indicate “Drive failure, replace”
b) The drive is actually fine, but just needs replacing with a higher capacity drive.

For around 6 drive replacements, I’ve thought it was (a) – but it turns out, it is (b)…. So, I could have perhaps saved myself/the company over £1,000 in buying a new NAS and drives for it (okay, I perhaps couldn’t as the Drobo has got 3x4TB drives and 1x3Tb drives in it, so it would have only been a short term storage solution – the Synology does a lot more besides!)… If the “Drive capacity” lights at the bottom of the Drobo flashed/turned red or the drobom status reported “Drive at capacity, replace with *larger* drive” (instead of “Replace drive”), it would have been helpful…

Oh well, at least we have a file store, backup storage solution (with synchronisation to Amazon Glacier), in-house cloud-sync system, media service and a central “single store” for all our files instead of 4 different Drobo volumes….

Plans for 2016

Well, here’s my plans for 2016 – let’s see what works out.

  • Blog more. In 2015, I made just 4 blog posts which is a bit crap and I want to address that and provide more high quality content which leads me on to…
  • Aim to release a substantial bit of free open-source content at least every two months. Whether this is a PHP library, a YouTube video, a tutorial series on this blog and details of a talk – it’s up to me. Just something to help “give back”. In December (just), I released the PHP Packagist package Bairwell/Cors and have another piece of work in development for January.
  • Get enough Patreon supporters that I can afford to spend all my time making and supporting open source software and content.
  • As part of the Patreon, have a public list of where my money comes from and where it goes – I spend around $90 per month on supporting other Patreon creators and donate around the same again each month to various projects/organisations that have, in some way, helped me or that I like the thoughts of.
  • Present a talk at a user group
  • Attend a user group/conference at least every other month (for February, I’m already booked in for the “Be a brilliant people developer” conference on the 12th and The PHP UK Conference on the 18th and 19th).
  • Read more. If 2015, I read less than a dozen books – yes, I’ve been getting content/enjoyment from other source (mobile games, YouTube videos etc), I but I want to get back properly reading – I used to get through at least a book a week, but it just really stopped dead around July.
  • Move all websites from our (getting on quite old) Dedicated Server to individual virtual machines and consolidate the sites/resources/admin.
  • Get certified in something.
  • Improve my health/general wellbeing
  • Increase the size of the household one way or another
  • Try and remember the mock Latin phrase “Non illegitimae carborundum”

Quick review of 2015

Well, 2015 happened.

For us, it was quite a mixed bag. Good news was that in May, we managed to purchase a house instead of renting (after 7 years) and in July we added a little friend to our family – Max the chihuahua. The bad news front was that in September our cat was found to be suffering from hyperthroidism and bad teeth and needed quite a bit of dental work. She’s on pills now, but still not quite herself. And then in October, my Grandmother past away after trying to beat cancer for around 2 years. And there were quite a few other things on the bad news front which I don’t want to make public (some of them related), but meh – it’s been a year of ups and downs.

On the blogging front, it was quite a crap year – just 4 posts throughout the year (I’m hoping to change that for this year) – since there were just 12 in 2014 and 36 is 2013, I really need to stop the decline now 😉

Here’s looking forward to 2016 and hoping that some (if not all) of the plans I’m putting together come off.

What a broken week

With my car already being a bit broken (a wall jumped out of it on the 15th of June and it’s not getting repaired until the 14th of August), my wife broke on Sunday, the washing machine keeps breaking down and now the kettle has gone kaput. On the plus side, the boiler (in the property we are renting) seems to be semi working again. *sigh*

About me: Inter(net)esting dates

Here’s my “interest internet related dates”, what are yours? (I’ve highlighted “key dates”)
* November 1994: [general] founded
* November 1994: Started a public domain software library for BBC computer software
* December 1994: Changed the public domain software library to promote RISC OS software (upon purchase of an Acorn A3010)
* 1995: Started casually programming in Perl testing changes on the RISC OS Doggysoft Termite Internet software
* 26th December 1995: Got on the internet (over half my life ago). Started up with a dialup connection via Demon Internet on an Acorn A3010: involved about 3 floppy disks if I wanted to view the web (most of my time was originally on USENET newsgroups and email)
* March 1996: [general] Google started as “BackRub”
* June 1998: Commercially released BWGSMPlay as shareware software
* January 1997: [general] HTML 3.2 standard set
* Feburary 1997: “Upgraded” from the Doggysoft Termite Internet software to the ANT Internet Suite and the ANT Fresco web browser
* May 1998: Registered my first .com domain name and web hosting via Netlink internet
* June 1998: [general] PHP 3 released
* September 1998: [general] Acorn Group PLC closed down workstation division.
* October 1998: [general] Amazon acquires which becomes Amazon UK
* November 1998: Registered my first domain name
* December 1998: Launched a free (call costs only) internet service
* February 1999: Appeared on Meridian TV (ITV)’s about the internet
* 2000: Got my first paid internet related job (reviewing websites for the UKPlus web directory)
* May 2000: [general] PHP 4 released
* June 2000: Wrote an article entitled “What is FTP?” for Archive Magazine
* February 2001: Got my first paid internet related programming job (Systems developer for Cradley Print: developing sites in Perl and MySQL [on Windows!] and then moving to PHP)
* 2001: Upgraded to a dedicated server at PositiveInternet
* September 2002: Joined WebmasterWorld
* November 2002: Setup this blog (although some entries date back before them as they were imported from other sources)
* February 2004: [general] Facebook founded as “thefacebook”
* July 2005: [general] PHP 5 released
* 2006: Met my “wife to be” at a search engine optimisation company (and we started “flirting” over MySpace)
* March 2006: [general] Twitter founded as “twttr”
* August 2006: Switched this blog from Movabletype to WordPress
* 2007: Joined Facebook
* February 2008: Got engaged
* September 2008: Setup an internet related Ltd company
* July 2010: Joined Twitter
* September 2012: Got married