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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Stephen Harris' LiveJournal:

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    Thursday, January 1st, 2037
    12:00 am
    Locked entry
    This entry is locked to try and stop some random bot-generated spam posting to the top entry in an LJ. Dunno if this will work! Look at the next entry for real details :-)
    Wednesday, December 31st, 2036
    12:00 am
    Locked journal
    This is a "date out of order" post sent far far far into the future. If I'm still using LJ in 2036 then I guess I'll have to edit it!

    This journal is now mostly locked. The occasional post is open, and historical ones are (I can't be bothered to go back to edit their settings).

    WARNING: This is Livejournal. My postings here may be geeking, they may be sex related, they may be crap about my (lack of) exercise results, or they may be emo whining about my life and how I feel about myself.

    With that warning in mind, if you know me and want to read my journal then leave a comment. If I recognise you and like you, then I'll add you to the misnamed "friends" list.

    EDIT: The year is now 2014... and I figure I can relax security back to "public"... let's see...
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
    10:12 am
    Verizon support
    I wanted to add an M-card to my account for my new TiVo that's arriving this week. The web site was giving an error... so I used "live support"

    Thank you for your patience, An eSales chat expert will be with you shortly.
    Agent Alannah has joined. (09:20:54)
    Alannah : Chat ID for this session is #####. (09:20:54)
    Alannah(09:20:54): Hello. Thank you for choosing Verizon and visiting our Verizon chat service. May we view your account information, including the services you subscribe to, to assist you during this chat with respect to available Verizon products and services? You may deny us permission, which will have no effect on your current services. Under federal law, it is your right and our duty to protect your account information. May I have permission to review your account?
    You(09:21:02): Yes
    Alannah(09:21:42): Hello! Thank you for the permission. How may I assist you today?
    You(09:22:18): I currently have a Tivo HD with 2 S-card adapters. I will be receiving a TiVo Romio, which requires an M-Card. How can I replace my 2 S-cards with a single M-Card ?
    You(09:23:08): Alternatively I would like to rent an additional M-card for the new TiVo and then will return the two S-cards in February when my old TiVo runs out of service.
    Alannah(09:24:23): If I understand you are looking to get cable card, correct?
    You(09:24:46): Yes, I currently have two cablecards (S-Card). I need a new M-Card for my new TiVo
    Alannah(09:25:21): Thank you for the information.
    Alannah(09:25:26): Please give me a few moments.
    Alannah(09:27:51): Thank you for your patience. I am still working on your request and will be back with you shortly.
    You(09:27:57): ok
    Alannah(09:29:42): Thank you for your time and patience.
    Alannah(09:30:08): Allow me to share the details for the cable card that we offer.
    Alannah(09:30:13): The Multi-Stream CableCARD provides digital access to all local, premium, national standard, and high definition channels on your CableCARD compatible devices, such as a digital-cable-ready television. The monthly charge for the CableCARD is $5.99.
    Alannah(09:30:18): Please note: The CableCARD does NOT support the Interactive Media Guide, Video On Demand, or Impulse Pay-Per-View.
    You(09:30:26): Right. That's what I need.
    Alannah(09:32:31): Sure! Allow me to assist you with a link to login to your account so that I can assist you add cable card to your account.

    Please click on the above link, enter your User ID and password, and click on the "Continue" button.

    Please update me once you are on the "Upgrade and Renewal Center" page.
    You(09:34:20): OK
    You(09:34:56): It's showing me my current DOuble-play stuff.
    Alannah(09:35:51): Great! It shows that currently you have "FiOS TV Extreme HD + FiOS Quantum Internet Download and upload speeds up to 75/75 Mbps" for $89.99/mo.
    You(09:36:03): Yup
    Alannah(09:36:23): Please click on "TV Equipment & Outlet" tab on the left side of your account page and let me know once the next page is loaded.
    You(09:36:54): OK it says I have 1 basic adapter and 2 cablecards. Which is correct.
    Alannah(09:38:04): Let's make the selections to add 2 cable cards.
    Alannah(09:38:49): Please click on "Add/Return a Box" button in red and let me know once you get the pop up.
    You(09:39:02): OK, got it
    Alannah(09:40:12): Now, please select "1" beside Basic Digital Adapter, "4" beside CableCARD and then click on "Continue".
    You(09:40:28): Why do I need 4 cablecards? I only need 1 additional M-card
    Alannah(09:41:03): I apologize, please select "3" for cable card.
    You(09:41:30): OK, I select 3 and click "COntinue". It now gives me an error "1 STB is required to connect your TV to FiOS. Please reduce the number of TVs keeping at least 1 HD box"
    Alannah(09:42:16): In that case, Please wait for a moment while I transfer your chat to an account specialist who may be able to assist you further.
    This session is being transferred. (09:44:26)

    Not bad, only took 22 minutes for the support rep to get me to the point where I already was, and then having to escalate.

    The next rep...

    09:45:06 We apologize for the delay.You are next in the queue. A representative will be with you shortly.
    This session is transferred to Sheri. (09:45:16)
    Agent Sheri has joined. (09:45:16)
    Sheri : Chat ID for this session is ####. (09:45:16)
    You(09:45:48): Hi Sheri
    Sheri(09:46:13): Hello. Thank you for choosing Verizon and using our chat service.
    You(09:47:49): So I'm trying to add a new M-card cablecard to my account but the website is giving me an error.
    You(09:47:57): "1 STB is required to connect your TV to FiOS. Please reduce the number of TVs keeping at least 1 HD box"
    Sheri(09:48:27): Ok. What is your name and account number, please?
    You(09:49:44): Account number is ######
    You(09:49:48): Name is #####
    Sheri(09:50:23): Thank you. What state are you in?
    You(09:50:27): NJ
    Sheri(09:50:37): Thank you. One moment please.
    Sheri(09:58:28): Thanks for waiting. I have the cable card added and the order will ship it out to you. You'll have it within 3-5 business days. There is a one-time shipping fee of $19.99 which will be applied to your next bill.
    You(09:58:39): OK, thank you.

    8 minutes of no update and then $20 for 3-5 days shipping? Huh... Oh well. Hopefully I'll receive the card!
    Monday, October 27th, 2014
    8:43 pm
    My brain is going
    I can "feel" it. My brain is going.

    When I was a kid I could track multiple things at the same time. I remember when I was 13... my English teacher called me out "Stephen, you're not paying attention! What did I just say?". I repeated back the last minute of what she'd been talking about (almost word for word). She was right; I wasn't paying attention, but I didn't need to. I was chatting with my friend and thinking about a program I was writing. Listening to the teacher was a tertiary task, and I just recalled from memory what she said.

    Roll forward a couple of decades; I was writing code, on a conference call and chatting with (and solving) a co-workers problem.

    Roll forward 1 more decade. Just one decade. I can't hold 3 conversations in my head. I can't even hold 2. I'm finding myself at work missing things on conference calls because I've got bored and started to write more code.

    I'm still VERY good at single threading.

    But I don't think I'm that good at doing multiple things at once any more.

    (More evidence; I've paused the Dr Who DVD I'm watching, to write this; I can't follow the DVD and write new and unique content at the same time).

    My brain is deteriorating. I can 'feel' it. I am not as agile as I was before.

    Now this may sound like #privilege and everything else. I'm still smarter and better than a lot of people. (Yes, I _am_ tooting my own horn here; false humility isn't what this post is about. Of course most people reading this journal are _also_ smart :-) ).

    I am _dumber_ than I was before. And I'm scared. I'm only 46 and I know I've lost mental capacity.

    My biggest fear of growing old is that I'll lose my mind and _know_ that I'm losing it. (My second fear is that my body fails and I'm still myself but can't communicate). I think I've started down this path :-(
    Thursday, October 9th, 2014
    8:24 pm
    I hit my LJ friends feed and saw something disgusting... Oh! That's the new "feed" page; my login had expired. Let's login... go back to the friends page. Ah, that's better.

    That new LJ feed is absolutely disgusting.
    Monday, September 29th, 2014
    9:11 pm
    Ah memories... and the internet
    Anyone of my age growing up in the London area knows the old Thames TV logo; an image of the London skyline and Tower Bridge rising out the river with "buh da buh da, buh da da da" tune playing

    I remember one morning (it was either a school holiday or a Saturday morning), coming down to watch the first show on ITV. I'd switched the TV on and a minute later the opening theme played... except it went on and on. "Wow!", I thought. I didn't know this went on; I'd never heard this before! I liked it. And I was pretty sure that most of my school mates had never heard this extended version, either.

    I think I only heard it once. But it stuck with me.

    Today the theme tune got stuck in my head (35+ years later!) so I tracked it down:

    The one I heard back in my childhood was then immediately followed by the normal short-version, which actually worked very well.

    Funny how odd things stick with you!
    Sunday, September 14th, 2014
    4:27 pm
    Doing it wrong
    At work we've had a 'walking challenge'. Basically it's 12 weeks where teams try to do at least 8000 steps per person per day over those 12 weeks. Doesn't sound like much (since doctor's recommend 10,000 per day) but given most people don't even do that then it's a step up ("Step Up" was the name of the challenge). On addition the company will be donating money to charity based on how well we do (currently about $1.6mm).

    Basically a way of "gaming" to encourage people to get fit.

    The challenge finishes today. I wanted to make 1 million steps. Yesterday I was 33k steps short. So on Saturday I did a 6 mile walk and a few other things; around 16k. Today I wanted to go to the beer store (1/2 mile away) and worked out a 6 mile walk to get there. I added all the numbers up and got to 999,500-ish. So a quick 5 minutes on the elliptical got me to my target.

    Which, of course, is the wrong way of doing it. The idea of the challenge was, really, to retrain people into better practices. A "sprint" is totally wrong.

    And then I drank beer afterwards, totally ruining the health benefits!

    But I did learn... 6 miles at 4.2mph (av) with the last half a mile carrying approx 13lbs of booze definitely causes my lower calf muscles to get tired and I have a blister on the ball of the middle toe on my right foot.
    Thursday, September 11th, 2014
    6:55 pm
    Pissed off
    Fuck 9/11 truthers. Just fuck em with barbed-wire dildos. Fuck em all.

    I was working on Wall Street the day it happened, just half a mile away. I'd only moved to the US 2 months earlier.

    I spoke to people who were at WTC as it happened. I consolled a man who ran away rather than trying to help people, and thought this was a breach of his identity as a Christian.

    When the towers collapsed the amount of dust caused a total black-out; you couldn't see anything outside of the windows. Afterwards I could see a set of footprints in the dust, as if it was snow.

    Eventually we were told to leave the island and I had to walk home (about 6 miles in massive hot sun). I was really impressed; on the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge all the office workers had brought out their water coolers and stuff and were handing out water to us as we walked past.

    I still didn't have any furniture in my apartment; a TV sitting on a stand, but no sofa or chairs; only an office chair I was using for the computer room (no tables for the computers either; they were sitting on their boxes). No mobile phone (I bought one the following weekend!) but I did have a landline that still worked.

    Not my happiest of days.

    Oddly, the next week I was scheduled for DSL install. I expected this to be cancelled 'cos all telco technicians would be working to fix Manhattan... but, no! They actually installed it a day early!

    13 years later and it still brings tears to my eyes.

    I will fucking rip the head off anyone who tries "9/11 truther" shit in my presence.
    Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
    10:43 pm
    Age catches up with me...
    No, not my age. The age of my operating systems.

    I have (quick count) 7 primary OS images that I care about. Linode, Panix v-colo, SoYouStart, home server, "bastion host" VM, primary usage VM, desktop. 6 of them are CentOS, one is Ubuntu (guess which one :-)).

    Of the RedHat^WCentOS machines, 3 are C5, 3 are C6.

    I chose CentOS many years back because of RedHat's long term support policy. I very very quickly got annoyed with Fedora's upgrade policy (FC2; that quickly!). However these old machines... RedHat 5 goes EOL in 2 or 3 years. I can procrastinate, but eventually I guess I need to rebuild these 3 machines with C7.

    The 3 C6 machines I don't really have a need to rebuild. Not for 6 years :-) Except maybe my home server; maybe there's something useful in C7. I think I'll wait.
    8:34 pm
    Ah, 80s music....
    I have a lot of 80s compilation DVDs.

    Last week a song from a band called "Red Box" rotated via random play. It reminded me; last time this song showed up I wanted to see what else they did. Turns out I had 2 songs from them ("For America" and "Lean On Me") and I really liked both. Hmm, it's possibly this stuff had been tagged as "world music" originally, so I had skipped them. But since I like these two songs, let's hit Amazon. Oh! Their stuff has been re-released. Let's get their first album (re-release, with extras etc etc).

    Funny; the first CD I've bought in years... and it's a re-release of an 80s album.

    CD arrives; rip it, add to iTunes, add to my phone.

    As is my habit, I put the CD onto "repeat play" and this is the only album I've listened to for 2 days. And, yes, I like it. Even the poorer songs are listenable. It's achieved "background music track" in my mind pretty quickly.

    Yup, I think I like 80s music!
    Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
    11:30 am
    Do the (disk) shuffle
    My wanna-be server has an external disk tower which can hold 8 disks. In this I had 4*2Tb disks in a RAID5 (media rips, mostly) and 4*1Tb disk in a RAID10 (main filesystems, VM images, etc). It also has, internally, 2*500Gb in a RAID1 for root+boot. Since that meant some wasted space I also put on a "backup" filesystem where I store dumps from various important VMs and colo'd servers (linode, Panix, SYS).

    The media disk ran out of space. Now previously when this has happened I just replaced the raid5 disks with bigger ones and repurposed those disks into the raid 10 (that's why I have 500Gb, 1Tb, 2Tb disks; they went through this process). 4*4Tb in a raid5...

    But I don't trust these new disks as much. There's too big a risk of double-failure for my liking, so this'd mean raid6. And 4 disks in a raid6 is not much of a win!

    So I found a hotswap bay that I could plug into the main case; that gives 4 more disks. I can now do 8*4Tb RAID6 and 2*2Tb RAID10.

    The fun part was in making this all work with minimal downtime. I actually got two hotswap bays (they're cheap) and had one hanging out loose from the side of the machine. So at one point I had 4*2Tb, 4*1Tb, 8*4Tb and 1*500Gb. Only one 500Gb disk... because I ran out of SATA ports! I temporarily degraded my root and backup areas to perform this work.

    mdadm --create /dev/md6 -l 6 -n 8 -b internal /dev/sdc1 /dev/sdm2 /dev/sdn3 /dev/sdo4 /dev/sdb1 /dev/sdl2 /dev/sdp3 /dev/sdq4
    (time passes)
    pvcreate /dev/md6
    vgextend /dev/Large /dev/md6
    pvmove /dev/md5 /dev/md6
    (even more time passes)
    vgreduce /dev/Large /dev/md5

    Hey, all my Media is now on the raid6!
    % vgs /dev/Large
    VG #PV #LV #SN Attr VSize VFree
    Large 1 1 0 wz--n- 21.83t 16.37t

    Now I can repurpose the 2Tb disks:
    mdadm --stop /dev/md5
    mdadm --create /dev/md20 -l 10 -n 4 /dev/sdd1 /dev/sde2 /dev/sdf3 /dev/sdg4
    (time passes)
    pvcreate /dev/md20
    vgextend /dev/Raid10 /dev/md20
    pvmove /dev/md10 /dev/md20
    (more time...)
    vgreduce /dev/Raid10 /dev/md10
    % vgs /dev/Raid10
    VG #PV #LV #SN Attr VSize VFree
    Raid10 1 11 0 wz--n- 3.64t 2.69t

    And, just to be safe, I updated /etc/mdadm.conf

    MAILADDR root
    AUTO +imsm +1.x -all
    ARRAY /dev/md0 level=raid1 num-devices=2 UUID=fe93a001:36e719f2:994f2675:3f26f378
    ARRAY /dev/md2 level=raid1 num-devices=2 UUID=e0c936d6:5959922b:31421ce0:99b75db1
    ARRAY /dev/md6 level=raid6 num-devices=8 UUID=b7db1262:f20170ed:57fd1f88:1cea0273
    ARRAY /dev/md20 level=raid10 num-devices=4 UUID=a3d58575:7655548e:349f6442:71ce924e

    All of this activity happened while the machine was up. The only downtime, so far, was to insert the PCIe SATA adapter into the motherboard and put the hotswap bay into the case (tight fit!).

    At this point I then needed to physically swap around disks; remove the 1Tb from the external chasis, move the 2Tb to the internal bay, move the 4Tb to the external chasis. In theory this could be done "live" but would have caused raid rebuilds and taken too long. So I shutdown for 30 minutes and did all the swaps.

    And it worked! A quick resync of the internal disk and we have success :-)

    Boot+root (md0 RAID 1)
    /dev/sda1 1049kB 8590MB 8589MB primary ext4 boot, raid
    /dev/sdb1 1049kB 8590MB 8589MB primary ext4 boot, raid

    /dev/Internal (md2 RAID 1) -> Backups
    /dev/sda3 8590MB 500GB 492GB primary raid
    /dev/sdb3 8590MB 500GB 492GB primary raid

    /dev/Raid10 (md20 RAID 10) -> Primary datadisk, VMs, data etc
    /dev/sdc1 2097kB 2000GB 2000GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdd2 2097kB 2000GB 2000GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sde3 2097kB 2000GB 2000GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdf4 2097kB 2000GB 2000GB Linux RAID raid

    /dev/Large (md6 RAID 6) -> Media
    /dev/sdg1 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdh2 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdi3 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdj4 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdk1 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdl2 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdm3 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid
    /dev/sdn4 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid

    External USB hotswap disk
    /dev/sdo1 32.3kB 123GB 123GB primary ext2

    People have previously asked me why I have different partition numbers on each disk; well, that's so I can help identify any failed disk and verify I've removed the right one :-) Creating these partitions with parted was a bit of a pain though (large disks need GPT partitions so fdisk doesn't work). In the end I created dummy small paritions then deleted them

    # parted /dev/sdo
    GNU Parted 2.1
    Using /dev/sdo
    Welcome to GNU Parted! Type 'help' to view a list of commands.

    (parted) mklabel gpt
    Warning: The existing disk label on /dev/sdo will be destroyed and all data on
    this disk will be lost. Do you want to continue?
    Yes/No? y

    (parted) mkpart primary 34s 34s
    Warning: The resulting partition is not properly aligned for best performance.
    Ignore/Cancel? i

    (parted) mkpart primary 35s 35s
    Warning: The resulting partition is not properly aligned for best performance.
    Ignore/Cancel? i

    (parted) mkpart primary 36s 36s
    Warning: The resulting partition is not properly aligned for best performance.
    Ignore/Cancel? i

    (parted) mkpart primary 2048s 100%
    (parted) rm 1
    (parted) rm 2
    (parted) rm 3
    (parted) name 4 "Linux RAID"
    (parted) set 4 raid on
    (parted) print
    Model: ATA ST4000DM000-1F21 (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sdo: 4001GB
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
    Partition Table: gpt

    Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
    4 1049kB 4001GB 4001GB Linux RAID raid

    (parted) unit s
    (parted) p
    Model: ATA ST4000DM000-1F21 (scsi)
    Disk /dev/sdo: 7814037168s
    Sector size (logical/physical): 512B/4096B
    Partition Table: gpt

    Number Start End Size File system Name Flags
    4 2048s 7814035455s 7814033408s Linux RAID raid

    (parted) q

    Information: You may need to update /etc/fstab.
    Saturday, June 28th, 2014
    8:12 pm
    Not too impressed
    Two new shows I had stored on my TiVo and watched today...


    Halt And Catch Fire (AMC). Set in the 80 following a Texas hi-tech company trying to clone the IBM PC and the problems they're having.

    The second scene involves sex between a smarmy arsehole and a "hot smart chick rebelling against authority because she's so smart" (tm). Serious stereotyping. And we know she's gonna be important in the show because she storms off in anger.

    The super-smart engineer who's lost his enthusiasm and just needs someone to rekindle his creativity. With a wife and kids who are watching him slowly falling into a drunken slump (bailed out of jail for drunken fighting).

    The "visionary" who's the afore-mentions smarmy arsehole; a salesman who manipulates people to get his way (that's not the only sex scene).

    Thoroughly tedious. I'm not feeling any love for any of the characters. I could forgive the pseudo-tech if there was any other redeeming feature.

    Cancelled season pass after 3.5 episodes watched.


    Dominion (SyFy). Before this aired I showed Tori the blurb for it TiVo had; her comment "sounds like The Prophecy did it better". As it happens this series is a descendent of another film; Legion (2010).

    For those (like me) who have never seen that film the series opens with a summary: God disappered; ArchAngel Gabriel blames mankind, angels agree with him, start war; normal angels aren't corporeal so possess people; ArchAngel Michael disagrees and defends mankind; mystical "chosen one" child that no-one knows who it is; war war war; 25 years pass.

    The story starts with a soldier storing stuff in a hidden vehicle, when he spots bad guys, clearly meant to be angels. So we've already seen the obvious "chosen one" and we've seen what an angel can do and their powers. Oh, and it's what Las Vegas has turned into.

    And then we get bogged down into a post-apocalyptic type government, apparently fashioned after Rome. Political infighting, intrigue, enemy-at-the-gate, enemy infiltration, forbidden love, blah blah.

    Only been two episodes so far, so we'll see what happens... but I'm not holding out much hope.


    As existing TV shows get cancelled I'm finding less new stuff coming along to replace it. *sigh*
    Tuesday, June 17th, 2014
    10:22 pm
    So turns out the motherboard wasn't set to AHCI, which is why hotswap wasn't working. Fixed that, rebooted, and now the disk is seen. Let's resync those mirrors!

    I wonder why this SiI card wasn't detecting the disk. The card, itself, was detected and the sata-sil driver loaded. But no disk showed up. Hmm.

    (Not sure if I've ever used this card under CentOS 6 or if it was CentOS 5. Pretty sure it was a different motherboard).

    This 'cheap' solution could turn out to be expensive!
    9:52 pm
    So I install the new 4-drive hotswap bay into my PC. Except I didn't realise that my motherboard only has 5 SATA slots; I'm using 2 for the internal root+mirror. Ugh. So I plug in an old SiI 3512 card (1.5Gb/s) and move the mirror disk onto that (it's an old Samsung 500Gb drive; it may only be 1.5Gb/s anyway!).

    Hardware fiddle hardware fiddle hardware fiddle. It's not easy to install this bay!

    OK, done.

    Power up... wait for fsck (192 days since last check).

    We're back.

    Without a root mirror. WTF?

    This isn't good. It's not finding the disk! If I unplug it and plug it into an internal SATA port it's still not found, which either means hotplug isn't supported on the internal ports or the drive has stopped responding (or the cable is bad?).

    This is ANNOYING.
    Saturday, June 14th, 2014
    1:17 pm
    One way to expand your machine!
    I currently have a standard PC repurposed as a server. It's a standard medium sized tower, with 3 external 5.25" drive bays, 1 3.25" bay, 4 internal 5.25" bays. Not really enough space for storage so a few years ago I got an 8-bay hotswap external drive JBOD drive array. This uses port multiplexers to connect to two eSATA ports. Not fast, but good enough; 80Mbyte/s transfer rates isn't blinding but it's good enough (heck, a few years ago HDDs struggled to do half that speed!).

    4 of those disks are 2Tb in a RAID5 (used for media-beast storage). The other 4 are 1Tb in RAID 10 (used for VMs, real data).

    However I'm running out of storage space. RAID5 disks with bigger ones. But I don't trust the reliability of 4Tb disks so much. So I thought 8*4Tb in a raid6 (or maybe switch over to a Solaris based OS with raidz2). So I need more storage bays!

    Looking around I see some 4U server chasis; eg a Norco with 20 bays for $300. Hmm... doable. A Rosewill 12 bay for $200. Or a Rosewill 15 bay non-hotswap for $100 (but this one looked like a pain if/when I have to replace a failing disk, so I ruled it out).

    Then I spotted an adapter that'll convert 3 5.25" bays into 4 3.5" hotswap bays:

    I could put that in my case, move the raid10 from the external array into this (should speed it up as well; SATA 3.0Gbps vs 1.5Gbps) and have the media files on the external array.

    In fact I bought 2 of them; 1 will be used as a "holding bay" sitting loose on the desk; I can put the old Raid5 in that, build a new RAID on the new external disks and transfer files, then repurpose the 2Tb disks into a raid10 and migrate off the 1Tb disks.

    So it looks like I can solve my problem for $40 ($80 including laziness) instead of $200 or $300 and not need to worry about a monster 4U rackmount case. This makes me happy.
    Friday, June 13th, 2014
    9:29 pm
    I want to be free to be me
    ( funny; google search returns the Queen song as #1 song even though that's "I want to _break_ free"; I was actually after the Toyah song: )

    This is a song of rebellion (and I think explains some of it).

    But it resonates with me at my ancient "get off my lawn" age of 40-something.

    I sometimes feel frustrated. I've been inculcated with a sense of "normality". Part of that is because I always stood out (tallest in the class; ginger hair; smartest in the class; "boffin"; etc) so didn't want to draw attention to myself. Part of it is because my Mum was a teacher (she told me once to think on how it reflected on her, as a teacher, if her child plays up). Part of it may be just English-ness ("stiff upper lip", "grin and bear it", etc etc).

    What is means, though, is that it's VERY VERY hard for me to break out and be "odd".

    (Which may surprise some of you, who are aware of my openness around my sexuality).

    I don't like men's clothes. Trousers are so boring. I go to work wearing underpants, socks, trousers, shirt, shoes. Each day. Every day. I'd love to wear a skirt. Or thigh-high boots. Nail varnish. Chunky necklace. Note: I don't want to cross dress; I don't want to dress up like a woman; but I do want to wear some of the clothes that (in this day and age) are limited to women.

    I can't, of course. It's not just the dress code policy (which forbids this). It's also the inculcated sense of "normality". I could wear a skirt on weekends; nail varnish; necklace... go to the store, walk down the street like this. But then I'd be worried "what would the neighbours think; what would the minimum wage employee think" and so on.

    In some ways my relationship with Tori makes is simpler; she orders me to wear my collar; I do. No choice. Nothing I can do about it. She's ordered me to wear nail varnish; I did. (In 2001 I did it to work; after a week I took it off and my boss said "I'm glad you got rid of that; it looked out of place").

    So I look at Toyah; I look at her appearance; I hear the words.... and I wish I was that strong; I wish I could be free to be me!

    Maybe I'm going through middle-age... :-)

    lyricsCollapse )
    Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014
    3:22 pm
    Disk failure
    So on Monday I got an email from mdadm telling me that a disk had died in my Raid 10. Joy. But then that disk was 5.5yrs old... Replaced it, RAID array rebuilt cleanly. Good!

    I was bored so I took the disk apart (I also like the very powerful magnets that are in them). Huh, every single platter has visible damage on both sides!

    I've pulled apart a number of disks now, but this is the only one where the platters are less than shiny.
    Saturday, May 31st, 2014
    2:52 pm
    The duck is back
    The duck I saw two weeks ago had disappeared. I didn't see it again.

    Today I was mowing the lawn. I just started on the front garden when something jumped out from in front of the lawn mower. Startled, I stopped.

    The duck was back and I almost ran it over!

    And then I saw...

    I'd almost pushed the mower directly over them!

    It took the duck about 15 minutes to settle back down, but it finally returned
    Sunday, May 25th, 2014
    12:35 am
    I really don't get it...
    You're probably bored of reading about wossisname, the fucktard who went on a killing spree.

    But I don't get it.

    Why would being rejected by women cause you to go postal? I suffered this until I was 32 and never felt like killing anyone (... well, not for _that_ reason, anyway!).

    Answer: it doesn't. UNLESS you're mentally ill. And then all bets are off.

    Now because of this fucktard there's been a lot of "men with guns are dangerous to women". It's an odd thing... you look up stats for "rampage killers" and the offenders are overwhelmingly men. Not just for attacks on women, but of people in general. Men.

    Then you look at the stats for America and compare them... claims over 80 killers in the US. The European page shows only 4 UK killers. The US population is maybe 5 times that of the UK, so factoring that in we have 4 times as many killers in the US compared to the UK.

    Similarly, after the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings I did some sums; In 2001 there were 11,348 homicides caused by firearms in the US (CDC 2004 figures). That's from a population of 298 million (CIA factbook, July 2006), or 1 homicide per 26,300 of the population.

    In 2005/06 there were 765 total homicide offenses recorded in the UK, a decrease of twelve per cent compared to the previous year (Home Office Statistics). The figure of 765 includes the 52 homicide victims of the 7 July London bombings. Population of approx 60 million (CIA fact book). That's one homicide per 78,400 of the population.

    So US gun homicide rate is approx 3 times that of UK total homicide rate.

    In my mind there are three questions.

    1: Why are mass killings live this overwhelmingly by men?
    2: Why is Americas numbers so much higher than the UK?
    3: Given those numbers, why the fucking hell does anyone listen to the NRA?

    Current Mood: distressed
    Sunday, May 18th, 2014
    5:13 pm
    WTF LJ?
    For some reason when I read my own posts they're showing up in some abnormal theme. Worse, my standard nav bar header doesn't show. I've tried changing from the old S1 setup to S2, tried 3 or 4 different themes, frobbed various settings... and it's still not displaying properly.

    Yet when I read other people's journal entries then it displays just fine!

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