Apr 21

Home Network Progress; Backups and Servage

Been having some fun with my home network.  Fun finally, because it has been not fun at all for quite a while.  I’m now winning on both of my NAS devices, which is letting me feel a bit more optimistic about returning to a sensible backup flow.  Been sort of commando for several months now, and that’s not good.  If you’ve ever been stung by data loss, you know how important backups are.  But there’s a lot of real estate between knowing what you need and getting it to work.

My overall plan has been to do frequent backups to the first NAS, which I also want to serve content.  Then that thing should do weekly backups to a slow, bulletproof NAS.  The NAS-to-NAS backup has never worked.  I have never gotten to the point where it was possible.  I understand it may be difficult, but I’m at least to a point now where both of the NASs are accessible from all of my machines, save a bit of research on NAS-to-NAS of course.

My fast NAS (named “Tenshi”) is a WD My Book Live with 2TB total, and no RAID going on.  so 2TB, and I want to keep a great deal of that free for good luck, which is not a technical term, but will have to suffice.  After all, the objective is to avoid bad luck, which is catastrophic data loss.  Tenshi is where I would LIKE to have my iTunes library, which may still have to be managed by the MacBook Pro, a house-bound machine with a dead battery and a nearly full hard drive.  There’s nothing wrong with the machine other than the battery, and it’s still plenty powerful, but I could not get past some stage of beginner-ism with it, and hence have never really warmed up to actually using the darned thing.    More on the later.  but iTunes is difficult to run as a networked home media server. so i have come up with what I think will work: let the MBP run the library on the NAS from the point of view of making changes.  Let everybody else connect through the embedded iTunes server present on the NAS itself, in read-only.  The only issue I foresee is contention between the MBP and the NAS server for things like play counts.  Finally, I will make an “iTunes_Inbox” folder up on the NAS, and the MBP will watch that as its default “add the contents of this folder to the library”.  Then everything else will dump media into that folder.  This way, only the MBP instance of iTunes is updating the library, even if the media came in through my Amazon downloader on the Windows 7 box.

On both of the NASs, I tried to create role-oriented accounts (guest, itunes_user, macbackup, and so forth), but managing those things rapidly exceeded my give-a-darn, as when it got too complex, I just wiped them out and rebuilt.  At one point, I had forgotten how to log into my bulletproof slow NAS (“Shatura”), which had me stalled on this stuff for a long time.  Then in doing my homework, I learned that doing a factory reset on a Promise SmartStor NS2300N will NOT affect the data on the drives, just wipe out the user / group / admin configs.  Super!  Reset it was, and when I then saw “file system error” messages, I was pretty steamed.  But let’s face it; I was not about to manually backup all the stuff on there just in case a reset would hash it.  After all, that is the BACKUP itself, and I have never had enough confidence in it (that is, in my setup of the system) to remove unconsolidated versions of what I copied up to it.  And as this is supposed to be the slow backup of the backup, I felt that anything present there was already in hand elsewhere.  I knew I was never going to go to the trouble of actually verifying that, so the decision was either plunge ahead or give up altogether.

So plunge ahead it was, I did the reset, got the error messages, and then was relieved to learn that all it wanted was for me to issue the command to recover the RAID.  I used to know more about this stuff; now I just know that RAID 1 works quite well on my NAS.  Everything was there.  All I had to do was create a guest user, turn on Windows file sharing (Mac, Unix, FTP and other options are available as well), apply the sharing service to the recovered shares, and assign the guest user access to them.  Then went back to the Mac and the PC and taught them how to log in as that guest.  So there I am, up and running on both NASs, but with no clue how to automate a NAS-to-NAS weekly backup.  haven;t really done my homework on that yet; I’m sure it’s not rocket science.

About that MacBook Pro…

I’ve come largely off the Mac wagon, and while I still love the hardware and respect the tech, I’ve simply never felt at home on mac the way I did in the days of System 7.  That’s right, 8 was foreign, 9 was incomprehensible, and X should really be called about three different families of OS by now.  I loved Jaguar, which I think was 10.2, and I greatly like the 10.5 – 10.6 era.  I’m writing now from 10.6.8, but I’m coming to it using VNC Viewer from Real VNC, which I heartily recommend.  So while the MBP is running Chrome, through which I’m typing this on the blog, I’m actually typing physically on my hp Envy 14, which I adore, and which runs Windows 7, which is a high point for MS.

I have a MacBook Air, but it’s one of the early small ones, with a stunningly short battery life.  That wouldn’t be so bad except that there remain zero options for mobile power.  Once the chintzy little battery is exhausted, you cannot connect to an external battery, and you cannot swap in a fresh battery.  Sealed unit, Apple power only, put it back in the bag, you’re done.

WELL, I’m just rambling, and I do want to get back to my NAS project, so I’ll simply cut this off here.  I can’t tell you how much the prospect of success on the home server front has brightened my outlook.  Heck, I’m even writing again.  See?  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is called regular backups.

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Apr 21

Apple Snobs, Quality, and the MagSafe2

I am not alone in my consternation over the ridiculous power situation of the MacBook Air.  Shelley Palmer tells Apple just where they can stick their MagSafe 2 plug in a well-reasoned blog post entitled “Dear Apple – Let Me Tell You Where To Stick Your MagSafe 2 Plug”.

As it turns out, there is a very ugly, non-Apple-like solution available from Apple.  For $9.99 you can purchase a MagSafe to MagSafe 2 converter and stick it into your new, beautiful, extraordinary MacBook Air. Really?  For $2,500 bucks?

I hear you. I have one of the early, small, sucky MBAs, and aside from my frustration at not being able to use my 2009 MBP power at home and leave the new one in the bag so it’s always ready to travel, there’s a strategic mismatch building up here. Apple customers pay through the nose for insanely great products. Not 85% of what you need, and not the latest half-baked nifty shiny junk that will be unsupported roadkill in a year. For that we have Sony.

The execrable Lightning cable for the iPhone 5 is a similar issue to this, and it is just as unwelcome a change. I can see why they want to go to it, and two of the three reasons are fairly anti-customer. But that’s where it is, and they know they have us by the apps, and we’ll suffer along with what may be a necessary “feature”. But the MagSafe2 switcheroo has none of the obvious justifications, and all of the drawbacks.

I can travel with any laptop I want connected to a little battery plate, which is pricy and heavy, but 8 more hours of juice on the go for, say, trans-Pacific flights, which I do a couple of times per year. Any laptop except one. Oh, I’m sorry, two. The MBP also doesn’t play with “foreign” power bricks. But the MBP has a removable battery! Once the MBA is conked, that’s it; you’re done.

We don’t pay for this sort of abandonment. We are paying to have problems solved, and the style is a pleasant badge to connote our focus on quality. Now we drown in style while the functionality of the products goes downward. Those who feel that anger at stupidity is misplaced may be correct in a zen sense, but as paying customers, we expect to use our tools to do great things. Those who think that the correct answer is to pay ten dollars for a piece of junk that’s either going to get lost or epoxied to the original cable probably shouldn’t be reading this anyway. They’ll never understand the quality issue. There is no place for any “Oops, I lost the adaptor and now I’m screwed” assumption in a business relationship such as Apple has with us.

There are two types of snob: one type which revels in their snobbery, and the other revels in denouncing the first type as snobs. The first type pays for quality.

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Mar 21

Dow Jones 14,000 — Sort Of

With all the huh-bub surrounding the Dow breaking its old record set immediately before the last collapse, I haven;t heard one fact pointed out: that in inflation-adjusted terms, it has to get to over 15,500 to beat the 12% cumulative inflation we’ve seen since October 2007. In inflation-adjusted (“2007 real”) dollars, the Dow is currently somewhere around 13,000.
When you take into account the pumping effect of Bernanke stuffing funny money into certain investors’ hands, the apparent value of the Dow is even less.

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Nov 07

AXIS Snapshot

This post is a “wedge”. You are now viewing the pointy end; more and more will be driven in as I have the opportunity. Please do check back from time to time.

IRAQ–Taken down by US military action. Taking longer than hoped for to stabilize.
IRAN–To be taken down by Iranian Middle Class. Ahmadinejad is helping this cause. Next “Big Thing” from Iran (after the Islamic Bomb) will be Persian Racial-Nationalism. Just because they are an Islamic Republic, they do not have to like Arabs. And they don’t…. more to come–work calls.

UPDATE: Toothless Europe may recommend referring IRAN to the UNSC. Sorry, but the time for that was years ago.

SYRIA–Soon to be taken down by the UN! This is amazing. Perhaps the longest-lasting effect of the Bush Doctrine will be a credible UN which can take down junior thugs like Assad.
However:”I know Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein is an enemy of mine, and you, sir, are no Saddam Hussein.”
http://maps.google.com shows a large tank farm with a good port at what turns out to be BANIAS. This is connected to Iraqi (and kuwaiti?) oil by pipeline.
NORTH KOREA–To be taken down by multinational pressure. Of course, this is only possible with multinational backbone, which until recently was damned hard to find. Go, Bush Doctrine!

UPDATE: Kim Jong-Il travels to China, “Disappears among money woes”. What is going on? No doubt, shady people in Washington (and Crystal City) are working late to answer my question–thanks, guys!.

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Nov 07

New Strain of AIDS Blamed on Risky Behavior (Graphic)

This is a re-post from my old blog based on a newspaper article from mid-2005.

Of course the real news behind this is not a new strain of AIDS, but the fact that somewhere, someone in the mainstream media actually let a story about promiscuity, homosexuality, drug abuse, and AIDS get past the filters of Political Correctness. I presume one more newspaper editor has been added to the pool of available talent–unemployed.
In the Washington Times article, the two patients are referred to as CTO1 and CTO2. CTO1 has been determined to be “Patient Zero” for the new strain of AIDS.

United Press International – The Washington Times, America’s Newspaper
“Mystery AIDS strain ‘patient zero’ found
By Ed Susman
Jul. 26, 2005 at 7:33AM
… The original source of the infection is a patient in Connecticut who infected the New York man during anonymous rectal intercourse at a sex club in the city on Oct. 22, 2004. [emphasis added]

At the club, CT01 had insertive anal intercourse with ejaculation into the New York man. CT02, a 41-year-old man who has lived with CT01 for 12 years, had insertive anal intercourse without ejaculation with the same man.
[Doctor] Blick [who is treating CTO1] said, however, the New York man’s use of crystal methamphetamine and highly promiscuous lifestyle may be more of a factor in his low CD4 count than the strain of virus.

He also agreed the New York man probably developed a rapidly progressing form of the disease due to his frequent use of crystal meth, along with his promiscuity. “Who knows what damage that drug does to a person’s immune system,” he said.
The New York man had sex with at least 10 other partners before he discovered he was infected. Blick said it is possible other infections with that strain may show up later when those men are tested — if they became infected.

The next time you hear that AIDS is about to explode in the straight community, the appropriate response is a yawn. For twenty years, the global pandemic has been “just around the corner”. Only if “global” is interpreted as “promiscuous homosexual drug users”.

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Nov 07


A look at Google’s Motivation for the Week
Liars Principle
Evil Good
Profit Gain Filter Chinese Google Resist U.S. Subpoena

NOTE THAT the only shred of defense Google can muster is its argument that it is protecting user’s privacy by refusing to comply with the subpoena from the U.S. Government. When we take into account the fact that this is total horseshit, then this item slides left, over into the Gain Profit, Evil Principle square. SO much for their corporate motto. Perhaps we heard it wrong when they in fact said “Do no weevils”, a courageous stand for them to take on the pressing subject of bug buggery.

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Nov 07

Get Congress off its ass, and on the Supreme Court’s!

Here’s a great link!

Items in bold are not my own words and require replacement. They formed the core of an article I was expanding at www.newt.org, but it grew until I decided to walk off the original text and craft my own from start to finish. It was a good jumping-off point.

Alos, HAWK, look at the sheet of paper you wrote on about the DEAD HAND OF GINSBURG.

Our government was established with three branches of government to function as an interlocking system of checks and balances. The Constitution is the primary source of instruction under which our government operates, and spells out what the three branches are to do. Further, all laws not embodied in the Constitution must be compatible with that document, or they are not laws. Therefore, the Legislative branch may not pass and the Executive may not enforce or otherwise act upon laws which are unconstitutional. Unconstitutionality may be determined by a ruling of the Judicial branch. Likewise, the Judicial may not rule counter to the Constitution, and the Constitution specifies that such a determination is to be made by Congress, with no avenue of appeal to the Judicial.

The three branches are equal, but only the Congress has the power to change the Constitution, and is therefore rightfully its natural guardian. As directed by the Constitution, Congress may form a Constitutional Convention to amend the Constitution, and Congress may block judgements of the Supreme Court to defend the Constitution.

Since the Warren Court arrogated to itself the novel privilege of “judicial supremacy,” the Supreme Court has become a permanent constitutional convention in which the whims of five appointed lawyers have rewritten the meaning of the Constitution.

This is what conservatives mean by “legislating from the bench”, a term which liberals have ridiculed to mean “doing anything”, implying that conservatives desire a do-nothing Supreme Court. Nothing could be further from the truth. Conservatives desire a Judicial branch which jealously guards the Constitution from short-sighted and politically-motivated actions of the Congress, and from expedience at the expense of lawfulness and due process on the part of the Executive. These are the very reasons we have a Supreme Court.

The court, however, has been lost for decades because it now follows itself. It no longer refers to the Constitution as its ultimate authority but admits, as criteria in rendering judgements, the desires of Justices as well as cherry-picked foreign laws and attitudes. There is a new and growing pattern among the Left-liberal establishment to view foreign opinion and international organizations as more reliable and more legitimate than American institutions. In such a confusing, directionless swirl of opinions and prejudices, a Justice has no guide other than personal preference to determine which of the myriad statements is true, or worse, aim for the middle, reaching a compromise in matters which should be one way or the other.

As a person can be only either guilty or not guilty, and a law can be only either constitutional or not constitutional, so may a judcial opinion be only in accordance with the direction of the Constitution or not in such accord. This renders clear decisions impossible, and is reflected in the increasingly murky-sounding decisions emanating, aureating, penumbrifying from the Court. Decisions on philosophical matters should sound like statements of fact, not further questions. This dereliction of duty has made the Court a natural candidate for abuse by the societal forces which insist upon change without reference to tradition or requirements.

This arrogation of power by the Court is a dramatic break from previous American history, and has made it a tool of the ideological left. Conservatives have been concerned and frustrated, by turns,

Liberals should be concerned as well. While they have been complicit in this mugging of the Constitution, because it has suited their agendas, they should carefully consider what will happen if a strong majority of avenging conservatives unwinds the damage done. And yet this possibility should alarm conservatives as much as liberals, because no matter how well-intended these actions would be, they would ultimately be ham-fisted and wrong, because the Supreme Court is the wrong instrument with which to correct the Supreme Court. It is in noone’s interest to have one branch of the Federal Government out of control, reporting only to itself, no matter who is in charge. Forty years of a democrat-controlled Congress ensured that no protest was raised from those whose primary responsibility is to defend the Constitution. What will the Republican Ascendancy yield?

There is significant precedent in American history for believing that the legislative and executive branches can force the judicial branch into changing its views when they are out of touch with the values of the vast majority of Americans.

The American people have the power to send a message to the courts. They can instruct their legislative and executive branches to retaliate against activist Left judges who consistently ignore the Constitution, invoking the “good behavior” clause of the Constitution.

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Nov 07

Thoughts on Quality: Obstacles in America

Obstacles to Quality:

Quality requires a never-ending commitment to improvement, and a seemingly permanent admission that we are just beginning. It sound like religion to most Americans. We really only have oneplace for such deep-seated ideals, and its label is religion. Perhaps becasue Americans are more religious than Europeans and Asians

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