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   I woke up this morning and one of my pillows must have been a muse as I came up with a solution to a building project I have been contemplating for some time.  Without going into details (because you have to be patient and see) I will say that I was motivated for the day.  After picking up wood I fired up the table saw and soon had my idea mocked up.  After confirming it was going to work it was time to do all the tedious details.  This project should be fun.
Freeze begins

Freeze begins

   The temperature this morning was nice and chilly, somewhere around 25 °F (-4 °C).  I picked up some more hand warmers and some different foot warmers and set out on my 14 mile ride to work.  It was a wonderful ride.  It snowed lightly the entire time and was very pretty.  I stopped by the lagoon formed by the Lake Wingra and the isthmus in south of Villas Park to photograph ice forming over the water.  It is only mid November, but the cold has come early this year.
   My new foot warmers did about nothing, but I wasn't too cold on the incoming ride to work.  On the way home I had a head wind which slowed down my ride.  I stopped at a coffee shop that was suppose to be a bake shop for lunch, but they didn't really have any baked goods.  This may have been a mistake.  While I warmed up inside, all my clothing was damp from sweet, and when I went back outside I was cold very quickly.  It took a few miles before I was able to generate enough body heat to again feel comfortable.  So lesson learned: don't stop.


November 13, 2014

Ext4 and reserved space

   A few days ago I finished getting my RAID setup back under control.  Having given up on my RAID-5 array due to an impossible controller card, I switched to a RAID-1 made of two 3 TB drives.  I wasn't pleased with going this route, but I didn't have to time to continue to fight was a poorly made RAID card that everyone hates.  No data has been lost, and the less efficient RAID-1 has my data secure.
   With the RAID back in operation, I went back to making the automatic backups function.  I have a third 3 TB drive I put in the Red Dragon.  The Blue Dragon uses Wake On LAN (WOL) to boot the Red Dragon, do a backup using rsync, and then turns the machine back off.  I had a 1 TB drive in the Red Dragon, but it couldn't back up my photo data any longer as the collection was too large (now over 190,000 files spanning 790 GB).  Before the RAID controller started acting up I had planned on using this 3 TB drive for backup, but the problems with the main drive postponed this operation. 
   I started with the 3 TB drive formatted for ext4 and then went about getting an initial synch between the Blue and Red Dragon.  This ran for almost 2 days holding around 200 megabits/sec over the 1 gigabit/sec connection.  But then something unexpected happened: the synch finished and reported the drive was out of space.  Both drives are 3 TB and I was stumped at why there would be no space left.  Turns out ext4 reserves 5% of all space for root.  This turns out to be 150 GB which is a sizable chunk of space.  After looking around I found the solution was tune2fs -m 0 which sets the reserved space to 0%.  Since the backup drive serves no other purpose than to be a mirror of my main RAID array, and the boot drive is a separate drive there was no reason I needed any reserved space.  That took care of my problem.
   Pictured is yet an other unseasonably early snowfall. 

November 12, 2014

Uncle Ork frame

Uncle Ork

Uncle Ork

   There is the result of a couple days of cutting, gluing, sanding, and painting.  It is Uncle Ork, and he wants you to join Altered Reality--a gamer/animie club at UW-Rock County.  Uncle Ork was an idea we came up with in the fall of 2006.  It was drawn by Ian and stayed in the club meeting area until renovations began on that part of the building.  From there it found it's way to Rev. James who has been holding onto it for the last several years.  I decided it needed to be framed and become part of our dining room where we role-play. 
   The frame is 4x1" painted pine that consists of a cove cut and a round over.  The frame is 24x18, and I didn't even have to cut the glass.  The green was a spray paint I had leftover from an other project and I figured it would look good on Uncle Ork.  I am pleased with the finial result.
   I worked a little more on the Odroid this evening.  I have been having issues getting the analog do function on the second channel for voltage/current.  However, the problem turned out not to be electrical—it was my software.  After a lot of work and rework I managed to finally find the analog data from the second voltage input.  As an added bonus, I found I had wired the current op-amp perfectly and once I found that channel the readings were correct.  One more circuit to out and it will be ready.  The second circuit will also measure voltage and current, but I also need to install the relay, control FET, and holding capacitor.  Once this is complete, the electrical side of the project will be complete.  Then it's housing, connector, and to the roof for operation.
   This morning after about 2 hours at work it started to snow.  While it was too warm for the snow to stick around it was a pretty good snowfall of large flakes.  Pictured is looking out across a field right by my place of work, the large snow flakes clearly visible.  Winter is coming, and I am ready to give it a great big hug.
   This is the replacement switch I replaced the dead Netgear with.  It arrived a week or two ago, but I hadn't posted a picture.  It is a step up from what it replaced.  One gigabit/sec over the 100 megabit/sec Netgear, and 24 ports instead of 16.  I use to have a second smaller 8-port switch that was gigabit, but it died a few years ago.  So this new switch covers them both.  To get this new device broken in, I did a synchronization of 3 TB of data from the Blue-Dragon to the Red-Dragon.  I sustained about 200 Mbits/sec, which was likely slowed down more by drive latencies than the network.  I do see there are several open ports however, and I am going to have to do something about that.

November 09, 2014

Cutting board refinish

   Our kitchen has two cutting board counter tops, both of which were fairly beat up for years of use.  One was improperly bolted to a brick chimney and the screws were pulling out of the brick.  Since I needed to take down the cutting board to install brick anchors, I figured I would use the opportunity to refinish the cutting board surface. 
   It looks like the cutting boards are end-grain oak strips glued together, and oak cleans up nicely.  The first cutting board I worked on with a belt sander until I had removed the old finish, funk, and all the knife marks in the wood.  I then gave it several coats of butcher block oil and put it back up.  The second cutting board (pictured) I decided that a belt sander was both too time consuming and not exact enough.  So I broke out the wood planer and after three passes had a near perfect surface.  Some finial sanding and butcher block oil and the results are very nice.  Here is the cutting board ready to be installed.
   Here is a project that helped inspire me to get a table saw: a cove cut.  There isn't anything fancy about getting a table saw to do this cut, but I hadn't actually done it.  Basically it involves running the wood through the saw at an angle.  So rather than the saw cutting a slot, the blade cuts a cove.  My project used a plain piece of 4x1" pine I plan to make a quick picture frame with.  I setup a fence using two boards and some clamps and eyeballed the angle.  Then I ran a piece of practice wood through to judge the angle.  At first I wasn't able to run the board through more than about an inch, but silly my didn't take into account the saw blade at an angle can only remove so much material.  So this was an interactive process, raising the blade about 1/4" a pass.  Soon, however, I had the cut I was looking for.  And despite eyeballing the angle I got the cut pretty centered, and the width just right. 
   Xiphos helped when it came time to cut my 10' piece of pine.  I did 5 passes, and last of which was very shallow as a "finishing" pass.  Sanding the result was some consuming.  I have no power tools that will work on this cut, and the saw marks were fairly deep.  After a lot of hand sanding at 80 grit I said "good enough".  It's not well sanded, but for a painted pine frame is, well, good enough.
Dawn over Wingra

Dawn over Wingra

   An other ride into work today for my short Friday.  While it was probably a little cooler than last week's ride there wasn't much wind.  I also tried some chemical hand and foot warmers.  They were cheap and these are the two places that always get cold during a ride.  The hand warmers worked fairly well, but the foot warmers didn't do much.  More research is needed before I make a decision.
   Pictured is the sunrise over Lake Wingra as I rode through Vilas Park this morning.  The hour time change for day light savings meant I get to see sunrise on my ride—for a little while anyway.  I was hoping to get a shot like this when we had good fall color but the skies never wanted to corporate and it was always cloudy when I rode by.

1 comment has been made.

From Noah

November 11, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Don't forget sodium acetate packs as well! The latent heat of fusion for acetate is ~275 kJ/kg as far as energy density, which doesn't really stand up to iron oxide's ~5250 kJ/kg but makes up for it by recharging whenever you boil it.