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July 08, 2005

New backup drive

   We use 3 forms of backup on our network. Most of the data is housed on "Tera", our 1,000 gigabyte (or 1 terabyte) RAID-5 array. Ireplaceable data, such as digital images, source code, email coraspondances, ext., is regulearly mirrored to a seperate computer. The Black Dragon holds a 100 gigabyte RAID-1 array, which serves this purpose. The third backup layer is an external USB-2 hard drive typically stored in a fireproof box. This was a Western Digital 120 gig, 7200 RPM drive.    Although the Red Dragon by itself has some 777 gigs of data, only about 82 gigs is ireplaceable. The Black Dragon mostly holds backup data on it's 100 gig RAID-1 array which sits at about 62 gigs. The webpage data, which sits on the Indigo-Dragon, has been steadly growing and currently sits at about 8.3 gigs.
   Most of the growth of data has primarlly been in digital images. Since we started with a digital SLR just over a year ago, we have taken and store over 20,500 pictures. And with the recent upgrade of the camera from a 6.3 megapixel camera with an 8 megapixel camera-- the space needed will continue to rise. The webpages also continue to grow, mostly due to digital photography. In addition to our own photography, other site served by have also been adding their photography.
   The new drive is a Hitachi 250 gigabyte, 7200 RPM drive with 8 MB cache. This will more than double our current external backup capasity. After installing the drive, we were quite suprised on how quiet the drive operated. After powering on the external enclosure, we questioned weather or not we had hooked up the drive power correctly because we were unable to here it spin up. Needless to say, we were plesently suprised when moments latter, the USB picked up on the existance of the external enclosure.
   Syncrosation is completely automated using Rsync. Once begun, there the backup takes care of itself. After several hours, the drive was syncronised and back asleep in it's fireproof enclosure.    Two question remain about my method of backup, despite my research efforts. One: What is the life expetancy of a hard drive's magnetic media? While the commen number I came across for hard drive's life expantancy was 3-5 years, that was for a running drive-- our drive spends most of it's time in storage. Second question: What temperatures can hard drive media survive? Special fireproof media safes exist for the purpose of storing magnetic media-- but this enclosures are designed to protect floppy media, such as tape. Hard drive platters would likely warp under high heat, but it seems they could certinly withstand higher temperatures than floppy disks. I've been unable to answere either question to my saticfaction.

July 07, 2005

Why so little news?

    The reality is, we've been traveling a great deal for work-- much more so than in the past. Thus, we've had to neglect some of events that have taken place on the and the Park Place network. But, as we get time, we'll try and fill in the details.

July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July!

Fireworks in Beloit

Fireworks in Beloit

   We expermented with verious shutter and aperture settings durring the fireworks display.  Our position to observe the display couldn't have been better.  This resulting shots is a stitch of 5 frames.
Sea of Lightning

Sea of Lightning

   Starting about 3:00am, a long awaited thunderstorm began to move in.  This third attempt to photograph the lightning display payed off.  This layered photo consists of 5 frames captured from a bedroom window. 
? The storm on the 26th rolled in durring the day.? Heat lightning flashed very quickly on the horisian.? In total, I took over 1000 frames to capture the 12 frames summed together in this image.? However, I'm rather disapointed in the end result
Taken out a dirty window and turned sepia.. almost looks like a very old photo. The drive-in restaurant in the picture closed down about 2 years ago, having only been open about a year and a half.

June 17, 2005

Duel Blue Screen of Death

The Red-Dragon crashed in the afternoon and refused to restart. Each time it began to start, it would bring die with two blue screens of death. It took several hours to trouble shoot, but it turned out the program \"verify\" was responsible. After it was disabled, the system began to start as normal. We still have no idea what file was/is failing the verify test-- the program is so useful, it tells you nothing!