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   Two good deals today: sale on an Atom-based motherboard with 12 SATA ports, and 4 TB hard drives at $89/each.  With the 8 TB of storage on the Blue Dragon about exhausted, and a savings fund meeting its goal it is time to upgrade.  Rather than keep the storage in my main machine, we at the house have decided a NAS would be a better solution.  After doing a lot of reading about others who have setup a NAS, I have decided to try out FreeNAS and am designing a system around this idea.  I have other parts that need to be ordered, but the core is now on its way.
   I've been working more on doing backups on the various computer that run  The Micro Dragon is the DNS and e-mail server.  I wanted a cron job to periodically archive settings to an other computer.  Right now the Blue Dragon contains the majority of my storage, but this is slated to change in the near future.  I wanted the Micro Dragon to log into the Sun Dragon and archive data to some path the Sun Dragon mapped.  I also wanted this done with a limited access account.  The idea is that the only thing the Micro Dragon can do with its automatic login is access it's archive directory.  So far I like the setup.
   Looking over my cycling data from September.  I expected that the numbers for August would be low because of the two week road trip at the beginning of the trip.  I only managed 109 miles.  In September I didn't feel I rode as much as I could have, but my numbers for the month are the second highest on record: 460.7 miles.  That is second only to June where I did 469.3 miles.  I think this had a lot to do with my typical rides being over 25 miles.  I often did a 28 mile loop between Martinsville, Springfield Corners, and Waunakee which gets my 1,500 Calories needed to have Indian food.  On days I ride to work it is a minimum of 25 miles, and I usually bike to work twice a week.  On Fridays (when it doesn't rain) I do 33-42 miles by taking the northern path around the lakes.  Clearly, this adds up.
   October will see cooler weather and getting the long miles is harder, so I expect the numbers to be lower this month.  As the temperature drops I will be switching back to skating.
   Tonight I went out to sushi with Pluvius, Zach, Rev. James, and Steve.  Pictured is our lovely boat prior to it being pillaged by the sushi pirates.  We ate everything including the glob of wasabi. 

October 01, 2016

Happy October!

   The first day of October, and Ben, Rosa and I took a trip to Galena, Illinois.  I wanted to try again to photograph a couple of shops that are tightly packed with books and antiques, and this time I was pretty happy with the results.  Ben and Rosa were pretty tolerant of my constant lagging behind while I focused the camera on something new.  This was a good time to take the trip as the fall and Halloween decorations were out.  The oranges and reds were a lot of fun.  We finished off the night with deep dish Chicago-style pizza and by the time we finished the sun had set.  I got a few night shots of the buildings on our way back to the car, but if I were to do the trip again I would have brought my tripod so I could have done shots at multiple exposures.  It would have made for some good HDR.
   Breakfast with Pluvius, Steve, and Zach this morning.  This is my third ride this week and the mornings are becoming chilly for rides into work.  Yesterday I took my car to the shop to have them look at tie-rods.  When I get new tires I asked for an alignment, but the tire company said my tie rods needed to be replaced.  No problem.  Scheduled an appointment with the mechanic down the street and bike to work.  But my mechanic found nothing.  I trust my mom/pop mechanic shop more than the chain tire place.  They gave me an alternative location to get an alignment and I think I will be going there.  Who knows why the tire place gave the assessment they did.  Maybe they just didn't want to do the alignment, or maybe they mistaken my car for someone else's.  Regardless I won't be returning.
   For the last couple of years at work I've used an old Perl script I made back in 2003 to take hourly snapshots of my project directory.  The script is quite simple: it has lists of directories for which it gets a list of files and their last modification date.  This data is run through a hash algorithm.  If the resulting hash is different from the previous hash on record, the contents of the directory are copied to the snapshot archives.  It's not efficient, but simple and makes it easy to go back in time if I do something stupid.  The system has helped me many times throughout the years. 
   When I started using this system my source code directory was 2.3 MB in size.  The projects I work with today can be much larger, so the snapshots are becoming cumbersome.  Hundreds of thousands of files and tens of thousands of directories.  And almost all of them are duplicates of one an other.  So I've started to look into alternatives.  I want to keep snapshots, but save space.  I found exactly what I was looking for with a program called Back In Time.  It creates snapshots periodically in named directories, but with one major advantage: if a file has not changed from the last snapshot, the file is linked to the older version rather than copied.  So only actual changes are copied. 
   At work I have to run a non-Linux OS, but I always have a virtual instance of Linux running.  So I setup a large space for backups and started this system running.  I don't like the directory naming, but use a simple script I wrote to make a directory structure that links to the snapshots.  So far it has worked great.  I'm going to run the two system in parallel for awhile.
   Caught up on the photoblog at long last!  It's only been 2 months.  Most of the delay was caused by the 2 week trip west.  Having over 8,000 pictures to process takes awhile.  Then there was Ren. Faire, Thresheree, WWII Days, a web server running out of storage, a misbehaving laptop, and a bunch of little projects.  But we are again up-to-date.
   I usually ride into work on Tuesdays so I can meet up with Pokie in the evening.  It's a lot easier to bike in downtown Madison than to drive.  This evening we were attending a local meet up on the topic of data science.  I know little about the field, but devices I work on are likely to contribute to the pools of data being analyzed.  So I thought I'd give these a shot.  Problem was the evening was forecast to have rain with an 80% likelihood.  Still, it is easier to bike than drive so I decided to go by cycle. 
   The morning commute to work was almost chilly.  Must have been in the upper 40s when I set out around 6:00 am.  But once on the road pushing peddles I didn't feel cold the entire trip.  I stopped along side Lake Wingra to get a shot of the moon and morning twilight.  After work the skies were overcast, but it wasn't raining.  I met up with Pokie and we attended the event.  Afterward it was fairly damp outside, but not raining.  There were tinny drops here and there with the humidity near 100%, but no actual rain.  The temperature was about as chilly as it was in the morning with a strong wind from the north west.  I jumped on the bike and pushed hard.  Somehow I reached Elmwood Park without encountering any rain.  The ground was wet the whole way and it was clear I missed some period of recent rain, but I didn't get any myself.  And I can live with that.