Category Archives: Computer

Stuff about computers. Work, research, tech., etc.

Storage Problems Part 3: Resolution

I’m declaring my storage problems to be resolved. Though I’m sure this will come up again. I have to believe at this point I will not encounter the issue for several more years. I now have about 5 TB of free storage across several systems, with another 1.5 TB drive ready to act as either a backup or additional space. About three years ago I had about 1 TB of free space and no idea how I’d ever fill it. Now I know.

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Snow Leopard 10.6.1 Update Weirdness

About a week after release I ran the 10.6.1 update only to find that it had failed to install. I’m not sure exactly what happened since my typical method of carrying out updates is to click whatever needs clicked then move back to working on whatever other system is available. I do know that I was left with a dialog proclaiming that the update had failed and I should restart. Fine. I restart. Upon restarting the machine – my MacBook Pro circa 2007 – sat at the boot screen (grey screen with the little spinner) for at least 30 minutes. Not good. I restarted again but this time with the verbose boot sequence – Command-V at startup. Turns out the machine could not find a needed kernel extension for SCSI. Not sure why it needs SCSI but apparently the file was lost in the attempted update. It was clear that whatever happened the system was not going to fix itself, and Google wasn’t sure what was happening either as most the posts I could find related to the specific error talked of hardware failures.

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Storage Problems Part 2: Proposed Solution

I’ve adopted a solution to my storage problems. Basically, I’ve decided on the Drobo solution. If you recall from last time, I was leaning heavily toward an OpenSolaris solution using ZFS. I still think ZFS is ultimately the way to go because it’s cool software design, but I’m not convinced of running an entire system for that purpose. I really wish Apple would get their act together and implement ZFS to go along with the rest of their even cooler software design. I’m also not quite sure why there are no cheap external eSATA enclosures. I’m thinking $150 for a chunk of metal with a fan, a power supply, and enough circuitry to support 8 drives as JBOD. Is that unreasonable? Maybe not enough market.

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Storage Problems Part 1: Background

I mentioned my storage problems in previous posts. Really I’ve had the same issues ever since I started in with these dam computers. Each upgrade has really just temporally delayed the inevitable. I’ve done a few things right. I’ve always used high quality power supplies and UPS. The result is I’ve not had a major drive failure in 18 years. Not bad. But it’s only a matter of time.

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Adobe CS 4 Design Premium, Part 2

I’m about half way through the second install disk on my G5. Figured now would be a good time to post. Pretty excited to start learning this stuff. I’ve been browsing through several design books on Safari. Looks like magic to me. I’m hoping it won’t be too hard learning what I need to know to hack together the more complicated illustrations I plan in my dissertation using Illustrator. The simple stuff is all done using OmniGraffle, which is great but limited.

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Adobe CS 4 Design Premium, Part 1

I finally bit the bullet. I bought a student version of Adobe CS 4 Design Premium. I’ve been thinking I need to get Illustrator for the diagrams I create for my research. OmniGraffle works great for flowcharts and block diagrams but sometimes I wish I had just a little more control. The other thing is editing photos. Obviously, Photoshop is the big raging beast for that. So, now I’m committed. We’ll see what happens. I can already say this may push my notebook over the brink. The 160 GB drive is bursting at the seams and all I can do is eyeball the SSD stuff that doesn’t come close to enough capacity in anything I could reasonably justify spending money on. I’m thinking this stuff will be reserved for desktop use, but then those drives are bursting at the seams too.

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A Leopard 10.5.2 Update: Still no panic!

As mentioned in my last post 10.5.2 seems to have fixed the previous issues I have experienced with Leopard. After several weeks of living with it I am very happy to report that I have not had a single panic since the update. I believe the issue is closed, but it it hard to say what the problem was based on the lack of information maintained by Apple regarding their updates. Given the alternative (Vista) I’d highly recommend Leopard at this point.