Friday
Feb082013

Coursera - Sound Design class

I've found Coursera; it is amazing. It's a web site that presents courses of high quality from leading universities on various topics. You can see the courses I'm taking in my profile.

My first class, which is going on as I type this, is on Sound Design. It is amazing, and feeds right into my personal quest to understand electronic music. It's taught at a rather advanced level, and is quite challenging at times, but I'm getting a lot out of it. Good stuff.

Wednesday
Jan022013

Starting the new year off in an appropriate manner (Murphy's Law at work)

In the IT world Murphy's Law (if anything can go wrong, it will) rules, and as irony seems to be the fad du jour, so it seems I'm starting off 2013 in the most right and proper manner–with a terrific example of Murphy's Law at work in my IT world.

I've been off for a week and a half, as my company had shut down for the holiday. Of course, servers don't like to be shut down for long periods at a time, so the servers I manage didn't get a holiday.

Earlier this year, I had a system with a 4-disk RAID 5 array lose two hard drives over the weekend. RAID 5 only has enough redundancy to handle the loss of one disk at a time without data loss. This reinforced my belief that for four or more disks, RAID 5 should not be used.

I've not deployed RAID 5 in at least the last two years. I've been using RAID 10 (i.e. RAID 0+1, striping and mirroring) for quite some time. It allows for up to half of its disks to fail before data loss, providing the disks are not both mirrors of each other.

I got a case at 8 o'clock this morning about a host that isn't responsive. I check its hardware monitor, and it's got two drives down, out of four. According to my understanding of the controller, the disks are in the same stripe and their mirrors are fine. I replace the disks, but a rebuild doesn't start. I check the controller, and it doesn't recognize any disks now. I can't get the host to recognize anything.

I started rebuilding the host from scratch before lunch; it's finishing up now. I now understand that disk groups are mirrors. RAID 10 volumes span (i.e. stripe) down the disk groups. I seem to learn something new every day; that's why I love my job.

What's the moral of this story? Hard drives will die, and it's very difficult to completely prevent data loss. Back ups are essential, unless you can completely re-create a system, as we do.

Make certain you have a good backup system. Don't depend on redundant storage.

Friday
Aug312012

Finally, a day off...

Work has been intense, but very good. I'm learning a lot and facing many new challenges, which keeps things interesting. Interesting is good, because I cannot stand being bored.

Too much intensity, however, could lead to burnout. So I am very happy we have a three-day weekend this weekend. Saturday is the Scottish Games, which is always excellent. Sunday will be spent with friends. Monday will be for rest. Pictures will be taken. It looks to be a most excellent weekend.

Saturday
Jul212012

Christopher Nolan on theater shooting | EW.com

I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.

Christopher Nolan

Source: Anthony Breznican on Twitter as retweeted by Jeff Jensen

Sunday
Jul152012

Rimz n Ribz 2012

Rimz and Ribz: A true multimedia event.

My brother Ryan and I attended Cornerstone's car show, Rimz n Ribz today. My good friend Hobbes played with the band True North Project. I took a few pictures of the cars. I enjoyed the wide variety of colors of the cars.

True North Project was excellent. I shot a video of their cover of Stevie Ray Vaughn's Pride and Joy. I recorded The Cowboy Song and Radar Love.

It was a true multimedia event, at least for me, and made for a fun day.