Charles Brown

just a simple blog

PS:337 – Storage.

I’ve been toying with the idea of bulk storage for a while. I picked up several 5TB USB Drives from Target as they were discounting them, and they work just fine, however, they are not easy to have on the desk, 3 power bricks, 3 wires, it’s a mess.

So I’ve been exploring building my own NAS with FreeNAS, however, the hardware to build it is picky, and while I am sure I could make it work – Size, Cost, Power. So enter a NAS. They aren’t always cheap, in looking at a few models without disks I’d be looking easily at around $500 for something entry level with 2 bays.

Then I came across ASUSTOR which happens to be part of ASUS, so I took a look, and for the price point? Amazing pieces of hardware, this is the ASUSTOR AS1004T 4-Bay:

Simple, easy. No drive bays to have on the front, instead, you slide off the case and install the drives.  Not a huge deal at all, sure that’s nifty, but for half the price? I’m really good at mounting drives with thumbscrews 😀 The 2 Bay unit actually has a few good videos here and there, so figured if I got really wild maybe mount the YiCam and a few other of the cameras and film the setup and such and share it on TFH’s YouTube Channel? Maybe the start of really digging in? Anywhoo…

The plan is to take the 3 drives I’m using now and clear off 2 drives, make it into a lovely RAID1 build first, then migrate all the data over, simply plug the external storage in, copy the data off (may even clean it up a bit) then once the drive is clear and on the RAID1 array, format and add the 3rd drive and convert it to a RAID5 array, thus doubling my storage and having continuing to have a single drive failure, long-term I’d love to find a deal on a 5TB drive again and expand some more (15TB ain’t bad) but long-term it’d be great to have 4 x 10TB drives in there and be able to archive video, photos etc. plus storage on Backblaze’s B2 is cheap, maybe sync it for archive purposes?

All in all, it’d save me some money, make the drives easier to access on the road and on the network, and since too it’ll talk to a VPN, figure maybe re-work my VPN so on the road I can securely connect to everything.

It has been a long week, and with this new setup going to continue the journey of re-working my office a bit, a lot to do over the next few months, busy busy busy. Tired. For now going to try and wrap up my evening projects, get invoices out, and go to bed. Night.

 

PS:273 – NAS + Home Automation

I’ve been doing a lot of research as of late, really wanting to build out a NAS for backups and such,  also been looking at home automation like things which happen as I approach a geofence. I have grabbed a LIFX Bulb, just plain white, and love the fact that with a single bulb I can have my office all lit up once I get in range, I leave range? It shuts off. Plus Lilly loves the button to push to shut off the light or turn on Lilly Mode for sleepy baby time.

This week has a LOT ahead, already have some hours logged this weekend even while traveling, Lilly did get to see her animal friends at the zoo, now let’s just hope after a busy weekend she can get some sleep.

PS:262 – Google Home?

So I’ve glanced at the Amazon Line-up for a nice virtual assistant, it’s not bad, but my big problem with Google & Amazon is they don’t play nice together. If I want to do Amazon on my TV? Amazon Device Required, or Xbox.

Google Chrome won’t display my Amazon content, so no go – but I’ll be honest since a BIGGER chunk of my goodies live on Google, the Home looks fancy. Now their mesh Wifi system already apparently works with my On Hub, so that’s a plus, but it’d be nice to get a new device which will listen to me and help me manage my house a bit – quite nice indeed.

I think it’s on a maybe list, possibly mid-2017. We shall see.

Not everything is something.

It’s been a while since I’ve taken a break and just wrote. Not part of the “Post Something” I do daily, and with this sad moment, I’m waiting right now for three emails, five server updates, and Lilly is playing with a birthday gift – I’m taking 5 minutes to write.

Hackintosh. While I could have just gone down to the Apple Store at the mall, I can’t get something custom, and with the MacBook Pro cropping up with errors. It was time to look, and an iMac would have been nice, but if I bought from the store I’m limited to stock configurations 🙁 Thus enter the Hackintosh.

The thing I love is ease of upgrade! Too I’m getting 2x the power of my Macbook Pro, and room for things like additional storage. 32GB of memory for a fraction of what Apple would charge me, and in the end because the original build I wanted going out of stock, I saved $120 in the end switching to a smaller build (ITX based).

Parts should be here tomorrow, I’ll likely post some to Instagram, maybe a post on it here, and a follow-up on maybe Tech Friendly Help (which if things calm down further, needs some TLC!).

Well my writing time is nearly done,

PS:66 – OnHub

So a while back Google, who likes to have their hand in many areas, and I’m a big supporter of that decided that “OnHub” their dive into routers was a good idea.

Well, I got one on sale, and figured I’d give this learning “easy” wifi router a try – and so far? Mixed. My office has mixed results when it comes to wifi. Several walls, the modem, is on the other side of the house – not ideal. The previous fix was Airport Extreme -> Wifi Extender -> Line of Sight to the office. Not great. But workable.

So my latest attempt has been to try a powerline adapter sounds like a solid plan at least – and for the most part it seems to work. “Seems”

I’ve contacted Google about it previously, but results were insanely mixed, tech ran me through some options, really fast email responses, but since it wasn’t going too hot, I went back to the more workable option with the extender.

Well, today my powerline adapters came in, and results are promising. I have it in the office directly, and the powerline is showing anywhere from 9-15Mbps. Not great considering the line can get a lot more (100Mbps at one point if I remember correctly) but seems like maybe the provider is having issues because even tests elsewhere are topping out.

But performance has been solid, less buffering for sure – which is nice when trying to wind down with Lilly. Trying to get back on track with sleep, and even if she’s not tired we are in bed and laying down, so the occasional Hulu watching is required 🙂

All in all, I’m still on the fence. Hopefully, the provider irons out in the AM, and tomorrow work is smoother more and more as I will hopefully have a more stable connection.

Work is getting caught up, wish I could say the stress is going down, but today I accomplished a TON, and tomorrow, I hope I can accomplish a ton more and who knows – maybe this weekend get some drone time! (or a nap – I’m not picky!)

Going to try Fi

fi_logo_sq_1200Cellphone companies have failed me many a time – let’s just say, I’ve tried them all, start with Tracphone AGES ago with a Noika, moving my way up to now with Verizon, but as all do something has hangups:

  • Tracphone: Expensive (mind you this was AGES ago, know folks who love them now)
  • Cingular (AT&T): Billing Issues (again AGES ago)
  • T-Mobile: Un-Carrier left me with barely a workable cell signal (about 2 years ago)
  • Verizon: Who too has signal issues they now claim is with in their “acceptable failure” range.

And thus enters Google’s Project Fi – a new attempt at a carrier which uses 3 Networks (sprint, t-mobile, and wifi) to keep your calls alive – so for $20/month Unlimited Text and Talk + $10/per GB of Data – why not give it a try right?

Well I’m officially ordered and hoping to have good results that will give me a better overall set of access, Sprint & T-Mo are both “decent” enough providers in Bakersfield, hopefully where one fails the other will pickup + Wifi hot spots and home Wifi/Office Wifi will pickup the slack, for the price how could I say no?

I’ll post an update in a week or two after the Nexus 6 and SIM Card get here, it’s the only phone that works, nice thing is if Google’s offering isn’t workable its a compatible phone with T-Mobile/Verizon/AT&T and Cricket – So still will have choices if I want to stay with Verizon or make the move to another provider, stay tuned! Reviews to follow!