PS:351 – Leaving Apple.

I’m honestly considering just slowly phasing out my Apple eco-system at this point. Why? Honestly? I’m just not really impressed with what I’ve seen coming down the pipeline.

For instance the iPhone 8? Seems silly to release it only to release “THE ULTIMATE PHONE OF ALL PHONES! X!!!!” and then to I laughed at the tech YouTubers who all made sure to remind me “It’s not called the “X” it’s the iPhone 10″. As many have said/reported why would you want the 8 when you can wait a few months and get the 10? Apple’s stock even dropped due to insanely low turnout.

But on the desktop, while I love the apps I have, I’ve considered getting a new Mac but the hardware isn’t open enough honestly. Why should I HAVE to buy memory that I can get elsewhere for cheaper that’s the same thing? I mean I’ve heard the argument “Apple knows their stuff”if they do, then how did I build this Hackintosh I’ve got right here doing everything just fine?

I’m just “Bleh” lately with Apple, I even have an old dell tower donated to me which is running Ubuntu 17.04 and I’m going, to be honest, it works. Looking at video editing software to replace iMovie, but even that if I just kept my iPad as my only Mac Device, it’d do the job just fine.

Time will tell, just something on my mind lately!

Moving over the next few weeks, starting the big save for a house, so farewell to the rental! Hoping things work smoothly and we can in a year or so have enough debt cleared and money saved to do something awesome in the house department!

For now, back to work!

PS:349 – Enough is Enough.

Tuesday was a bit of a blessing, and a little bit wake up call.

Really blessed to have customers who appreciate what I do. I really am. Doing this over 15 years I must say it can become a grind that is heartless sometimes. No passion. No joy. No love. I’m tired of customers running my business by how they want to run their business.

Today I buckled down into the billing system cleared out garbage and garbage accounts. Folks I’ve reached out to before and gotten nothing and today out of about 15 accounts I sent notice to, 1 reply and this guy was ready to help, apologetic of his overdue status. We have a call in place tomorrow to sort things out (and I have some research to do as to what’s failing so we can fix it!).

Lots of changes, and really working to get a real presence for Thrust Networks, not just a 5 year coming soon page. Really want to kick things up a notch and get it done. Just finished a server deployment for a customer, and now to fine tune two websites for another! On my way!

PS:342 – Thinking…

What a day… well yesterday at least! Oi!

The day was a wash for the most part – first half of the day I wrapped up various projects but sadly the Mrs. car died and well that was our afternoon/evening. In fact, the kid passed out on the way home and the Mrs. followed suit as her car was left at the dealer to see what’s wrong in the AM (fearing its the alternator died)  – but we’ll know more tomorrow.

The thing I’ve been thinking about is some of the current web hosting servers I have in place, I think I might be able to change things up a little bit, improve performance again, and see some network gains in the process.

I feel like anymore I’m constantly changing things up, but in the last 12 months alone I’ve reworked a lot of things, and this one would actually bring about some of the growth I have in mind! There are some pros and cons:

PRO:

  • Bigger Server
  • More RAM
  • More Storage
  • More Control
  • Not much change in price

CONS:

  • Migration
  • IP Changes
  • Time Needed

Some of this honestly was sparked by my interaction with GoDaddy.  I don’t really compare myself to GoDaddy, we are in two different spaces of hosting, but I just feel like as-is, things could use a refresher, and it would really benefit the customers!

I’ve used this new DC for about 2 months now, I’ve read countless reviews on forums with folks who’s input I trust, and even tonight testing out my test server I snagged on a deal it maxed out on data usage getting the whole of my 100Mbit connection. Quite snappy really – and while the hardware I picked up for testing isn’t what I’d get for final, honestly? It is well worth it, and again benefit to customers would be amazing.

Throw in cPanel adding Rsync backups in cPanel 66 – I’m excited about what I could do.

Again just thinking, but have to do a little more research here tonight. I finished some things, others I actually got a few customers who said it could be done anytime over the weekend in a follow-up email, so really I can check on it in the AM and maybe just maybe catch up on some sleep. Night.

PS:340 – The NAS Project – Copying & Building

So far I must say – not a bad NAS.

I’ve had experience with a few before, both custom built FreeNAS setup or two (even a simple build on my own) and commercial NAS products from other companies, but honestly? ASUS has done a great job for this price point. Very nice.

Now I won’t know the overall performance for another day or two, as I’m copying 2.8TB of data to the RAID1 to clear off the 3rd drive, but even that is chugging along while finishing building the array.

Software wise, I have looked around and overall? Not too shabby. Once it’s not copying and rebuilding data I hope to have a better look and install a thing or two for some testing, but as-is, logged in via SSH using rsync to mirror the USB 5TB drive (Formatted HFS+ which it was able to mount without issue!) and it’s not too shabby! It contains a lot of various things including a few old Time Machine backups from Mac’s long gone.

I’d say about a day more of copying, then it’s letting the RAID1 finish building, once that’s done then after I do a few spot checks of data (ensuring the Photos are safe is a big one) then I’ll get the 3rd drive moved into the array and running smoothly as RAID5.

For now, a night of work ahead, picked up a new contract, and some data to get moved around… honestly makes me a little tired just thinking about it lol. So off I go.

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:327 – Forward.

I know You got this whole thing under control
My soul is untouchable because
You’ve already won me
My victory is not in this flesh and bone
It’s in the cross and I know
Nobody’s taking it from me

It has been a rough week. Yesterday was one of those days where everything that could of went wrong, did. I lost a couple hours of work I could have picked up. That’s a rough one because it seems like lately, the hours are less I can pick up, nothing is coming in on a regular basis.

It’s summer and I try to remember that some folks are simply just not in the “do business” mood, they are on break, they are on vacation, they are out and about. Still rough.

The above song has been playing on repeat lately, it’s just one of those reminders that this life, this flesh, and bone is indeed temporary.  I keep trying to shed stress when and where I can, even tonight here at 2:39 am – unwinding with some tea, some music, working on finishing a website for another 30 minutes, then 30 minutes on editing a video I had hoped to have edited yesterday, then hopefully bed before too long.

I need to knock down a lot of random projects here this week, and at every turn it’s been time on everything else, but did pick up some coding work re-working an entire import system – but I don’t think that’s going to improve itself overnight, nor in a few hours of coding today, so going to focus on my own business for a bit.

Night (or Good Morning) 😀

PS:321 — Gotta Move

Do you ever feel like you are simply standing still? That may not make sense, imagine you are on the coastline, feet in the water. You don’t move and the sand slowly moves around you covering your feet.  Lately, I feel like that. My feet have been stuck.

However, I have been rocking. I have been trying to get out the rut I am in because it’s sad that rut that says “Never going to change, can’t make it change” – I look at my business and I’ve honestly been a bit saddened by where it’s at.

2 years have gone by and yes my “business” has grown for a time, but it was one big contract, and sadly that contract is drying up more and more, got a good week or two in this month, but even this past week – dry as a bone.  I look at my business and it’s grown some, but honestly, it’s time for a kick in the pants.

This weekend has been about 2 things. Writing & Sleeping. Can’t believe it’s already Sunday, but the goal of this weekend is to FINISH not “get close” or “get distracted” but get it FlockHosting done, new site, new packages I’ve been working on for far too long, get it out there and see where it goes.

I’ve been blessed too that a radio station or two I know are going to create/run radio spots for FlockHosting which is why I want to really get it ready and have it ready for folks to get themselves online.

What about Thrust Networks? The perpetual “Coming Soon Page” – long ago it actually had a website attached to it created by Julie B. back in 2001. It was a great site:

But times changed, the company changed and honestly? I had more activity on FlockHosting, but now the goal is to have a strong presence on each. Really try to amp up a bit to provide some various services from each but growth is needed, moving my feet out of the sand and start walking on the beach.

I have also applied to another job position out and about – hopefully, to replace the current fading job, it’d be nice to really to being a W2’d vs. a 1099’r.

Moving forward. Monday I will have a new site live. No excuses (well short of a sick family member – but one hospital visit is enough for now!)  Thrust Networks Next, to have some gear for Thrust Networks en route too, would love to go to some meetings in town with a cool Thrust Networks Polo 🙂

Gotta keep moving forward, or as Dory would say “Just keep swimming!”