I missed only 1. Thanks $5 Traffic School.

Standard

So at the start to this summer’s state capital we made it over the pass heading towards Denver in our rental, and honestly, I couldn’t tell how fast we were going, but a CHP was concerned and pulled us over.

I don’t say a jerk because honestly nicest officer I think I’ve ever gotten pulled over by – and I’ve had a lead foot now and again, (even on my birthday!) but this guy was super nice, even was polite with Daisy & Lilly, explained how the ticket worked since it was in Mojave, not Bakersfield, and sent us on our way, and that extra caution on speeding, really did make the rest of the trip much safer, and I think avoided us an accident or two.

Officer Franklin – Thank you, sir. Got me more mindful of the rental’s speed, even managed to get its cruise control running that much more accurately and by trip’s end the car was second nature!

But thankfully since my speed hasn’t been an issue for a few years I was up for Traffic School, after a slightly painful ticket – but found 5 Dollar Traffic School. It was on the list they sent, and honestly it didn’t look like Netscape 1 was the only compatible browser (there are a LOT of crappy looking traffic school sites) – had some PHP errors I reported, but all in all, worked great.

Took it all in a day. All of the quizzes were super helpful to the point at the end as I said, only missed 1 (96%) and now I have a ticket on it’s way to being removed from my record, even paid a little extra for status since its all digital now with the courts + got a copy of things for my own records just in case something is wonky.

Nice to have one more thing off the list in the grand to-do! I start a new project tomorrow, and hopefully get paid for a server project here soon too! Lots on the docket as of late, but I’m still moving forward – been a busy/rough couple of months, I’ve applied to another IT job, no response. I do have a name that I could drop, but I’m seeing what I can do at this point on my own, but for now, I’m “Under Review” so we shall see.

Back to it for another hour then it’s bedtime. For me, that’s early to bed, and before 10 AM is early to rise, so working on it 😀

Windows, Mac or Linux.

Standard

Been a tad quiet around here as of late, the job thing was a no-go. I could write a post, but meh. Wasn’t the right time anyhow.

Work has been nuts, working on a business idea, servers, outages, cool touch screen kiosk projects, websites, and getting a Windows 10 workstation setup on one of my two desks. Why? Well, I needed it to get my Hackintosh working again and had the hardware from an old system salvage, but specs are nice:

  • i5 3350P @ 3.10Ghz
  • 8GB RAM
  • NVidia GeForce GT 620
  • 250GB SSD pull from another system

Aside from the SSD, it’s all that came in the pretty dell case – and it works. However not sure how I feel about Windows, but then again with my MacBook Pro battery failing, it leaves me in the “What do I get next?” stage? I’ve considered a nice Linux box running Fedora or Ubuntu – would be a cheap entry point for the most part probably $600 or so maybe a bit more if I want to make it dual monitors.

The Windows rig works and is honestly a nice change of pace, last time I used Windows was honestly 98/2000 versions and since then only dabbled in Windows 7/8 – so a fulltime rig with Windows 10 isn’t bad, but even dabbling in a slight bit of gaming, I’m tempted to grab a bigger GPU than the card on machine.

I have dabbled with a Linux rig or two virtually but that’s where I’m at in choices Linux/Windows/Mac on a Laptop replacement for the MacBook Pro as I’ve looked and while I could spend around $120 and do my own Battery Replacement on an older MBP and maybe a year or two additional on it, or try to just hold off for now and save up for a new MBP when finances amp up, or a nice Linux/Windows rig as my new portable rig, as Chromebook “works” for mobile, but honestly it’s not the power I need on the go.

Many choices, not sure which direction I’ll go, but for now what I have rolling works for day to day, but would be nice to have a good mobile rig that’s got enough power for on the go to get done anything.

 

The Fight for Positivity. #struggleisreal

Standard

Today is one of those days I guess, not a fan of what I see in the bank account, a small mountain of work in front of me, and I don’t even want to sluff it off, I honestly just want to not really even stare at a wall right now. The sun is out and I’ve considered just going for a LONG walk, but sadly some of these items on the todo are time sensitive.

The loop of music I’ve got today is:

A great song, really been one of those things I’ve found myself continually reminding myself that I have something positive to hang on to, but its been a rough couple of months, even today had to just call the doctor asking about the continuation of an injectable med (BCise) as its having some mixed issues, one of which my blood sugars are higher with it, and it’s leaving knots in my gut + a lingering pain from my ribcage to my back.  Not fun.

So a mountain of stress/bad – and I’m going to keep fighting for positive, and to make this post have something actually positive, I made a sugar free bowl.

The sugar free bowl #diabetes #sugarfree #snacks #3dprinting

A post shared by Chuck Brown (@mrcbrown) on

Carrots

Standard

So, I have been craving carrots lately. I may be turning orange.

Aside from that, a busy week! Seems like I’d slow down only to go go go again. Even today, it was one of those days where it started off slow, then just never stopped. From it? Got some hours in for consulting gig + 3 possible projects in the coming weeks! So hopefully things pan out.

2018 may bring a full-time gig in addition to my business, and I think I’m good with that, just as long as it actually pans out, and is very solid.

Even if it isn’t there is a possible option for a new server customer too I may be getting, which would be cool, server customers slowed down this year – but hoping to really bump things up in 2018.

For now, a busy week has started winding down, take some meds and head to chill out in bed!

Sick to save a buck!

Standard

So not feeling too great today, did manage to still make a call I had, which something about being in tech mode another part of my brain takes over and just goes without delay – wish it worked that way everyday lol. But seems the Jr. Burger Lilly didn’t eat last night was what threw me over the edge – but I saved that money. 😀

Woke up around 630 feeling horrible, didn’t leave the bathroom until maybe 8 am, then passed out for an hour or two, was not a fun morning, but hoping things improve!

Today really focusing a bit on my own projects. Work lately has been slow, mainly because when you take nearly 2 months off to move – folks can’t find you and find other options, so hoping I can really dial things back in, get my own projects rolling to improve finances, but tomorrow once I feel better and can talk “job”, I hope to nail down some job options.

I love working in my own business, but I have applied a few places here and there trying to nail down some steady work, like a 9-to-5, but if I can get my own projects rolling, invest real time into them, might be able to get things rolling without it.

For now, back to resting.

PS:351 – Leaving Apple.

Standard

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.

Standard

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…

Standard

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

Standard

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.

Standard

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.