To Migrate 70 Terabytes…

November 23, 2019 2:44pm
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It’s true.

The project that I started almost two months ago to migrate all of my home server data from rapidly aging desktop hardware to a rackmount NAS is finally completed.

What was previously around 60 TB spread across 9 hard drives of varying shapes, sizes, and ages has now been moved to a dozen 10-12 TB drives all born within the last year, including the addition of two parity drives for redundancy in a new-to-me server that will be dedicated to nothing but storing files, thus finally separating out Plex and the various apps that I use to download media to their own hardware where disk conflicts should officially be a thing of the past!

Of course, it didn’t take that full two months solely to move the data from one set of drives to the other … even though at times it certainly felt like it…

A good chunk of time was spent waiting for Unraid to clear and format new drives – a little over a day for 12 TB drives. 😯

I also had to limit when I could migrate data so as to not impact Plex, considering both that copying at full tilt ate up a lot of CPU on my old server AND I found that copying at full tilt into the new server would make it difficult to stream media from the affected drive at the same time.

I ended up counteracting the latter by adding a 1 TB SSD cache drive to Unraid, which unfortunately limited me to moving about 1 TB at a time because the mover process that moves data from the cache to the array (normally at night) is equally intensive.

That said, most of the speeds I got from the old server weren’t enough to matter anyways. For drives attached directly to the motherboard, I could average speeds of 60 MBps, however a good chunk of my media was living on external USB drives which meant that it was more likely for my transfers to crawl along at 30 MBps instead…

Comical when the SSD can do upwards of 90-100 MBps and even higher read speeds, but hey – I knew that speed wasn’t one of the selling points of going with Unraid, anyways.

Those two months also included a disk recovery … truth be told, I actually lost two disks that prompted me finally putting all of this into motion! One was a lost cause and I just made a list and re-downloaded everything over time, but the second I left alone until everything else was done and then was able to recover using this great free app that I found called testdisk. It turns out that basically the partition table had gotten corrupted somehow – a problem that actually already affected me once before that I previously had been able to repair, but this time once I realized that testdisk would allow me to copy the contents over to another disk that I now had to spare, I opted to just do that instead and about 12 hours later roughly 490 movies were sitting on a fresh disk and ready to migrate over to the new array!

So anyways, as of yesterday now everything is living on the new server and I’m basically ready to power down old faithful and prepare it for its afterlife. I think I decided that once I get the cables I’m waiting on to move the new NAS into my rack in thcloset, I’m going to bring that old server down to my office and disassemble it, give it a good cleaning and actually remove the dead drives that are still installed, and then I’m going to wipe the thing and turn it into a sandbox of sorts for a few random things that don’t really have a place on my other servers…

  • Plex media local backup – Until I can build out a proper backup NAS, I’m going to take a couple of leftover 8 TB drives and backup the most essential 16 TB of media in my collection for an additional backup on top of the 1 TB that I’m now backing up to the cloud.
  • Torrent seeding – I found this great docker for Transmission that incorporates OpenVPN for a seamless experience, which makes me feel a little more comfortable having it running full time to help seed some of the more difficult to find files that I had to hunt for after not being able to get them from usenet.
  • DVD ripping station – Right now the only computers left in this house that still have CD drives are one rackmount server and a very old laptop that I first trialed Plex on before moving it to my desktop hardware. I actually bought an internal bluray drive shortly after I started getting into Plex because I thought that I’d end up ripping all of my media instead of just downloading it, so it’s been buried underneath my desk for about four years now. Nonetheless, I want to install it in this version of the computer to have something a little more accessible for the random DVDs that I have to rip myself.

Not sure how much else will end up there simply because the CPU inside is pretty weak at this point, but I’m really trying to keep my main environments a little cleaner and not just install any old random thing that I come across, so this will be a good place for that because it won’t really matter if there are disruptions.

Looking forward to writing up a separate post outlining all of the reasons why I love Unraid now that I’ve been using it for a couple of months, and of course, I’m already working on expansion plans to move beyond the 106 TB limit that I currently have installed in my already very full, new NAS today! 😉

ONE MILLION WORDS BLOGGED!!!

January 18, 2019 10:17am
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And so here we are, some seventeen years since my very first blog post went up back in 2002…

A million words … wow!

This is a number that I’ve been chasing for years – typically whenever I’d hit another groove and get back into blogging every day, I’d think to myself, “This is going to be the big year!”

And then it wasn’t. 😛

2012 was apparently a very good year for blogging when I averaged 1.4 posts per day and 156,606 words total!

Surprisingly, despite occasionally being a bit long winded, my average post length is only 284 words, which just shows that those little posts that you knock out in 15 minutes can really add up over time. 😉

One stat that I found particularly interesting was my most popular tags by word count…

  1. rants – 153,136 (293 posts)
  2. geek stuff – 90,574 (258 posts)
  3. summary posts – 79,726 (130 posts)
  4. creative-type stuff – 79,380 (195 posts)
  5. politics – 75,683 (184 posts)
  6. movies – 71,840 (187 posts)
  7. diet & exercise – 65,736 (161 posts)
  8. dreams – 49,736 (86 posts)
  9. video games – 48,056 (198 posts)
  10. technology – 41,673 (141 posts)

Note: All of these stats come from the WP Word Count plugin by Link Software – the pro version is less than twenty bucks for unlimited sites … I’ve been using it for years and I love it!

One more of interest – looking at the blogging platforms that helped me to write those ONE MILLION words…

  • Fusion PHP (2002) – 9,747 (<1%)
  • LiveJournal (2003 – 2011) – 462,133 (46%)
  • WordPress (2011 – CURRENT) – 528,670 (53%)

It’s just amazing to me to look back over everything that I’ve blogged about over the years – mind you, I don’t really make any money or anything from this site, but it’s immensely valuable to me because it really serves as a journal where I’ve publicly shared so many of the most important moments from my life…

…and of course, plenty of nonsensical, rambling or otherwise just plain weird moments and thoughts and ideas, too!

So what’s next???

The short answer is – I have no idea!

No more than I could’ve predicted any of what got me to this point, anyways. One of my favorite things about my blog is that by not locking in to a particular theme or topic, it frees me to write about anything and everything! One day I might feel inspired to write about video games or a movie that I just saw, and others I might be feeling a bit more nostalgic or want to share vacation photos or even, dare I say, share some thoughts about politics!

*shudder*

One thing I will say is that with my first one million behind me, I hope that this inspires me to write more … you know, so that maybe I can get to two million before I’m ready to retire! 😉

Blogging is something that I really enjoy because it’s personal, and yet it’s a way to share a little bit of me in a medium that I’m very comfortable with considering just how much of an antisocial, introverted hermit that I am. 😛

Over the next million words, I’m looking forward to sharing even more milestones, and ranting about things that bug me, and bragging about my kids, and everything else that has made the last million words so enjoyable. :mrgreen:

Only 998,905 words to go…

Just googling myself at 2:36am on a Wednesday night and I came across this little beauty!

From now on I shall be known throughout the realm as:

Scott Sevener, Crab Expert

So this happened today… 😀

Cfy6GaUUsAAukXP

Now I know that I’ve told the story many times before, so here’s the highlight version:

  • Just Laugh, my humor site, was established in 1999 using the domain justlaugh.net because somebody else owned the .com and wanted $3,000 for it.
  • A couple years later, that guy let it lapse, so then I owned both justlaugh.net AND justlaugh.com!
  • In a twisted case of cruel irony, I let justlaugh.net lapse when I moved to Florida in 2003 and somehow forgot to renew it.
  • After a squatter scooped it up almost immediately, it proceeded to bounce from one reseller to another, usually with overseas registrars, leaving me almost no legal recourse to bother trying to reclaim it even if I did have the $1,000 fee or whatever.

So I’ve had backorder monitoring setup with GoDaddy on this thing for years – I seriously don’t even remember when I did it, but it was like $18 and came with a year of hosting, so I figured why not … maybe they’d catch it one of these years if the squatter fell off his game, even though it always seemed to magically renew a week or two before the expiration date rolled around.

The notification emails from GoDaddy were kind of torture, watching that happen year after year…

…until this year when surprisingly the expiration came and went without renewal, and the registrar threw the domain into pending status!

Even then I tried not to get too excited about it because I know that there are companies that do nothing but stalk the expiring domains list to scoop up anything that could be of value to them. In fact, I even got a curious email about it last week asking “if I was interested in the domain” … which made me wonder if he was either the guy deciding whether to renew it again or just another stalker fishing leads to see if it was worth picking up. So I didn’t respond, and I also tried to avoid any of those backorder sites that might accidentally trigger a notification to the owner that someone was poking around about it.

And then this afternoon, I unexpectedly got this email from GoDaddy saying that the backorder had been successful!!!

Mind you, I don’t really have much use for it – after all of these years, it’s purely a nostalgia grab, primarily fueled by the poster on the wall in my office that all of our contributors signed for me back in our heyday that just happens to still bear the justlaugh.net address…

justlaugh

I’ll pretty much just redirect it to justlaugh.com and 99.999% of visitors will never even know that it exists … but I’m a nostalgic guy, so that doesn’t really matter to me. It’s just neat to have finally reclaimed the name that I’d originally bought fresh out of high school when I started this whole thing in the first place, back when the website was entirely hand-coded in PHP and looked a little something like this…

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 2.11.51 AM

Good god, St. Patrick’s Day and the Christmas menu buttons were still up?! Well, that was 2003 for you… 😉

Ahhhh, the blog post I’ve admittedly been rather anxious to write…

…because…

…yours truly has lost a total of 8.8 pounds in the last week!!!  😀

Now I know that this rate isn’t going to keep up forever … or at least maybe it’s not … it would certainly be awesome if it did, but nonetheless I’m pretty damned excited about this as a reward for my first week’s effort! The early boost of encouragement has definitely helped to push me through some of the tough spots so far, anyways.

I’ll write up a separate post about what I’ve been eating later, but there have of course been some challenges with cravings and whatnot. My mouth still occasionally waters for my favorite sub from Firehouse that I was previously getting on a weekly basis – the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket, which can run anywhere from 890 to a whopping 1500 calories depending on whether I got a medium or a large … in one meal, before I even bought chips to go with it!!!

I’ve also been yearning for pizza a bit – Domino’s, in particular, whose slices can range anywhere from 225 – 475 calories a piece … as much as I can almost taste their garlic buttery crust in my mouth, I keep trying to tell myself that it’s just not worth the calories, at least for right now.

Thankfully, my analytical side can easily see that either of those ranges are pretty ridiculous when you’re only averaging 1,100 calories a day total, so I’ve been trying to weigh that logic along with dropping about a pound a day as incentive to stay the course so far.

For the most part, though, the meals I’ve been eating are pretty good and realistically the volume of food is still considerable – it’s just that instead of being a pile of bread dough and some processed meat, it’s a pile of broccoli or celery alongside a fresh-cooked protein. I’ve definitely been cooking a lot more, which takes some getting used to but I’m slowly finding my groove. I’m looking forward to over time building up a nice repertoire of menus so that there’s more of a variety to choose from, but so far I’m just taking it one day at a time.

Distractions also seem to be helping a lot, whether it’s focusing on writing a new blog post when I’m hungry or making myself do the dishes or laundry, or even just getting lost in a TV show but without the bag of chips at my side to slowly graze out of until I reach the bottom. Sometimes I think that my appetite is starting to subside, but other times I really have to work at it.

Still, it’s only been a week, so I know that I can’t really expect too much all at once. 😉

I think week #2 is going to present some new challenges – tomorrow is my and Sara’s anniversary, so we’re going out to dinner, but we picked a restaurant that specifically caters to smaller portions. And then on Monday we’re hitting up Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party over at Disney World, but I actually think that as long as I plan well and take it easy before we get there, I should be ok as long as I can take it easy in the candy shop! A single counter service meal for dinner isn’t going to kill me, and there are probably some halfway decent options to pick from there if I really think about it…

All in all, I’m obviously ecstatic about my results so far – I was really expecting maybe 3-4 pounds with water weight, not upwards of 10 pounds! So it’s very encouraging to think that even if/when it dwindles down to 1-2 pounds per week, I could still be down 30+ pounds by Christmastime, which would be absolutely fantastic.

Mind you, even the notion of dropping into the 250s as soon as this weekend after being 270 a week ago is equally satisfying!

Onward and downward! :mrgreen:

As mentioned last month, the time had come once again to reorganize my minifig collection, as noted by the minifigs that were hanging upside down and otherwise cluttering up entirely too much real estate on my desk!

Some sixteen series in with at least 2-3 new lines coming out each year, scalability was a primary concern.

Also, well … space, because this collection is starting to get mighty big!!!

Mighty big, indeed…

LEGO1

So I started by doubling the number of baseplates that my last display used – the alternating colors are pretty much because I learned the hard way that blue is out and apparently the tan baseplates are now officially in. 🙁

I pretty much hung them the same way that I did last time – drilled a hole in the top corners and then tacked them up to the wall, with the one major difference being that this time I did what I should’ve done last time and went the extra step to connect them all together so that the baseplates would all be touching like one giant display area.

It’s honestly about the same number of rows per plate, but I think I like how it looks better.

LEGO2

To save you from counting the whole lot (because I just spent the last two hours dusting and putting them up 16 at a time!), my current count is 235 minifigs total … still missing most of series 1 and then a few random figures from the rest, along with the 9-figure limited edition Team GB set done in 2012 for the Olympics, and of course, the elusive and way too expensive Mr. Gold.

My rough estimate is that I can fit about another 8 series up on my new wall as-is, and if need be after that I can relocate a row of picture frames beneath its position on the wall to add another row of baseplates that would at least give me another year.

I’m not going to worry out more than a few years because at that point we may be in a different house altogether and despite the horror of having to move this whole thing, I’d still love to do something a little classier looking with custom-made shadow boxes and whatnot … though as you can see, wall space even with this configuration is tight so I’d need to have a ton of new space to work with to do proper cabinets or something.

Oh well, for the time being I’m happy once again – now it’s time to hop on Bricklink and order another couple of series 1 minifigs before they’re all going for $20+ a piece! 😯

Cookin’ Shrimps!

April 14, 2015 11:37pm
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shrimps

Look at those things – cooking like they’re supposed to and everything!

Tonight I found myself unexpectedly cooking shrimp – something that I’ve never actually done before and admittedly was more than a little unsure of how to do.

The unexpected part came about because I had bought a couple of bags of uncooked shrimp at the store Sunday night for a dinner that Sara was going to help me make later on in the week, but then today I realized that I hadn’t kept them frozen – only in the refrigerator, which the wife said meant that I really needed to do them tonight or else they were going to go bad.

Between you and me, I totally would’ve just thrown them back into the freezer despite there literally being a warning right on the bag itself about not doing that, but this ended up working out ok, too!

So after letting them sit in the marinade that we had for about 30 minutes, I realized that grilling and broiling them like the instructions said wasn’t really an option, so as a last resort I just dumped them all in a frying pan and let them cook until they were all pink and not-raw-looking, and low and behold, it worked!!! 😀

I ended up giving Christopher a few cut up for dinner and ate a ton more myself, and so far both of us are still alive, so apparently I know how to cook shrimp now.

justlaugh

So I’ve been very reluctant to announce anything and hereby completely jinx ever updating it again, but I recently sort of brought Just Laugh back from the dead again.

It’s one of those things that I’ve tried to do several times before and it’s just never stuck, to the point where this time I’ve actually been writing since around Thanksgiving but I kept a lot of the posts private on the test site I was building to make sure that I was actually serious about doing it this time before shaking things up again on the main site. I finally got the new site to the point where I pulled the trigger on 2/25.

Admittedly it’s a big change from what the site used to be before … hopefully that’ll contribute to actually making the difference this time. I ended up getting rid of the joke database (because I didn’t want to get sued) and the game downloads (because all of the developers are out of business now and none of them run on modern computers anyways), as well as a bunch of the other random stuff that never entirely fit anywhere. The new focus is entirely on original content, all of which I’m currently writing myself. It’s been tricky to stay on top of, but realistically it’s not a ton of work every day as long as I don’t let myself fall behind and occasionally do things in advance when the opportunity arises.

And for what it’s worth, I personally think that I’m writing some of the funniest stuff that I’ve written in a long time!

Eventually I’d love to bring some other people on with me again, both to explore some of the fun collaborative pieces that we used to do on Just Laugh in the past as well as to have more than one post a day, but for now I’m just trying to keep it slow and steady as I commit to writing on the schedule that I’ve already set for myself.

Of course, it doesn’t help that already I’ve found myself yearning desperately to re-start my humor column once again now that the main development is done for Just Laugh, but I’m really trying to take it slow so that I don’t do what I usually do and drop one thing for another just when things finally start going…

ONE. THING. AT. A. TIME. SCOTT!!! 😀

IMG_0122

And we’re done!

Ok, so admittedly this series was probably one of my quickest to complete … I think I only ended up buying around 16 and I was able to trade away just about all of my doubles 1-for-1 on Reddit for the half dozen I was missing when it was all over. Probably all for the best because as much as I love The Simpsons, I still think that $3.99 is kind of pushing it as a price point for these things.

Curious to see what the next series is at this point – wondering if they’ll go back to unlicensed themes (and prices) or if they’ll continue with more tie-ins.

In the meantime – where’s the rest of my Lego Springfield?!

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