AOL Teeters on Doom

I ran across this article this morning. It shouldn’t surprise anyone… well, with the exception of the people that are getting scammed.

My favorite part of the article is the comments. Someone claims in the article that AOL invented email and uses that to defend paying them a monthly fee. Hilarious.

Drobo Still Takes Forever to Rebuild?

I’m guessing from the amount of hits on the Drobo article from 2009 that people are still having problems with Drobos rebuilding the array in a decent amount of time.

Ever since I got a DS4600 using standard RAID-5 I’ve been quite happy. Rebuild times on a 6TB volume are about 2.5 hours. Note: the volume is only about 1/3rd full, but it’s still way more data than what was on the Drobo in 2009.

Since that incident I strongly reconsider anything that implements something in a closed, proprietary fashion to replace a standard.

Just sayin’.

If you have one of the newer Drobo units and still have problems with the array rebuilding in an acceptable amount of time, let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about it.

The Big Three in Back to the Future Terms

It just occurred to me while I was visiting the Thinking Chamber earlier today:

If the big three tech companies were characters in Back to the Future, they would be…

Microsoft == Biff
Apple == Marty McFly
Google == Doc Brown

Mother Earth’s Revenge

Not much to blog about today. It’s been a very busy day. Fortunately I was productive during most of that time despite spending so much of it on the phone. I did have to devote 2.5 hours of my home life to the day job this evening but I dulled that pain with wine.

I also mailed my resume off to someone who asked for it. That was nice. It’s always nice to be wanted.

Anyway, what did I want to share with you this evening? Oh, not much. Just this TOTALLY FREAKY SHIT:


Okie, what the HELL is that? This picture was supposedly caught by a hunter’s deer cam or something in December. It’s probably some viral marketing effort for a new scary movie or whatnot (or maybe a senator who just lost the election) but I’m telling you right now, this thing is going to give me nightmares. Read up about it here. If you can’t get enough of that freaky garbage from a single article look around on there and you’ll find more links talking about it.

Now I’m not one to sit back and do all kinds of conspiracy theories and stuff, but the whole animals-dropping-dead-for-no-reason and this relative to someone on Sand Mountain just doesn’t add up to me. 2011 is off to one seriously weird start.

We also can’t forget about the river turning bright nuclear green in Canada.

Just… wow.

Definitely Moving Too Fast

Tonight the Christmas tree was finally put back in the shed. While the wife and I were shifting the dining room table back into place, I muttered, “Another Christmas come and gone.” Quite a cheesy, cliche line if I do say so myself. Obviously I am becoming an old fart.

It suddenly occurred to me that 2010 had flown past. I know I was getting all pensive about this earlier, but the other day I was looking over this blog and I noticed that I made ONE WHOLE POST in the entire year of 2010. That one whole post was in June, where I ran across this website (like it was some foreign thing) and noticed that I really should post more often. The problem is that I remember writing that post and I SWEAR TO @DEITY there is NO WAY IN HELL that I wrote that post in June. I wrote it in November or December. There’s no way I wrote that in June.

But… nope. I wrote that in June.

What in the hell happened to 2010? Everyone I know was sick as a dog. My family was sick on a regular basis. We were sick so often I started thinking that we needed to call some investigative reporter to have them run checks on our house for xenon or cosmic rays and shit like that. I just knew we were going to end up on 20/20 as the newest victim of some greedy corporate assmunch who built out house back in the 60’s on top of a Cherokee burial ground next to a pet cemetery. But I never did any of that. I guess it was just my kids being little disease vectors. This theme hooked up to produce one of those New Year’s Resolutions where I vowed to take better care of myself. Yeah well, I’m doing generally okay, but I really need to lay off the sweets.

Anyway, I digress. Time flew. 2010 is over and I can hardly believe it came and went. Like I said earlier, it was a time of massive transition for me. The news we got at the last week of 2010 was nothing more than the icing on the cake. Yes, Mr. Man, that really has been a transition going on and it took a year to fully blossom. How ironic that on the last week of the year the decisions were done and announcements were made. The transition was really happening.

So now 2011 is about another transition, but that’s more for the place that I work. My own personal transition is nearly complete. That’s a good thing, I do believe. Those New Year’s Resolutions should help with completing those transitions but we’ll see. I’m usually pretty good about committing to something, but I have to believe that it’s worth the commitment. (Those of you who are personal friends, kindly resist the urge to message me now with, “Your kids are worth it!” bullshit remarks because that just doesn’t work on me for some reason).

Here I am with new goals and new ambitions. I need to figure out where my wandering mind needs to go. There are so many things I enjoy doing and so many things I could make into a career… but as these things go, it’s all about experimentation and finding how you love to spend your time.

I’ve gone through stages in my life. My early child/teenager/20’s were spent being quite left-brained. Somewhere around the early to mid-20’s I made the transition to a very right-brained method of living and working. I still enjoy that, but oh how I miss the left-brained stuff.

I really need to line up some models and start photography again. I also need to get some of these scripts and stories (re)written and work them. I miss it terribly.

Frankly, the right-brained shit gets old. I’m not good in that part of the rat race. I need the creativity. If I can mix the technology and the creativity that is likely a sweet spot.

Wish me luck.

Move SteamApps Folder on a Mac

On a Windows machine, the Steam application allows you to relocate the “SteamApps” folder to a different drive. This allows you to effectively shift your content around anywhere you like. When you install a new game, it’ll even ask you where you want to install it.

For some bizarre reason they did not afford the same convenience to Mac users. Initially when Steam was released for the Mac they even forced you to keep the SteamApps folder in your Documents folder. This made it really painful to use a portable home directory. Valve relented after a huge user outcry and relocated the folder to ~/Library/Application Support/Steam, which is probably where it belonged anyway.

Now what if you want to move it out of there to an external drive? I have roughly 40gb of games wrapped up in that directory and frankly, there’s no reason for it to exist in my home directory. I studied around on the forums and Steam support site and discovered they did not have any ability to shift this content around natively. That won’t defeat me, however.

I moved the SteamApps folder to a location on an external drive and first tried to make an alias of the new location to ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps. This didn’t work. When I launched Steam, it told me that it had to exist on a case-insensitive volume. That’s rather odd. My external drive is formatted with HFS+ case-insensitive. No matter. I deleted the alias and tried a UNIX-style link:

ln -sf /Volumes/DS4600/Storage/SteamApps ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/SteamApps

I then started Steam back up and I heard the DS4600 RAID-5 volume (which is where the SteamApps now reside) spin. I looked in the library and voila, all of my games were present.

That wasn’t so hard. Wonder why Valve won’t let you do this? I’ll keep it running this way for a while and see if it blows up.

New Year’s Resolutions for 2011

It’s 2011. It’s probably time for some New Year’s Resolutions, so here’s the obligatory post.

First, let me speak a bit about 2010. 2010 was an interesting year. I label it a year of transition because there was quite a bit of that. If 2010 had an overall theme, it was definitely “transition.” I transitioned in many areas:

  • Professionally, in deciding that if I had my way about it, I’ll never work with Windows again.
  • Personally, in discovering that I’ve been doing a terrible job at taking care of myself.
  • Spiritually, but not in the classical sense. By this I mean learning more about myself and others.

This is a personal blog and so therefore I’m only covering areas that are personal. Those of you who know me know that there have been multiple transitions in the family as well, albeit standard. (“My how the kids have grown!” “Wow, will that two year old ever stop talking!?”)

All of this being said I present to you… my 2011 New Year’s Resolutions. I’m going to do my best to make sure that I cover only the goals that I feel are attainable.

Create More

I used to create all the time. Something, and I’m not sure what, got me out of that habit. I want to get back. I miss it. I miss theater too, but I don’t think that goal is attainable until the kids grow a little more and I have a job that isn’t 24/7. Therefore, one of my goals is to create more. This can be writing, photography (oh how I miss photography!), video, programming or whatever. I must create more.

Read More

I’ve been doing a lot more reading of late, so this needs to continue.

Learn More

This plugs into the spiritual thing and 2010’s transitions. I want to continue to learn more about Chinese language and culture and Mac/UNIX/Linux/Web technologies.

Focus Better

You might think that with the first goal of creating more that this might be difficult. Focus has become very difficult for me and I’m not sure why. This needs to change.

Stop Idling

I idle on the computer too much. This is killing me.

Take Better Care of Myself

Eat better. Move around more. I have the tools, I just need to remember to do that. Stop eating so much garbage. I’ve been doing much better on that in 2010. I need to continue to do that.

Be a Better Father

I think I’m a pretty terrible father. I need to change that. Really, I do.

Be a Better Husband

My wife is a good woman. I consistently remind myself that she gave up so much to move here and have a new life. She entrusted me with her life and well being. I need to remember that and honor her. I need to help out more.

I think that about covers it. There will be some changes on this blog over the coming months. It’s gotten quite cobwebby and I think there is a place for this site after all. I let it grow stale after opening so many other blogs (which will be linked here) and using Twitter and Facebook. While I’ve met many awesome people on Twitter, I want to share a little more in an extended format. Twitter is for light, hilarious conversations. Ultimately, if you want to know more about just me, this is the place to come. If you want to learn more about my family or technology that I’m working on, there are other places to go. If you don’t know where they are you will soon.

2011 will be another year for transition and it is already offering new opportunities. On the last week of 2010 we discovered that we lost our massive contract supporting the government agency I work for. I’m not sure where that is going to take me but I’m definitely excited about the possibilities. I’m very optimistic that this will allow me to grow in areas that I need/want to grow.

Notice I didn’t call out “be more optimistic” in my goals for 2011. Optimism is a very personal thing for me. In general, I’ve always been hopeful that things work out for the better and have always looked for the silver lining. A lot of people see my negativity on the outside but they may not realize that in general it’s a facade. Negativity is funny. I like to make people laugh. I deal with stress by laughing. It comes off as negativity. That’s fine if you don’t understand. But deep down I know it will work out in the end, whatever and however that is. It’s quite optimistic.

If that surprises you, then congratulations – you learned something about me. Great way to start the new year, right?