Monthly Archives: April 2011

Updates to the server 20110421

It has been a lot time since the last update. The LSI 8408E went south and brought down the entire RAID5. Thank god nothing important was on it. This is the last time I am going the hardware raid route. At least for software RAID, I can get any other controller and re-assemble the RAID5. But for hardware RAID, I will probably have to get the same controller and I am definitely not buying a new LSI 8408E, that would have cost a bomb.

So for a while I use a Western Digital ShareSpace which has 4TB in RAID5 (3TB usable) but boy is it slow. Transfers are about 10MB/s which is rather bad. Finally I got a LSI SAS1064ET which gives me 4 additional SATA ports which I attached 4 2TB drives and created a software RAID5 under linux (6TB usable). So if the card fails again, I just have to assemble the RAID5 in another machine. The previous 1TB drives were connected to the ICH10R to form 5TB RAID5 (4TB usable). This gives me a total of 10TB in RAID5 storage on the server with an additional 3TB in the WD ShareSpace. The last SATA on the ICH10R was used for the system drive (1TB). This should keep things going for a while more 🙂

RAM has been increased to 8GB since some of the work I am doing requires a lot of RAM. During the house moving, the power supply decided to quit and another modular one was installed.

My setup 20110421 update

We shifted house and the new place is bigger and gives us a chance to re-organize everything. The main sever has undergone some changes but is largely the same.

I have gotten a number of new machines from an auction following the closure of my previous company. With the company closing, they made a great decision of auctioning the computer hardware that we have. The auction was done by an external company EquipNet who are professionals at this kind of work. The actual auction was rather exciting as everyone wanted those machines but are not really sure how much to bid.

In the end, I managed to get hold of 10 HP workstations and 1 Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is really the jewel here, a 8 core monster with 8GB of RAM and a 24″ cinema display. A real steal at $1400. This means that I can go back to using the mac as the main machine rather than windows. As for the HP workstations, I will be getting 3 of them and the rest will be sold to other colleagues. In addition, I got hold of 2 HP laptops courtesy of Dong Liang who bidded for all 23 🙂

The Mac Pro was updated with a OCZ Vertex 2 120GB SSD and boy does the system fly now. For media storage, it has 2 x 2TB WD Black in RAID 0 for maximum speed. There is another 2TB WD Green for backups. This is really a powerhouse 🙂 It has also gotten an internal PCI-E card providing it with 2 E-SATA ports and I have it connected to a Hotway 4 way enclosure. This way I can add more drives if needed.

Ernest and Esther are each getting a HP workstation, each upgraded with a WD 500GB Black. The workstations are hooked up to 22″ LCD monitors mounted on articulating arms clipped to their tables. The 2 laptops have either a 160GB or 500GB 2.5″ drive since I reused one of the old portable drives. The laptops have been upgraded with more RAM so one of them has 6GB and the other 4GB. The last HP workstation has been give to my brother.

So my current work area has a Dell UltraSharp U2410 which is a fantastic screen. This is hooked up to a Aten KVM which is in turn connected to a Mac Pro, the server and the windows machine. The windows machine has been upgraded with more RAM and a new graphics card, a ATI Radeon HD 5850. Gigabit LAN is used for the interconnects so that transfers are really fast.

This setup has gotten a new set of speakers, Wharfedale Diamond 9 which is connected to a Marantz AVR NR1501. This is also connected to a Playstation 3 which is connected to the Dell U2410 via HDMI.

An Avision AV50F scanner and Brother P-Touch QL-550 is also connected for scanning and label printing.

It is a really nice setup, great hardware, tons of storage, fast network, 3 different operating system, beautiful sound and visuals. It certainly beats my workplace setup.

For printing, the Brother HL-4050CDN is still around but it is starting to develop problems. A new Samsung CPL-350N was purchased which is even worse than the going to drop dead Brother. Very disappointing. On the bright side, an Epson TX770 has replaced the HP Photosmart C6180. And it is a very very good printer. Beautiful photo print outs that look even better than the ones from the standard photo developing shops. It is also pretty accurate in terms of color after a but of tweaking. With a color calibrated screen and a tweaked printer, all the photos look really good and the colors are very consistent.

For the rest of the house, everything is connected via Gigabit LAN. There are LAN points everywhere and 3 WiFi access point provide wireless coverage for the whole house.

For the living room, there is a Popcorn Hour C-200 which plays back media streamed via LAN. It is connected via HDMI to a DENON AVR-1910. A Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 is in turn connected to the AVR. For the screen, a Sony KDL-46EX500 is used. The Sony display is actually quite good, I am really impressed. So we finally get a cinema experience at home 🙂

The kids’ room has a 32″ LCD TV which is connected to a Wii and our room has another 32″ LCD TV connected to a A.C. Ryan Playon!HD Mini.

Poem about Esther

My Precious Little Pea Princess

The best things in life are worth waiting

Like Esther my little darling

No words could explain the joy

When I see Esther play with her toys

Oh, my precious little granddaughter, my little pride and joy

We had a special bond that nothing could destroy

Your little dimples in your face and sparkle in your eyes

Make so difficult the evening goodbyes

Small as a pea you may be

But your cries and laughter will topple the mightiest tree

My precious little pea princess you are