My tweets


Making room

At Windycon while talking with friends about having room to do things, I made the decision to give up on my personal room being both a media room and a work room. The media is going away, at least mostly. The projector and screen are still there, but mainly because I doubt I could get anything for them and they're not actually taking up much room.

I got rid of the TV bolted to the wall a couple of days ago, and today I finally decided that I can get the loveseat out of the basement alone, and it's now at Goodwill. The space will be filled by this evening, but hopefully it will give me room to get sort of organized and not have to just cram everything into a heap and step over things to get to anything.

I'm bringing a small desk in to be where I work from home. Having 2 or 3 monitors on a workbench means it's not really a workbench anymore, they plus the mouse and keyboard take up the whole desk area.

Figuring out this media thing

I've been running my media from a Plex server on my desktop, but I wanted to move everything to a NAS box. At the same time, I didn't want to spend $150 extra to get the Play model of the NAS box, because the reviews say it's kind of limited in what it can do anyway and only has a single hardware transcoding engine so it can only allow one file at a time to play on it.

I tried installing Kodi on the Raspberry Pi 2 that I have, but even with heat sinks and as much overclocking as it will handle, it still won't play videos anything like real time, they immediately get out of sync.

I played with a bunch of options, and was about to dedicate a spare laptop to the problem when I remembered that I have a Fire TV stick that I don't use for anything. A bit of investigation turned up the Vimu player on it for $2.75. It works very well, playing 1080p video full speed. It can't handle h.265 but I don't have that much content in that format, and I am willing to reencode a dozen files or so to fix this issue. So problem solved.

I'm a bit sad that Kodi doesn't work for this because it seems a nice interface. I might think about seeing how it does on the Intel Atom board I have lying around here somewhere, someday.

Setting up a RAID box

Last night the Synology 416J that I ordered came in. I popped the three 5TB Seagates out of their enclosures (those boxes are designed to NEVER be opened once sealed) and put them in.

Setup was fast and automatic. In fact a bit too automatic for my taste. It didn't give me really any options, just set things up. It did set things up the way I wanted them, and I think I could change them if I wanted, but still it was surprising.

I've got a learning curve ahead of me. It's got a lot of remote junk that I need to look into, like the ability to grab files off it from my phone, a decent looking photo album site, etc.

It's going to take at least a week to copy all the data back onto the drive. It got grumpy about being plugged into a 100MHz switch, so I dug around in the junk box and found a GHz one to shut it up.

I tried plugging drives into the USB on the back and asking it to copy directly, but that didn't really speed things up any - I think right now it's too busy qualifying the drives, building the RAID parity volumes and such. Also it wants to make thumbnails for all the photos and videos, which is bogging it down.

Going with a REAL RAID box this time

I've been running a pair of 5TB USB3 drives attached to my PC. It works but I don't like everything about it.

I decided to get a real NAS box to put it in, and I've had my fill of half-assed solutions, so I went ahead and got a Synology DS416j.

Now I just need to back up all the data on those drives so I can slot them into the box when it gets here.

I probably need to go with an actual network cabinet so I can fit all this stuff in. The swing down from the ceiling works but it's not fantastic.