Category Archives: Hardware

Discussions of computer hardware such as disk drives, scanners, printers and any other such things.

An iPod Touch I’d Buy

Lumina CM1The new Panasonic Lumina CM1 is a very intriguing product. I don’t think it’s the first hybrid Android phone. It does seems one of the most mature. It’s a camera first and a phone second. Honestly I wouldn’t want this as a phone. I’d much rather tether it to a phone. I don’t need yet an other data plan eating away at my wallet.

I can honestly imagine Apple making a new iPod Touch like this with a big lens. I think I’d buy something like that much quicker than I’d buy an Apple watch with nebulous utility. Whether Apple would ever do that is an other question. They’ve given no indication but I think many people would love it if they pushed into the camera space with real lenses.

Make Your Own Drobo with Fusion

ProBox

This originally was from the old blog. I’ve reposted it with a few minor changes by request. 

Make your own Drobo for cheap. Well, not exactly. But close. If you are like me your main disk drive is 3T or bigger now. You also probably have a bunch of 1T drives laying around. Some you can use for a particular manual backup of data. However you can’t really use them for automated backup because they are just all too small. Like me you may have looked at Drobos or Synology bays with lust, wishing you could take your old drives and make a backup system with them. Yet those drive bays are usually ridiculously expensive. Too much for Time Machine. 1

The alternative is to use Apple’s Fusion Drive technology. You won’t be creating an SSD/HD fusion.2 Rather you’ll be taken a bunch of drives and treating them as a single logical drive. To avoid things from getting too confused, I strongly suggest getting a multidisk bay. I used a ProBox USB3 4 bay enclosure for mine. If you don’t do that remember that if one drive goes down none of the drives will work right.3 In other words bad things happen if they aren’t all running. Trying to keep 4 disks straight when you may have several others is just asking for trouble.

Continue reading

  1. I’d never consider Time Machine a primary backup — just a “nearly good enough” versioning and backup solution. It’s just too unreliable to be a real backup. Instead I have a collection of full disk backups I rotate through and then some dated backups of particular files I automate via Python.
  2. Although it’s pretty easy and works great. I put a 420G SSD in my 2010 MBP along with a 500GB 3.5” HD as a Fusion drive. It works fantastic. Much better than my old system of symlinking directories off the SSD to the Hard Drive. All you have to do is replace the DVD drive with a caddy that can hold the HD.
  3. This isn’t a hypothetical. I originally wrote this post last fall. In spring one of the four disks did go down. I had to undo the Fusion drive, figure out what drive was bad, and then recreate. For this reason don’t ever consider this a primary system. Even if you use new disks. But if you, like me, use old disks laying around it’s a question of when, not if, the Fusion drive will go down.

Lego EV3

Lego Ev3

We’re going to be doing home schooling with our son this fall due to a few issues I won’t get into. (It definitely wasn’t our first choice but seems to be the best one) One thing I wanted to do was get him into programming. Since he loves Lego I broke down and bought the latest Lego Mindstorm. Unfortunately while the previous generation (NXC) had some great programming languages, like C, for it the current one doesn’t. (Yet)

There’s a version of C called RobotC is in beta. Unfortunately it’s PC only. I’ll almost certainly snag it once it becomes available. I’ve not tried the beta yet though but it sounds like it’s still fairly rough. Some people have got it running in a virtual machine. I may try that later this week. There’s a version of C++ as well called BricxCC which I plan to install as well. Again sadly (and surprisingly) it too is PC only. 

Continue reading