Time machine backups with a drobo

I needed a better solution for the time machine i had running on the mac Pro, i currently have 4 drives online totalling up to 3.5Tb of storage. Currently I am running time machine with an external 1.5Tb USB drive, and had to be selective as to what i included in the backups. It just wasn’t good enough so this week I bought a drobo from eBay. 🙂 Now I can do Time machine backups with a drobo.

Why use a dobo? For a number of reasons actually.

  1. The Mac Pro currently has 4 SATA drive bays, and all of them are in use. I was struggling with the throughput of the USB ports (30Mb/s). Using FireWire on the drobo instead of USB gives me a much higher throughput (800Mb/s).
  2. Capacity. The largest affordable single drive I could get would be around 2Tb. The 4 drives I already had in the machine added up to 3.5Tb, so this wasn’t big enough. Using a drobo gives me the ability to have a 3Tb time machine drive that I can grow later on if needed.
  3. It just looks cute and it is very silent. 🙂

I had read about a number of concerns online with the drobo, that it has it’s own propriety raid format, but my only concern was just using it for time machine and not for main storage (I have a proper Linux RAID6 QNAP system for that). I just wanted to protect the machine from loosing files between backups (we incorporate backups in our workflow). If the drobo suddenly dies, I don’t lose any work, just the ongoing snapshots. I can just recreate them if needed.

It was pretty simple to setup. I guess time will tell if it works well.

Distractions and foiled plans

I’ve been having some difficulty doing any computer programming the past week. I was planning on spending some quality time coding on some pioneer space sim stuff, but our “daughter” doesn’t seem to not to let me do any work.

Cat on the keyboard

If i don’t give her any attention she eventually kicks the keyboard off the desk and onto my lap.

I haven’t been totally unproductive however. While she might control the keyboard, she can’t control the mouse (oh the irony) nor the screen, so I have been happily catching up on some blender tutorials (I’m finding the camera tracking quite interesting) as well as watching some Objective-C tutorial videos as well. Louise (wifey) should be back home in a 2 weeks, so I should get some peace from her then. (from the cat that is) 😉

Maybe I should just feed her sooner.. 🙂


Active BBS entertainment

Today I was added to a new group of Facebook. Back in the early ’90s, before the internet was all graphical and the world wide web was thought to be some kind of spider, were the days of the humble Bulletin board systems (BBS) one such BBS that i was addicted to dialling up was called ‘Active entertainment BBS‘.

Active entertainment BBS

These days, ‘Active’ is no more than a simple web page as the old telnet system was taken offline. But the memories and friends met online back when online was geeky and weird is still strong.

It gives you a nice fuzzy feeling when someone you havent spoken to for nearly 20 years suddenly pops up and says “Hi”. Wow, talk about a blast from the past! Remembering g old login names, and the crazy stuff I used to get up to 20 years ago is actually quite frightening. Maybe I should write a book (haha, but who would want to read it).

Blahhh… I feel so old now.

I often think about digging up my old BBS system (yes, I ran one too) just for nostalgia, but I just don’t think it is worth the time and effort to set it up for the sake of a few people to log in on. Sometimes you just have to let things die and stay dead. Happy to be proven wrong though. 😉

pioneer space sim – alpha22 released

I’ve just compiled and uploaded the alpha22 release of pioneer for Mac OS X. The team have been working hard adding heaps of fixes.

The Pioneer development team are pleased to announce the release of Pioneer Alpha 22. Its been a month for gameplay and engine tweaks, with improvements to system generation, mining, hyperspace and the usual slew of fixes. Full changelog and builds for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux are available from the download page

I haven’t contributed much in this release due to other commitments, but I’m always there to keep the OS X build updated and compiling.

As always if you find any issues then feel free to log them on the issue tracker.

Blogging from an iPad.

The iPad was originally designed to be a consumption device, i.e. for reading, viewing and listening. It wasn’t designed to be a content creation device. Over time though, some of the apps have become more sophisticated.

Since getting my iPad from my lovely wife, I have been using it on my daily commute into work (an hour bus ride) to read the news, facebook, read a magazine. Lately however I have been ‘creating’ on the iPad rather than being just a consumer. It has actually become quite enjoyable. Because my stop is the first bus stop of the day, I get to sit up the back of the bus and type away (quietly on the iPad onscreen keyboard).

A good example is this blog post. I am using a very good product called Blogsy.

I won’t bore you with a comprehensive review, (there are plenty of other sites for that) but it does allow you to drag and drop elements from the web (such as pictures, video, links, etc) directly into your blog post.

In fact this entire blog post was written in the back of the bus.. Now how is that for mobility!