Friday, 25 May 2012

This weekend is shaping up to be full of sunshine and IT


Well, the weather is set to remain beautiful, and that's great since as a church we're putting on a barbeque for the people of Heyford Park. The excuse is that it's part of the jubbly celebrations (yes, I know how to spell Jubilee, but this is more fun) but as much as anything it's about giving something to the community without asking for stuff in return.

Better get the sun cream out, methinks.

The IT part then? Well IT is normally performed by pasty, slightly overweight males that sit in darkened rooms, for whom the pinnacle of athletic prowess is their speed hitting the keyboard when playing Track And Field. In this case however I'm lightly tanned and slightly overweight. And I do cycle energetically sometimes.

But seriously, a couple of weeks back I bought a pair of powerline adaptors - little devices that plug into a mains socket and carry network data through domestic house wiring instead of CAT5 cable. The wireless aspect of our modem router was flaky at best, and Chris was continually having difficulty connecting wirelessly so I replaced the wireless aspect with these, and it worked perfectly first go. Ben has had less trouble (Win7, different wireless dongle etc) but still had times when it simply wasn't going to play even with re-starts etc. So I'll swap out his wireless for a powerline connector and put a powerline 4 port hub in the room we use as Chris's office.

OK, no big deal so far.

Well, for some time I've been unhappy about our backup situation. Chris backs financial data onto a memory stick, but those can fail unexpectedly. Ben has lost data at various times and so have I with some of the disc crashes etc. I've been backing up to a spare drive in a caddy from time to time, but that's not *that* great a way to do things. So I've bought a D-Link 2 bay NAS that we can pop a couple of spare drives in to provide a decent data storage solution (yuck - IT speak).

In theory it should be as simple as putting 2 drives in place, then closing the lid and finding the NAS on the network. But is life ever like that? Hopefully I can configure individual storage spaces, although I'm also wondering about trying to create a RAID mirror set up, 'just in case'. There may be some incremental backup software with it too, in which case that's the obvious solution for the winboxes. I'll have to look into something similar for the Linux box: primarily for email, images and audio as I'm doing some recording right now - albeit badly.

There is also a rather large Lexmark network printer sitting next to me on the end of this desk, and that might get relocated too.

And the other thing that arrived was a replacement for the Western Digital Caviar Black drive that failed on me just after we got home from India last year. I'm very much debating popping an SSD into the Macbook in the hope of making it less frustrating for the next year or so. I would also like to try Snow Leper again, to see if the bugs have finally been ironed out, and would reinstall everything from scratch instead of recovering from a Time machine backup in case something was carried over that made it so appalling when I did try it before.  If that were to happen then I'd keep this drive as a handy spare, or possible pop it in a caddy. It was quicker than the original, but was also noisier and not *that* much faster. Having said that, it is a brand new drive (manufactured May 2012!) so maybe it would be worth flogging.

Anyway, that'll do for now. Lets see how we get along.

Have a good weekend everyone.