Late Night Musings

It’s been a while since I’ve gone back and re-read old journal posts, but a phone conversation this evening inspired me to go back and look at old locked LiveJournal posts from the end of Freshman year.

In the process of doing so, I read back through all of the posts I’d made. And I’d made a heck of a lot of posts, mostly angsting, but sometimes about happy things. But the best part is that I can go back, read the posts, and remember my emotions and thoughts at that time. And while a lot of it is stuff that I would rather have forgotten about (like my terrible roommate experience the summer after my Sophomore year, or thoughts when I found out my dad had cancer, or my breakup), a lot of it is also super happy things, like anniversaries or the first inklings of a relationship. Those happy posts, in particular, are the most interesting to re-read (and those moments, to re-experience) now given I’m getting married in less than 4 months. (Holy crap!)

I angst less now. At least, I’d like to think so. Maybe this is a part of growing up and having more stability in life. Maybe I actually angst just as much but privately instead of in journal posts.

I don’t post nearly as much now as I used to. I don’t post in nearly as much (personal) detail now as I used to. In some ways, that’s sad, because I look back on some posts and I really can’t put myself back in my own shoes. But I pretty much also now only post publicly. Maybe I should start using LiveJournal again sporadically.

There really is no point to this entry. I haven’t done a musing-type entry in a while, so perhaps I was overdue.

I’m just thankful for all of my friends, even if sometimes I forget how awesome they are and how much they’ve been there for me in the past.

And congratulations again to you, mysterious caller. You know who you are, and you are awesome, and I’m glad we’re friends.

Carnival 2014

There was a Carnival. It was awesome to see people again, but for some reason this Carnival ended up being rather more stressful than fun.

Total photo count from Wednesday through Sunday: 2887, edited down to just over 2000… a far cry from past Carnivals where I took around 1000 a day (or, in the case of Carnival 2009, 2255 photos in one 24-hour period).

More photos exist at photos.

Life otherwise has been pretty much the same routine. It’s nice having weekly rock climbing and board gaming.

Pittsburgh weather has been full of crazy. Today it snowed. Yesterday it was really warm. Sunday it was in the 80s.

So yeah.

Life things. Yay.

Data, backups, and CrashPlan

Wow, we almost got through October without making a post. I’m not ready to let this journal die (or be updated less than once a month) yet, so I guess it’s time for a general update.

Theme of the past couple weeks have been hard drive deaths. It started a couple weeks ago with Greg’s work, where they had a RAID drive fail (apparently resulting in data loss because the RAID controller hadn’t previously reported that the other disk was dead… so both disks dead == unhappy data).

Not to be outdone, last Wednesday, my external hard drive decided to start issuing checksum errors everywhere, and slow reads and writes down to unusable speeds. This prompted a panic and a rush to get new drives and restore my backups. (At least I’m super anal about backups, so I didn’t lose any data.)
(This is actually my first hard drive failure ever, which is kind of interesting. It’s not my first data disaster, as I previously had rogue virus scanning software wipe the hard drive while trying to clean a virus, but it’s the first time a drive has actually become unusable.)

Now today, Greg’s laptop seems to be having problems and freezing shortly after boot. Hopefully it doesn’t indicate another hard drive failure. But regardless, it seems this is not the month for technology.

Ben has previously written about cloud backups. I’d previously written them off (after all, I do local backups and off-site backups at my parents’ every time I visit them), but after the recent not-really-a-problem-at-all-but-still-scary “disaster” that was my hard drive failing, I took another look at them. After all, my data is priceless to me (especially my photos), and all of my careful backing up would be worthless in the event of theft or fire.

The service of choice for a lot of people seems to be CrashPlan. We use them at work, and I have 4 friends who use it (including Ben), so it seemed worth a look. The main benefit there (in addition to their great pricing and support for external drives) is their $125 seeding service, where they’ll send you a hard drive in the mail for you to do your initial backup on instead of having to upload everything over the internet. For me, with over 1TB of data to back up, this was a no brainer, and combined with their extremely reasonable prices, I decided to take the leap.

It took less than 24 hours from my order for the drive to ship, and less than 24 hours after that for me to actually receive it. This was last Friday (before my backup had even finished restoring onto my new drive!), so I kicked off the seed backup and it ran through the weekend. After it completed Monday morning, I realized I’d forgotten to exclude a couple directories, so I excluded them and ran an archive maintenance on the backup to permanently remove the files. Little did I know this process would take days to complete… it’s now Tuesday night, and it’s on the third step (of who knows how many) of maintenance.

So, as far as CrashPlan goes, a few first (and second) impressions:
1) Their customer service is amazing. Their reps are polite, knowledgeable, and responsive. It’s everything you want in customer service. So bonus points for that.
2) Their client is written in Java and therefore hogs memory like nobody’s business. My backup actually crashed on Saturday because the client had exceeded the default 512MB RAM limit, and I had to increase it to 2GB. Woke up some mornings to it using over 1.5GB, and had to reboot to get it back down to reasonable levels.* Negative points for that (although the Java aspect means they do support Linux, which I suppose is a plus).
3) Don’t do archive maintenance on your archives. :P It takes literally days to run (at least when you have 1TB of data like me), and there isn’t any warning beforehand about how long it could take. (And, as far as I can tell, there isn’t a way to cancel or delay the operation once it’s started.) Negative points for that.
4) Seeding service (assuming it works, of course, since I still haven’t sent back the drive) is awesome and totally worth the money if you have a lot of data to back up. It would have taken me months (like… almost a year) to send my 1TB of data over the internet. Seeding gets it done in a matter of days. So bonus points for offering that service.

*This is actually concerning to me, as my laptop only has 4GB of physical RAM, so CrashPlan regularly consuming half of that would be a serious problem. Fortunately, memory usage seems to only spike while a backup is actively occurring, and it otherwise uses a reasonable 150MB of RAM to run in the background and monitor files.

Anyway, this post has gotten a bit longer than I would have liked. I haven’t had a chance to do anything with photos while my computer has been restoring and backing up and maintenance-ing, so there isn’t anything to break up this wall of text for you today.

But yay for cloud backups. And boo for hardware problems.
(Also? Boo for the NSA being able to easily access my data now. But I suppose that’s a given for anything you put online, and I’d rather have a safe backup than worry about the government seeing my not-at-all-interesting files.)

Life, Carnival, Boston, Glee, and things

Well, it’s been more than a month since I’ve updated, so I should probably write something here. (This actually makes the first month I’ve skipped since I started keeping my journal back in high school in 2003. Huh.)

Since it is now after April, my photojournal and stats have been updated. Not many changes this time in stats… people mostly look the same. I also updated my photojournal with thumbnails a while back, so it’s a bit nicer to browse now.

There was a Carnival and it was awesome. My goal to spend less time on Midway was somewhat successful… I still made it out to Midway every day during build week, but I didn’t spend much time there. Next year perhaps I should forgo the hardhat so I have no excuse to go. KGB built an awesome booth (and reportedly won second place in the independent category) and there was the usual Fairfax crowd around (minus Mars, Mars-Dan, and Al-Tim this year, unfortunately) for lots of games and merriment.

Buggy and the picnic were rained out on Friday (but, amazingly, not Mobot), so it was a little less eventful than it perhaps could have been… we braved the cold on Saturday for the Buggy finals instead and just generally had fun times.

Photos of such things are at my photos site.

Also happening during Carnival week was the Boston marathon bombing, which is rather relevant now given that the Pittsburgh marathon is happening tomorrow. Reportedly the post office has gone through and removed all mailboxes along the route (and will replace them afterward), which is a rather interesting decision.
I generally have a lot of feelings about this, but I’m not really sure how to put them into words. I tend to get more freaked out than I should by upsetting things, but I also hope this doesn’t get used as another point against liberties… after all, terrorist attacks kill far fewer people every year than lightning, car accidents, or drowning.
Even more so than the terribleness that happened, to me, was the reaction from the mother of the suspects. I can understand if you believe your sons were framed, or that it was a government conspiracy, or something (because you love your kids and maybe you want to believe they aren’t capable of such things), but to outright deny there was a bombing is completely disrespectful to everyone that was affected by it. That is not okay.

Another thing that has been bothering me in the news lately is this. I think CMU is handling it completely the wrong way and the Catholic church is making a much bigger deal out of it than it should, especially when they compare the event to the recent frat suspension due to alleged sexual misconduct. Again, no, that is not okay. And you wonder why I am so against organized religion sometimes. :\
(Also, KDKA seems to be horrible at actually researching and reporting stories, as usual.)

But related to The Tartan though, you should read this awesome article that Greg put together for the CMU presidential transfer happening this summer.
Yay The Tartan.

I recently purchased the first season of Glee. I haven’t watched the show since the end of the second season (when the slow season-long decline ended in the horrific New York episode that was terrible enough to turn me off from the show forever), but I caught up a bit on the plot summaries and musical performances online. And I have to say… even the worst of the first season (“Funk” and “Theatricality” come to mind) is far better than the entire second season. And the show only seems to have gone downhill from there (“Plot? Why would we need plot when we’ve got singing and dancing?”). Even the pregnancy storylines, hated as they were, wove some semblance of continuity throughout the first season. It’s really a shame… I really liked the show, and really enjoyed rewatching the first season. I hear it has been renewed for two more seasons (5 and 6)? What is wrong with TV nowadays? :\

The weather in Pittsburgh has been rather bipolar lately as the city decides whether it wants it to be winter or spring. After some bizarre weeks (record low then a tied record high a couple days later), the weather seems to have mostly settled on “nice”.
Today Chris arranged a nice picnic in the afternoon in Friendship Park (followed by Doctor Who and sherbet [which apparently isn’t spelled “sherbert” despite everyone pronouncing it that way? O_o]), and we had Yubin, Max, and Owen over for lasagna out on the patio for dinner. I’m looking forward to the nicer weather ahead, but am very much not looking forward to the humidity that will soon be upon us.

June and July will involve lots of travel (that I’m looking forward to) and plane trips (that I am also not looking forward to). It’ll be nice to take a break from work… it’s been kind of a rough release cycle for us.

Things have been nice but uneventful lately. There has been the usual game nights and usual climbing (less so lately, as I haven’t gone since before Carnival).

Life goes.

Edit: Marathon photos, because I know people will ask about them. Yay marathon.