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motes of reality
to live a sweet lie or accept the bitter truth that is reality
2010-05-17 17:17 - Summer Anime
Making a slow return to watching anime. I have some old stuff I want to catch up on, but until I have time to dig around and see how much that is, I've started checking out the current season.

A slice of life drama style series with an eclectic cast of characters. Only 2 episodes in but it doesn't look like there will much in the way of plot; it's all about character interaction atm.

The rather simplistic designs for this almost put me off, but I plan to give it an episode or two and see what they can do with it.

High School of the Dead
I read a few volumes of the manga for this way back and found it quite amusing. Thought it might be too off-the-wall to make an anime but I should have know better.
2010-05-15 15:03 - Go in China
Got a bit of reading done last night while copying stuff from the dying drive. Of note on the Go front was one (now abandoned) blog about two months spent learning Weiqi in China. It's balanced in that it gives accounts of both how the two authors lived as well as how their game progressed, complete with photos and game files.

With the opening being the weakest part of my game, an extract from one of the first entries caught me: ... play in the biggest spaces in the opening, which are easily determined by counting how many lines are between the stones. However, he warned us that we should play urgent moves first. To determine which moves are urgent, we should use 3 criteria: 1. life or death of a group; 2. if your opponent's next move in an area would make the stones you've already played there useless; 3. the points (usually keimas) where you can expand your area while reducing your opponent's.

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2010-05-14 21:10 - restoring...
Currently recovering batches of folders from a dying 750gb drive. Only reason I'm posting here really, though I have been meaning to get back into the habit for a while now. Can't really concentrate on anything else as I don't want to leave the drive idle in case if locks up again and the folders are random sizes, giving me anything between a few tens of seconds and several minutes between drag-and-drops.

Referring back to my previous entry, I never did do anything productive with the G3, though I think I have a few notes somewhere that I should post. Cotton and I have settled in together ^^ I'm still the GM of BoL. Still working at the same small company, with more free time but also more get done in that time.

Stepping back another post, I don't think I've made any progress in Go. Rather, I've been clawing back my old ratings on OGS and DGS for the last few months. Started playing in Cork again recently now that weekly meetings have resumed. Prior to that, my only plays on a real board in the last year have been at the second 2009 UCC Tournament back in November and around New Year's against a player in Cobh who has apparently been living here for 'years' without knowing there were other Go players in the area.

Hmm, about 20% done on that drive. Looks like it's going to take a significant portion of the evening. At least there's nothing of dire importance on there. Still, it would take me a lo-ong time to piece things back together, so the more I can recover, the better.

Random word for this post: Whargarbl (also wharrgarbl)
2009-08-13 18:34 - back in action
Over half a year since my last post here. No, I haven't gone private, just had better things to be doing ^^ The only reason I'm updating now is because I recently got an old beige G3 from someone and decided to see whether it would do as a file server. No, I never got around to finishing that either. Like I said, better things...

I guess I should refer back to this post and mention that things did in fact go really well. And after having a hell of a lot of travel back and forth between the two countries on both our parts, Cotton will be moving here to stay in about a month and a half.

CAN. NOT. WAIT. =^^=

On a side note, at some point this year I ended up as GM for the WoW guild I play in on Shadowsong EU - Blades of Light. Besides a certain amount of dealing with people, since Cotton and I spend a lot of our online time on that server, running it hasn't been to tasking.
2009-01-18 20:35 - UCC Go Club Tournament 2009
While I have made a post about this over on Cork Go, I wanted to make a few notes here in case I want to refer back to check my progress later this year. At the first one, back in Jan 2008, I entered as 10k and won a single of my four games. This time around, I entered as 9k and won 2 of 5. Statistically, this is an improvement. I actually felt like I had a slightly better grip of what was happening on the board during these games too, though I still made mistakes. So from a year of mostly turn-based online play, it seems I have improved a little. I think my rank is 8-9k EGF, since the games I won were both against 9 kyu players, and those I lost were against 3k-7k.

The remainder of the Cobh contingent made a poor showing (i.e. none at all). There were various lame excuses given for this lack of presence (work, death, the usual).

Speaking of lame excuses, I really need to make an effort to attend the UCC club a few times this year. It was good to play on a real board against opponents I'd never met before, as well as those I had not talked to in a while.
So... I've a flight booked for Denmark (or, more precisely, Copenhagen, via Amsterdam) at an ungodly hour on new year's morning. As with most ventures, this will likely end one of two ways - really well, or horribly, horribly badly. Against all prior experience, I am cautiously optimistic. Yes, next year will be interesting, but I am hoping it will be the kind of interesting that last year was not. I could live without a sequel to that one. In fact, it is something of a prerequisite for such a continuance. I would hate to have reason to make use of nabnerd's and shunming's increasing levels of misanthropy. Well, maybe hate is too strong a word...
2008-12-20 17:04 - 'tis the season
Hmm, almost 2 months since my last entry. Guess I've either been too busy with real life to find time to post, or have had nothing worthwhile to write about. Possibly both. Or maybe the recent wow expansion coupled with a dash of guild frolicking (double entendre intended) has something to do with it. Regardless, after a certain someone enticed my return to a certain social networking site, I thought this place deserved a dusting off.

Currently trying to get a some stuff out of the way before Christmas, both in the literal physical sense, as well as the metaphorical project-type sense. High on the list is that file server I never got around to completing - hardware's just been sitting there obsolescing for the last few months. (I really don't want to go back and check when I originally ordered those drives...)

Greatly decreased the number of ongoing games across OGS and dragon. Had intended to reallocate the freed time to improve, but ended up just rushing through the remaining ones over lunch-breaks instead. There is a weekend tournament on in UCC next month, which I might attend. Last year's one was a good experience.

creatorofsplab indicated an interest in resuming kendo practice, so must attempt to meet up for a little sparring over the break.

money isn't everything
2008-10-31 21:22 - too much of a good thing
Even though (or perhaps because) I have been playing more go lately, I've been losing more often that not. Blitzing through a few dozen moves at lunch break probably isn't helping. Once the current batch of mini-tournaments wrap up, going to have to concentrate more on quality rather than quantity.

In other news, DiscountAnimeDVD has (been) closed down. For more information on the fun and games legalities involved, head over to ANN. 'US$23.7 million' is a lot of DVDs...

Hmm, feels like I'm forgetting something. Oh yeah, it's halloween...
trick or treat
The Samsung drives work fine in a USB case hooked up to seijaku, but cause continuous problems (such as 'dropping off' the controller) in the Aspire. It appears that the Sunsway/ST Lab PCI SATA 2P eSATA/SATA, SiL3512 is not compatible with FreeBSD (and therefore FreeNAS). As I've also had similar problems with the on-board SATA controller in the Aspire, that must be incompatible too. This leaves me with a few options:
Use a a linux distro and manually set up all the nice bits that come standard with FN.
Get another SATA card (such as the mentioned SATA300 TX4 PCI Controller) and hope it works.
Get a few SATA-USB cases for direct storage and throw some old PATA drives into the FN server for backup.


Update: Borrowed another controller (SIIG SATA PCI-M) and a smaller sata drive. problem persists. Think I am going to have to go with linux and just use ext2/3 and manually set up all the niceties. An approach which has the added advantage that the drives could be mounted on OS X if needed using extsfsx.
A long weekend, and finally a chance to put those twin terabyte drives to use. Since my first attempt at getting things running gave me a little trouble, I decided to wipe the box and start over. (And document the steps this time!)

Acer Aspire E500-G870 (on-board GigE, 4x SATA II ports, VGA port, and is pretty quiet)
2x Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB SATA2 32MB 7200RPM (for data)
2GB SSD ATA drive (for FreeNAS)

step 1 - install FreeNAS
Download and burn the LiveCD. I used version 0.69b4 i386. Since FN is an evolving project, the steps required for newer (or older) builds may differ.
Boot the PC from this and do a 'full' install.

step 2 - set up the core bits of FreeNAS
Reboot into FN.
Set up network connections at the command line and then go to the web UI on the OS X client.
Set up your System-General and System-Advanced as desired. (This is pretty straightforward - documentation is available here.)
(As I'm using gigabit ethernet, I set the MTU to 9000 to enable jumbo frames. This needs to be set on the client side too - see the notes at the end.)

step 3 - add disks
I decided to add just the first 1TB drive for testing, calling it primary, and mounting it at /mnt/pri.
Disks-Management: add the drive here (again, see the FN SUG for help).
Disks-Format: format the drive primary as UFS.
Disks-Mount Point: create a new Mount Point for primary at /mnt/pri.
(I enabled the option to run fsck at boot time.)

step 4 - add users
As I want access from my OS X user account, I need to mirror that account on FN.
Access-Users and Groups: add your OS X username/password here - for reference, I'll use sig.
Set UID to 501 and group to staff. (You can find your own values by entering 'id' at the command line on OS X.)
Tick the box to allow shell access.

step 4b - reboot FN
I found that some settings did not propagate immediately and got errors about sig being an invalid argument in later steps. Rebooting the FN server solves this (and is necessary to apply some changes from step 2 anyway).

step 5 - back to the command line
A little tinkering is required before we set up our AFP shares. Either go back to the FN server, or SSH into it. (Note that it is not recommended to share the top level of the drive through AFP, so each share should be a separate directory. This suits me as I plan to use rsync to back up, but that's for another post.)
Go to the mount point for the drive
cd /mnt/pri

Create a directory for the share and set the owner to the user set up earlier. (Apparently it is a bad idea to have the directory owned by root when using AFP if you value your data integrity.)
mkdir manga
chown -R sig manga

(Technically, the -R is only needed if there is something in the directory, so it can be omitted if you actually created the folder and didn't copy it from elsewhere.)
(If you want multiple OS X users to access the same share, you could probably have added a group in step 4 with all the users in it, and then set that as the owner here instead.)

step 6a - setting up AFP service
Go back to the web UI and enable AFP under Services-AFP-Settings.
Set a name. (I used the name of freenas box plus afp: kujira-afp.)
Tick the boxes for Enable local user authentication and Disable AFP-over-Appletalk.
Save and restart the service.

step 6b - setting up AFP shares
Go to Services-AFP Shares and create a new share with the required path e.g. /mnt/pri/manga/
Ignore the password field and enter your OS X username in the Allow and Read/Write Access fields.
Tick the 'upriv' check-box and save.

step 7 - access the share
In the Finder, open a new window. The FN server should be visible in the SHARED section on the left. More importantly, selecting it should auto-authenticate you and selecting your share should auto-mount it.
(I'm using OS X 10.5 - versions before Leopard will be slightly different, but if you've made it this far, you'll probably manage. Next time I have a guest or relative with 10.4, I'll make a note of how that works.)


I mentioned setting the MTU to 9000 to allow jumbo frames. This allows larger chunks of data to pass over the network, meaning that large files need to be split into fewer pieces. To change the MTU on OS X, open System Preferences-Network, select your ethernet connection and click Advanced. Select the Ethernet tab and set the Configure drop-down to Manually. The only setting you should need to alter from default is the MTU, which should be set to Jumbo (9000).
(I seem to recall that IPv6 has an even bigger packet available, but would like to test the system in a state that I'm pretty sure should work before trying to break it all.)

In step 4, if you use the admin group instead of staff, then the user will have access to every mount point on the FN server, even if they are not configured as AFP shares! (Essentially allowing step 6b to be skipped.) I thought this might be a good idea at first, but it seems to be unsafe, and the documentation does recommend to NOT share the root level of FN drives over AFP. As I experienced problems when I tried that first time round, I avoided it on my second build and used the longer method outlined above.

to do

Install the second terabyte drive and schedule rsync to backup important shares to it from the first drive. (RAID != backup.)

Test everything for a few weeks. (Don't put data that doesn't exist elsewhere onto a test rig like this!)
You last refreshed motes at 2017-02-23 06:59 GMT