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Magnetic Fields and Summer

The summer has been an adventure. Visits from Yun, Makoto, my mom, Yeu & Lina. A couple bay area trips: Fanime, visiting my sister in SF, and Japan Expo. Also went to Anime Expo and SIGGRAPH and Labyrinth of Jareth. Did photoshoots with Yun, Sirian, Mari, Miyuki, Makoto, Yeu & Lina. In addition to shooting at cons. My photo backlog is scary (TAT). Beach party, party at my place, a few birthdays. Sunset Strip Music Festival, saw Flyleaf, some other show? (I feel like I'm missing something) OC Fair, Nisei Week, West LA Obon festival, Ramen festival. Board games with co-workers. And then there's that full-time job inbetween, and sometimes even sleep.

In a way, I'm happy for things to be slowing down - I have plans all the next weekends - Hiking, Little Boots @ Troubador, Santa Monica Glow. But they're not full weekend plans. So hopefully I'll have some time to recouperate.

I love doing stuff with people, and especially like having people over - it's sad for me when my place is back to being just me. But... right now I can really use some time to just me.

I had labor day weekend free, but I spent it mostly being frustrated. By early August, I was starting to run low on disk space on my home NAS/Router/Home Theater PC/VM host/etc box. Since this machine is on all the time, I'd preffer a low power drive, and since it's serving for Home Theater use, quiet is important. So, I bought a 4TB Seagate drive from NewEgg intended for DVR use. I'm using ZFS as the file system, so I can just add a disk to the pool, and instant more space - no need to split files across multiple drives since it all looks like one. Also, important files (photos, code, etc) are set to have "copies=2", meaning the file system stores two copies of the file and in case of disk errors, it will read from the valid copy. That lets me get the best use of disk space - no need to use RAID replication - important files are replicated, and unimportant ones aren't.

Awesome, right? It would be if ZFS tools work like they claim. I started a process to move data around to force rebalancng of data across the drives. And came back to a frozen server. Okay... reboot? No go. It turns out the new drive has about 60,000+ bad sectors (which is about 240MB worth) - got another new Seagate drive - also bad. ZFS is architectually cool but kinda shitty as implemented. I spent over two weeks trying to get my data back. Finally found a tool that worked - kinda - I had to hack it further to really work for me. And then another week to recover and rebuild. now I'm using mirroring rather than just ZFS magic. So I need two drives to fail at the same time to cause that sort of disaster again.

It's a really worrisome feeling to have the past year of photos inaccessable - especially with most still unprocessed. I was pretty sure I could get the data back, but as time went on and attempt after attempt failed, that uneasiness just got worse. Fortunately, eveything that matters is recovered finally.

During the hard drive debacle I ran into a variety of other hurdles - one night my digitally controlled lights just went off mysteriously. I built the device that handles the dimming, so I decided to take it appart. It seems something went wrong with the power switch:

I'm not sure what happened that the wires ended up corroded like that - taking the switch appart, one of the contacts appeared to have a residue on it.
It was pretty hot when I uplugged it. There are fuses, but the system itself is designed to handle 10A total - about 1200W, so that's a lot of power draw before the fuse will trip. (All the internal components that are limited by that fuse are rated for 15-20A - other parts are limited to 2-5A, and are separately fused)

Pissed off at technology, one night I decided to use candles. And managed to burn myself on the metal housing one had. (I know better than to touch it, but I bumped into it with my bare arm reaching for something)

Also having giving up on NewEgg, I went to Fry's to get the replacement for the replacement, and after I got it, I locked my keys in my trunk. OTL

However... While trying to get data back, that involved running tasks that take many hours, I was able to do some work on the data I did have. As a result, the DJ Miku shoot with Miyuki is processed already:

Cosplay  Picture: Vocaloid - Miku 9782

Cosplay  Picture: Vocaloid - Miku 9891

Both those images are taken in the same room. The full set is here: http://epii.info/anime/2013/caution-dj-miku/