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tomierna's Avatar Picture tomierna (Admin) – December 08, 2007 01:51AM Reply Quote
Well, why not? this is a community, after all.

Mighty Mouse – March 17, 2008 02:36PM Reply Quote
For the best Aleph One results, run Infinity and then get the EVIL mod. The EVIL mod is just plain fun, and there are some nice weapon upgrades.

I have a few friends that still play Aleph network games using the EVIL mod. The game moves very fast compared to games today and the physics are still better than most of the games out there (with the notable exception of Halo--no surprise there).

However, we play up here at work. I've been looking for some people to play with in the evenings. If you're interested, let me know.


ddt – March 17, 2008 02:45PM Reply Quote
oh yeah, is evil the mod that has the shadow spider-thing enemies? and the smiley faces on the tips of the rockets? (you can only see these if you're getting a rocket right in your face.)


Mighty Mouse – March 17, 2008 02:48PM Reply Quote
That's the one!!

I jumped out of my chair the first time one of those shadow spider thingys came out of a dark corner. Very well done.

And the smiley's on the rockets are a nice touch!

El Jeffe – March 17, 2008 04:08PM Reply Quote
What a journey.
okay, who's setting up a server/hosting games? use iChat for audio or does anyone here use TeamSpeex?

What a journey.

tomierna (Admin) – March 17, 2008 05:53PM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural
I lost a drive in a Leopard Concat RAID on my home Media Server while I was in Amsterdam.

Two questions:

1) Presuming I can recover the disk (by freezing it or other means) I'll need a large disk to recover onto. Anyone want to give me some good reasons why I shouldn't buy a Drobo with 4 1TB disks?

2) If that particular disk in the Concat (not a stripe...) is really toast, do any of the popular disk utilities work on Software RAID members?

tliet – March 17, 2008 06:02PM Reply Quote
Let me try to recap Tom, see if I understand it correctly;

A disk in a RAID box that is not part of a RAID stripe/parity set has failed. Now you're trying to figure out whether it's possible to recover it, but with utilities that can work with software RAID?

I conclude from this that you've spanned a logical OS X volume over a bunch of physical disks in some RAID box and that one of those disks have failed but can't be recovered automatically because of the no hardware raid option?

stan adams – March 17, 2008 08:07PM Reply Quote
re drobo:

$499 EMPTY.

It is not real NAS -- for $499 it really ought to be.

Performance is limited by the fact it is USB2.0 only -- not saying you'd really get FW800 or gigabit ethernet speeds saturation, let alone eSATA, but w/o it you're kinda stuck in a tech that is frozen when there are CURRENTLY better alternatives

The "secret sauce" is NOT ZFS or other openish tech. It is some custom implementation.

There is no native NTFS -- HFS platform criss-cross, that would make life much more interesting.

It is "take what we give you", meaning that as drive prices continue to fall, standards continue to evolve and technology changes this closed solution will eventually be obsolete...


Plug & Play

Looks cool

Tom -- you're a smart guy. Why not build a nice box running Linux with something like unRAID? http://lime-technology.com/wordpress/?page_id=47 Your data is always going to be recoverable...

tomierna (Admin) – March 17, 2008 09:33PM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural

A while ago, I had a bunch of 250GB IDE disks in external Firewire enclosures. I searched for something to put them all in, and ended up with a 12-bay sled-based deal with one Firewire interface. The device has hardware mirroring (for each master/slave pair), but I didn't use it because I wanted space more than reliability.

In MacOS X, you have the choice of three types of Software RAID, stripe, concat, or mirror. Again, since RAID5 wasn't in the cards (no MacOS X Software RAID5, no hardware RAID5 support in the box), I chose stripe on three of the volumes and concat on the volume which failed.

I'm pretty sure that most of the disk utilities would have little chance recovering from a partial set of software stripe members, but that they might have a better chance of recovering some of the data from concat spanset. I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with such a problem set.


1) I don't really need NAS - I'm going to be hooking this up to Leopard Server on a G4 Mini.
2) Honestly, I don't need the speed - the box I've been using is more than adequate, and it's FW400. (Yeah, I know USB2 < FW400, but I'm nowhere close to saturating the FW400)
3) Open matters if you plan on hacking at that layer. I don't.
4) I only want HFS+. I don't care about NTFS.
5) The only part of the Drobo that would matter (to me) in the obsolescence game is the SATA part. As long as the bigger drives continue to be SATA, the device can continue to grow. And, even if I build a machine myself, it will still become obsolete within a few generations of drives. I'm actually running into the obsolescence problem with the drive box I have now - the biggest EIDE drives you can buy are 750GB, and they are still pricey compared to their SATA brethren. I could easily solve my current problem by buying 8 750GB EIDE drives and hardware mirroring them for 4 750GB mounts. But it would cost about as much as a 4TB (3.mumble usable) in a Drobo, and 750GB is probably EOL for EIDE.

As far as building my own, I'm certainly not *afraid* of it. If I were going to do it, I would probably do FreeBSD 7 with ZFS, and a set of dumb SATA sleds connected to a SATA RAID card.

However, I'm getting to the point where I don't want to think about some tech anymore. I don't want to have to cross my fingers that when I remove a broken member from a RAID5 volume that I remove the correct one, or that the BIOS for the motherboard I picked is compatible with the RAID card I picked is compatible with the drivers in the OS that I picked is compatible with the specific implementation of the filesystem I chose.

You hit upon the two marks against the Drobo in my book - the price and the USB2, but it's really, really appealing to not have to think about the hot-swap-ability of the drives, or the sizes of the members when you replace them, or if the command to begin a rebuild is going to panic the box, even though it didn't when you tested it before installation.

For my business, I've built many a server, including some really nice RAID boxes. I've also been at my wits-end with some of them, occasionally, when the various open-source, cobbled-together bits of tech stop interacting the same way they used to. RAID is specifically finicky about this because of how many different components have to work together perfectly. When a drive fails in my storage server at the office, I have to think about it in order to replace it without making the situation worse. I have to keep drives of the same size and vendor and firmware around for replacements. I have to *have a plan* that I've actually tried beforehand. I don't want to have to think about any of this for my home systems.

Naturally, this wouldn't even be an issue if I had bought equipment that supported hardware RAID5, but honestly, we're talking about ripped movies and tv shows here, not business-critical data. In fact, back before I bought the 12-bay firewire unit, I considered getting a SATA RAID5 card and a dumb sled-box. But, it was about twice as much to do it that way than the way I settled for.

And finally, I'm not necessarily defending the Drobo, but find me an open RAID system that has as little necessary management, and I'm sold. unRAID looks interesting, but it's still dependent on too many steps of voodoo. And, AFA open-ness, it's based around ReiserFS, which can't be getting much support of late.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2008 09:34PM by tomierna.

tomierna (Admin) – March 17, 2008 09:42PM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural
Ooh - other mitigating factors:

Currently, I'm using a 1GHz (upgraded from 450Mhz) G4 Tower, but I want to move to something much lower power and quieter - a G4 Mini I'm getting from a friend.

I like having 12 bays of raw power, but my power bill doesn't. I want fewer, bigger disks. 8 bays with 1TB drives in a RAID 5 that has a single Firewire output would be ideal for the cross section of power consumption, noise, disk space and speed requirements, and the fact that the Mini won't be taking a SATA card anytime soon!

stan adams – March 17, 2008 10:19PM Reply Quote
I see what you mean when you mention the mini -- drobo is almost overkill for it, though if the the mini gets axed the drobo can still be useful. I think the price is the biggest yuck, but it sorta makes sense -- I mean if they priced it less they really couldn't make money, as a 4 bay NAS is pretty close in price, yet if they priced it any higher it would be too easy to say "another server is a better deal". The space is still "turbulent" with TimeCapsule and everything else it obvious there are competing "needs" that manufacturers are trying to fill. I wonder how many resources a company like drobo can/will through at issues that come up on the OS X side of the house?

Two not so good data points:



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/17/2008 10:21PM by stan adams.

tomierna (Admin) – March 18, 2008 12:08AM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural

On the one hand, I can spend $1420 on a 4-TB-drive Drobo from B&H (and get 2% for MacEdition!), and on the other, I could spend near $2400k and get a 5-TB-drive populated RAID01356-capable, front-panel configurable unit with FW800/USB2/SATA/Ethernet out. (this unit plus 5 TB drives from NewEgg @ $235 each)

El Jeffe – March 18, 2008 04:39AM Reply Quote
What a journey.
I think Drobo would be nice/cool, too.

What a journey.

rino – March 18, 2008 07:07AM Reply Quote
In America, the only respectable form of socialism is socialism for the rich.
I'm in the same boat Tom.

I have a few single large drives I mirror rsync to separately and then my media Mini has a MyBook 1tb raided to 500gb. It was inexpensive but I don't really trust the data integrity. Yeah, third party RAID tools on HFS. Sure.

So have also been circling the Drobo, reading reviews and blog notes... any data points appreciated.

El Jeffe – March 18, 2008 07:09AM Reply Quote
What a journey.

Another guy just suggested this site to me for travel (air)...


I had not heard about it before.

What a journey.

tliet – March 18, 2008 07:29AM Reply Quote
Tom, did you get the failed drive working? If not, I'm afraid only specialised service bureaus will be able to recover the data since a stripe set that spans multiple disks without parity need all the disks working. But I guess you knew that too.

Have you considered doing this?

tomierna (Admin) – March 18, 2008 07:47AM Reply Quote
Hideously Unnatural

I don't plan on attempting recovery until I have somewhere to recover the data to.

I've revived dead drives by running them in an ice bath, and by opening them up, so I'm comfortable doing that if need be.

However, the volume that failed was not a stripe, but a concat volume, which is why I had hopes that the other disks might have some useful data on them.

I have read that article, and (prior to having read that article) created a RAID box with a MegaRAID card similar to what they advocate.

As mentioned before, I'm not afraid of the DIY RAID5 stuff, since I've done it before, I just don't want to bring that kind of administrative overhead into my home network. That is, after all, why I only have Macs in my home :/

tliet – March 18, 2008 11:09AM Reply Quote
Right, I don't have any experience with concat volumes, much less do I know what they do.

John Willoughby – March 18, 2008 01:11PM Reply Quote
Cyberdyne Systems Customer Support
OK, here's a problem. My niece in Virginia has three kids, and is unmarried. The father of one of them (who is married to somebody else), is harassing her. Not just calling her every fifteen minutes at work (although he does that), but taking the lug nuts off of her tires, physically assaulting her, etc. He has been banned from her apartment complex and her place of work for his behavior. They were able to get him arrested when he struck her nine-year-old brother, but he was out the next day. My niece finally got a restraining order against him. Here's the problem: he's filed numerous false charges against her, which his (also abused) wife is swearing to. My niece has been arrested several times for these charges, at least once being taken from her work in handcuffs. Ironically, he accuses her of all the things he's done to her and others, e.g. pepper-spraying his wife, striking his child, etc. My niece and her family have almost no money, and are largely without legal representation. She lost her first trial (now on appeal), because she just assumed that the police would subpeona her co-worker who witnessed her at the time she was allegedly attacking the lunatic's family. They didn't, and she had no case. She's got a public defender on the appeal now. One of the big factors is that while the magistrate in her county is sympathetic, the attacker lives in another county where the magistrate is actively hostile. (Or so it seems to us, hearing it second-hand.) Anyway, she tried to get full custody of her daughter (whom the father has never shown any interest in), and the father is countering by asking for sole custody, using her alleged crimes as reasons he should win. We're going to try to get her competent legal help (which will be fun since money's a little tight with me being unemployed), but have no real idea who to look for. Family lawyer? Criminal? Other?

Any advice is welcome, as I am genuinely afraid that somebody is going to get killed if this stuff keeps escalating. The lunatic has beaten my young nephew, and my eldest nephew has had to chase him off with a tire iron already. The guy is not balanced, so "sensible" advice probably won't fly.

ghidorah – March 18, 2008 01:16PM Reply Quote
Raise taxes on cavemen. --jw
God JW that is scary stuff. I don't have any advice, but I will be keeping you in my thoughts.

Bruce Robertson – March 18, 2008 01:48PM Reply Quote
What a terrible mess and so little hope of controlling it.

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