I recently added a mirror to a very simple zfs pool and decided to document it here for posterity. This worked flawlessly in a FreeNAS 10 system with two 4 TB drives.
Apple Photos isn’t the best application to manage a large digital photo library, but the integration with iCloud, iOS, and macOS is extremely useful. But even though Photos can process and store raw images, it is severely lacking in terms of library managemen. I have developed a workflow to remove raw images from Apple Photos and iCloud and thought I’d share it. Hopefully Apple will do better in future releases.
I was recently given an old HP MediaSmart EX470 server along with some other junk hardware. Although it has no graphics, a slow single-core AMD Sempron CPU, and just 512 MB of RAM, I was able to revive it quite satisfactorily. Here’s how I upgraded the hardware and software.
It’s an easy decision: Get a free ProtonMail account and use that as your verification address for important financial and social media accounts. Keep using whatever email account you like for regular communication, but don’t mix security and communication!
ZFS should have been great, but I kind of hate it: ZFS seems to be trapped in the past, before it was sidelined it as the cool storage project of choice; it’s inflexible; it lacks modern flash integration; and it’s not directly supported by most operating systems. But I put all my valuable data on ZFS because it simply offers the best level of data protection in a small office/home office (SOHO) environment. Here’s why.
Hard disk drives encounter errors from time to time, so it’s a good thing that most have the ability to recover data anyway. But RAID systems usually have their own error recovery capabilities and can be thrown off when a hard disk pauses I/O. So it’s a good idea to use hard disk drives that allow you to disable or limit error recovery in RAID systems.
I recently built the biggest, clunkiest iPad mini case ever, transforming my old Macintosh SE case into an iPad stand. But what to do with that empty case? Why, it’s the perfect size for a custom Mini-ITX PC! Introducing my liquid-cooled Core i7 monster Mac SE!
What happens when you mix two old, broken things together? In the case of my Mac SE and iPad mini, the result was pretty cool! Meet my desktop videoconferencing system!
I’ve dabbled with FreeNAS in the past and had such a great experience with pfSense (a similar FreeBSD-based project) that I jumped in with both feet on my home office server build. But my initial impressions were, frankly, terrible. I’ve got the system running and stable now, but I’m finding it difficult to recommend FreeNAS at this point.
I like ZFS Send and Receive, but I’m not totally sold on it. I’ve used rsync for decades, so I’m not giving it up anytime soon. Even so, I can see the value of ZFS Send and Receive for local migration and data management tasks as well as the backup and replication tasks that are typically talked about.