The plans of mice & men

At home, I’ve got a Linux fileserver that stores my iTunes library; it’s a nice centralized place I can keep the files and connect to as I need it. Because my iTunes library (and photos) aren’t something I’m keen to lose due to a hard drive crash, I’ve set up a RAID-5 array to store everything; that way if one drive dies, I replace it, rebuild the array, and get on with my life.

The problem, then, is when you have multiple bits of hardware fail within days of each other. First, the server itself started going - it would even POST without some careful fiddling. Next, a disk in its RAID array failed. So, I ordered the parts, got them, and rebuilt the system. Since the new hardware is 64-bit, I installed the 64-bit version of Debian Linux. I installed the drives, setup the RAID arrays, and started rebuilding the RAID array with the replacement drive. About 60 minutes before the array would have finished rebuilding, drive #2 died, which means the data stored on the drive is no longer recoverable.


Fortunately, I keep backups... and I had a backup on a firewire drive. The problem was that it was a bit out of date - and was missing files. So, I contacted Apple, who was good enough to allow me to re-download them. Problem is, I asked to re-download certain files - they just set the ‘re-download all’ flag, so I have to re-download everything if I don’t want to have a massive list of things to download the next time I buy something from iTunes. Ugh.

But now, everything is back up & running, and seems mostly happy. I’m still downloading from iTunes - season passes to some TV shows can take a while to get, but it’s getting there.

In other news, I’ve been working on a painted fiberglass canopy for my radio-controlled helicopters. Lots of sanding - most of a good paint job comes from a sanding block. But, after hours of priming, sanding, priming, sanding, etc., I was finally ready to shoot the base coat. Unfortunately, it needed thinner and came out less then optimal. The paint instructions say putting it in a 60° C environment should cut dry time substantially; so I tried it. What I ended up with was a lot of blistered paint - the canopy looked like a smallpox victim.

I was ready to junk it, as the lightweight fiberglass makes sanding the paint off out of the question. I then found an internet thread telling me if I had only used Auto Air Colors, I could have washed the paint off with a scrub brush & water. Waaaait a minute! That’s the paint I used. So I was able to strip the paint in about 20 minutes, and I’m ready to give it another try.

In between the time I learned the paint could be easily stripped, I had ordered a new canopy. So now I have two to work on. This is good, as it gives me a canopy I can try out different airbrushing techniques I’ve seen.