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Personal Computing Uncategorized

SOHO Storage

This post comes out of a discussion with the folks at Take Control Books who write a line of topic and capability oriented Apple product guides like Taking Control of Your Digital Storage. This is a big topic that Jeff Carlson capably explores. NAS (network attached storage) is among the topics he considers. There are 3 sorts of systems available in this market space,

  • Those targeted to small office and home offered by Synology and QNAP (the two best know) and some others.
  • Professional products offered by the global IT vendors at departmental scale. EMC, NetApp, DELL, HP, IBM, the usual suspects.
  • Cluster computing products like those offered by IBM Red Hat and various Linux distributions. These systems provide a single file system view to numerous computers formed into a capacity or reliability cluster. 45Drives, ix Systems, and others are in this space with hardware, drivers, CephFS scale-out file system, etc.

In this article we will consider the essential capabilities a small NAS should have. The intent is to prepare my readers to venture into the world of marketing slicks, spec sheets, and white papers.

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Personal Computing

Updating TrueNAS from V12 to V13

Earlier this week I updated Peabody and Sherman to TrueNAS 13. Following the update, I discovered a couple of issues. First, replication from Peabody to Sherman had stopped. That is, Peabldy was no longer transferring backups to Sherman. And Time Machine had stopped. What the hey.

With some community help, it turned out that I had made a mistake in doing the update and that I ran into a somehwhat hidden design feature.

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Citizenship Personal Computing Technology Twittering

Mastodon, the New Kid in Town

Featured image by Eugen Rochko at Github used in accordance with the AGPL

Dismal Manor Gang has pitched its social media camp at Mastodon.Online. Mastodon is a new federated social network similar to Twitter in many ways but improved in important ways.

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Personal Computing

On Computer Access Security

Masthead image courtesy of YubiCo.

How secure is secure enough in this age of phising and breakins? Is a security hierarchy possible as not all accounts support all security methods. And what about the accounts that are still mired in the 1960’s days of shoulder surfing? Read on.

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Personal Computing

A Tale of Two Password Managers

Dismal Manor tries to be somewhat security conscious. We try to use unique passwords for all log-ins, keep passwords in an independent password manager, and to use 2 factor authentication, preferably a physical key where we can. In this article, we look at BitWarden and explore the possibility of migrating from 1Password to BitWarden.

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Personal Computing

Peabody is in the house

Photo courtesy of TrueNAS

As you recall, Sherman needed two disks transplanted. This work is complete and we have a third disk on hand in anticipation of the third going colicky. The long term plan is to add a second server and use Sherman as a backup machine via TrueNAS replication. The new server has arrived and is updating software. Read on for the rest of the story.

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Personal Computing

Planning Peabody’s Pool Structure

Image courtesy of iX Systems

Long time viewers know that I’m TrueNAS fan and that our local TrueNAS server Sherman has gone a bit wobbly. I’ve repaired Sherman and ordered him a partner, Peabody as in Peabody and Sherman. As you know, Mr. Peabody invented the WayBack machine. Peabody will serve music and Sherman will be Peabody’s replication target giving us an on-site backup. As always, some assembly is required. In this case, I’ve decided to rework the new server’s file system to make it a bit more graceful to use.

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Personal Computing

The WayBack Machine goes wobbly

Long time followers of the Dismal Manor Gang know that Dismal Manor has a thing called a WayBack Machine. You may know that it has something to do with photographicals we dogs wish were long forgotten but you may not know much more about it. It is no where near as magical as Mr. Peabody’s WayBack Machine appearing on The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. The original was a cartoon mortal’s attempt at a TARDIS but worked only for planet Earth.

Our WayBack machine is a TrueNAS file server that stores our Apple Time Machine spool volume, our local audio media, and video clips. It is going wobbly. One of the disks, a brand made by sinners rather than the faithful (Stranger in a Strange Land), has presented with unrecoverable bad blocks. First there were 16, now 24, so it was time to replace the disk. Read on to learn how this went for us.

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Personal Computing Photography

Skylum Luminar Product Family

In this post I’ll describe photography at Dismal Manor, our equipment, and the production workflow here. We use Skylum products in that workflow, currently Luminar AI but expect to migrate to Luminar Neo in 2022.

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Personal Computing

MacOS Monterey, Apple Silicon Edition

This post reports initial impressions of Apple MacOS Monterey running on Apple Silicon. The OS is solid and well behaved but, as usual, some applications need further refinement. This note summarizes what we have learned so far about the following areas.

  • MacOS 12 Monterey itself
  • MacOS 12 Monterey support applications
  • Apple Applications like Photos and Music
  • Apple Focus

I decided to write this post to capture some of my early misadventures with Monterey. Here we talk about some new features and review some old ones. To cut to the chase, Monterey is well sorted and ready for general use.