Radio silence: a sign of the times.

Aug 16, 2010

I wish I could say it's been quiet over here, but it's actually been relentlessly busy for Lyssa and I down here in DC. I think I overextended myself a little the weekend of the prototype Spaceblimp launch, which left me fighting off... something.. that kept me at a high fever and feeling run down most of the time. I did a little detail working on my car to cover up the myriad scratches and scuffs that accumulate whenever you park for long periods of time in an urban area. While the speeding edge of an SUV door doesn't actually do a lot of damage, over time the paint gets chipped, which can lead to rust starting underneath everything. My friendly neighborhood autoparts store keeps a goodly stockpile of touchup kits (sorted by manufacturer, year, and specific color) which did an okay job, but lately I've been wondering if wouldn't have been a better idea to leave well enough alone and deal with it. Temperatures and humidity are on the way up so our brief respite of comfortable weather has drawn to a close, at least for a while.

I'm going to miss the test launch of the new HacDC near space probe this weekend (assuming that it goes off this time; last weekend's didn't due to lack of bench testing of the electronics and prevailing weather conditions) due to a server migration at work in a couple of days. It's looking like I'm going to log some serious overtime due to the quantity of data that has to be moved. I now understand why filers do so many tricky things with multiple mirrors and various arcane stacks of drives; it's not just for redundancy of data in case a drive blows, it's to improve the throughput of data from point A to point B. On a modern LAN running at gigabit speeds, it isn't so much the local network (even if it's lightly loaded) slowing transfers down, it's the speed at which the drives' electronics pull bits off of the platters and kick them to the OS. When there is only one drive containing a couple of hundred gigabytes of stuff, all of that data has to be accessed sequentially, which is far slower than pulling different parts of the same file out of multiple copies on multiple hard drives simultaneously. This weekend's going to be a fun one, I have a feeling; I'm going to have to lay in a supply of vitamin D supplements to keep myself going along with some good coffee. And, God willin' and the crick don't rise, I won't have to sleep at the office to get this monster done.

Lyssa and I spent last weekend catching up on home IT stuff that's been neglected for a couple of months. No, that's not a euphemism; Lyssa upgraded Alphonse to a 64-bit quad-core CPU, another four gigs of RAM, and a brand-new copy of Windows 7 Pro so she could play Starcraft 2. For my part, I've had two dead machines (now one) and another in serious need of a reformat and reinstall in my lab and no time to work on any of them. One's been rebuilt and is up and running, another's damaged and the third is probably going to wind up being replaced (depending on just how bad the failure was). My netbook's been pressed into service as a replacement DNS until I'm certain that everything has been stabilized. I'd finish the job this weekend if it wasn't for my work schedule. I've got enough parts laying around to finish repairs (or whip a replacement into shape in a hurry) but not the time for at least another week.

So, that's my life in a nutshell right now. I'm going to take a break for a while on Wednesday evening before gearing up for the long haul and whatever it may bring at the close of this week.