New Home Server Setup

I’ve been meaning to do this for awhile, but I haven’t found a suitable replacement until recently.  I am decommissioning the server at home.  It’s loud, large, and sucks down a lot of power for what I use it for (windows home server).  It was nice because I could quickly and easily spin up some VMs and poke around, but I’ll still be able to do that.

Instead, I picked up a Synology DS1511+ NAS.  This little appliance is pretty darn slick.  It can pretty much do everything I was doing, in a smaller, quieter, and cooler form factor.  Since it uses an Atom processor, it runs a fairly familiar flavor of Linux, so you can do quite a bit with it.  Plus, a lot of the default stuff it comes with is quite nice!

I’ll be throwing up a few copy/pastes on the site so that I can quickly re-reference.  Oh, and there’s another SharePoint article in the works too.  Busy, busy!

Windows Home Server 2011 Released

I was poking around on MSDN, and noticed that WHS 2011 actually went live sometime last month.  Well, you know what that means…time to upgrade!  Unfortunately, there isn’t really an upgrade path, as you need to backup and then restore all your data.  Thankfully, since my instance of WHS is virtualized, no need to do all that work.  Instead I just bring up a separate virtual machine, and then copy the data over.

I’m sure that I’ll run into issues and various other items.  As I do, I’ll be sure to share them here, so keep an eye on this space.

 

Busy

You can definitely tell when I’m busy and when I’m not based on how often I update this site.  As you can image, from how infrequently I’ve been doing updates, that I’ve become incredibly busy.  I received a promotion, and now I’ve taken on about 10x more responsibility than I had before.  It’s definitely different than what I was used to, but it’s a good different (at least it still is right now).  Instead of just being a worker bee assigned to a project, I now, in so few words, manage all infrastructure aspects of projects that come into the department. 

This has resulted in a lot more work on my plate.  And not just more work, but more work that I’ve never done before (at least not at this scale).  Things like quotes and estimations.  Plus, I’ve been traveling some and trying to get some training done through NetApp.  Oh, did I mention all this responsibility was done by a person that was twice my level before my promotion?  Well, I can’t say that exactly because everything that he did didn’t just jump onto my plate, there’s a project manager that’s actually doing some of the work.  However, regardless, everything needs to cross my plate because of my technical abilities and my knowledge of what my team is doing.

We’re also getting a NetApp FAS3050C cabinet in on Tuesday.  This is why I’ve been doing some training on it, since I’ll be point-man on getting that all setup.  We’ll primarily be using that as an iSCSI target for virtual machine hosts and SQL machines.  I’m personally really stoked about that.  ~30 TB of raw data to play with.  I’m glad that I’ll be doing that though, as it helps to balance out the ever increasing management responsibilities.  Toys are good.

In non-work related news, I’ve been taking another photography class: Portrait & Lighting I.  It was actually one that I wasn’t really going to take, but I’ve definitely learned a lot.  I was skeptical of taking it at first because I had heard that the teacher didn’t go into much of the technical aspects.  However, that’s what I really like.  I enjoy learning all the technical stuff and then be able to play with that knowledge for my own images.  Well, the normal teacher is actually taking a break, so the same guy who taught our Photo II class is teaching this one.  This is probably one of the reasons I decided to take the class, because I like the way he teaches.  Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of “good shots” from this class as we’re basically just learning how to correctly use lights and many of the pictures are of different types of lighting or of a dummy head.  It’s possible that something from this next shoot will show up on aaron spruit (.com) though.  We’ll just have to see.

In other photography news, I’m looking at getting a new 105mm macro lens and flash.  I’ve also been contemplating getting a light meter, and I’ve actually bid on a few on eBay, but I just don’t think I’d use it all that much.

I think that’s about it, and be sure to check out aaron spruit (.com), since it gets updated every weekday.  Oh, and there should be some pictures taken in the last month showing up now, as I finally got out last weekend to take some pics.  Out of 100ish pictures, I’m probably going to throw up 29 or so.  It was nice last weekend; I just put some newish music on my iPod, threw on the headphones and took the camera out with me.  It was actually quite relaxing, but still amazing how many strange looks people gave me.

Six Flags

Headed up to Six Flags yesterday for a corporate event.  The company I work for’s parent rented out the whole park for the day.  Normally I really have no desire to go to Six Flags.  It’s fun and all, but I’ve never been a fine of waiting in lines.  Especially for rollercoasters, which I’m not really the biggest fan of to begin with.  Plus you have to pay to park, pay for the tickets ($55), food, etc.  It really becomes expensive for what you get out of it.

However, I’ll definitely go on a corporate event.  There were no lines, it only cost $25 per ticket, and parking was free.  Such a deal!  I rode every ‘coaster there at least once, and there were points where you didn’t even have to exit the ride, you could just ride it two times in a row.  There also weren’t that many people walking around.  It didn’t feel swamped and the weather was nice (despite a few minute showers).  There’s nothing like riding the American Eagle getting pelted with rain.

Next time I go, though, I need to wear contacts.  There were a few times I felt a lil’ sick, but I think that had a lot to do with not being able to see.  Superman definitely made me feel that way, but as JoeJohn pointed out, it was probably because of the orientation of your body which made you feel as though you were hovering over the toilet.

Best complete rides were definitely American Eagle which I rode 3 times or so and Raging Bull which I rode twice.  The best single drop though was definitely the first drop of Deja Vu.  It was the only ride with a long line, and it was closed for most of the day, but it was worth it.  Well, that is until we got stuck on it and it wouldn’t let us off.

Rides we rode: Raging Bull, Superman, Batman (ugh, that one made me feel bad too), Deja Vu, Virtical Velocity (not really all the fun, but good on technical merit), Viper (snakes on a mf’in train!), American Eagle, Iron Wolf (painful for the ears), Demon, the bumpercars, and the Whizzer. 

New Domain

Well, I’ve got it in my mind that I want to redo my website (again).  It’s been awhile, and well, I just feel like it needs a bit of a refresh.  And hey, it’s been awhile.  So, I’ve been freshening up on some CSS, so that I can do it right.  I’m probably going to keep the graphics down to a minimum, like it currently is, just to keep load times, but at the same point, I really like some of designs at CSS Zen Webgarden. 

Anyways, I also want to break the photos off this site and create a new one.  Something similar to Chromasia, or G8, or Staring at the Sun.  Basically, since I’ve been getting better, I want someplace to showcase the best of the best. 

Really, what it comes down to, is that I need something even more to do, right…

So, I’ve registered aaronspruit.com in addition to rebelpeon.com.  However, now I have the dilemma of which site should go where.  I can come up for pros and cons of both.  What are all your thoughts?  Currently they both point here.

Bolt for Camera

I was wondering if someone could help me out.  I’m looking for a bolt, actually 3, for the Ftn viewfinder of a Nikon F.  The thing is small, really small.  It is a metric bolt, which adds to the fun.  I’ve tried local hardware stores (minus the Home Depot here, because they have an absolute crap selection of metric anything) to no avail.  I’m tempted to run up to Calumet and see if they may know someplace to get bolts for this thing.

Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?

Gallery Updates

I’ve finally gotten around to actually uploading the last 5 weeks worth of pictures from class.  The pathetic part is that most of them aren’t even that many pictures.  However, I have changed a few things.  Instead of uploading every picture, just as it is out of the camera, I’m instead uploading proof sheets and then any of the pictures I really like after manipulation. 

I figure, since I’m getting a lot better, I don’t really want to throw up every shot anymore.  Plus, manipulating ever shot in photoshop takes awhile, so selecting a few will be a lot better.  The proof sheet will give others what exactly is going on with each of my shoots too.  Plus, if there’s anything you want, that I didn’t throw up in individual form, just drop me a line with the category and picture number, and I can email it to you, fixed or not.

Framing

I’d feel guilty not doing anything with all the pictures that I’ve taken and printed these last 7 weeks, so I’ve been trying to get information about framing.  For what I’m wanting to do (a whole wall of framed pictures), custom framing is out of the question, but at the same point, I’d like something that looks half way professional.

So, tonight I’ve been looking at how exactly you go about framing yourself and different frames.  So far, it doesn’t look too bad.  The hardest part is apparently the mat board, but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t look that hard.  And I figure it’d be a good skill to have if I keep taking pictures.  It be good for gift giving too!

I’m basically looking for a nice, modern, black frame that’s on the cheap.  I’ve found a few, but it’s so hard to really get an idea of how they look on the web, and I know I most likely won’t get as cheap of a price here in town.  Oh, and then there’s the glass, many of the websites don’t send the glass, for obvious reasons.

Unfortunately, there are a few things I’d have to buy, and the above website only really talks about how to create the mat board.  What about mounting and the like?  This may require a trip to the library or an Amazon purchase, but I definitely think this is the way to go, especially with the number of prints I, already, have.