I keep coming across songs that I really like but can’t put my finger on what exactly I like about them. Here are two with absolutely incredible male vocals that I really really really like.
Grizzly Bear – Two Weeks.
Grizzly Bear’s lead singer’s brother was my arch nemesis in high school. He bullied most of the kids smaller than him, which was nearly everybody. He’s a nice guy now, and his brother is an incredible vocalist.
Puddles the Sad Clown with a Golden Voice – Cover of Royals (by Lorde)
The cover is arguably better than the original. The clown is a riot and his voice really is golden.
An engineer dies and goes to hell. He’s hot and miserable, so he decides to take action.
The A/C has been busted for a long time, so he fixes it. Things cool down quickly. The moving walkway motor jammed, so he unjams it. People can get from place to place more easily. The TV was grainy and unclear, so he fixes the connection to the Satellite dish and now they get hundreds of high def channels, although they still cannot watch Breaking Bad on AMC.
One day, God decides to look down on Hell to see how his grand design is working out and notices that everyone is happy and enjoying umbrella drinks. He asks the Devil what’s up?
The Devil says, “Things are great down here since you sent us an engineer.”
“What?” says God. “An engineer? I didn’t send you one of those. That must have been a mistake. Send him upstairs immediately.”
The Devil responds, “No way. We want to keep our engineer. We like him.”
God demands, “If you don’t send him to me immediately, I’ll sue!”
The Devil laughs. “Where are You going to get a lawyer?”No comments
I’ve been using my Synology DS-212j Network Attached Storage (NAS) device. Mine is loaded with 2x3TB Western Digital Green Drives. This post details my build-out. The device performs brilliantly from my desktop wired PC running Windows XP. I could regularly push 3-4MB write to it when copying TV shows and movies onto the NAS.
However, Time Machine backups from my Macbook Pro could never push more than 1.2 MB/s (~9.8 Mbps), which is far less than the purported 54Mbps of my wireless router and the purported 6 Tbps that SATA supports. Streaming HD movies from the Synology NAS to my Xbox 360 wasn’t even going well. The movies would be jerky and stutter, totally ruining my movie experience.
How to speed this up?
1. Disable Mac’s Spotlight index of the SAN.
Spotlight will by default index every connected drive, monitoring for changes, and generally hog bandwidth. Turning this off made a huge difference for browsing times.
Go to “System Preferences” -> “Spotlight” -> Privacy and add the folders from your SAN.
2. Buy a router with gigabit ethernet and top-notch Wireless
I bought an ASUS router that absolutely kills it. This was by far the biggest speed improvement possible. The Synology has Gigabit ethernet, which is 10x faster than 100Mbps. Gigabit can theoretically push 128 MegaBytes per second. This, coupled with dual-band wireless AC makes this truly a beast.
The router supports 2.4gHz spectrum and the 5 gHz spectrum simultaneously, meaning that your newer devices can connect to the 5gHz for much higher speeds, though the 5gHz network has a smaller range.
Unfortunately, my XBox 360 S doesn’t support the 5gHz spectrum. I use that to stream movies from my Synology NAS. But the good news is, even on 2.4ghz, n band, my movies are streaming perfectly with no stutter or jitter.
You won’t be disappointed with this router :) This was the single biggest improvement I could have made (without running wires all over my condo).1 comment
I recently built out a NAS for our condo. Our friends Art and Raquel were visiting us from Philly. They have two awesome little kids, and a really sweet DSLR, and they love to take pictures of their kids. Art wants a nice NAS to store the pictures and backups, and asked my opinion. I was like “CHING!” Why don’t I buy one and find out what works.
Edit 10/20/2013: I skipped one optional step and it cost me a LOT of downtime. See “Preparing your hard drives” for new instructions.
I looked at a lot of the online options and considered building my own. It would have to be Linux based in order to serve my Mac, Android, and Ios devices. There is no way I’d build an Windows solution with NTFS partitions in this day and age. Linux would be great, and free, but it takes a lot of time to configure, get right, and then keep up to date. I wanted something hassle free, with easy to configure features like backup and a Media Server to stream to an Xbox 360.
Out of the list of the 5 best NAS solutions over the past two years, I picked the Synology DS212J. It cost $200 with no drives, runs Linux, has 2 bays, supports RAID1, is low-power, and has a ton of add-on features. The kernel is a modified Linux kernel, hopefully with many of the optional and vulnerable services turned off. The interface is nice. Here is a great review of the device:
Synology stats that the DS212J “consumes only 17.6W in operation and 5.5W in sleep mode”. I plugged it into my Kill-A-Watt and found that it actually uses less – 3.8 watts in Sleep and around 15 watts under load. Mine is built with two WD Green 3 TB drives running in RAID1. I think that the Green drives use less power than the ones Synology tested with.
I could write for hours about it. I configured it with ext4 volumes (heard it was the best) with a RAID1 setup. I want redundancy, but not to such a serious degree that I’d splurge on RAID5. I remember how slow writing to RAID5 can be from my Cisco days when my boss gave me a beast of a server to run early VMWare images from. So….Slow… RAID1 should do, and I’ve configured Synology’s remarkably well designed DS-Station to email me if either of the disks start to degrade.
I should have done this to prepare the disks before installing them in the DiskStation: http://forum.synology.com/wiki/index.php/How_to_prepare_your_hard_disks
I did not, and after ~4 months of use, bad sectors started cropping up. Bad sectors are totally normal, and modern hard drives re-map around them. But the DiskStation cannot, and it has to be done proactively and somewhere else. Click that wiki post to see how. It’s totally worthwhile, as I wasted ~10 hours trying to fix bad sector errors retroactively.
Mission accomplished. $497 was the grand total from Amazon. Here are the parts I used.
And two of these:
I could have done 2x4TB but I didn’t really feel the need. Try this out and enjoy!5 comments
At Opower, we spend some time asking “When was the last time you logged into your electricity provider’s website and had a look at your usage?” Our president Alex Laskey opened his recent TED talk with that question, and an unsurprisingly small number of people raised their hands.No comments