Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

10/5/2018

Woven Photos

Filed under: Art,Fun — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:39 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

More interesting art for your enjoyment.

Last week, I shared some Andy Warhol-inspired videos that would help you create in a similar style. I love those kinds of tutorials. But, I also love just sharing interesting work. I’m also an amateur photographer, which you can see via my Photo Gallery page, though I’m far from what I’d consider an artist. My photos have been used by a close friend of mine, though, who is an artist when he put together a book of his work. And, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the odd things about our current age of digital photography is that thousands more photographs are being taken every day than ever before, but fewer are being seen. Even fewer are being printed. One of the things that convinced me to marry my wife was that she printed one of my photos and framed it for me. It’s the first of my photos I’ve ever printed, and may be the only one to date, actually.
All of which is to say that I really admire artists who take their photographic work and not only print it, but manipulate it into something more. And, obviously, that’s what I’m sharing with you this week. Head over to Boing Boing, via this link, and see Photographer shreds her work then weaves it back together again, so see Lala Abaddon talk about her work, shredding her photographs so that she can then weave them back together in unique and beautiful abstract works. Or, you can skip the woo-woo artist talky bits and just look at her work, which is also shown on the same page. And, there are links to where she is on the web, so you can see more of her work. Philosophy of art and her relationship to the universe aside, the work is quite compelling.
Besides, it’s a Friday and you weren’t planning on working so much you couldn’t take the time to follow the links, so go for it!

4/4/2013

Backups and Data Recovery – Home Edition – Part 1

Filed under: Advice from your Uncle Jim,Calamity, Cataclysm, and Catastrophe,Fun Work,Geek Work,Personal,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:24 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

“Two is one and one is none”.

I’ve quoted that a lot over the years.  I’ve reminded people over and over again that just moving your data to an external drive is NOT a backup.  If you can’t afford to destroy it, then it’s not backed up.  I’ve said all those things.
And, yet, on Tuesday, I lost data because it wasn’t backed up.

As many long-time readers know, I’m an amateur photographer.  In the past five years, I have taken over 18,000 photographs.
On Tuesday evening, the network attached storage device, an , to be exact, died.  Or, more specifically, the drive inside it died.  The sad thing was that I was preparing to copy it all to another device when it bit the dust.  Oh, sure, I still have a little over 4,000 of the best shots uploaded to my Flickr photostream, but, it’s not the same.  (I talked a little bit more about the backup portion and the loss over at my other site, JKHoffman.com)
So, here’s what I’ll be doing; First, I’m investigating the data recovery services of DataRetrieval.com and Second, I’ll be ordering two more large drives for my Pogoplug to store and backup my photos from here forward.

Let’s take these in reverse order.
I plan on adding a new feature to this blog called “Tools for Tuesday” which irregularly reviews various tools, software and hardware and even non-computer, that I’ve used and enjoyed over the years.  One of those early reviews will be of the fantastic Pogoplug.  In a nutshell, for those who aren’t familiar, this little beauty lets me attach up to four USB-based drives at a time to my network.  They can be any kind of USB drives I happen to have available.  Right now, I have two one-terabyte drives in generic enclosures hooked up to it.  They are set up as a master and a mirror drive.  In other words, one drive is where I put all my “stuff” and the Pogoplug automagically mirrors it to the second drive.
It’s really, really nice and when I have the right software installed on my various machines, I can map a drive to that device via the internet and upload to my own personal cloud in my server closet at home.  It’s very nice, albeit a little slow sometimes when I’m away from home.  Still, it’s private and reasonably secure and automatically backing itself up.  I’ve confirmed that two of these devices in separate locations can be used the same way, make a truly redundant mirror, if you really want to do that.  (I do, but I haven’t gotten around to getting the second Pogoplug and setting it up on another network somewhere.)
I really cannot convey how happy I have been with this setup.  I’m super, super impressed with this as a low-rent solution for the small or home business person, or, like me, the hardcore hobbyist.
So, by the time you all are reading this post, I’ll have ordered two three-terabyte USB drives of some kind.  And, clearly, I’ll be setting them up in a similar configuration as the ones I already have, so that one backs up the other.

I’m also sending my drive off to DataRetrieval.com to get an estimate on restoring the data.
I chose them because they had an office in Houston, and I like using local businesses.  Also, they sent me a free shipping label to send the drive to them to get an estimate, which I like.  And, yes, I did try several things to get the data back myself, including the ultimate hard drive “Hail Mary”; the “frozen drive” trick.  I only got as far as seeing the drive, but not being able to access any of the partitions.  And, based on the horrible clicking noise it was making, I’m pretty sure it’s going to take getting the platters out and mounted in their special recovery equipment to get the data off.
I’m choosing slow over expensive, so it may be a couple weeks before I hear back from them with an estimate.  And, depending on how pricey it gets, I may not even decide to follow through and have them recover it.  But, I have to admit, it really hurt to lose five years worth of my photography, even if I don’t really go back to the old stuff all that often.  Now, if I were a professional photographer, or a business owner, I’d pay through the nose to get that data back, but for me, it’s really not hugely important.  Still, I’ll be interested to see, and share, what the quote is and how it’s handled by the service techs at DataRetrieval.com

So, stay tuned!  I don’t know how long it will take, but I promise to do a Part 2 when I get the data recovery quote!


Advice from your Uncle Jim:
"Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate."
   --Thomas Jones

3/29/2013

Perspective Change

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Gibbous

One of the many things I love about photography is its ability to shift my perspective.

But, sometimes, I need to adjust the perspective of my photographs!
I take a lot of different kinds of photos.  Mostly, I take candid shots of people and animals, but I also take photos of my friends’ art as well as the occasional bit of industrial work, as you can see in my local photo gallery.  On very rare occasions, I’ll take architectural photos, but only…
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4/6/2012

The Dangers of Professional Photography

Filed under: Art,Fun,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:26 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

It’s no secret that I’m a contrarian in many ways.

I’m an amateur photographer.  And, I’m good at it.  Not great, but good.  I know a lot of photographers who are at all levels of skill and accomplishment.  Many of them are in a totally different place with their photography than me.  I do it because I love it and I find it relaxing.  It’s totally different from what I do to make money, even though skills from my professional life compliment my hobby.  But, I have met a lot of amateur photographers who would really like to be professionals.
Personally, I think it’s better to stay amateur.  People don’t think that shift from hobby to profession through very well most of the time.  There are all kinds of things that change when you start doing things professionally.  For one thing, you have to collect money.  It sounds fun until you have to actually do it, especially when someone doesn’t, or suddenly can’t, pay.  Trust me.  And, when it’s something like photography, well, sometimes, you just have got to get the shot, no matter how dangerous it is!
Think I’m kidding?  Then just feast your eyes on this little “Reality Check” from The Photo Society.  Click that link and see actual dangers, faced and mostly survived, by National Geographic Photographers!  Burns and acid-dripping caves?  Broken bones and tear gas?  No, thanks!  And, those aren’t even the worst!  Flesh eating parasites?!?  And, worst of all, I think, is the dreaded “penis fish”!  Yikes!  I think I’ll keep my amateur status, thanks!

Also, on the same site, for those of you who are good enough, or already semi-professional, they offer some advice about how to respond to requests for free photography work you might get.  In fact, they suggest that you just go ahead and link right to that article.  So do I.  It’s not quite as good as what Harlan Ellison had to say about people asking for free work from him, but, it’s pretty close.  (Note that he does get a little loud and may use some slightly colorful language, so watch your volume at work.)

So, there you are, dear readers.  Some fun things to think about over the weekend while, hopefully, you pursue your hobby and not your profession!


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