3500MGB-RAID Galaxy Series


i just got the 3500MGB-RAID Galaxy Series. it’s the first external usb/firewire 2 drive raid enclosure that i’ve seen. i dropped my last hard drive enclosure and the hard drive immediately died. lesson learned there, don’t drop spinning hard drives.

i’ve been in the market to add some my storage space to my home system. i’ve looked at building a file server and then realized that all of the drives that i thought i had lying around were SATA drives, not IDE. who uses IDE still, anyway, right? well, it turns out that the old, old computer i built uses IDE drives. oops.

i popped two drives in the enclosure, set up the RAID setting via a couple of dip switches, turned the thing on, and formatted the drives. it works as advertised and performance seems good. i’ll have to do some more work on it before i can see how well it performs, but it had no problems with me copying stuff to the drive while streaming out video at the same time, which is probably about as hard as i would task it.

fantasy football, anyone?

it’s football season again and here i am making my plea to see if anyone wants to play in a fantasy football league with me. i’m already in my work pool, but i like to play in two leagues. so, if you want to play in a fantasy league with me, send me an email and let me know. if we get enough people, i’ll set up a league!

built a scale model

i made a 1:30 scale model of the arcade cabinet last night. i was a little concerned about how big the control panel is and after making the cabinet, i’ve decided that the control panel is too large. i also want to build a drawer into the cabinet, so i think that i’m going to modify the plans just a little bit. but i think i have a pretty good idea of how everything is going to work out.

i also borrowed a circular saw and jigsaw from my parents (though they don’t know that i did, heh) and i think that i have pretty much all the tools that i need to build the arcade. i’m almost ready to start buying parts. one quick trip to the arcade for a few measurements and i think i’ll be all set!

arcade research

so i’ve got the software working on the mame arcade, though i need to find a better front end to launch the arcade games. i’ve decided that a 27″ TV is just too big for an arcade and i’m going to scale down to a 24″ TV. i’m going to build a scale model of the arcade and see how i like the design that i currently have. i suspect that the control panel that i have plans for is actually bigger than i want, but i can’t really visualize it well.

i think this also means that i need to go to an arcade and take some measurements to see what is in the arcades and see how that compares to what i have planned. i think that i am going to make a slightly larger than average control panel so that it can accomodate a roller as well as two joysticks, but we’ll see how that goes.

now…i just need to not look suspicious when i go to an arcade with a measuring tape.

chopping broccoli

ever just sit there. blog page open, waiting, ready to fulfill its blogging destiny and you just can’t think of what to write. and sure, maybe it’d be good to have a topic to write about, but nothing. the cursor just blinks at you mercilessly.

blink. ready? blink. got anything yet? blink. i’m just gonna keep blinking at you until you write something. blink.

and it is during those times the most random things pop into your head. chopping broccoli was what entered in my head. random, yes.

safeway sale

there’s a sale at safeway right now. i don’t know how long it will last, but the deal is buy two 12 packs of coke, get three free. i think it works itself out to be about $2.12 per 12 pack.

i bought ten 12 packs.

i think i might go to safeway again and get another 10. is that bad?

logitech harmony 720 review

i have been hearing all the rage about the harmony remote controls for a long time now. i have been reluctant to get one because it just seems absurd that a remote control could cost over $100. it’s a REMOTE CONTROL people!! you get them FREE with whatever device you buy! so why, why, why would someone in their right mind buy one for that much money.

they simply must be crazy.

or rich.

well, it turns out that i’m neither, but i still ended up buying one. the biggest reason i bought one was because i bought a brand new home theatre set up and christi was ALREADY having issues with using the tv BEFORE a receiver was thrown into the picture. having a smart universal remote seemed like the next logical step.

this particular model is sold at costco and at the time costco had an instant manufacturer’s rebate which dropped the price down another $30 or so. it was a steal! it was a deal! so i’ve had the remote for a while now and it has been great. my life has been changed.

so what makes a remote cost over $100? good question. how about an interactive color LCD screen? how about a tilt sensor that detects when you pick the remote and lights up the remote? how about a built in battery charger on the cradle so that you don’t need to replace the batteries with AA’s all the time?

those are just the cool features of the remote. the remote has access to thousands of device mappings via a web-based (or windows-based) program that accesses all of the IR codes for many devices. it had a device profile for what i thought were some of my more obscure devices (like an oppo DVD player and an outlaw audio receiver). logitech touts support for more than 150,000 devices. if that isn’t enough, if, for some reason, the preprogrammed codes don’t work, you can still have the remote learn IR codes. it just doesn’t get any more universal than that.

on top of being a universal remote, the device also lets you program activities which lets you turn on all of your devices and have them set to a certain way from one button click. it’s not a true macro mode because you cannot explicitly tell the remote to send IR codes in whatever fashion you want, but i haven’t had a need for the remote to do anything more.

the remote also has a HELP button which will help you troubleshoot a problem if, after using a one touch button, you don’t get the desired results. it will go through a troubleshooting wizard to help guide you through the process.

amazing, i tell you. simply amazing.

oh, and did i tell you that it lights up when you pick it up?

the battery life on the remote seems fair. with a charger built into the docking station, i haven’t run out of juice yet. i do wish the remote would sit more firmly in the dock, but it is still perfectly functional as is.

programming the remote is the most difficult, painful, and awful experience i’ve had. i thought that i was a fairly tech savvy user and even *I* had an incredibly hard time setting up the remote control. definitely use the web-based interface for programming the remote, it’s easier to use. still, all the setup took me hours. once done, it is fabulous, but until then, be prepared to pull some hair out of your head.

if you’re in the market for a universal remote, definitely consider the harmony 720. it’s cheaper than its brothers but still boasts a color LCD screen, rechargeable batteries, and an activities one button push function.

avenue q

i went to watch avenue q over the weekend in san francisco. for those who have never heard of avenue q, myself included, it is described as an adult version of sesame street. there are songs like it sucks to be me, the internet is for porn, if you were gay, and the more you ruv someone.

the musical was very entertaining, wildly inappropriate, and hilarious. did i mention muppet sex? yeah, you heard me right. nuts, i tell you. nuts.

i am thinking about getting tickets to jersey boys, but i don’t know if christi and i will have time to go check it out. the wedding is rapidly approaching and we’ve still got much to do.