Friday, July 18, 2008

Media file server

I am thinking of building a new file server, which serves as a storage for all of our media files. A file server to keep our video, image and music files. It has to be reliable, so I am thinking of using RAID-5, and expandable storage space so we can add more as we need more space. It has to be fast enough to serve up to 5 concurrent sessions, which means ~500Mbps. So, here is a first cut requirements:
  • Motherboard which can handle ~2.4GHz CPU (~$75, or use an used motherboard)
  • Memory 2GB (~$60)
  • A case which can handle up to 12 SATA drives (will use the optical juke box case in the garage)
  • Software RAID-5, perhaps Linux Fedora/Ubuntu (free)
  • Two Ethernet interfaces (already have)
  • Starting out with 4 SATA drives, 500GB each, 2TB total. (~$300)
  • Running MediaTomb, Samba, and a Web server.
  • DVD burner, to burn archive DVD
I need to come up with a name for this server, probably hit Bảo & Thuỵ tonight, they seem to know ton of names. An appropriate name would be of a character which has vast knowledge, large memory, or infinite data.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Few of my favorite things

Goofing off, spending time with love ones, and taking pictures are few of my favorite things.

We are sitting at the Statue of Liberty island, taking a rest and waiting for our ferry ride back to the Liberty State Park. Bảo & Thuỵ are goofing off, making faces at each other.

We are in the ferry, heading to Statue of Liberty island. It's too hot outside so we take refuge in the lower deck. The window opens up and it's a great way to take pictures of the statue

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With a big round translucent white glass rim, and 6 clear incandescent bulbs in spokes & wheel configuration; these are the ceiling lights in Ellis Island Immigration museum. Rows and rows of these light up the main hall, today as well as almost hundred years ago. Silently they witness the immigrants, listen to their worries, and light up their hopes in the new country.

Each light glows in the amber hue, not as bright as in compare to today light bulb technology; but these kind of bulbs last quite long. Many of the light are replaced with newer style frosted bulbs. Some of them even changed to the swirl fluorescent energy-saver type. But for me the old bulb attracts me more with its clear glass, incandescent glow, and that little pointed tub on top.

It's true, that they are inefficient, and not bright enough but you just cannot duplicate that glow with newer bulbs. It glows with an unique amber color, not too bright which can blind your eyes, but just enough to see the face of the person standing next to you. Perhaps, that's the additional purpose of these old lights: to bring people together, standing a bit closer, to look up without being blinded by the light, but to reach up with a hope. A hope in the new land.
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One day trip

Yesterday, we spent the whole day visiting Liberty State Park, Ellis Island, and Statue of Liberty island. When we got to the Statue of Liberty island, the monument guard checked out tickets and let us access to inside of the statue. Yippee! We climbed up 156 steps, and the view is just magnificent.

We walked out to the balcony and thought that I can capture a close-up picture of Lady of Liberty's face. But because of the viewing angle, directly up at the statue, we only able to see her skirt. We climbed down to almost the bottom balcony level to be able to have a full length picture of her.

Statue of Liberty island is the third destination, and Huân was pretty tired by now. He was probably hungry and thirsty because during lunch, he did not eat much of his chicken tenders and fries.

At Ellis Island's cafeteria, we see that they are selling a soup called "Immigration Soup", which served with breads. But it was quite warm yesterday so none of us order that one, but it sounds very interesting. We was thinking of the right time to eat that soup would be when outside temperature is cooler, and the idea of coming back in Spring or Fall sounds very tempting.
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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Looking through pile of pictures we took during the Summer vacation at Myrtle Beach, my eyes focus on this particular one. Huân's eyes contact is wonderful, and it was a long way to get here.

We are waiting for our turn to get on our horse at a horseback riding trip.
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Monday, July 14, 2008


Every day now, I am increasingly looking forward to Friday and less likely to Monday. Is it because of age, health, or lack of Serotonin? I'll try to eliminate one possibility at a time and will get to the root of this.