The Project goes RAID

I alluded a few days ago to the fact that the Project has been stalled for a while because of a lack of disk space. Well, things may be about to get a little kick start. I ordered a 500 GB drive and a miniStack case from Other World Computing. In fact, I like the look of the case so much, I ordered a second one to swap my existing 300 GB drive into, so I can stack the two together. And the multiple FireWire and USB hubs that it will provide will be manna; right now I have to swap the old drive from FireWire to USB when I want to sync my iPod because the FireWire port on the external drive isn’t powered.

And the RAID part? Well, I’m considering combining the two drives together so that they form a single logical disk. Mac OS X provides the capability to create three types of RAID arrays: mirrored, striped, and concatenated. I’m thinking concatenated. A lot of the commentary on this option says that it doesn’t make sense: none of the security of mirrored and none of the speed of striped. I think the commentary misses a point: sometimes it’s just awfully convenient to not have to worry about accessing two separate volumes, for instance when trying to share music across a network or manage a large volume of digital music. Plus having the ability to add additional disks to the array without blowing it is really helpful.

Of course, making the RAID array without wiping out the data on the drive is tricky. I’ve identified two ways to do it:

  1. Create a concatenated RAID array with just one disk—the new disk, copy everything from the old disk to it, then add the second disk to the array.
  2. Use the command line version of diskutil to turn the existing disk into a RAID array without destroying the data, then add the second disk. This option is riskier—I don’t know for sure if the command will destroy the data, but this post on, which gave me the idea in the first place, suggests it should work.

The drives should be here in a week, then we’ll give it the old college try.

It’s a Tivo world

We haven’t had access to a DVR since we got the HD TV, since Comcast doesn’t offer a cable box + HDTV DVR. In fact, we’ve hardly used the main TV setup since we got the HDTV. That’s about to change: we just picked up a Tivo + DVD burner combo from Circuit City, who were offering $150 rebates. The plan is to pass standard-def signals to the Tivo from the HD box and pass hi-def directly to the TV.

This plan meant that I had to free up some space in the stereo rack. That’s OK, though: last weekend when I replaced my old cheap Technics turntable with the Denon, I pulled out my 50-disc Sony CD changer. In addition to the fact that almost all my CDs have been ripped, and our DVD changer can play any that I still want to hold onto, the CD changer was the last piece of Sony tech in the rack, and I really want it gone.

I’m looking forward to hopping onto the Tivo bandwagon. One of the other frustrating things about the Comcast unit was the inability to get programs off of it. The DVD burner, plus the ability to network the Tivo, should open some new frontiers.

Oedipus, complex

Boston Globe: BSO brings full drama to ‘Oedipus’. The Globe generally liked our performance; Richard Dyer was kind enough to note that “the men of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus sang with excellent intonation and driving rhythm”—and not to mention that we sang with scores, a first in recent memory for a non-Pops concert.

Behind the scenes, what happened? I can only say that when a work with a lengthy unfamiliar Latin text meets a conductor who doesn’t believe in singing from memory, something has to give. It actually helped: most of us were singing from memory anyway, but being able to check the scores periodically to confirm the words in some of the lengthier passages really helped.

And I still have the thing stuck in my brain, in spite of every single piece of music I’ve listened to in the last day.

(Oh, confidentially to Keith Powers at the Herald: you write really well. How on earth did you write the following two sentences together: “Dohnanyi’s conducting was precise and erudite. The orchestra sounded like it actually liked playing for the guy.” Is that the job of an editor at the Herald: to dumb down a review by inserting random sentences in dumb-guy talk?)

Friday Random 10: Oedipus Wrecks edition

So in spite of the random 10 I still have “Et Oedipus irrumpere, irrumpere et pulsare, et pulsare, et pulsare, et Oedipus pulsare, pulsare, ululare!” ringing in my ears from last night’s concert—that of course being the narrative when Oedipus batters down the door of his wife Jocasta’s room and sees she’s hanged herself, cause, y’know, she’s just found out she’s also his mom.


  • Sigur Rós, “Mea Blóanasir” (Takk…)
  • London Chamber Orchestra (James MacMillan, composer), “Eli, eli, lama sabachthani” (Seven Last Words)
  • Daniel Lanois, “Fisherman’s Daughter” (Acadie)
  • Mission of Burma, “Nancy Reagan’s Head” (There’s a Time and Place to Punctuate)
  • Yo La Tengo, “Autumn Sweater (Kevin Shields remix)” (A Smattering of Outtakes and Rarities)
  • Prince, “Goodbye” (Crystal Ball)
  • Bobby Bare, “I Am An Island” (The Moon Was Bare)
  • Danger Doom, “No Names” (The Mouse and the Mask)
  • Prince, “Call My Name” (Musicology)
  • Elvis Costello, “Shallow Grave” (Costello and Nieve: Live at the Troubadour, LA)

Newport News is everywhere

I keep seeing all these connections to my birthplace. Yesterday morning I was sitting in a terminal in Baltimore, where I had spent Tuesday running around like crazy from one client to another, wrapping up with a panel at the University of Maryland (someday, Craig, I will be in town longer than one day, and then I’ll call), waiting for a 6:45 am flight, and I looked to my right, and there it was: AirTran flying to Newport News.

Then I picked up the in-flight magazine on the plane, sitting in business class (which for a $35 fee has to be the cheapest business class ticket in the industry), and flipped through. And what did I find in the middle? Newport News. Complete with mentions of the Monitor at the Mariner’s Museum; Lee Hall; the Shipyard (of course); and even the Virginia Living Museum (née the Peninsula Nature and Science Center).

And that’s not even to mention the prominent coverage that the Mariner’s Museum gets in recent issues of National Geographic, with the upcoming restoration of the Monitor.

It appears that someone in the city’s Chamber of Commerce is riding the Monitor train into a smart wave of publicity for the city. Good plan. Maybe someone in the City Council will take the cue and turn the city into someplace that I’ll want to visit again, rather than the treeless collection of strip malls it was rapidly becoming when I left 16 years ago.

The Decider

Thanks to Isis, formerly Fury, I’m reminded to point to this Boston Globe article about Bush’s signing statements, in which the president pledges to ignore parts of the laws that are inconvenient to him—the same laws that he is sworn to uphold. It makes some astounding points about the scope (number of signing statements issued in Bush’s presidency: 750, or about 150 a year), audacity (Bush’s signing statements nullified concessions that the administration made to Congress to get bills passed and have systematically eliiminated virtually every congressional reporting requirement for the executive branch that has been passed by Congress in the last five years), and far reaching implications (not only is Bush claiming the power to (un)make laws, by doing it under the rubric of “consistency with the law and with his duties as commander in chief,” he usurps the power of the Supreme Court to interpret the law as well).

If there was ever evidence needed of a pattern of behavior by George W. Bush that called for impeachment, I think this is it.

Dammit, Verizon, cut that out.

Arrgh. I was all excited about the prospect of switching to Verizon’s FiOS this summer when it becomes available in Arlington and getting three times our current speed from Comcast down (and about 10x up) at the same price. Then I saw this Slashdot pointer to a article: an appeals court ruled that Verizon can charge dial-up customers on a per-minute basis, even if the number being dialed is a local call.

On the one hand, I suppose that Verizon is free to set whatever dialing and billing rules it wants—after all, why should it change now? On the other hand, there is no way that I would consider doing more business with a company that is capable of pulling a stunt like this.

I suppose that some strategist somewhere figured that this was a win-win for Verizon: tons of money from dial-up customers in the short term, and tons more DSL customers in the long term. I think this is a lose-lose: if customers are informed that Verizon pulls this crap, they should be fleeing the company like a sinking ship.

In the meantime, the small local ISP gets screwed.

What a wonderful business model.