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?)