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Old 04-05-2012, 08:17 PM   #421
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1958 Ranch Home, Full of Character - First Home, First Major Project


As I mentioned before, I've been pretty busy with things other than DIY lately. The wife and I got in on some OXO Good Grips clearance items at Sears. Normally discounted to $65 in the set ($50 elsewhere), they were on clearance for $18. We picked up five sets, and she went to town on organizing her little pantry.



I have made some small progress. I managed to spackle about half of all the holes after taking down that paneling. I didn't want to move the desk back against the wall so I could do the other half of the room until I had the new computer case. More on that ordeal shortly.




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Old 04-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #422
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Spent a day working on my desktop that keeps crashing (memory errors on BSOD), but memory tests come back fine with each stick individually and even when fully loaded. I attributed some of it to heat, but I can't be sure. My current case is something I bought in probably 2005 or 2006 and is on its last leg. It has almost no features, is dinged and dented, has poor air flow and work space, few features, etc. And all the fans are about to throw their bearings (yeah, it's noisy), so it's time to upgrade. The wife has had her dead motherboard in her Antec Twelve Hundred for quite some time; I didn't feel right stealing it, even though it's a huge, powerful, cold beast of a case. But I did want something on that level - a big, heavy steel box that would last for a long time.

My old aluminum and plastic mid-ATX (Ultra Aluminus) case:


Her steel full ATX case (Antec Twelve Hundred):


My new steel full ATX case (Coolermaster HAF 932 Advanced):


There's also a Synology 2-bay NAS on the way, which will act as the RAIDed backup server, DLNA server, download server, and remote file server. I'm pulling two of my 1TB drives from this machine for it (including my current OS disk), which means I have to migrate everything to other storage medium temporarily. This could get interesting with all the shuffling of data from one disk to another. Also have about $120 in Staples Rewards on the way, so I'll probably pick up a SSD or two as my primary OS disk once those arrive and a Staples deal pops up.

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Old 04-05-2012, 08:24 PM   #423
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Nice, I was looking at making a budget box. Basically it's a case that has a enough power to run 10-15 HD's. I have: 2x2TB external's and 2TB portable, I'd like to build a box to hold at least 10TB and just hook it up to my network so I don't have to worry about my external's crashing. It'll detect if a HD is going to crash, and automatically transfer all the files to the primary drive, so all I'd have to do is replace the HD and it'll transfer all the files to the new HD.

After getting back from Iraq and having to reformat my iMac, it also formatted my 2TB external and I lost 15 months worth of deployment photo's and my wedding photo's.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:57 AM   #424
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Br-ouch!

I have all my critical data backed up to a second internal drive (unfortunately on the same SATA controller :\), and then periodically onto DVDs. I'm looking into picking up a small fire safe for extra piece of mind for those DVDs in case of a fire - I'd store a couple vital records in there as well. The only problem is that any fire safe of a workable size with a decent fire rating is pretty expensive. I can get something in the range of 7" x 12" with a 30 minute rating for $15, but something 12" x 15" with a 2 hour rating is closer to $80.

I'd like to set up the NAS with two partitions per drive; one raid 0 for the DLNA server content and one raid 1 for my private records. I also really need to get into the habit of backing up off-site. All of these backups do zero good in case of a natural disaster (other than flood, which optical media might survive) or major theft. I might have to look into a Carbonite-like service again. Last time I checked, the $15/mo price tag was a bit hard to swallow for storing a few TB of photos and whatnot. It seems like prices should have come down in recent years.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:53 AM   #425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinggus View Post
Basically it's a case that has a enough power to run 10-15 HD's.
BTW, how can you put 10-15 HDs in anything and call it "budget"? I mean, I don't think I've ever seen more than 8 SATA channels on a mobo, and adding RAID controllers isn't cheap at all.

You might be able to get an older corporate NAS, but then you'd probably be looking at SCSI.

Confused.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dinggus View Post
Nice, I was looking at making a budget box. Basically it's a case that has a enough power to run 10-15 HD's. I have: 2x2TB external's and 2TB portable, I'd like to build a box to hold at least 10TB and just hook it up to my network so I don't have to worry about my external's crashing. It'll detect if a HD is going to crash, and automatically transfer all the files to the primary drive, so all I'd have to do is replace the HD and it'll transfer all the files to the new HD.

After getting back from Iraq and having to reformat my iMac, it also formatted my 2TB external and I lost 15 months worth of deployment photo's and my wedding photo's.
The price of storage falls at a fast enough rate that I don't think you should ever need anything more than a two bay NAS unless you are storing huge quantities of video.

I'm a big fan of purpose-built NASs, as they are efficient on power, shut down gracefully if hooked to a UPS, give you full RAID redundancy, have hot swap, and also run fistfuls of applications like torrent, Firefly, and more that are super useful.

I looked into building my own NAS but quickly realized that it was cheaper to buy one and just continue to hot-swap in larger drives as I needed them. I put two 2 TB drives in when they hit $120 a piece a few months ago. 4 TB drives will probably be the same price a year from now. And so forth.

NASs also have USB ports so you can plug in other externals and have them accessible on your network.

If I have enough spare parts in the future I might build my own but it would likely just be an experiment to try it out. PCs are too power hungry for simple storage.

Last edited by Ironlight; 04-06-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:41 PM   #427
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thadius856 View Post
BTW, how can you put 10-15 HDs in anything and call it "budget"? I mean, I don't think I've ever seen more than 8 SATA channels on a mobo, and adding RAID controllers isn't cheap at all.

You might be able to get an older corporate NAS, but then you'd probably be looking at SCSI.

Confused.
http://www.greenleaf-technology.com/...ypes/index.php

Of course it won't be a budget box once you keep adding harddrives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironlight View Post
The price of storage falls at a fast enough rate that I don't think you should ever need anything more than a two bay NAS unless you are storing huge quantities of video.

I'm a big fan of purpose-built NASs, as they are efficient on power, shut down gracefully if hooked to a UPS, give you full RAID redundancy, have hot swap, and also run fistfuls of applications like torrent, Firefly, and more that are super useful.

I looked into building my own NAS but quickly realized that it was cheaper to buy one and just continue to hot-swap in larger drives as I needed them. I put two 2 TB drives in when they hit $120 a piece a few months ago. 4 TB drives will probably be the same price a year from now. And so forth.

NASs also have USB ports so you can plug in other externals and have them accessible on your network.

If I have enough spare parts in the future I might build my own but it would likely just be an experiment to try it out. PCs are too power hungry for simple storage.
What NAS do you have? The link above I can build one pretty cheap.
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Old 04-22-2012, 01:14 PM   #428
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Sort of fell off the face of the Earth there, didn't I? Been trying to save up by not doing anything. Seems to be working.

Not much has been going on here lately. First a decent amount of rain, and now it feels like summer is off full swing. It was in the high 80s here yesterday (bout 30C). I really need to get back on track.

To answer your question (sorry, guess I didn't see it before), it's a Synology DS212j NAS. I really like that it's silent and that it fits on top of my kitchen cabs.

Just got my hands on two Crucial M4 64gb SSD's for practically nothing. Spent the last few days leaning up Windows (disable search indexing, remove some useless but weighty visual effects, etc) from a 140gb installation down to 42gb.

Moved 'Users', 'Program Files', Program Files (x86)' and 'ProgramData' to a 1TB Maxtor I've had for a while and put the rest on the SSD. Microsoft really does not make it easy to do it, but I was familiar with the process of offloading folders using symbolic links... it's just that I'm used to doing it in Unix, not MS-DOS from a Recovery DVD, so I had to re-learn some commands.

I did lost a few settings (desktop background, Start Menu favorites, etc) and a few programs unregistered, but otherwise everything is fine now. A few bumps along the way, but nothing to worry about.

The "before" disk (that now holds everything I moved off the SSD):



The "after" disk (that now holds the OS):



Boot time has been cut in about half, shaved off a couple more seconds by disabling an unused raid controller and a spare T-base 10/100 LAN port, and overall it just feels a lot more responsive. I'd probably get much better results if I had SATA 6gb/s capability on this motherboard, as it seems to be gimping the new drive quite a bit.

Also added a few more devices to Static DHCP, going to re-partition the NAS today into several slices, and reinstall some of its packages (oh boy!).

Going to have to take some leave sooner or later to get something done around here!
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:48 PM   #429
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Things are back to crazy around here. Having saved up some money (paid off the wife's car, got ahead on some credit card payments), we're back in the realm of finishing some unfinished projects. At least that should keep the expenses down while we continue to save.

First, the wife picked up 6 yards of fabric to reupholster the dining room chairs. She's done this entirely on her own from start to finish, except for me lending a hand here or there to hold a piece or flap of fabric while she stapled.

Before and after:







Two down, six to go. She will need only 2 more yards of fabric to complete the job. They're still a bit under-padded, but they're certainly comfortable enough for dining.

She decided that she needed an electric stapler for the project, so we now own an Arrow ETFX50.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:52 PM   #430
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The carpenter and I jumped onto getting the tile done in the living room (in front of the library wall). It took a solid two hours to square off the existing laminate flooring and scrape up the glue that was holding it down.



After replacing the tile saw blade, it once again cuts decently. We had to toss the blade guard because it was throwing the cuts off to one side and causing a gradual curve in each tile. As a result, now we get a face full of water with every cut. Here's the center field laid out.

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Old 05-15-2012, 11:21 PM   #431
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Lets see. Where were we.

Took all the measurements for every tile off a dry fit. Annotated them all on a CAD-generated tile layout and the carpenter cut them all free-hand. Yeah, that's right, every cut freehand. Turns out the fence on this saw isn't worth using. Not surprised.



Took two days to thinset the border tiles down. Really could have been undertaken in a day, but one's knees get tired.



And 24 hours later, floated in plenty of mushroom color grout. Note this is after leveling, but not yet cleaning the tiles.



There's some height variation, but the slab isn't flat either, and I wasn't going to go through the process of leveling it out. I probably would have if it didn't butt to the hardwood... that is, if I was replacing the flooring in the whole room.

Tomorrow, sealant.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:24 AM   #432
Dorf dude...
 
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I did the same thing with my blade guard and fence. I chucked them the first day. I'm still thinking of a solution to the issue of getting bathed in water. I use a face shield and wear an old hat. I like the progress. dorf dude...
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:49 AM   #433
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Funny. We went with a shorter table, Hefty trash bag poncho, eye protection and a box fan to blow the spray to the side of you.

Works well enough. Looks pretty ghetto.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:51 PM   #434
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Left this thread for dead again. Ugh.

Been keeping up on some progress, but was pretty firmly in saving mode. Already cut about 35% of our credit card debt out, and now that the wife's car is paid off, that's the only debt we have (besides the mortgage, obviously). Here's how we did it:



I went to Wally World and picked up a 2-gallon jar. I have no idea what people use these for. Making displays, maybe? I shredded some pastel paper we had at the time (pink and ecru) and filled it to the top. On the backside, I labelled the total amount of debt in dollars, then put grading marks every inch or so, like a big glass measuring cup. As we pay off the debt, we go take some out, and it sits right next to the TV so we can't just ignore it easily.

We set a monthly amount we wanted to pay off, and we're ahead of schedule so far.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:01 PM   #435
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The tile finished up spectacularly. It's a little less than perfect in the flatness department, but I'm not complaining. You're always more critical of your own works, right? We headed to Lowe's and the BORG to grab some t-moulding and were floored by the price. $28 for 67" of fake wood moulding? Seriously? We did find two on clearance at $7 (which we were willing to pay) until the cashier at the register pointed out that only one of the two we grabbed were clearance, and that the other was an oh-so-slightly different color at full price. We gave up 'n' made out own instead.

At " thick, the leftover air-dried cherry was a perfect choice. The last knotty 7" wide piece went through the saw and came back out as two usable 1" strips at 8', with a whole lot of waste sapwood leftover. We cut 3/8" off the back of the tile-side and 1/4" off the back of the laminate side, leaving a " strip down the middle, then mitered some return.

Pre-stain, two passes with stain, and four coats of polyurethane later, here we are. There was enough for both the laundry room door and the new tile sections.







It's a shame to walk on so many hours of labor.

The height of it forced us to shim up the last recliner " or so, but it's not really noticeable.

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