I can’t wait until the TSA hears about these! See the full gizmodo article on this here.
Now there’s a full featured iPython implementation for the iPad called Computable. It includes NumPy, SciPy, matplotlib and Pandas. It supports the creation of iPython notebooks that you can then share. This is a handy tool when a typical scientific calculator or spreadsheet just won’t cut it. Recommended.
NB: Sadly, due to Apple’s restrictions on apps and executable code (including scripts) the app is not able to download or sync iPython notebooks. I understand and agree with the restriction from a security standpoint, but it does limit the usefulness of a tool like Computable.
Back in the late ’70s and early ’80s when I was part of an Explorer Troop that focused on native american dance, one of the things I did was hoop dance. I learned how from a couple old books and a couple of dozen stills and diagrams. It would have been wonderful to have had videos to help me figure out the foot work and transitions
MetroNet’s second commercial installation in the Lafayette area (or so the installer guys said) is in my basement. It’s very fast, especially to the Purdue campus. If you get MetroNet’s service in West Lafayette, you can add a symmetric 100 Mb/s service to campus to your connection for $10. Four router hops to systems on campus. Very nice.
You can find a good technical introduction to the fiber technology MetroNet is deploying in this presentation to the Greater Lafayette Information Technical Society from 2011.
The picture is of my network termination board next to the equipment rack in the basement. The MetroNet optical network terminal (ONT) is the big grey box in the middle of the picture. The little grey box to the upper right is the old DSL termination box which was retired when I moved to Comcast. The dark grey, almost black box above the ONT is the Comcast cable modem. Once the fiber gets buried in the yard, I’ll retire the Comcast connection.
One of my long term projects moves forward… New (to me) bustles. Slowly pulling together the missing pieces of a new fancy dance outfit. Now I really need to work on my beaded harness set and a couple of large, beaded rosettes…
Behind the scenes, my household network services are provided by a pair of Apple Mac Mini Servers, one for internal services (DNS, DHCP, file sharing, backups) and one for external services (DNS, mail, web hosting, ownCloud). I also have an older Mac Mini attached to my home theatre. I like the Mac Mini’s a lot. They are inexpensive as servers go, draw little power, and are quiet, cheap and reliable.
Sadly, the internal server’s boot disk died a couple of weeks ago. It failed slowly over a couple of hours and thankfully did not corrupt the server’s time machine based backups on its way out. I have prepared for this eventuality by keeping a cold spare in the form of an older Mac Mini that sits on the shelf, ready to be put into service if one of the active Mac Minis has a problem. So, after an attempt to resuscitate the dying hard disk, I gave up on it and restored the most recent backup of the server onto the cold spare.
The restore process is pretty simple. First, I choose to boot the cold spare from a USB key that I had prepared with a bootable installation image of OS X Mavericks. I used the included script that’s buried in the Maverick install image to create the bootable USB key. The directions for using it can be found from Apple or with a bit more detail from MacWorld. You will need to have either saved, or downloaded the current Mavericks installer before you follow those instructions.
Once the USB key and cold spare are ready to boot, I booted with the “option” key held down and picked the prepared USB key from the list of available boot devices. When restoring a server with more than one disk, you need to do a little bit of extra work to restore the second disk before you start the restoration of the boot disk as detailed in this Apple Knowledge Base article. After restoration, the cold spare booted up without problems. I corrected it’s network settings (it has a USB ethernet connection, long story for another post…), checked that services were running, “inherited” the current time machine backups and my internal services were back in operation.
Next up, I ordered up an SSD to replace the failed disk. SSDs have come a long way in terms of reliability and are well worth the added expense given the marked speed improvement they offer. I chose a Samsung 750GB EVO 840 drive based on the recommendation of the good folks at Mac Mini Colo. I bought the drive from OWC and followed their installation video. The install is indeed “challenging” and took me about 90 minutes.
A word of warning, I ended up doing the disk installation twice due to pulling the wrong drive the first time. If you can, before you remove the dead disk, look at the system with disk utility which will indicate which drive bay (upper or lower) a disk is located in. That would have saved me some time.
The server with the SSD has been running for a few days now without problem and I plan to swap it back into production service, using the same time machine restoration process, this weekend.
Join us starting this evening for “A Lasting Promise“, a marriage study to strengthen and renew your marriage.
Mary and I will be teaching a marriage study we call, “A Lasting Promise”, at Calvary Baptist Church starting next Sunday, January 12th at 6pm. The study runs 9 weeks.
The study is based on PREP (Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) developed by Howard Markman, Ph.D and Scott Stanley, Ph.D. We named the study after one of Markman and Stanley’s books. Combining biblical truths and tested research, the study offers practical coaching on relationship skills that lower the risk of divorce, strengthen commitment and restore fun, friendship and intimacy.
The study is open to all couples at a cost of $20 for materials. Childcare is available for $2 per child or a maximum of $5 per family.
You can download and print a handy reminder card for yourself or other folks you know here.
We hope to see you next Sunday!
Congratulations to Maria Leijerstam, the first person to cycle to the south pole. You can read about it here.