Synology 2 NAS

Recently it was decided that the time had come to upgrade our storage setup here at home. We’ve been relying on some external hard drives for backup that were getting pretty long in the tooth, and needed to either get new ones or figure out another option.

I’ve also given up on streaming music services. I used grooveshark back in the day, and like it – but then it went under. Tried Spotify and Google Music – and they’re ok, but didn’t have a lot of my old music I like.

I came up in the Napster days and have a decent sized MP3 collection, still sitting around on the old drives in my old desktop machine. Putting those on the laptop wasn’t a great option, too many files! Not to mention my completely legal copies of movies and TV shows built up over the years.

So, after a lot of research and debate, I picked up a Synology 2 NAS from Amazon, with a couple 4TB drives, and a USB-C drive enclosure. I needed some way to get stuff of all those old hard drives sitting around the house!

We’ve had this thing for almost two months now and it’s working like a champ. I’ve condensed most of my old files onto it, and it’s serving as the backup location for two laptops. Backing up over wifi means the laptops actually get backed up as often as they should! It also works well as a Plex server.

I’ve been careful to not turn on the “cloud” functionality on it – I’m perfectly happy if no one (including me) can get at the files on the NAS from outside the home network!

Now I’m starting to see the limits of our ISP-provided Wifi router as the network gets more and more use… might be time for more research… or even go old school and run some ethernet!

Razer Stealth 13 – almost one year review

As always, I’m not updating my own site as often as I should. Something about cobblers and shoes? Anyways, it’s been a while since my last post about being back in the Windows world. Hard to believe it’s almost been a year – but seemed like as good a time as any for a new post.

This little guy keep soldiering along with very few problems – none that I can attribute to the hardware at least. Well, except for an annoying issue that the internal mic doesn’t seem to work -but I’m pretty sure that’s due to Windows, not the hardware – and I typically use a headset anyways on the few occasions I need it.

I have noticed the black paint coming off along some of the fairly sharp edges on the case. That’s about it in terms of it showing its age.

Windows on the other hand is… Windows. I can live with it, at least I haven’t been annoyed enough yet to try installing Linux. The WSL set up I’ve written about before has worked out well enough for the projects I work on. I haven’t gotten around to trying Docker out – after my previous experiences with Docker (on a mac) I’ve not been to inspired…

Having access to games has been nice in this new Coronaworld. I still manage to get online to shoot zombies in Left 4 Dead a few times a week, and I rewarded myself with a new game about a month ago after launching a new site. Space Engineers is definitely my kind of game. My latest creation is a ridiculously ugly mobile base cruising around the earth-like planet spoiling the landscape. Planning to try my first space launch soon!

Hope everyone is staying at home and keeping healthy.

Razer Stealth 13 – 1 month review

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I took the jump off of MacOS about a month ago now. I’d been researching different options ever since the Macbook Pros came out with the ridiculous touch bar, horrible keyboards, high price and pretty mediocre specs (for that price).

In the end I pulled the trigger on a Razer Stealth 13 Ultrabook that I picked up from Amazon on Prime Day for a pretty good deal. Spec wise, it compared very favorably against both my old laptop (5 year old Macbook Pro) and new Macbooks. I also strongly considered a thinkpad among other similar laptops.

I wanted something with pretty good specs as I often end up running “heavier” – i.e. running docker, virtualbox, etc. Good keyboad, reliability, power usage and weight were all important as well. I travel a lot, so it had to be a laptop I could use in many different scenarios, working on a bed/couch/tiny desk, etc – but usually without external monitor/mouse/keyboar.

All in all, I’m quit happy with this laptop after about a month of using it – most of the time on the road. Battery life is at least double my old macbook – depending on what I’m doing, I can get 8 hours out of it pretty easily. The keyboard and screen are great. My only real gripe is the touchpad “click” is too sensitive (even with settings turned all the way down) – I’m guessing I’ll get used to it.

Windows 10 is… well, Windows. I’d still prefer MacOS. But the additional of WSL means that I spend nearly all of my work day using linux. This means I haven’t (yet) decided to try booting and running entirely from Linux. Might still happen, but for now this setup is working pretty well.

I haven’t really tried much gaming so I can’t comment on performance there. I ran a couple very old FPS games that were in my Steam account which of course it could run fine with maxed out settings. I played a little bit of Total War Empire – which of course is also an older game at this point, and ran well.

So… so far so good! Of course it’s early days still and we’ll see what problems arise 🙂