Sunday, February 11, 2007

Hot swappable IDE drives

I have lots of storage needs but I hate having external hard drive cases. So I've taken a couple things to make my own hot swappable IDE solution. I bought a few of these removeable IDE drive trays and installed the tray enclosures in all my desktops. I powered the enclosure like an internal drive, connecting it to a spare power adapter inside the case. IDE drives are not hot swappable in Win2k and later versions, so I used a USB-IDE adapter like this. I routed the other end of the USB cable outside my case and connected it to a USB extension cable so I can easily connect it to the front USB connectors on the desktop PCs. All my spare drives are mounted in the removeable trays, so whenever I need an external drive, I just slide the tray in the rack, connect the usb cable and turn the key on the rack to power up the drive. Then when I want to take the drive out, I just treat it like an external USB drive. I think that's a lot easier than having to find the right power supply for the 5 different external USB cases I probably would have then having to find an open power outlet. I even have a spare enclosure that I can use with my laptop like an external case.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Daylight Savings Time and servers and ...

I just ran a program to patch my HA server for the upcoming change in the start and end of DST. Since it still runs Win2k, there's no more support, but there is an application from Microsoft that will let you adjust the start and end of DST. Microsoft's DST info is here. Now, the problem for me is going to be my JDS TimeCommander+, which is EOL'd. I guess I will have to manually update the time or figure a way to script it in starCOM. I had mixed results with setting time via starCOM (trying to sync the clock to account for the TC's drift).

Monday, February 5, 2007

HA Server Rebuild

The main drive in my HA server died, so since I had to re-install the OS, I decided to swap machines as well. The old machine was a Celeron 2.6 gHz and the new one is an Athlon 2800+ XP that I had lying around. I originally chose to build the HA server with the Celeron due to its lower power consumption, but as I added more & more features, it began to bog down. The Athlon provides a little boost in processing power (about 20% or so) but consumes a proportional amount more electricity. I think things are just about all running, but I still have to go through some stupid software activation hoops (HAL).