Lifelong Learning Knowledge should be uncompromisingly sought after and freely given away.


FotoMoto Feature

FotoMoto Feature

Today was another good day! I got an email from FotoMoto letting me know that one of the photographs I had taken of the family cat was chosen to be featured on their homepage! Very cool indeed, I've always loved photography and it's nice to get any level of recognition for it! If you haven't heard of FotoMoto, check it out, it's a great way for folks to sell photographs, I had signed up so that when I get some great shots of the new baby, our family can very easily order prints if they want. FotoMoto is a great company and I'm honored to be featured for the day!

Filed under: Uncategorized No Comments

A new look for my blog…

Well, I've decided to update my blog and migrate away from my existing blog software, b2evolution to WordPress. I just think WordPress is easier to use and has a much larger user base which means more frequent updates and better plug-ins, themes, etc. I've imported all my old post but will have to go through them and clean up the issues from the import so the site will be wonky for a few days...


The Stirling Engine

Stirling EngineSo over the last couple of days I'm been reading about these engines. Fascinating and yet so simplistic my mind goes crazy with cool things I could use it for. Well, not necessarily the most useful things, but cool none the less. One of the videos I watched actually showed a guy who had made one of these engines with soda cans and it ran really well! I'm thinking maybe I can put one of my Arduinos to use with this engine and some sensors....hmmm, I think I've got my next project! More to come...


My FreeNAS Build (Part 2 of 3)

FreeNAS LogoOk, so I started sourcing the parts for my new build and realized I had a few more decisions to make before I pulled the trigger on this build.  I had already roughly calculated how much space I wanted/needed. I needed to decide on some of the more technical aspects of the build, like what type of boot drive/system was I going to use, how big should it be? Do I need a gigabit network adapter and if so what kind should I get, will it support jumbo frames and do I need to invest in a server class NIC for ultimate reliability? Luckily for me some of these decisions were made for me when I opted to buy the somewhat gutted Dell XPS 400 from my co-worker. It already came with a gigabit network card onboard, 1GB RAM and SATA ports. It also only had room for (4) internal hard-drives.

I decided I'd just hit up my favorite online retailer and see if I could source all the parts I needed new from them and get what I couldn't there, on eBay. Here's what I ended up with as the foundation of my FreeNAS build:

  1. Dell XPS 400 Tower with built-in Gigabit NIC, 1GB RAM, 3.2GHz P4 Processor. $50 US.
  2. Cheap-o PCI-X video card I had laying around (the mobo didn't support AGP). FREE
  3. Adaptec 2610SA SATA RAID card from eBay, I paid $41 US for it.
  4. Lexar 2GB 80X CF card from eBay, got this gem for $15 US.
  5. (4) Western Digital WD5000AAKS 500GB hard drives from (59.99/each) $223.96 US for all drives.
  6. SYBA SD-ADA40001 SATA II To Compact Flash Adapter from $15 US.

So my total for this build was a cool $344.96 US. Given the amount of space I'm getting and the quality of the hardware, I don't think I could have found anything prebuilt/off the shelf that would come close to this build. Not to mention the satisfaction of sourcing all the parts and building it myself.

In my next post, I'll go over the actual build and configuration of the FreeNAS software as well as my first impressions of the finalized solution.

Tagged as: No Comments

I “finally” joined the internet social “borg”.

FaceBook ImageYikes, I never thought I'd find a reason to create an account on Facebook but my co-workers finally harrased me enough and I gave in. I suppose it's not all bad, within 5 minutes of signing up I had found some childhood friends that I haven't seen or spoken to in forever. It was a nice 20 minutute detour down memory lane...I can't promise I'll ever be an "active" facebook user, but feel free to send me a friend request if you are so inclined, it's jay at jaycollett dot com.

Tagged as: No Comments

My New Job

New JobSo my new job is great! After a few busy weeks trying to figure out the lay of the land, I can say that I made the right choice to move. While I haven't had much time to write, I've been amazed at how much less stress I have now days. Sure, I miss the folks I worked with (well, some of them anyhow) but as for starting my family, I think I've found a nice new home. I've even had enough spare engergy after work now to start a few projects that have long been on the "to-do" list....